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.

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