Builder’s Blog – Lessons from Nehemiah

 
7-7-2017
 
Nehemiah 7
 
Secure Gates
 
Outline:
 
vs.    1-4    Nehemiah appoints leaders & secures the city
       5-69   God leads Nehemiah to take a census
     70-73   Record of gifts and the givers
 
Meaning:
 
I am thinking about Nehemiah’s heart.  In particular, that this book began with
weeping, mourning and fasting.  I believe that Nehemiah is now beginning to
feel a little better.  
 
The report that he heard in chapter 1 was “the remnant are in great distress and
reproach, and the wall is broken down & the gates are burned.”  But now, the 
wall is built, the gates are functioning and there is good security.  In addition,
there are gifts being given for God’s work (a very healthy sign).  
 
For myself, I am thinking of the city as a picture of my soul.  I need to be in
charge of my gates.  What or who comes in or out must be according to
God’s will.  If we personally know this measure of security in our lives,
we will prosper spiritually and be able to share our gifts.
 
Application:
 
To pray and labor to keep our gates under the control of Christ.


Builder’s Blog -Lessons from Nehemiah

6-17-17
 
Nehemiah 6
 

Stick to the Game Plan

 

Outline:

Vs  1-9         Nehemiah refuses to speak to the enemy

      10-14     Nehemiah refuses to flee and hide

      15-16     The enemy is terrified of the completed work

      17-19     The enemy has his own network

 

Meaning:

             A man or woman of God will face many trials & many enemies.  But a person of God will not get entangled with the enemy, run & hide or turn aside from God’s plans. 

            We see how the enemies tried to trick Nehemiah into meeting them with the purpose of doing harm to Nehemiah.  They wanted to meet on the plain of “Ono”, which I like to call “Oh NO!”  But see how Nehemiah exercised his faith and
stuck to God’s game plan.  In verse 3, Nehemiah sent a message to his enemies saying “I am doing a great work & I cannot come down.  Why should I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah valued the work that God had called him to perform.  He called it a “GREAT work”. 
            In verse 15, the wall is completed.  The enemies lost their confidence because they recognized that the work was of God.  We have a similar completion in our lives that terrifies the enemy (Satan).  Jesus completed the work that He came to accomplish for us when He died and rose again, giving us new lives and a new relationship to Almighty God.  And because
of what Jesus accomplished at the cross, we can also stick to God’s game plan for our lives.

 

Application:

            It is important to evaluate our thoughts as to whether they are lining up with God’s thoughts.  We can find this truth from the Bible.  Read, read, read, and don’t get entangled with useless contentions.  Serve the Lord with all our hearts!!



Just a thought…

6-17-17

Just a thought….

After reading 1 Cor. 4, I just said…”WOW”!  The Apostle Paul is really laying it all out.  I love that he is not one of these guys who just keeps it all in.  He is fighting for us by being honest.  He cares enough for us not to sugar coat it! He didn’t care how he was evaluated (vs.3) but he DID care if you were headed for hell.  Verse 9 is very potent.  As followers of God we are spectacles for all the world to see.  So what are they seeing in you?   From vs. 18-20, Paul is amazing and faithful to the Lord and once again laying it out and fighting for us.  Paul says that he is not so much interested in their talk, but he wants us to know whether or not there is power in their lives.  Quite something when you think about it…!  Does your testimony of God show power in the life?  Does it show non-commitment?  Does it show depth and devotion to Jesus?  Does your testimony represent the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Do you follow through on what you say?  From their perspective, we say we have this great God and He is our Savior and yet we don’t follow Him?  What is that?  So who do I want to be?  A Spectacle for Christ’s sake or a non-committed wishy- washy who looks like a fake to the world?  God is watching!  Choose Christ!



Just a thought….

5/19/2017

Just a thought…

In 2 Corinthians 7, you can really see Paul as a letter writer.  The Corinthians were a very corrupt people.  The first 4 verses of this chapter are the conclusions of the previous chapter, the instructions/challenges and commands of Chapter 6.  Why keep ourselves pure? It is because of holiness.  God does not want us to have any ammunition that satan can use against us.  Satan can use our sins against us, especially the unconfessed ones, to persecute us and convince us to continue in our sins because “we will never be holy”, so “might as well keep going”. 

