Or maybe a better title would be, “Where Does The Lord Want Us To Go?” After all the direction He has for us is always best - just ask Abraham, Moses, Joshua, or Paul.
This Sunday we begin a new sermon series titled, “The Blueprint of a Great Church,” and we will be looking at an Old Testament passage, Nehemiah 3.
Nehemiah was the cupbearer for the King of Persia living in exile from Israel, as were many other Jews. He heard from some friends who had just returned from Jerusalem that the City of David was in shambles. The wall had been knocked down and the gates had been destroyed (this happened during the siege of Nebuchadnezzar). This broke his heart, but that brokenness led to him to Jerusalem to begin the task of city restoration.
Nehemiah was a great leader. Where he learned his skills, I do not know. When you read the first half of the Book of Nehemiah, you discover over twenty leadership principles of Nehemiah. Such as: He established a reasonable and attainable goal; He had a sense of mission; He was willing to get involved; He prayed at crucial times; He displayed God's confidence in facing obstacles. And he used these skills to finish the work of restoring the city.
Nehemiah 3 is a play-by-play description, a “How-To Guide,” to complete the work the Lord has given. In this third chapter, you discover plenty of names you cannot pronounce and people that you will never read about again. But these were motivated by Nehemiah and together they completed the assignment in fifty-two days. Imagine that! In fifty two days the walls were restored and the gates were rebuilt. Jerusalem was once again a fortified city.
How did they do it? That is the gist of the message this Sunday. One of the lessons I learn from Nehemiah AND the people is that, “we really do need each other.” For the church to do what needs to be done (read Matthew 28:19-20 for a refresher) we will need each other. Nehemiah could not have completed the restoration on his own. He had to have a volunteer army who would make his dream, their dream.
I am excited about his new teaching series. I hope you plan to join me and others this Sunday at Bristol.
Never forget that you are loved in the Lord.