Chapter 1 - The burden of your heart
445 BC Nehemiah leads third wave back to Jerusalem and rebuilds walls in 52 days
Temple already built but unprotected
Areas within our local community have broken areas - we are. called to rebuild and restore
Prayer first and actions after
Through prayer that God gives us the burden and ability to act
Nehemiah prayer
Confesses sin of himself and people, takes responsibly
Repenting is choosing to turn and go another way
Returning of our hearts to God, he will gather us back
Returning back to God's presence
Knowing that God is with is people and we are known for that
Grant success for my actions
Asking for favor of the king
Returning back to God's presence
What areas of brokenness has called you to work to restore
Chapter 2 - Place of hope and share with community
We are are called to rebuild
What is my part in God's master plan for Carrickfergus
Need to be honest and authentic in our relationships with people who you trust
Nehemiah was honest with the King and because God was with him he got the correct response
Continually pray, nothing wrong with the the quick under the breath prayers
Nehemiah asked for the exact things that he needed and thanks to God the king granted his request
He had a sprit led plan and exactly what he needed
Asking God for our needs and being able to answer when God asks what we need
Nehemiah wasn't scared to get his hands dirty and actually did it - action is harder than words
God is in the doing not the talking
Returning back to God's presence
Tough times will come regardless of what we do. God will get us through as we step out
Returning back to God's presence
When Nehemiah reaches Jerusalem he doesn't act right away but waits for the right time
Subtopic 29
Sometimes it's not about rushing in but pondering them with God
No point in looking at the bad things and talking about it if we aren't going to do anything about it
Don't give up on the things on your heart
You need to keep your heart soft - its hurts but that's when God can use us
How can we help if we don't see. We need to see the brokenness to help rebuild it
Comes alongside the people who are already there and works in partnership
The hard work would be worth it - emotional reasons more than just building a wall
Shame and fear broken and strength come in
The people built the walls themselves. Nehemiah provided the plans and got them started
Sometimes just as we get started the opposition comes. Can lead to discouragement. Keep going you have been given the plan by God.
Even harder when the critical voices come from people who you expected to be encouraging
Nehemiah tells them they have no claim over what you are building
Have the boldness and confidence to be who God called you to be
Where is the brokenness around you and what do you see
Chapter 3 - Everyone gets to play
Everyone gets to play
10 gates in total
Nehemiah feels the burden and implements the plan to realise the vision
Nearly all the people took part to help rebuild the walls
Priests led by example
People from the surrounding areas came to help
Huge range of people and backgrounds helped out
Because they worked together as a team and therefore it only took 52 days
TEAM - together everyone achieves more
People did what they could, where they were with what they had
Many made repairs outside their very homes
God has placed us strategically where we are. To be salt and light
They did what was required - regardless of their skill level
They started and they finished the task. Determined to get the job done
The gates of Jerusalem
Started and finished at the Sheep Gate - beside the temple
Lamb of God
Where we begin our spiritual journey
Fish gate
Invited to be fishers of men
Old gate
Old ways of truth - truth never changes
Valley gate
Humility and reflection
Times or trouble
Low points in life
Times to build us up as we continue to seek Jesus
God is present in the valleys with us
Just a season, we don't spend our lives in them
Dung gate
Where all the rubbish existed the city
Getting rid of the rubbish in our lives
Fountain gate
Experience the fountain that is the holy spirit
Washed and filled with the spirit
Comes after repentance
Replaces the bad stuff
Water gate
The word of God
Need for the word in our lives
The only gate that didn't need repaired
Horse gate
Soldiers for God
Going through battles for God
Hardship and pain
Blessing in the battle
Pick up the sword - the word of God
East gate
Faces the rising son
Promise of Jesus's return
Inspection gate
Someday we will give an account of our lives
Chapter 4 - standing firm
Nehemiah shared the burden that God gave him with the people. People begin to act
When we step into the purposes of God - opposition will come
Need to be prepared to stand firm
Enemy will seek to disrupt our work
Sometimes when live gets tough we get discouraged and run away
Resist the devil and he will flee from you
Hamites and Amorites owned the promised land and where driven out by the Jews
First line of attack was through words of ridicule
Enemy to rib, kill and destroy
Words and thoughts enter into our minds to discourage us
Little putdowns that come without realising them
If we start listening to the words then we start believing them. Don't listen
Be careful of the words we say - speak words of life to people
Make sure you don't discourage yourselves
When change is coming we need to go through the period of self doubt to come out the other side
Change is possible
Second line of discouragement - physical threats
Nehemiah prayed to God and does something physically about it
We must stand our ground
Don't shrink back into ourselves or give up
When the going gets tough the tough get going
Remember that the Lord is with us
Listens to the negative voices but counteracts them rather than giving into them
Posts guards outside each own house - more likely to protect your own family
Fear is the greatest weapon of the devil
God has a purpose for each of us and the enemy knows it
Enemy will create fear early in our lives so it prevents us from our purpose later on in our lives. Takes us away from our purposes
Perfect love drives out all fear
Knowing God gives us the courage to face our fears
Working and guarding together to guard against the threat
Put on the full armour of God - knowing that we are right with God
Stands ground and fights with the word of God
