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We begin a short sermon series on A Fresh Vision of the Task based on the excellent example of Nehemiah, the Jew in exile who worked as the cupbearer of Artaxerxes , king of Persia . The Courage To Think Big.

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Presentation Transcript
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We begin a short sermon series on A Fresh Vision of the Task based on the excellent example of Nehemiah, the Jew in exile who worked as the cupbearer of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.

The Courage To Think Big

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He heard of disturbing news about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant from his brother, Hanani (1:2). Thus began his journey of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem.

The Courage To Think Big

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From Nehemiah’s memoirs, we will learn three guiding principles in carrying out our God-given task:

Think Big

Start Small

Build Deep

The Courage To Think Big

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In this sermon, we will answer the question,

“How is it that Nehemiah had the courage to think big?”

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was born out of a passionate desire to help. (1:1-4a)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was born out of a passionate desire to help. (1:1-4a)

  • When Nehemiah heard of the lowly and unsafe predicament of the Jews in Jerusalem, he sat down and wept.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was born out of a passionate desire to help. (1:1-4a)

“Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

(Nehemiah 1:3)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was born out of a passionate desire to help. (1:1-4a)

The Jews in Jerusalem attempted to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem but they were unsuccessful. Their hostile neighbors convinced the king of Persia to order them to stop rebuilding.

(Ezra 4:11-23)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was born out of a passionate desire to help. (1:1-4a)

  • Nehemiah’s weeping was an intense expression of emotion that can only come from a sincere longing to change their situation.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was born out of a passionate desire to help. (1:1-4a)

  • A God-glorifying vision is never borne out of a self-centered heart.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was bathed in a prolonged and earnest prayer. (1: 4b-11)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was bathed in a prolonged and earnest prayer. (1:4b-11)

  • Nehemiah mourned, fasted, and prayed for four months before he made the appeal to King Artaxerxes.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was bathed in a prolonged and earnest prayer. (1:4b-11)

Based on the Jewish calendar, Kislev (1:1) is between November and December while Nisan (2:1) is between March and April.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was bathed in a prolonged and earnest prayer. (1:4b-11)

  • No doubt Nehemiah developed his plan during this period of fervent prayer but he fully relied on God for its outcome.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was bathed in a prolonged and earnest prayer. (1:4b-11)

God's working and our planning are not contradictory.

Dr. Thomas Constable

Prayer is where planning starts.

J. White, Excellence in Leadership

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was bathed in a prolonged and earnest prayer. (1:4b-11)

  • A God-glorifying vision is always a product of fervent prayer.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was broached with human fear and divine faith. (2:1-10)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was broached with human fear and divine faith. (2:1-10)

  • As a human being, Nehemiah was afraid. But his God-given faith overcame his fear. He asked for unbelievable favors believing that the God of heaven will do the impossible endeavors.

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was broached with human fear and divine faith. (2:1-10)

Nehemiah’s requests:

Revise the policy the king gave about the walls of Jerusalem! (2:5; cf. Ezra 4:21)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was broached with human fear and divine faith. (2:1-10)

Nehemiah’s requests:

Take a leave of absence for 12 years! (2:6; cf. 5:14)

Protection on his journey to Jerusalem! (2:6)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was broached with human fear and divine faith. (2:1-10)

Nehemiah’s requests:

Timber supply for the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s gates, temple, walls and his residence! (2:8)

The Courage To Think Big

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"Like many since his time, Nehemiah's greatness came from asking great things of a great God

and attempting great things in reliance on him."

Mervin Breneman

Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (p. 174)

The Courage To Think Big

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Nehemiah’s vision was broached with human fear and divine faith. (2:1-10)

  • A God-glorifying vision is always carried out by faith in the God of heaven.

The Courage To Think Big

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Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little and they always fail. All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them.

James Hudson Taylor

The Courage To Think Big