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Summary: This is the 9th sermon in the series "Rebuilding". No matter what is happening around you, when you are following God's will, things will be good for you.

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Series: Rebuilding [#9]

YOU KNOW IT’S A GOOD SIGN WHEN…

Nehemiah 8:1-18

Introduction:

I was talking to a friend about his pastor and he said that he was a great pastor; but was really “long winded”. I asked him how long his pastor preached, (thinking that he was preaching for 2 plus hours). When he told me that he was preaching for over 30 minutes, I just smiled; because I know that I preach past that every week. Now as often as I preach a little long, it’s nothing compared to the 6 hour service that happened in Jerusalem, (and everyone stood the whole time); and then came back the next day for more. In this chapter we find some signs of spiritual renewal.

Nehemiah 8:1 (NIV)

“All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.”

You know it’s a good sign when God’s people are…

1. Hungry for His Word.

These people were unified and their desire was to hear the Word of God. I want you to notice that the people told Ezra to get the Book of the Law of Moses. They didn’t wait for Ezra, they were hungry for the Word.

Nehemiah 8:2-6 (NIV)

“So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”

You know it’s a good sign when God’s people are…

2. Hearing the Word with their hearts.

There is a very important progression here:

 They respected the Word of God.

When the Word was opened they stood up. They knew that this wasn’t just any book. This was the Word from God.

 They praised God for the Word.

They knew where these words came from and that caused them to praise and worship Him.

 They listened attentively to the Word of God.

They stood this entire time hearing the Word with more than their ears. They heard the Word with their hearts. They didn’t allow themselves to get distracted by what was going on around them. They weren’t looking around at others. They weren’t thinking about the fact that they were tired from standing or hungry from having not eaten. They were “caught up” in the Word of God.


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