Having the Mind of Jesus Christ

Having the Mind of Christ

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 4:1-11

Remember in our last lesson the Apostle Peter talked a lot about our conscience and today the Holy Spirit will take this to the next level.

If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you have realized that being a Christian is not always easy and the Lord has never said it would be. In fact the Lord has warned us all along that we would suffer persecution.

Many unbelievers in this world reject Christianity just because they know they will be hated, not only by the world, but even by their close friends, who if they took a close look some were already their enemies.

True friends would never lead you to a life of alcohol.
True friends would never lead you to a life of drugs.
True friends would never lead you to a life of immorality.

A true friend that loved you would always have the best interest for you in mind!

The world will often ridicule and mock the believer and even abuse the believer, some even to the point of death.

The greatest way we as Christians can deal with these things, is to remove our guilty conscience and install the mind of Christ and the Scriptures teaches us how to do all these things!

The very first things we are to do, is to make sure we are in the will of God!

*1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, “arm yourselves likewise with the same mind”: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh “to the lusts of men, but to the will of God”.

If we think about it, what was Christ’s greatest attribute? The patient, submissive, and unwavering trust in the wisdom and love of His Father!

Jesus Christ spent every day in the will of His Father in Heaven!

The Glorious God of Heaven came to this earth and took on a body of flesh and it is that body of flesh that suffered so tremendously!

Our Redeemer is so far above us, that we cannot fathom the “Glory World”, but He is also walking right beside us to hold us up through our own suffering. “Oh, What a Savior”

Why is it so important for us to be in God’s will?

1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

When we are in the will of God, the world will see us as being like the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

What is our job in this world?

Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God “from the heart”;
Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

To be in the will of God, is to be dead to self and alive through Jesus Christ.

We are the enemies of sin and immorality, but in many ways our greatest enemy is ourselves.

We war with our flesh, when the Lord has already given us victory!

There can be little doubt that the Lord Jesus suffered most all the things that we suffer even things that we do not suffer in our lifetime, but we can also be sure Jesus did not suffer from illnesses because the work He had to do required a healthy body.

Does that mean just because Jesus had no sin and neither was sin in His heart that He was healthier than most, I’m sure this was part of it.
Does it mean that the diet that Jesus ate was healthier, again I’m sure this was also a part of it.

It took a strong healthy body for the Lord to endure the things that He did in the flesh, but He also was in the complete will of His Father.

Another thing we know is that the Lord Jesus Christ never allowed Himself to be absorbed in His own sorrows. He was always ready to be a part of other people’s joys, but at the same time He would also be a help through their griefs even if His griefs were far worse!

You see Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to suffer for Himself, He came to suffer for me and to suffer for you!

This is when we are to arm ourselves with the same mind!

As long as we are in the complete will of our Heavenly Father, He will keep us healthy to continue the work of the Lord!

I dare say not many of us have all our lifetime pursued the things of God.

*1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

What great truth are we to be reminded of? It is about time we are fed up with sin!

We must be fed up with the sin in our lives, until we hate that it was ever a part of us!

We must be fed up with the sin in this world, and do what we can to show we are against it!

As Christians, we all have an old life and in our old life we each have sin that caused the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins. Remember Jesus had no sin at all!

That old sinful life must be behind us and it must remain behind us!

There is no part of that sin that can be a part of our new “Born Again” life! So many do reject this today.

Enough is enough, we are to walk in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Only a few of these things are mentioned, but they will cover all sin.

**Lasciviousness means shameless conduct of any kind, period!

Filthiness, indecency, shamelessness, without restraint, things that are far worse than just doing wrong!

We do not have to go on any further to see that these things are taking over America today.

**Lusts is not only sexual desire which is running rampant and even called natural to evolutionist, who say we come from animals and no worse from a bunch of rabbits.

Lust can be a strong desire of any kind.

Lust is a strong desire and when mixed with passion and craving is destructive to the soul.