Lies, all lies! (Rev. 21:5)

     The second part of this chapter speaks of the Corinthians repenting of their sins and wanting to walk with the Lord.  We see the introduction of a future Biblical writer who writes 3 chapters in the Bible: Titus.  Focusing on a few things in this second part of the chapter, really hits home.  Starting with verse 5b: ” We faced conflict from every direction with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.”  Then Paul goes on to say:  “BUT, God who encourages those who are discouraged.”  He is in the business of encouraging!  I love that! Also, from the rest of the verse we see how… this time through the arrival of Titus.  So, God uses His people to bring encouragement!  We need not always look for the “BIG MIRACLES” like the separating of the Red Sea, but instead, maybe….just maybe…. the smaller, more practical miracles are right before us.  God’s Word, God’s people, God’s Sermon, God’s Bible Study, etc… Many tools, but are we looking?  What are we looking for?  The big fancy miracle?  An epiphany?  Can those happen? Yes!  How are we going about looking for God’s answers?  His Word is right in front of us!  His Word has ALL the answers!  His Word has the encouragement!  Our relationship with God is just that….. a relationship!  What you put into it is what you get out of it!   If you put NO time into your relationship with God, you will get nothing out of it.  If you put time into God, you will experience: peace, contentment, answered prayers, joy, etc…!  So I ask you, how is your relationship with God going?



Just a thought…

5/2/2017
 
Just a thought…
 

How are you living?  Can the world see the difference in your life verses theirs?  Or are you living the same as the world…only saved?  What does the Bible say about that?  Should we live different?  Should we be examples?  Read 1 Corinthians 3.  This is a packed out chapter!  After reading this chapter, if you are not convicted by how you are living your life, and continue to not evaluate it like it speaks of in chapter 2, then you are not reading this chapter right!  Each of us should be convicted.  Verse 16 sums up why we should be very careful to evaluate our walks and how we are coming off to the non-Christian.  Our walks and our representation of God will be evaluated by God.

     I loved the building section of this chapter (vs. 10-17).  It is a sobering section.  What kind of a building are we building?  Will it be able to stand against the weather of life?  It will be tested!  It will fall down sometimes because we built it wrong.  So when we rebuild…are we using sturdier materials to withstand the trials of our lives?  Our strongest foundation is the Temple of the living God.  Using God’s Word is the key to building a strong temple!  We belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God!  Evaluate how you are living your life!  The Bible says to be separate from the world.  We can live in this world and be separate, an example for Christ!



Builder’s Blog -Lessons from Nehemiah

April 28, 2017
 
Nehemiah 5
 
The Man of God is Concerned for the People of God
 

Outline:

vs 1-5      Outcry of the people against their Jewish brothers

    6-11    Nehemiah becomes angry and calls for repentance

   12-13   Offenders repent and the people praise the Lord

   14-19   Nehemiah’s example of giving vs taking

 

Meaning:

During a severe famine, many wealthy Jews took advantage of their less fortunate brothers.  The people had to sell their lands and children just to get food.  So, this chapter begins with an outcry, but it ends with praise to God.  This drastic change came about because Nehemiah, the man of God, took action to stop injustice. 

 

Nehemiah cared for all the people.  He had a sense of fairness for all and indignation toward the abusers.  Nehemiah confronted the oppressors and demanded that they return the properties and children.  After he secured an agreement, the people were very thankful.

 

In addition, Nehemiah’s own example was excellent.  As the governor, he had all sorts of privileges at his disposal concerning food, drink, lands, and money.  But Nehemiah would not take any advantage.  This reminds us of Jesus.  Philippians 2 tells us to have the same attitude that Jesus had in that He was God, however He chose to become a servant.  That isn’t easy for us but it is certainly a picture of beauty.  God became a man and He took on the form of a servant.  This will turn our outcry into praise for God.

 

Application:

My application is to pray for awareness where I could help others that are being taken advantage of.



Just a thought…

 
Mar 31, 2017
 
Just a Thought…
 
Was looking back at Habakkuk 3 today!  This is a great book!  But looking just for now on chapter 3.  Here are some of my thoughts!  In this prayer of praise, Habakkuk realizes that all along God was moving…and is ALWAYS moving!  In this chapter He is moving in judgment and here Habakkuk cried out for mercy!  Have you ever cried out for mercy? It is a time when you really focus on God because your world is up for grabs!  In Habakkuk’s prayer he is very descriptive to the point where you are able to form pictures in your head as to what he is describing!  His prayer is a prayer of praise, reverence and this man knows the power of God!  The patient waiting for an answer from God brought him into a place of real faith.  It opened his eyes to something he was not conscious of before.  God was moving!  He was moving in judgment and Habakkuk saw that, and he cried out for mercy. Lots of lessons here: don’t wait for a situation that is so deep that you finally focus on God!  Focus now!  See the power of God and let it keep you in awe and praise Him for it!  Pray like Habakkuk, with humility and reverence!  Definitely check out this book!


