"A false friend is like your shadow. As long as there is sunshine, he sticks close by. But the minute you step into the shade, he disappears." Green
A. Last week = talked about 3 essential ingredients to any rebuilding!
a) As Nehemiah arose in the night to survey the damage to the walls,
(1) We too need to take an honest look at the walls in our personal lives and service to the Lord!
a) Christianity is a communal faith! We need other people! Ask for prayer support! Be accountable! Give others an opportunity to help you re-build!
a) If we do anything for the cause of Christ. There will be a war!!!!
b) Spend enough time in prayer to know what you're doing is from God then stick to it!
c) God seldom discourages His work! That kind of counsel usually comes from the enemy!
B. Nehemiah put the men to work on the wall closest to where they lived!
1. Service for the Lord is always born out of personal devotion to the Lord'
2. Building or re-building always starts at home.
a) The vision and "burden" to serve our families or our church, has to come from our private devotion "to Him'
II. THE STARTING POINT Nehemiah 3:10, 23, 29, 30
A. Nehemiah Chapter 3 gives us a list of all the men who help re-build the wall.
1. There is a saying that goes, "You become what you eat."
2. It is also true that we have a tendency to become like those we "hang out with."
a) 1Cor 15:33 Puts it this way, "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits."
3. We can learn a great deal by looking at some of the men helping Nehemiah re-build.
B. What kind of men were building the wall?
1. In the Hebrew culture a man's name described his character!
a) Vs.10 Jediah = "invoker of God"
(1) Jediah was a man of prayer. He knew the importance and necessity of calling upon God'
(2) Is prayer a part of our homes? Or has it broken down?
b) Vs.23 Hashub = "associate"
(1) We become who we hang out with! 2Cor 6:14 (NKJV) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
(2) Whom do we have in our homes? In who's home do we hang out?
(3) Look at who Hashub "hung out" with'
c) Vs.23 Benjamin = "the son of my right hand"
(1) At the right hand signifies authority, power, honor and protection! (Moses) Deut 33:12 (NKJV) Of Benjamin he said: "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, [Who] shelters him all the day long; And he shall dwell between His shoulders."
(2) Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, and promises us all that is necessary in life if we seek Him first!
d) Vs.29 Zadok = "justice"
(1) Justice has to do with honesty and integrity!
(2) Is there honesty, integrity, and trust in our homes?
(a) First with the Lord, and as a result with each other!
e) Zadok was the son of IMMER = "talkative"
(1) Prov 10:19 (NKJV) In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips [is] wise.
(2) Jame 3:6 (NKJV) And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
(3) In a God-honoring home, family members are not destroyed by the tongue!
(4) In a God-honoring home, fellow Christians are not destroyed with the tongue!
(5) In a God-honoring home, the church, the leadership, nor the work of the Lord is destroyed with the tongue!
f) Vs.30 Meshullam = "devoted"
(1) His father was Berechaih = "the Lord has blessed him"
(a) The Lord had blessed him with a "devoted" son'!
(b) Meshullam had learned, evidently from his father that the blessing in a home doesn't depend upon the size of the house!
(2) He lived in ("his chamber") = in a humble little apartment! But he was completely "devoted" to God!
(a) His apartment was just a "tool" for the Lord. It was a place to eat, sleep, and pray.
Perhaps your home, instead of being an instrument of blessing, has become an idol. You live for its amenities, its gifts, and its equipment. You live for its furniture, for its carpets; these things fill your mind. And the wall of prayer, the wall of protection, the wall of purity, the wall of passionate devotion to Jesus is broken. Is that true?
God looks down upon His family and He sees homes where the wall of prayer is in ruins, or the wall of protection gone and the home disintegrating; or the wall of purity broken; or the wall of passionate devotion to Himself neglected.
"I'm too small," you say. "It doesn't matter about me; I don't count." Oh yes, you do! The wall is continuous, and if there is a gap in it anywhere, the enemy will break through. If there are gaps in the ranks the whole testimony of the church is affected. You cannot expect the blessing of God upon your home if you criticize your neighbor and gossip concerning the preacher and pull to pieces the church and the people who worship in it. Oh the wall of integrity that needs to be rebuilt between church and home and family in so many places!
A. Any building (spiritual or physical) not built on Christ is shaky at best!
1. 1Cor 3:11 (NKJV) For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation [with] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on [it] endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
2. Only our work in and though Jesus is eternal!
B. The starting place for us all is at home!
1. That doesn't mean we stay at home in a constant state of immaturity.
2. It means we "shore up" the weak areas of our private devotion, and get on with serving the Lord'
a) Prayer, Christian fellowship, honesty and integrity, cessation of gossip the re-building process.
b) 1Tim 6:5 (NKJV) useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a [means] [of] gain. From such withdraw yourself. 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and] [it] [is] certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all [kinds] [of] evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
c) Mark 4:19 (NKJV) "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
d) Be content with what you have, but not necessarily where you are in the Lord! Don't let your lust for things keep you from serving the Lord!
During his presidency, Abraham Lincoln regularly attended worship services at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. The pastor was Dr. Phineas Gurley. One particular evening, while walking home from church, an aide asked President Lincoln about Dr. Gurley's sermon. The President replied in fragmented phrases: "The content was excellent . . . he delivered it with eloquence. . . he had put work into the message . . ." "Then you thought it was a great sermon?" asked the aide. "No," replied the President. "Dr. Gurley forgot the most important ingredient. He forgot to ask us to do something great!" --HOMILETICS, AMJ 92, p. 46.