Archives from September 2017

Nehemiah: Confess Your Sins to God

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 9

The Israelites gathered together, fasting, wearing sackcloth, and putting dust on their heads. They spent about three hours confessing their sins to God (Nehemiah 9:1-3). … The first gathering (on the 1st day of the month) was full of joy. Now they meet again on the 24th day of the month and mourn as they confess their sins.

Nehemiah 9:5-37 is a prayer of confession for their sins and the sins of their ancestors. … This is also a great review of the Old Testament. It is a confession of sin as they review their history. They praise God for what He has done even as they and their ancestors sinned.

Confession of sin involves these actions:

  1. Evaluate your life … Look back on your life

  2. Acknowledge your sin … It is important that admit you have sinned

  3. Grieve … Be sorry for your sin

  4. Ask for forgiveness … Ask God to cleanse your sins

  5. Turn from sin … Repent, turn away from your old ways

Why do we believers need to confess our sins? If we are saved, aren’t we already forgiven? (John 13:8-10; 1 John 1:6, 9; 3:6). … Even though we have had our bath or shower to make us clean, we still have dirty feet, dirty hands. Your sin as a believer does not end your relationship with God, but it does hurt your fellowship with Him.

Are there sins you need to confess?

10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:4-21)

  • Have you made anything more important than God?

  • Have you made anything into an idol?

  • Does anything coming from your mouth dishonor God?

  • Are you forgetting to take a day off work to honor God?

  • Are you disrespectful towards parents?

  • Have you taken a life? an unborn life? Do you harbor hate towards anyone?

  • Have you stayed faithful to your spouse? Have you lusted after another?

  • Are you robbing your employer, the government, or God?

  • Do you lie to your parents, your spouse, or your anyone else?

  • Do you covet after things other people have?

Thoughts (Colossians 3:5-11)

  • How is your thought life? Is there malice, lewdness, or envy? Does it cause slander to come from your mouth?

  • Are you prideful or self-righteous?

Spiritual Clothing (Colossians 3:12-17)

  • Have you forgotten to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, or patience?

  • Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven?

  • Have you put on love? Do you show love to those around you?

Nehemiah: God Wants Us to Build Our Lives upon His Word

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 8

We have reached a turning point in the book of Nehemiah. The wall has been built and we are only halfway through the book. Let’s look at how the halves of this book fit together.

Nehemiah chapters 1-6

Nehemiah chapters 7-13

Nehemiah rebuilds the wall

Nehemiah rebuilds the community

“What God had put in my heart” (Nehemiah 2:12)

“My God put it in my heart to assemble” (Nehemiah 7:5)

Key word: work

Key word: assemble/gather

God wants me to invest my life in his work.

God wants me to center my life in a community that worships him.

These next three chapters have the building blocks of how we experience spiritual renewal. It’s important to come together and worship. There are different opportunities to do this at most churches. Our church has Sunday morning service/worship as well as Connection Groups (Sunday School) and Wednesday night discipleship classes.

Now let’s look at the first key to revival: The Word of God. Here are three correct responses to the Word of God.

  1. Hear the Word of God eagerly (Nehemiah 8:1-6). … The people listened attentively from daybreak to noon. They were standing there, listening, for hours. … Ezra and other priests read from the scrolls for about 50,000 people for hours. The people stood in reverence for the Word of God for hours. They were eager to hear God’s Word.  

  2. Receive the Word of God joyfully (Nehemiah 8:7-12; Philippians 4:4; 1 Peter 1:3-6). … The Levites were out among the crowd instructing the people about what they were hearing. The people realized their sins and started weeping. It is indeed sad when we realize our sins, but ultimately, we should take joy in the Word of God. Joy in our Lord is a strength for us. We need to know the Word and rejoice in it. … If you can internalize and take joy in the Word, in who you are in Christ, a son or daughter of the King, it can protect you from discouragement and depression.

  3. Obey the Word of God promptly (Nehemiah 8:13-18; Deuteronomy 31:10-12). … The day after the public reading, the heads of families came together and seeked to follow God’s Word and laws. They discovered that during this feast, they were to live in temporary housing. So the word was spread and the people built their tabernacles/tents and obeyed the Word of God.

Nehemiah: Recognize the Strategies of the Evil One

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 6

For the third chapter in a row, we see opposition to the wall being rebuilt. Let us reiterate that Nehemiah was following God’s will and still faced opposition. Just because we face opposition does not mean we are out of God’s will. Following God’s will could even get you killed.

