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Staying Spiritually Strong

March 16, 2014 Series: Nehemiah

Passage: Nehemiah 13:1–13:31

Context

  • Sin is dwelling in each of us, our sinful nature exist with our godly nature
  • od needed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to set things right again

1. Reclamation of the temple (v.1-9): Partnership Issue

  • Offense: the high priest invites Tobiah, the great enemy of God to stay in the temple (v.4-5). This is a violation of God's law, and a violation of their promise in chapter 10 (v.1-3)
  • Nehemiah's response: removes Tobiah from the temple. As God's people, we need to be careful about drawing close associations with people of the world.

2. Restoration of the temple stewardship (v.10-14): Stewardship Issue

  • Offense: the people who served in the temple were not supported. This is again a violation of God's law and their promise in chapter 10.
  • Nehemiah's response: sets everything straight, got the workers and provisions back the way they should be
  • Healthy church usually means healthy stewardship, but not vice versa. Stewardship for God's house, it is a thermometer of spiritual health (Matthew 6:21)

3. Re-institution of the Sabbath ordinances (v. 15-22): Lordship Issue

  • Offense: the sabbath day was established by God, for rest. An agreement between God and His people. This will help them stand out from the rest of the peoples
  • In Psalm 119:72, 127, we are reminded to value God's word over money.
  • We also value serving God over money. In Matthew 6:24, 33, we are told to seek God's kingdom over money.

4. Resolution of marriages (v.23-31)

  • Offense: marrying outside of the faith, v.23-24
  • Nehemiah responded with concrete actions (v.25-26). He expelled a relative of the high priest, to purify the priesthood (v.28-29)
  • How should the Church treat people who marry outside the faith? We instruct with and counsel great patience (2 Tim 4:2). We also continue to help, pray for, live before and love them, just as we would each other in the church (1 Tim 4:12, Eph 5:18, 33, 1 Cor 7:12-13, 1 Pet 3:1-2).

Getting the Point

  • Nehemiah was discerning: discerned the will of God at any point of time. God is not calling us to accumulate another thing in a building, but to experience Him
  • Nehemiah was dauntless: was courageous, not afraid of challenge or conflict. We will be challenged for sure with what to do with the freehold land for GBC.
  • Nehemiah was decisive: acted and didn't hold back. We need to decide to love and obey the Lord, with no turning back
  • Nehemiah was dependent:constantly seeking God's help and approval through prayer. What Nehemiah was seeking was God's power and presence. We have to be dependent on the Lord all the way through

More in Nehemiah

March 9, 2014

Real People, Real Revival & Real Results

March 2, 2014

Revive Us, Oh Lord!

February 16, 2014

Starting A Spiritual Revival