January 12, 2014 Sermon Notes
Nehemiah // Revealed
Main idea: Before Nehemiah’s hands move into action, his heart is opened before the Lord to find His faithfulness, forgiveness, and provision for God’s task.
1. Recognize God through prayer and fasting (Nehemiah 1:4-6) // Nine prayers in the book. Much of this prayer based on the book of Deuteronomy.
A. Prayer as a priority, not a last item on the checklist.
His prayer is passionate (Nehemiah 1:4)
His prayer is persistent, “day and night” (Nehemiah 1:6)
His prayer is patient — four months (Nehemiah 2:1)
40 Days of Prayer and Fasting: how can you be involved?
1. Pray using theme and 3 prayer points daily: Personal time including the Scriptures (view the guide and weekly emphasis on the Prayer Page)
2. Prayer Gatherings: Tonight’s church-wide prayer service, Bible Studies, Life Groups, Families.
3. Prayer Sharing, Prayer Wall (hallway between Apex and Welcome Center), Online Prayer Wall.
4. Fasting: Purpose: Seek, depend, and hear from God (Get a guide to fasting here)
B. Prayer brings perspective (Nehemiah 1:5-6)
God’s overwhelming love and mercy.
God’s readiness to hear and see.
2. Repent of our unfaithfulness (Nehemiah 1:6-8)
A. Repentance is marked by ownership of our sins, not modify them based on the actions of others (Nehemiah 1:6)
B. Repentance is measured by the Word of God (Nehemiah 1:7)
Pride gets in the way of genuine repentance. It leads to self-dependency, self-determination, and self-righteousness.
The goal of a broken spirit isn’t to feel terrible about ourselves. It’s just to be accurate, to grasp a fresh view and understand the chasm between God and us. – Chip Ingram in Holy Ambition.
C. A lack of repentance brings consequences (Nehemiah 1:8)
D. Repentance is the first step toward the promise of restoration (Nehemiah 1:9-10)
3. Request in alignment with God’s agenda, not ours (Nehemiah 1:11)
Nehemiah will have to come empty-handed (because of his sin) but not uninvited (by the mercy of God and the promises of restoration). – Derek Kidner
Alignment with God’s heart and desires brings clarity to the underlying immediate decisions and responsibilities.
Christian leaders can become so entranced by the brilliance of their plan that they cannot be bothered to familiarize themselves with God’s. – Richard Blackaby