Lust of this sort can never be satisfied!

Notice if it drugs or alcohol it is called addiction and there is a great need for help. The answer is to say no to these things and yes to Jesus.

If it is all the sexual lust in our world, it is just called a natural habit that is in our culture as human beings.

We live a world of free sex, but no responsibility for the outcome, in fact expecting some taxpayer to pay for their sin.

**Excess of wine: It should be evident this is not talking about grape juice. The Christian world would understand that we are to do what Jesus said and not what major denominations say about wine.

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

There are those who twist and turn this Scripture, but the Holy Ghost says do not even look upon alcoholic wine, so certainly we are not to drink it. This goes for all Christians and in fact all believing Jews!

The excess of wine means drunkenness which in fact is the sin of covetousness and lust!

Anything we take into our bodies that affect our senses, can loosen our moral restraint!

Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Pro 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Pro 23:34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
Pro 23:35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

**Revelings: Some would say carousing which is hard drinking, abusing freedoms, over indulgence. Some would say too much party life, and orgies. In truth it is just feeding the lusts of the flesh without restraint!

1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

**Banquetings: Are no more than drinking parties, or drug parties or marijuana parties. People gathering to partake of their sinful nature!

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

**Abominable Idolatries: This is the worship of idols and anything that is placed between you and God is an idol.

These can be man-made things, but also things of the mind. Devoting yourself to anything that is not of God!

These are the very ones who are in Hell looking up wishing they had changed their ways but refused to do so too many times!

Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

These are old friends or acquaintances or lookers on who think it is you who are strange!

*1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

People today think Christians are “judgmental” when they reject all these things mentioned here.

When we have “the mind of Christ” we can see how the world looks upon us.

The world just cannot understand why we would want to be different from them.
The world just cannot understand why we do not accept the things they accept.

The world has taken that word freedom to mean unhindered in all the things of the mind and a distinct hatred for authority and anyone else who thinks they are wrong! In fact they are so full of hatred toward those who object to their line of thought they are willing to kill and maim and murder all in the name of their freedoms!

We Christians are hated just for what we stand for! Freedoms that extend no further than the Word of God! I made a choice to be free with the freedom that Jesus gave me, and He gave me the freedom to stay away from the people of the world that go against the Word of God.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

To give in to the world is to go against my holy Father!

My Father is also the “Judge” of this world!

All those in the world will stand before my mighty Father and give an account for everything they have done, and they will not be able to use the excuse that no one told them.

Even if that was true, it is still a lie because they have observed how the Christian has lived and they have rejected that and in doing so they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The love of our Father in Heaven means that we must condemn the world while at the same time reaching out to those who are caught up in this world!

God sets a high standard, but it is truly a standard that makes sense even if you are not a believer!

The world will say we are only superstitious, but the fact is they are only half right. We have a SUPER FATHER in Heaven!

God loves us all so much that He makes sure we all hear or see the truth, so we can make up our own minds about the truth of God!

*1Pe 4:6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Was the Gospel preached in the time of Adam? The coming of the Messiah has always been preached. His coming at two different times was just missed by many of those who ignored the prophets or those who decided they were more important than the truth of God!

Jud_1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Those people rejected the truth then just as they do today!

Besides Elijah and Enoch, every child of God who was a child by faith, whose soul has returned to God in Heaven, but they left a sack of flesh to be buried in some grave, or burnt to non-existence, or slipped into the oceans or some were just left to rot or consumed by beast.

It was not important that the flesh be saved as the souls that loved the Lord returned to Him!

2Co_5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Again Paul wrote

Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

This is not just a doctrine of the New Testament, it is the doctrine of all the Scriptures!

Enoch new and Job who lived around the time of Abraham new!

Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

God smiles every time a child of God leaves that flesh behind and goes back home to his Creator!

Psa_116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

The same cannot be said of the souls of those who reject the Lord!

