Current prayer focus. The trapped miners in Chile Those returning to school Prayer for the safety of those in our church who work potentially dangerous areas Our President and government Pastor Randy Heckert from Malone Our lost friends and relatives. The joy of the Lord Nehemiah 8.1-10.
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Pastor Shane L. Johnson, D.Min.
8/29/10New Life Church
3- involves the systematic repair of the 7 various gates giving entrance to Jerusalem
4- Sanballat and Tobiah oppose the rebuilding of the gates and walls, mocking the Jews; N responds with prayer, hard work, and posting men as guards; N tells them not to fear, to fight for their families and homes; all men are armed; half the men work, the other half stand guard, so much so that they did not change clothes
5- in the midst of all this rebuilding, N also ministers to the needs of the poor; angry, he speaks out against high interest rates and slavery by Jews against their own countryman, and makes them pledge to renounce this; he shakes out his robe as reminder of what God will do to those who don’t keep the oath; he also refuses food due him by the governor; he eats what the rest of the Jews eat
6- Sanballat and Tobiah plot more opposition; N prays for the Lord to strengthen his hands; N completes the wall in 52 days
7- N put Hanani in charge of Jerusalem “because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.”; N listed all the exiles that returned; Ezra prepares to read the Law
8- Ezra gathers the people before the water gate and reads the law from daybreak to noon; all the people listened attentively;
1- Is not a denial of your current, negative reality- N was saddened by the news of his homeland- Josephus states that the wall was 33 stadia, or about 4.5m, so this was a large project- it was done during external opposition, and internal infighting- the denial of negative reality is foolish
2- Is a decision to draw strength from remembering the provision of a loving and wise Lord who has your times in His hands; He is your source for everything- N started the day with the Law, praise and worship; - they made the meaning of the law clear so people could understand- it is a decision to not focus on the negative (“do not grieve,” v 9-10) but celebrate what the Lord has done- it is decision to depend on the Lord, more than anything
3- what they N and the people did was marked by prayer, opposition, hard work, justice, and a regard for the law
4- so the joy of the Lord, is a willful focus on the Lord and good in the midst of both good and bad
5- we are called to be the people of God regardless of circumstances- ex, the Cuban church