A Divinely Appointed Task
March 14, 2004
INTRODUCTION: From time to time, we need to be reminded that we are involved in a great work. Plus, we are serving a great God and attempting to minister to a great city. What an encouragement when the enemy is launching his attack. We serve a great Christ in the context of a great church and with the challenge of a great commission. In order to finish well, I am of the conviction that it is going to take a great commitment.
Nehemiah 4:6 reminds us that his project is half-way completed. This really reminds me of our challenge in World Evangelization. We are possibly at the half-way mark in Bold Mission Thrust. It is no time to let up or be discouraged in the work.
Solomon, the wise writer of Ecclesiastes, said, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in sheol, whither thou goest." The teacher, Gamaliel of the Pharisees, gave this counsel to the angry Jews that opposed the preaching of the Apostle Peter, "if this work be of men, it will come to nothing; but if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it" (Acts 5:38-39). We are reminded in I Cor. 3:l3 that "every man's work shall be made manifest". One day, God will literally reveal the true motive of our work.
Now, to put us within the framework of Nehemiah's ministry, the Bible says in Nehemiah 6:l6, "for they perceived that this work was wrought by our God". Nehemiah did not consider himself competent for the work, as much as called to the work.
He did not see himself educated for the work, as much as elected (called) to the work. Also, he certainly did not consider what he
was doing for God, but what God had done in him, in order to do
through him. In order to build a great work, there are several things we must be prepared for.
I. BE PREPARED FOR THE TASK. v.6-9
A. IN YOUR MINISTRY. 6a
Nehemiah knew through prayer and fasting that God had given him the ministry of rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem. The King had sent him and supplied him for his ministry.
B. IN YOUR MIND. 6b
Nehemiah had waited patiently, yet persistently, for the task before him. Now he was ready to go to work. He had a mind to work. Nehemiah had a good work ethic; he was not a 9 to 5 man.
Nehemiah 4:2l says that, "he labored in the work, from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared." He was committed to his task in his mind. God give us men with a "mind to work"
l. WHEN OBEDIENT, EXPECT OPPOSITION 7-8
John 5:20, Jesus said, "The servant is not greater than His Lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you."
Sanballat to the North
Tobiah, the Ammonite, to the East
The Arabs to the South
The Ashdodites to the West
What they couldn't do with their voices, they hoped to do with violence.
2. WHEN OBEDIENT, EXEMPLIFY THE OVERCOMER 9
It is amazing how the Lord re ...
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