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February 2, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on Feb 02 at 09:39am

Nehemiah // Perserverance

When we take a step to make a real difference for God, here’s the timeless axiom we can expect to experience: Our greatest personal victories are almost always followed by periods of intense opposition (Chip Ingram, Holy Ambition, 157).

Main idea: How we persevere in the face of opposition determines whether we accomplish what God has put in front of us.

Nehemiah 4:1-23

The enemy’s oldest weapon is a barrage of words. In the form of ridicule, it needs no factual ammunition, not even argument (Derek Kidner, Ezra and Nehemiah, 98).

Why angry?

1) These opponents fear losing influence or control.

2) These opponents have been at odds with the Jewish people — hatred and division from the past.

1. Words that distract (Nehemiah 4:1-6)

A. You don’t have the ability to do this.

B. The task is too big.

C. Nehemiah’s Response: pray and continue to work (4-6).

It is a prayer for God to act on behalf of His justice in the world, not act to carry out our personal vengeances.

2. Words that paralyze (Nehemiah 4:7-9)

A. This will result in you and your family getting hurt.

B. Nehemiah’s response: pray and take wise, next steps.

3. The influence of words: lose heart and focus (Nehemiah 4:10-12).

A. We’re overwhelmed and others say we should give up.

B.  Nehemiah’s response: return to the task together with new tactics and fresh urgency (15-23).