1Sa 25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

Before the Lord came to pay the debt for our souls, the coming of the Messiah was preached to all who would listen to the truth!

Since the Lord came and then returned to Heaven, the Gospel is preached of the Second Coming of the Messiah.

God is going to judge this world!

This has been the message since the time of Adam. Yes God destroyed much of the world in the time of Noah, but God will destroy this entire world after His Second Coming.

Immorality is returning as in the days of Noah, the world does not care, but endorses all immorality and God will burn this world with fire whenever He gets ready.

What truth do we know?

If the Church was “raptured” today there would be at least 1007 years until the time of the destruction of this world!

The “Gospel” is preached so the world will know the judgment of God while they are still in the flesh!
The “Gospel” is preached to warn those who have rejected the Lord for one last time.
The “Gospel” is preached to offer eternal life to anyone, who will believe!
(My God can save anybody, anywhere, at any time)

The point being, those whose flesh remains, are left on upon this earth to return to the dust from which it was created, and had accepted the “Gospel”, have heard the truth of God, have heard the coming judgment, but because they accepted the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ, will miss out on the coming “Judgment of God”!

They already live with God!
They already possess the life that God has given them!
They are already living forever according to the promise of God!

If we realize these things are completely true, bury them in our heart, forget the promises of this world, which are vain, we can have that peace like a river.

Isa 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

You see the end of all things is getting closer every tick of the clock. There may be 1007 years or more left, but the only way to miss all the “judgment” of God is to accept the “Gospel” today while you are still in your flesh!

*1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

The end of all earthly promises is at hand.
The end of worldly enjoyments is at hand.
The end of trials and sorrows are at hand.
The end of privileges is at hand.
The end of opportunities is at hand.

The wrath and the judgment of God are at hand!

After the Bride of Christ has been removed, there will be 7 years of tribulation, the last 3 and 1/2 years, will be wrath like has never been seen.

Then 1000 years of the reign of King Jesus, where He will deal with the Jews and those nations that helped the Jews, the Church will already be with Him when He returns to this earth.

Keep this in mind, but while these things still exist and before the rapture of the Bride of Christ, we need to have the mind of Christ now!

To live sober lives is to be serious about the plan of God given to us in the Scriptures, have a sound mind according to the Word of God, always in control of our beliefs and our thoughts, self-restrained from temptation, and to be calm and sensible in this evil world!

Our main thought should be that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent!

All remaining prophesies concern the Jewish nation, the Church is only waiting on her Husband, waiting on the “trumpet” to blow at any moment alerting her(the Church) it is time to leave this world!

We are to be busier in the House of God to carry His message outside the house.

It is not time to hide, it is time to put on the work gloves (the Scriptures) and work even harder to break up that fallow ground (the lost) and our lost family members so they are not left behind!

Life is precious to the Lord, because He is all about life and the Giver of life!

God already knows what we are going to do, so He has the tools ready for us, if we will just get busy at the work the Lord Jesus gave us to do.

It is not time to give up on the Lord!
It is not time to quit on the Lord!
It is not time to listen to those in this evil world!
It is not time to stray from the Word of God!

It is time to be sober minded and watch unto prayer!

To “watch” is to see how the Word of God is unfolding in our world today, but also remembering God’s Word will never come back void.

The Word of God will do what God sends it out to do!

It will bring Holy Ghost conviction to those who hear it, or it will make an enemy.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

But this is not all.

It is not time to forget about the love of God!

*1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Charity: The message of God is love. There is no greater love than the love of God toward all His creation.

In fact if God had another name it would be “LOVE”!

Be not mistaken there is no one upon this earth that God does not love!

There would be “No Mercy” without the fervent love of God!
There would be “No Grace” without the fervent love of God!

God has a universal love and good will toward all mankind, and it goes unnoticed by most of the world.

There would be no life without God’s air.
There would be no life without God’s water.
There would be no life without God’s food.

