Sunday, March 25, 2012

Whatcha Workin’ With: All Hands On Deck!

Sermon Series: Whatcha Workin’ With: All Hands On Deck!

Sermon Scriptures: Nehemiah 4:4-6; Nehemiah 3:1-2,12, Jeremiah 29.11

Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them... Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters. Nehemiah 3.1-2,12

Nehemiah prayed, "Oh listen to us, dear God. We're so despised: Boomerang their ridicule on their heads; have their enemies cart them off as war trophies to a land of no return; don't forgive their iniquity, don't wipe away their sin—they've insulted the builders!" We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall. The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work. Nehemiah 4:4-6

Pg. 50 Cyril Barber’s Nehemiah: and the dynamics of effective leadership

B.C. Forbes: “ If the whole prospers [the individual] as an active, effective, progressive part of it, will prosper with it”

Warning: As God’s people we show our connectedness to Him by adopting or praying to adopt His values. What do we see in these passages:

    • God who created individuality didn’t create it to affirm islands

    • God who created individuality did so like the create of jigsaw jigsaw piece was EVER created to stand along, but father to connect and be connect with another.

    • Since Garden Fiasco, God’s focus has been our restoration to Him. Therefore it is reasonable that He’d expect us to focus on someone else’s good since He’s so focused on ours.

        • Since Jesus is working on our Heavenly Abode...can’t we help the homeless?
        • Since God is our Father, can’t we love the fatherless?

We see 4 principles for Nehemiah’s success: All Hands Were On Deck!

  • Coordination
    • He knew where the breaches were and the work that was needed
    • They had 40 sections of workers*
  • Cooperation
    • He used a variety of workers i.e. sexes, classes, marital status
    • People knew were they belonged* because...
    • People their skills and gifts*
  • Commendation
    • Their names were mentioned (acknowledgement)
    • This motivates
  • Communication
    • People were in the know. They knew what and where and how & why!!

Chapter 4: New Attack due to the threat of success!!

  • Sanballat and Tobias tried to dishearten the people (v. 1)
  • It seemed to work (vs. 10, 11, 12)

From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Neh 4.16-18

Key Components To Remember:

  • Outside support didn’t matter until inside buy-in occurred
  • People worked like it mattered to their future (‘cause it did)
  • Damage assessment; prayer; got the people involved
  • Wall built for protection of worship, language, culture= because a defeated & culture-less we’re not effective.
  • Having a heart to work means that the Father’s Heart for the lost & for justice is superimposed on our hearts
  • God is up to something and you’re a part of it.


  • Ask God to get you involved...close to your heart/home; ask Him for His heart for this work
  • Find someone to work next to...someone who you can teach...someone who can teach you.
  • You will find yourself as you lose yourself in God’s presence and in God’s work
  • We need all hands on deck...not just for the building...but for the work of God’s Kingdom!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whatcha Working With? (Willing People, Dire Needs & The Holy Spirit!)

Sermon Series: Building Material

Sermon Title: Whatcha Working With? (Willing People, Dire Needs & The Holy Spirit!)

Key Passage: Nehemiah 6:2-3

2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:2-3 NIV)

One Slide: Persian Kings

Cyrus- “Israel's Shepherd” in Isaiah. Defeated Babylonians & allowed Jews to return home. Great manager who developed road, cities, postal systems & legal codes. His decisions were prophesied in Jeremiah 25.12.

Cambyses II- Cyrus’ son and successor. Egypt to to Persian Empire. (530 B.C. to 522 B.C.)

Darius- Unified kingdom using gold coinage, state highways, improved postal systems. Subsidized the work of the temple. (521 B.C. to 486 B.C.)

Xerxes l- Ruled Persia (485 B.C. to 465 B.C.) The book of Esther tells his story. She became queen in his 7th years of king and saved Jews from extinction.

Artaxerxes Longimanus (465 B.C. to 425 B.C.) Under his leadership two of the three major returns of Jews to Judah occurred.


Ezra 1-6 is about Temple Reconstruction

Babylonians destroyed Temple 50 years prior

New Challenges politically/Socially are great opportunities for God followers to seek strategies from Him make God more known.

Ezra 4-6 You oppose your opposition via committed continued service to God

Earlier prophesies regarding rebuilding of temple (Jer 50.9; 51.11 & Isaiah 44.28 & 45.13)

Rebuilding Process:

  1. Altar: Sacrifice
  2. Temple: Worship
  3. Opposition

*Work stopped, work resumed, people released (Opposition happened all the way)

Community Spiritual Renewal: Book of Nehemiah

  • 12 years after Ezra’s visit to Jerusalem, Nehemiah is working in Persia

  • Cup Bearer is a privileged position (informal and formal information)

  • Casual inquiry about Jerusalem

  • Impact hits Nehemiah.
    • Watch what hits your heart’s most likely a calling of some sort

  • Nehemiah was not planing on leaving his post. However, what he was doing was preparing him for what he was about to do.
    • Respect the present! It is as holy to God as the future.

  • Nehemiah confesses as he prays
    • prays for personal restoration of people & favor with King
    • pray for a few months

  • Sanballat: May have been a Samaritan Governor with temporary jurisdiction over Judah

  • After surveying damage and praying...Nehemiah solicits help from people living in Jerusalem---although he has financial support from King (2.17-18)

  • When attacked for doing God’s work---respond by asserting your mission. Leave outcome to the one who commissioned you. Don’t defend God or yourself.
    • We fight too many battles that aren’t ours.

  • Nehemiah 2.23-30 People end us building near their houses
    • your heart must connect with the work (Vested Interest)

  • Forty sections/groups worked simultaneously!

  • Chap 4 Opposition happens again:
    • It is against God...let Him handle it.
      • Task was huge and people felt discouraged
      • Families were telling people to come back home (v. 11-12)
      • Outside attacked again

Nehemiah improved security measures & motivated people to fight for their heritage which was grated by God Almighty.


  • Ask God about your service.
    • Is where it should be? What it should be? Directed toward whom it should be?

  • Define what’s near your “house”?

  • Remind yourself that the work you do for God is for God. He validates it. He will reward it. He will resource it. You just need to lay hold of it.