Opposition will come but fear not, stand with each other, pray to God and do not be intimated. The Lord will fight with you, be still
Chapter 5 - handling conflict
Everyday Jews complaining to the nobles - people being exploited by thread wealthy
Money being lent but interest being charged - children sold to slavery to other Jews
Nehemiah gets an oath from the wealthy to stop these practices
Huge unrest within the community or else walls would never have been built
Moses law forbade the charging of interest - nobles were charging 1% a month
Most people in exile - yet God had allowed them to return
The enemy will use whatever power is possible to cause division within a community or a church
Resolution is always the best thing to come from a conflict - rather than splitting
Wrong things need taken to the right person
Go to the person who has offended you
Have the conversation needed and try and resolve
Major complaints taken to leaders
Don't air complaints to others - becomes gossip or descent
If you aren't the right person to be hearing the complaint then close the conversation down and signpost to correct person
Nehemiah upset and annoyed of what happened
He ponders the best way to react - self control
Human nature to want to sort things out
Sometimes need to let the heat go out first before reacting
Opposite is doing nothing - doesn't solve underlying
Called a group meeting
If individual doesn't work then call one or two together
Moses law forbade the charging of interest - nobles were charging 1% a month
As a leader Nehemiah was generous with what God gave him
To resolve biblically we need to submit to God and his will
Sometimes finding resolution doesn't work and people move on
Nobles accepted Nehemiah's rebuke and changed behaviour
Obey your leaders and submit to them as they watch over you and account for you
Church quarrel - Satan remains neutral and supplies ammunition to both sides
Chapter 6,7,8 - restoration
The enemy is real and is aware of who we are. Normally he is really subtle. Will use half truths to attack us
If we believe then we will make an agreement with the enemy
Important to focus on Jesus - he is the only truth
52 days to rebuild the wall
Huge walls around an ancient city - this was not a small undertaking
We are on Jesus's team. He is for us and on our side
Chapter 7-13 God rebuilding the nation and restoring the people
Appoints gatekeepers, worship leaders, teachers. To keep the people of God on track
Next the leaders are appointed
Uses people of integrity and who fear God
God put the mandate into Nehemiah's heart
What has God called you to do?
Seeing what you are made for and to equip you to do
Every single person matters to God
Ch8 people come together to hear the word of God
This is the defining moment. People have returned, rebuilt and now continue the story on in the reading of the law
It was abandoning the law that led them to being exiled in the first place
As the law is read to them they are restored
Restored and redeemed
This is still our story where Jesus comes rescues and redeems us
We have the good news that we get to give away
Nehemiah tells them to feast and be glad not grieve
The joy of the Lord is our strength
Often comes in our weakest moments
Gives us what we need for our time
Chapter 9&10 - Course Correction
Israel is rediscovering
The word of gos6
The Abraham covenant
Their identity
God's identity
Israel is repenting
Reading the book of the law
Israel sees that God has been faithful throughout all the failures that their ancestors has made
God's steadfast love. God has always been a god of grace
Leviticus 26 - God's covenant
Israel realises that their problems have been their lack of faithfulness
God gives them a purpose and a plan
Numbers 23:19 God says it he will do it
Nehemiah - God keeps his promise because of who he is
Israel recognises their own sins
Sin = to wander away or lose oneself. Miss the goal or path, go off centre
Sin is a mathematical term - going off the planned path
God sent his son to keep us on track - if we keep our eyes on him
We sin when we go our own way. Jesus is the way
Repentance = recognising that you are off course and make adjustments to get back on track
Repentance takes us to the place of freedom where we can be who we are meant to be in God's kindness and grace
This is not worldly repentance full of grief and shame but in letting go and trusting God
Confession =declare the truth in the presence of God.
You aren't going to God for forgiveness - you are a child of God. You are ALREADY forgiven through his son
Confession is acknowledging that you have gone off the path
Confession is for our benefit not something for God's
God wants to remove that from us so we can be closer to him
God sets the standard for us.
Repentance and confession are our course corrections to get us back onto God's path
Israel takes ownership of their sins and those that has gone before and puts steps in place not to let the same things happen
Israel acknowledges that the building work has been paid for by a foreign King and the are taking responsibility to pay for it themselves in the future
Decision to bring their best to God
Chapter 11,12,13 - Restoration
People wanted the city to be fully restored so they repopulated to keep growing
They had a heart for total regeneration
People moved to Jerusalem had to develop a new way of life from the rural towns they knew before. Massive risk takers
Do we willingly offer ourselves to God for his work even if it's a step into the unknown
Every single person has their own part to play in developing a thriving community
Allow God to break our hearts for his purpose
Rededicated the city and worship was a key part of the process
Worship at the centre of the church - key value in our lives to worship God
Be intentional in our worship. It changes us. God deserves our adoration and it's where we encounter Him
It's often where our passion and vision comes
What is overflowing from our lives - what sound do people hear from us
When we hear God's word it challenges us of things that need to be changed
Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem sees things that have gone wrong and he takes action to correct it
Do we honour God with our giving so the work of God can continue
Do we honour God with our relationships
At the end he asks God to remember him according to God's love
Of you are going to ask God to remember you what do you want him to remember you for?