Every seed would rot in the ground, without the fervent love of God!

This world is a much better place when we also show that fervent love of God to each other!

For the Christian, love is the number one witnessing tool we have!

The true Christian will hate sin without hating the sinner, realizing that sinner walks according to the devil and we all did the same at one time.

Sin is sin because it goes against the Word of God.

The only way to eradicate sin is death! That soul must die to sin and be “Born Again” into new life and this happens only by the Word of God.

When we show that love of God to each other, it is then that we can say “Love Changes Things”!

To love means we are not hating.
To love means we are being forgiving.
To love means we are more likely to reach someone with the message of God!

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Hospitality means we are to accept one another ungrudgingly!

For the early church would not have survived without Christians sharing everything with each other.

Many Churches today are still in what is called the “Home Church”. People who open their homes because of the love of God and invite strangers into their homes!

In fact hospitality is important in every church, or what would that lost soul think when they walked into the church of today.

Every home is to be the center of Christian love, fellowship and outreach, and this is to spread throughout the Church!

Everything we have belongs to God and we are to share those things to “glorify God”!

God has even given each of us a gift and it is to be used to glorify Him!

Spirit gifts come to us after the Holy Spirit moves into our souls.

The Holy Spirit may expand on talents we had before He moved in, but these are not the same as Spiritual gifts.

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Notice it is the Holy Spirit who decides what gifts we need for the work He has given us to do, and He may add to or subtract to those gifts as time goes on.

These have nothing to do with the “fruit of the Spirit” which is given to us all!

So what are “Spiritual Gifts”?

We could say that these gifts are “Grace Gifts” because of our “faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ, because there is no other way to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit!

1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

Another thing we should understand about the gifts of God, they do not make us better youth workers or better adult workers.

These gifts do not make us better workers in the slums, or in foreign countries, or in cities, or in the country. The gifts of the Holy Spirit work everywhere the Holy Spirit sends us!

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are a benefit to mankind on a Spiritual level!

Natural talents, though a gift of God through our parents are a benefit to God on a natural level, but they too, should be used for the purposes of God for maximum benefit!

We should have the benefits of God on our minds at all times!

*1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Once a lost person has observed us and they will.

Once a lost person has seen our love, and they will know.

The next thing is what do they hear coming out of our mouths?

The Oracles of God would include His Prophesies, but oracles are all the communications from God which are bound up in what we call the Bible.

When we are in conversations, we must never refrain some saying “thus sayeth the Lord”.

We need to explain God’s side to all we come in contact with.

They have only heard the lies of the world. They do not need to hear worldly things come from our mouths.

When we are busy about the work of the Lord, then let’s use all the abilities God have has given us. These would be the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we have just discussed.

If we have other talents, such as singing or other musical talents, then they too should be used to promote the Word of God, the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

There are certainly Books called the “Gospels” but all the Word of God is the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

They tell us of His First Coming before the Church and His Second Coming after the Church.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who bought us from the slave market of sin. He owns us! Surely, we can use anything and all things the Lord has provided to glorify God, in Christ, in everything we do.

We should be busy today!

Notice that this was Peter’s prayer, and we need to pray for such things also!

Amen!

Let’s just Pray Now!

God Prepares Some Man

God Prepares a Man

Nehemiah 1:2-10; 2:2-8

So far, we have seen that Zerubbabel had been sent by King Cyrus back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, the House of God.

We know that once the foundation of the Temple was laid, the work of the Temple stopped for about 18 years and God sent the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (the government) and the High Priest (the religious leader) who had been beautifying their own homes and left off the work on the Temple.

After Haggai told them “Thus sayeth the Lord”, the work began again.

We know Ezra had come to rebuild the city and help with the Temple.

By this time there was over 100,000 people who had returned to Jerusalem and Judah.

All these people were at the mercy of their enemy and things were hard to accomplish.

It seems like Israel is always being attacked one way or another.

