March 2012

LETíS BE USEFUL!!!!!!!!!!

11 Truths from Nehemiah

       Matt 16:18 - ". . . I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not
       overpower it."

"Usefulness defined"
Empowered by Christ individually and corporately so we are "useful" to Him as He builds His Church universally and within our congregation.

: [
1:1-4] Nehemiah weeps, mourns, fasts and prays upon hearing of the distress/reproach upon Israel because she had not rebuilt the wall/gates protecting Jerusalem and the Lordís temple. This response from God is the key to "usefulness". Nehemiahís prayers were corporate. Others who delighted to revere His Name were also praying [1:11].

: [
1:5-11] Nehemiahís Spirit wrought prayer was characterized by five essentials: 1) Confidence in God to pray for "huge" things; this intercession protects the soul from being overwhelmed by the work. 2) Confidence in Godís Word as it related to Israelís present condition. 3) Prayer for revival. 4) Prayer with perseverance. 5) Prayer with confession; this kind of prayer protects against a critical spirit given the abundance of mercy lavished by God for the personal sin on the intercessor.

[1:11-2:6] Upon arrival in Jerusalem, Nehemiah "inspects" to evaluate the work to be done. Implicit are blueprints either in Nehemiahís mind and/or in writing for rebuilding. His conclusion: There is much work to do, and it will require the cooperation and sacrifice of all. We likewise must understand Christís NT "blueprints" for building His Church, and must give of ourselves to follow His written plan.

[2:17-20] Nehemiah pleads with Israel to arise and rebuild with Godís favor. He illustrates Godís mighty favor by sharing with Israel all that God had recently done with Nehemiah for Israel through King Artaxerxes. Let us motivate one another intrinsically prompting hearts to trust in our awesome God to work through us.

[2:10] As soon as Israelís enemies learned Nehemiah had arrived to advance the welfare of the Nation, they were ready to stop him. They were motivated by the same demonic forces that have resisted Godís salvation plan from the outset. We likewise must put on our "belt of readiness" [Eph 6:14] Ė a die-hard resolve/readiness to wrestle to be "useful".

[2:19-20] When the enemy heard Israelís willingness to arise and rebuild, they mocked, despised and falsely accused her of insurrection. Nehemiah tells them that the God of heaven will give them success. Read again Nehemiah 3, and behold the outcome of corporate faith. Let us pick up our shield of faith [Eph 6:17] to extinguish Satanís fiery arrows as He seeks to prevent our "usefulness".

(with persistent prayer): [4:1-6, 9; 6:9, 14] Once hearing Israel commenced rebuilding, she is immediately surrounded by nations bordering her from the North, South, East and West who seek to fill her with fear and discouragement. Nehemiahís response is persistent, passionate, resistant prayer. Look at the passages while asking God to ignite our personal, family and corporate intercession.

[4:7-14] Israelís enemies bring a vicious and cunning, verbal attack first from outside and then from within Jerusalem to spread despair. Nehemiah responds with words emboldening Israel to remember their great and awesome God. God is The Motivator of the young, the unmotivated, the willful, the uncertain, the timid Ė beyond what we can ask or imagine! Letís use our "golden" tongues to embolden.

[4:13-23] With danger ominous, Nehemiah organized a motivated working force to defend the wall and gates. Key men are placed at sections most vulnerable to attack. Families are armed to defend themselves. There is ongoing prayer, round the clock guard, and the work continues with interdependent cohesion. God united all to both fight and to work. Letís strive together with one spirit/mind to live, defend and spread the gospel Ė Phil 1:27.

[6:1-9] The wall was completed and only the gate rebuilding emained; so Israelís enemies work relentlessly first to lure Nehemiah out to Chephirim to kill him. They then alarm Nehemiah of an assassination plan. His response is a dogged refusal to be deterred from the "great work". Letís identify our great work individually and as a body at CCSYV, and refuse leave to this "great work".!

[6:10-16] With just the gates left to be rebuilt, Israelís enemies plot to entice Nehemiah to take up hiding within the temple where only priests were permitted according to Scripture. Nehemiahís response is twofold: Can a man like I flee? Can a man such as I enter Godís temple? Personally and corporately we cannot compromise Godís Word if we want His powerful work to enable us to be "useful".

An encouraging conclusion!
Read Nehemiah 6:15-16 [completion] and 8:1-11 [revival].


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427