Builder’s Blog -Lessons from Nehemiah

 
Mar 30, 2017
 
Nehemiah 4
 

We Will Win! (Be Confident)

 

Outline:

Vs 1-6    Insults are met with prayer & a people committed to work

    7-23  Serious threats are met with prayer, commitment, and vigilance.
 

Meaning:

When the enemies heard that the wall was being built, they became angry and began to mock the work and insult the people.  Then, when the work was making great progress, the enemies began to make threats of attacking the Jews.  But Nehemiah never backed down.  He stays the course by praying to God, instilling courage to the people, and by taking practical steps to keep Jerusalem safe.  The people took turns working and standing guard.  Those that worked used one hand to do the work and the other hand to carry a sword.  The sword is symbolic to us that we should keep God’s word close to our hearts and mind.
 

The people had “a mind to work” (vs 6).  I think this is directly from Nehemiah’s leadership.  When the people became afraid of the threats against them, Nehemiah rose up and said “do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord Who is great & awesome, and fight….” (vs 14).  Nehemiah had confidence in the Lord and he instilled this confidence into the people.

 

Application:

My application is to be like Nehemiah and meet whatever is troubling me with prayer and God’s word.  Then I will have confidence in God Almighty!  And I must remember that my confidence (or lack thereof) will affect others around me……. REMEMBER THE LORD!



Just a thought…

Mar 19, 2017
 
Just a thought…..

 

      Just some thoughts on Ruth chapter1.  The book of Ruth is a short book.  Two important things come from this book.  First, the importance is to give the genealogy of the coming of Christ.  Second, it’s the story of Redemption.  Back in Ruth’s day, redemption is only possible through a Kinsman-Redeemer.  In Ruth’s case, Boaz is the Kinsman-Redeemer.  A Kinsman-Redeemer is when a couple is married and the husband dies.  Then the wife who was widowed would marry his brother.  If no brother, then a cousin, etc… someone in the family next in line.  Naomi was left with 2 daughters-in-law after her husband and sons both died.  After all of her losses Naomi decides to move to Judah.  She had heard that it was blessed by the Lord with good crops.  They all get ready to go and Naomi has to talk to the girls and tell them what’s ahead of them if they go with her.  The Moabites and Israelites hated one another.  Naomi and the girls are Moabites.  So if they go with her it will cost them.  They are young women and if they go they won’t be able to marry again and face poverty because they lost all of their property.  So they would be outcasts.  So, Orpah, one of the daughters-in-law leaves and goes back to her parents.  But Ruth stays with Naomi.  Orpah goes back to idolatry (Moab).  God was not real for her when she walks off to go back, she walked off the pages of Scriptures because we never hear of her again.  Ruth made her decision for God and it was for time and eternity.  She was then mentioned in the 1st Chapter of the New Testament, Matthew.  I loved how when Ruth made a decision, Naomi did not argue with her (vs18).  She was firm in her decision and stuck to it.  The women traveled together and landed in Bethlehem.  Bethlehem means – House of Bread.  Naomi wanted to change her name to Mara (empty), but Scripture (God) did not allow it because the next verse continues with her name, Naomi.  They arrived with harvest time…very interesting.  This is just chapter 1!


Builder’s Blog -Lessons from Nehemiah

Mar 19, 2017
 

Nehemiah 3

Zealous to Join God’s Work

 

Outline:

vs 1-2 Sheep Gate, 3-5 Fish Gate, 6-12 Old Gate, 13 Valley Gate, 14 Refuse Gate, 15-25 Fountain Gate, 26-27 Water Gate, 28 Horse Gate, 29-30 East Gate, 31 Inspection Gate, 32 Sheep Gate   

 

Meaning:

It is amazing to see the unity and determination of the people.  We see the High Priest, priests, families, officials, goldsmiths, merchants, along with men from Jericho and also Gibeonites, laboring together for one common goal.  This is how the Church should operate.  Could this have happened without the inspirational leadership of Nehemiah?  I sincerely doubt it.
 
There are 2 extreme examples here as well.  In verse 5, we read that “the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not support the work of their masters.”  These nobles stand out as disengaged individuals that unfortunately, for themselves, miss out on the blessing of joyful labors with God’s people.
 

The other extreme example is found in verse 20.  A man named Baruch was reported to be “zealously” repairing the wall.  This man knew the joy of God’s labors.  It is good to be zealous in a good thing!

 

Application:

My application is to be like Baruch and to not be like the nobles of verse 20.  We need to evaluate if we are following our own purposes, the world’s purposes, or God’s purposes.  Let’s choose for God!