  1. The devil will attempt to sidetrack you from what God wants to do (Nehemiah 6:1-2). … One of the strategies the devil uses is to get us off track. At this point in the project, the wall itself is done, but the gates still need to be finished. This was Sanballat’s last chance to stop the project, so he invited Nehemiah to a meeting with the intent of harming him.

    - Stay Focused on your mission by learning to say no (Nehemiah 6:3-4).  … You have to say no to some things so you can say yes to God. Nehemiah declined the invitation so he could continue the work.
    - Pray for strength (Nehemiah 6:8-9). … Nehemiah prays in light of this intimidation for strength. His prayer is short and to the point. At our church we call these roman candle payers. You can pray anywhere at any time.
    - Know the Truth (Nehemiah 6:11-13). … Nehemiah was able to thwart this strategy because he knew God’s law. He knew the Truth. (This is a great place for “Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns.)

  2. The devil will spread fake news to intimidate you (Nehemiah 6:5-7). … Sanballat spread rumors by sending an unsealed letter. He knew people would read an unsealed letter and spread the rumors. … The devil still uses this strategy today. For example, this article titled “The Bible Got It Wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived …” Yes, the Israelites were told to wipe out the Canaanites, but the Bible reports that they failed to do so repeatedly. The headline should read “The Bible Proved Right”

  3. The devil will send people to offer bad advice to entice you to sin (Nehemiah 6:10). … Sanballat sent a false prophet to give Nehemiah bad advice and tried to cause him to sin by going into the temple even though he wasn’t a priest.

The responses of Nehemiah might be summed up in the word shrewdness (Matthew 10:16). … Nehemiah acted shrewdly, just as Jesus tells us to do later in the New Testament.

When the Antichrist comes, these are three strategies he will use, and here are three passages that show this:

  • Rev 1613-14 … The frogs represent words as the Antichrist, Devil, and a false prophet speak lies.

  • 2 Thess 2:9-12 … The Antichrist’s message is a lie.

  • Daniel 11:32 … He will use flattery to corrupt those who do not know the Truth.

Clearly one of the most important weapons we have against the Devil is the Truth we find in God’s Word.


The work and will of God will succeed (Nehemiah 6:15-16). … The wall was completed in 52 days. They started in August and finished in October. Despite the opposition they faced, it only took 52 days to rebuild the entire wall around Jerusalem. Their enemies were afraid because they realized it was completed with the help of the God of Israel.

Nehemiah: Oppose Injustice and Help the Poor

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 5

Nehemiah faces another major problem that takes his attention away from building the wall. He has to deal with an economic crisis. … Nehemiah was following God’s Will and still faced problems. A lack of problems does not mean you in God’s Will and having problems does not mean you are out of God’s Will.

There were three reasons for the economic problem.  

  1. Heavy taxation by Persian empire

  2. Famine

  3. Rebuilding effort has taken people away from the harvest

The Problem (Nehemiah 5:1-5). … The people were exploiting each other. The ones who had food charged outrageous prices and those who had to buy food were being forced into debt, even into selling their sons and daughters. They also had to pay high taxes to the Persian empire.

Nehemiah’s Action (Nehemiah 5:6-11). … Nehemiah is “very angry”. Here, the same Hebrew word is used as where we saw when Sanballat was “very angry”. Sanballat had unrighteous, self-centered anger. Nehemiah has a righteous anger focused on helping others. Nehemiah spoke with the officials and nobles, accusing them. They were charging interest to their own people. He challenged them to stop charging interest and to give back what they had taken.

The People’s Response (Nehemiah 5:12-13). … The people agreed with Nehemiah and returned the money, the fields, and the slaves.

Nehemiah’s Economic Policy (Nehemiah 5:14-16). … Nehemiah was appointed governor and laxed the demands previous governors had instated. He did not demand food or money. Instead he shared what he had with his people.

What is God saying to you through this passage? How are you being led to oppose injustice and help the poor? … If God cares, so should we. God cares about the needy, the hungry, the homeless, the poor. We should also care about them and reach out to help them. … In our area, much of this population is poor due to poor choices or laziness, but that does not excuse us from having compassion on people who are poor. … There is an abundance of opportunities to help locally, nationally, and globally. Our church has ministries that server all three. … Why should we do this instead of spending the time and money on ourselves though? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 8:9 that it is because of the grace of God. By the grace of God, Jesus became poor, and through His poverty, made us rich.