Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Sermon Outline, May 28, 2017, “Multiplying Willing Workers”

MULTIPLYING WILLING WORKERS

Nehemiah 2

 

What is something that compels or convicts you to action?

Nehemiah 2:1-3   And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?”

 

 

What Will You Choose To Do?

Nehemiah 2:4-18  Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Well and on to the Refuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no place for my mount to pass. 15 So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work.

 

How will you respond to the enemy?

Nehemiah 2:19-20         But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

 

John 10:10                  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

Ephesians 6:12            For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 

1 Peter 5:8                  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  

 

Romans 8:37-38          But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

 

 

Will you choose to be a willing worker? 

Matthew 28:18-20          And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

Daily Prayer Guide

God’s Purpose and Expectation for us to Serve Others

I Samuel 12:24

Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

A Preacher’s Legacy

Shortly after we returned from Liberia in 2009, I received a call from a church my family served for nearly 10 years during my upper elementary through high school years.  It was the last church my dad had served in full time ministry.  They asked if I could come in February 2010 to be one of the main speakers for their mission month.  I accepted the request quickly for 3 reasons.  First, I had rarely been asked to be a guest speaker for adults.  Second, the church was planning a year in advance so I had plenty of time to prepare.  Finally, this was an amazing opportunity to stand behind the same pulpit my father had.

As the time grew closer for me to speak, I remember thinking about what this really meant for me personally.  My dad was like a superhero to me.  He always preached with great encouragement and energy.  He was funny and engaging. He was very personable, and not too flashy.  He was the same person off the stage as he was on.  His messages were simple, yet challenging.  My entire life I had watched my father preach from behind the pulpit.  I had seen people come to Christ through the messages God had given him to share.  When I was much younger and we didn’t have a kids’ church area, I would sit with a tiny notebook to take diligent notes.  Each time I had nearly 3 pages in my little notebook.  After church and lunch my sister and I would go home and reenact the entire service.  She had a tiny little piano, so she plunked out the hymns. Then, she sat down at a little wooden pew my dad had made for her and I stood behind a matching pulpit that he had made for me. (These two items have been in every ministry office I have served as a reminder of the legacy.) When people asked me what I was going to be when I grew up, the answer was simple… I would be a preacher!

A year after the call, I stood behind that same pulpit.  I was nervous and scared, but most importantly, I was humbled.  Humbled to serve and share the truth of the Gospel to all who would listen.  In the audience that day was my hero, Doug Lee.  No matter what I said, he sat smiling from ear to ear.  He had been given a glimpse into the fruit of his legacy.

Since that day I have had other opportunities to teach in an adult service. Nearly every time my dad has been present.  Most recently, I traveled back to Indiana to share about the orphanage in Liberia.  This time though I was close enough to other family that my dad made sure the church was filled with familiar faces.  In the audience were my grandmother, aunt, cousins, both my parents, my sister and her kids, but most importantly… my two sons.

Matt Lee

Daily Prayer Guide

God’s Purpose and Expectation for us to Serve Others

Mark 9:35

Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

Legacy of Faith

It was the summer of 1970 when my parents came to me and told me I was being moved out to the garage, bed dresser, and all.  Now it was an adventure for me due to the fact that the garage was on the opposite side of the house from where the rest of the bedrooms were, particularly my parent’s room.  That meant I could play the radio and record player as loud and late as I wanted.  The reason I was sent to the garage was not due to my desire to play loud music, but rather due to the fact that my grandmother was coming to stay for the summer.   I will never forget that summer because of the adventure I had in living in the garage.  But there is something else that reminds me of that summer.  It was during that summer of 1970 that my grandmother walked forward on a Sunday morning’s invitation hymn and expressed her desire to complete her obedience to the Lord in Christian baptism.

My grandmother was not new to the faith.  She was a faithful member of a denominational church in her home town that sprinkled rather than immersed.  Through her study and discussions with my mother and the minister at our home church, she became convinced that she needed to be baptized by immersion.  She did that because she was a woman of great faith all of her life and one who refused to be found wanting in her faith and obedience.  My mother found her faith from that woman.  My mother, too, was a woman of great faith who would not be found wanting in her faith and obedience.  I found my faith from my mother, my daughter found faith in our home, and her daughter, our granddaughter, was baptized into Christ by that same faith passed down.  Now, I don’t know if my grandmother was the first in the faith or if she received it through her mother and father.  I can only chronicle it through 5 generations, but I do know it started somewhere, this legacy of faith.  I’m thankful that it did.  It has to start somewhere, leaving a legacy of faith, so why not with you?  It’s truly the greatest legacy you can leave because it’s the only legacy that will last forever!

Kim Beckwith

Daily Prayer Guide

God’s Purpose and Expectation for us to Serve Others

Philippians 2:1-11

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Daily Prayer Guide

God’s Purpose and Expectation for us to Serve Others

Matthew 20:28

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Willing Workers – Nehemiah 2

In 587 BC, the last homeland of the Hebrew people, the kingdom of Judah, was obliterated by the armies of Babylon.  Over 80% of its cities and villages were razed and the population of Jerusalem decreased from 40,000 to 1,500 according to some estimates.  The Babylonians gathered up all of the Jews who had useful skills and carried them off to Babylon leaving behind those with the least ability to care for the land.  Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel were among those who were forced to serve Babylonian masters.  Babylon attempted to transform the Hebrews into Babylonians.  The one Hebrew God was to be replaced by many Babylonian gods.  Hebrew culture was to become Babylonian culture.  Even the Hebrew language was to be exchanged for Babylonian Aramaic.  This was partially successful.  There the Hebrew people remained for a generation and it must have seemed as if this was the final destiny for a Jewish people who had survived Egypt, Assyria, and their own instability, but God sent them an unlikely rescuer.  In 539 BC, King Cyrus of Persia soundly defeated the Babylonians and inherited the Jewish people.  The Persians had a different approach to rule in that they respected other religions and allowed the people under their control to worship as they pleased with relatively few restrictions, but would they allow the Jews to return to their homeland and perhaps even rebuild it?  Nehemiah, a cupbearer to the king of Persia, was bold enough to ask and he was given permission.  The task was daunting.  He could not have known what the city would be like after so many years of abandonment.  Decades before, the Babylonians had utterly destroyed Jerusalem and time would not have improved its situation.  Think of the choice which Nehemiah and his companions had to make: stay in a land where you are slaves but comfortable or go to the home of your ancestors—one which you have never personally known—and build it anew.  Nehemiah and a few followers chose the difficult path and traveled to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding.  Imagine the despair felt by Nehemiah’s company as they neared the city.  Roads had become rough, barely recognizable trails.  The once-mighty walls were shattered.  The gates were burned and useless.  The glorious temple that Solomon had built was now a pile of broken stones.  All was ruined.  The natural response would be to return to the safety of a benevolent but pagan Persia, but in the coming weeks you will see how Nehemiah actually responded.  What would you do in his place?

Kevin Kennedy

Daily Prayer Guide

God’s Purpose and Expectation for us to Serve Others

John 13:12-13

12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.

Daily Prayer Guide

God’s Purpose and Expectation for us to Serve Others

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

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