WEEP FOR THE CITY
TEXT: Nehemiah 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.
WE MUST SEE THE VISION!
Background on Nehemiah
Cupbearer for King Artezerxes
What the cupbearer did - They tested.
This is 5 centuries before Jesus came.
Israelites exiled to Babylon
Jerusalem was in ruins
Nehemiah got a vision to leave Persia and rebuild Jerusalem and bring people back into right relationship with God
Sound familiar? There is ruin everywhere we look in our community, our neighborhoods, etc.
2020 was a year of ruin for most people.
2021 wasn’t much better.
The outlook if you listen to the news 2022 isn’t going to be much better.
But we will be a church that restores a city to their creator.
To know and be known by their creator.
I don’t like it when people talk bad about my city.
We have a good mayor...
We have good city council... (When you don’t show up in the news you are doing something right.)
We have good community organizations...
We need to bring people a purpose for living.
• Apply Nehemiah’s vision to us - we are going to take from Nehemiah’s vision and relate it to ours.
Wherever there is vision there is tension
From the time of inception to realization of vision is the moment in between of “tension.”
Heaven is coming but I don’t see it yet...
Can see it, but don’t have it...
Believe it but don't see it...
I want it but don’t have it yet...
Not about money, it’s about people.
Thank God for what he’s already done through our church...
Pray to step into the next season God has for our church...
Vision follows burden (Nehemiah 1:4-7)
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant
and mercy for them that love him and observe his
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes
open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Nehemiah hears the need and a burden is born.
Can’t stay still.
Need to move.
Weep before the Lord for lost people -- God reach my city, use me, I can’t stay still.
Do you have a burden for the lost?
There’s nothing like making you want to reach lost people than seeing lost people come to Jesus. We need to be a church that gets around lost people.
One of the biggest joys I’ve had in the past few weeks was to baptize Jacob in my hot tub.
Baptizing Alexander in my hot tub.
Baptizing Lance in my hot tub.
This summer we will baptize in the Rivera River.
Pray "BIG ASK" prayers (Nehemiah 2:1-8)
Nehemiah approached the King “sad” and asked BIG.
In that day coming before the king sad could mean death.
Asked the King to let him leave, for safe passage and for materials to carry out the task.
2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
We don’t have a situation problem, we have a faith problem.
There is a favor on big, bold prayers. Why? Baby prayers insult God. You can ask God for small things
but we need to ask for BIG things.
I am not preaching prosperity gospel I am saying if you pray for needs.
Where there is a god-given vision, there will be a God- given provision.
James: You have not because you ask not. (James 4:2)
What is your prayer for this city? It’s not just the pastor’s job to pray for the city...It’s all of our jobs.
YOU are the provision for the vision (Nehemiah 2:17-18). (Describe what Jeremiah did when he got there.)
All of chapter 3 is a list of people who came to help
Church has a vision
People of the church are the provision for the vision
When you have a burden for the lost, no amount of money can put it down
Not the size of the amount you give that matters, but the heart behind it.
We have raised $350,000 in less than two years.
Because some gave $1000’s - some gave 100’s and some gave 20’s.
We have been doing this part.
You can invite people even if you don’t have money to give!
In order to win, we gotta be ALL in!!!
It can’t just be the staff’s dream - it has to be the church’s dream.
Every Miracle needs an Obstacle -- there is NO miracle without an obstacle (Nehemiah 4:1)
Sanbalet came against Nehemiah...
2020-21 were obstacle years! But there’s a miracle just outside the obstacle.
When Jesus performed a miracle it was because there were obstacles.
When trials or persecutions come, the church moves forward.
How do we respond when we’re trying to do something good for God and the enemy attacks
Nehemiah 4:17 -- work and fight at the same time
We are going to work and win the lost at the same time.
Keep doing what God calls you to do -- keep fighting and praying
Learn how to work and pray!
Nehemiah 1:9-10 “...if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand."