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Inspect when Reconstructing

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Nehemiah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:57
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Nehemiah 2:12–16 NIV84
I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on. By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

Know Your Mission (12)

God gives the mission.

“God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem.”
God gave Nehemiah a mission for Jerusalem.
Before he could begin reconstruction, Nehemiah had to know what his mission was.
We see here in verse 12 that God was the one who gave Nehemiah the mission he was on.
Friends, the same is true for you and I.
It’s natural for us to look for meaning and purpose.
We ask questions like;
“Why am I here?”
“What is the purpose of this?”
“Where am I going?” (in life, work, home, church, etc)
But as Christians, we are blessed because we know God’s purpose for us.
His overall purpose is for us to know Him as God and worship Him as such.
When we are worshipping Him, we give Him love, recognize through Him we have meaning AND others can find meaning.
We see that through Him sins are forgiven. He provides His Son so that through believing and receiving Him we can have a relationship.
And in this relationship we go unto all the world making disciples.
Acts 1:8 NIV84
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
You want to know your mission?
Your mission is to love God and love others.
Mark 12:30–31 NIV84
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
We do these by obeying His commands to us.
Matthew 28:19–20 NIV84
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“teaching them to OBEY everything I have commanded you.”

Internalize the mission.

And I told no one

Nehemiah isn’t just keeping something quiet.
He is internalizing what God is asking him to do.
Part of “knowing the mission” from God is placing it in your heart.
I minute ago we looked at some very familiar verses.
Matt. 28:19-20 & Acts 1:8
Do you know why many people have trouble “knowing and completing the mission?”
They haven’t internalized it!!
Internalizing means that you are making it your own.
Nehemiah wasn’t simply a manager, telling others what needed to get done; he was a hands on project leader, confident in his mission and his ability to get it done.
Internalizing means you not only understand what you are to do, but you do it as well.
Why aren’t the 400 on roll attending Concord weekly?
They really don’t feel like it’s important.
Why aren’t people pouring through their Bibles daily?
They honestly don’t feel the need.
Why don’t more people share their faith and make disciples?
It’s not because they don’t know how. People figure out what they want to do.
It’s because they don’t think it’s their job.
When we internalize scripture, something happens to us! We are changed!

Don’t overly complicate the mission.

and a few men with me

There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode.

If your mission is to share the Good News with your neighbor, there’s no magic formula to memorize. Tell them how Jesus paid for your sin so you can live!
If your mission is to disciple another believer, you don’t need an Ed.D. degree to teach. You simply walk with them weekly through scripture and through life.
You don’t need a $100 Bible, khakis and a polo shirt, or the latest Gospel recording CD playing in the background with written permission from the pastor!
Friends don’t overly complicate the mission.
Nehemiah inspected the wall with a few men and an animal to take him there.

Take Time to Evaluate (13-15)

Look at all angles

Take a look with me through scripture how Nehemiah was able to look at all the angles of the problem.
Nehemiah 2:13–14 NIV84
By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through;
Nehemiah wasn’t in a rush to get the job done.
He knew there was a problem, but needed to take the time to assess the situation.
When we’ve learned about the mission God has for us, maybe He wants you to be a prayer warrior, He’s training you in evangelism, He’s calling you to children’s, youth, or senior adult ministry. Maybe you are learning how to disciple another person.
You are learning about what He has in store for you and it’s time to look at all the angles.
Its time to ask important questions:
Who is doing a great job at this in order that I might learn from them?
What kind of solid books are there that can guide me?
Where do I go in scripture to make sure I’m not saying something a little off?
These different angles help to equip us, know what to look for, and make sure we are scripturally sound.

Take multiple approaches

Nehemiah 2:15 NIV84
so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate.
Notice that Nehemiah took a look at it in the night.
He now has a whole new vantage point.
Being a responsible Christian means we will know our mission, evaluate it, and in evaluating we would be wise to take multiple approaches.
Taking multiple approaches helps do several things:
1. Confirm what God’s already telling us. Others will see it in you.
2. Encourages you in your pursuit of what God has in store.
3. Taking multiple approaches may tell you that thing you thought was from God really wasn’t.

Return with a plan

then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.
The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ne 2:15.
We’ll see in a little bit with our study of Nehemiah, but after he’s checked everything out, he is ready to return and get to work.
Now, right here is the rub for most believers.
We know our overall mission.
Matthew 28:18–20 NIV84
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We might even know how God has equipped us and is leading us to do this, but we often stop at after we’ve looked at all the angles and have taken different approaches.
Do you know how I know this?
Because most people aren’t sharing their faith regularly.
Because most believers aren’t in a discipleship relationship with someone else.
Because most believers are waiting on someone else to serve the babies, kids, youth, and on and on.
When we get to the point of having a plan, we can usually execute that plan.
We do so when we make a trip to Wal-Mart, decide on a place to eat out, and in putting together a plan to go on vacation.
Generally we do what’s important to us.
Friends, when we make a plan we are more likely to be about His mission for us.

Be Mindful of Others (16)

Nehemiah 2:16 NIV84
The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.
When we are being mindful of others, we can take some pointers from Nehemiah:

Don’t be too quick to implement the plan

Notice that Nehemiah didn’t go running back to IMMEDIATELY tell everyone what he’d seen and how he was going to fix it.
We’ll see in verse 17 and on what he said and how he said it, but Nehemiah took a little bit of time to process.

Understand your mission so you can clearly articulate it

Several in the church just got back from the KBC Super Saturday training in Paducah. Between the 6 of us, we probably went to about 15 conference, give or take one or two.
I’ve learned that one of the worst things you can do is go to one of these training events, learn all sorts of things we need to doing, then come back and immediately implement them without having a complete understanding of what you are doing.
Nehemiah had a desire to understand his mission in order that he could clearly guide those who would be working to put the city back into place.

Consider those on your team

Look in the scripture at those he mentions:
Jews, priests, nobles, officials, and the rest.
He needed to consider their backgrounds, their interests, their abilities, the implications of their investment in the project, and so on.
We are mindful of others when we consider those who are on our team.
Maybe you lead a SS class and are working on a project together. Think about who is in your class, their abilities, (physical, mental, and spiritual), think about how you might involve those who aren’t able to make it due to various reasons.
Maybe you are the chair to one of our committees and there is an upcoming project.
How can you involve the more introverted member?
In what ways can you involve the entire group in order that you don’t feel like you are the only one doing the work?
As we inspect, we definitely need to:
know our mission
evaluate
and be mindful of those around us
If you are a Christian and you are charged with taking care of a task, please take time to inspect before acting.
Everyone else, I want to ask you a question this morning:

Have you been born again?

Do you know the Lord as your Savior?
If you were to die today, do you know for certain you will spend eternity?
If you are unsure, I want to encourage you today to do one of two things:
During our time of invitation, I want to encourage you to cry out to Jesus in repentance. Admit to Him that you’ve sinned, ask for forgiveness, confess Him as your Lord and Savior, and commit to live for Him.
Let others know what you’ve done so we can encourage you by meeting me in the aisle. I’ll do all the talking and everyone will encourage and pray for you.
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