God sees all these things and God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, for the King of Persia to build the walls of Jerusalem.

Those who think God does not see what is going on in this world are foolish, God sees everything, and prayer is still the best way to get things done that we cannot do. God still expects us to do what we can do. He may not help us with those things!

Let’s begin at Nehemiah Chapter 1 and verse 1:

*****Neh 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
Neh 1:2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

King Artaxerxes had been on the throne for 20 years and history tells us he reigned for 20 more years.

The ninth month Chisleu would correspond to our November and sometimes part of December. The Winter months so this King was in Shushan which was the location of his winter palace. The Summer palace was located at Ecbatana. Nehemiah would have traveled with the king no matter where he traveled.

Today this location once a magnificent city is now only a place of ruins. This is also the city where the events of the Book of Esther took place.

The event that we will learn is things that happen after a conversation and then a serious prayer to the Lord and not just one prayer but a continuous prayer.

Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem, but we know that he had been taught the Word of God by his parents.

Nehemiah had a deep concern about his fellow Jews which in that day, may have been called the Hebrew people by the world.

Nehemiah had compassion for his people, and this is a great lesson for us here today.

In fact the entire first chapter will show us the compassion he had for his people.

As we go through this lesson, we will see the Nehemiah is in typology another type of Christ.

Mar_6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Fourteen times in the books of the Gospel the word compassion is used about our Lord and Master.

If we are to be like Christ, we are to have compassion, especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

What was the message Nehemiah had learned?

*****Neh 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

As we know from last week, these Jews were suffering because God had brought a drought.

They were suffering economically.
They were suffering spiritually.
They were suffering because of the greed of those who had control, the government
They were suffering because they feared the neighboring nations.
They were suffering because they had no fear of God!

Yes antisemitism existed even in that day!

When Nehemiah heard all these things he wept for his homeland and those who were trying to live without God!

Nehemiah knew that two groups of his people had been back in Jerusalem for many years now and he was not expecting such bad news.

Psa 44:13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
Psa 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

These things caused Nehemiah to weep for his homeland.

Nehemiah had such a great job in captivity he had given no thought of returning to Israel and Jerusalem, but that would now change.

*****Neh 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,
Neh 1:5 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 commandments:

These things broke the heart off Nehemiah, and we can watch as God immediately had plans for Nehemiah all along.

Nehemiah could feel the suffering of others in his own heart!

Nehemiah knew that Jerusalem was the most holy city in all the world, until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and the Temple.

He was hoping with all those who had returned, that things would have been much better.

God expects us to feel in our heart the needs of others! It is called compassion.

God expects us, when we are able, to help those with needs and we can do this through the Church if all the other needs of the Church are met.

Not many of us partake of fasting but sometimes fasting can clear our minds so we can see the needs of others, and the clear will of God

The greatest need of all is still salvation!

Salvation will open our eyes to the needs of others because to be saved is to trust the Lord and then try to be like Him!

Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

What we have seen is God had first placed the government back in Jerusalem along with the High Priest.

Next God sent Ezra to establish the Church.

Now God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, who had no great skills, to restore security to the city of Jerusalem.

God loves to use ordinary people with not many skills, because they know that they must trust in the Lord God to meet their needs!

And, Every step we take must be bathed with prayer!

*****Neh 1:6 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.

Nehemiah had not returned to Jerusalem because of his position in the court of the Persian King. So God would test him to see if he was sincere.

If our prayers are not sincere and bathed in faith, God will hear, but He may not answer until Nehemiah had enough faith to see these things take place.

God always knows what He is going to do, and God knew that Nehemiah was the man He would use.

While Nehemiah was only a cupbearer, he could learn the workings of government being so close to the King of Persia.

We should understand that God places us in places not only to witness to the lost, but to learn a skill that can benefit the Church, even if it is just a high paying job so our tithes and offerings, will be a great benefit

Some people are prayer warriors, some people keep the church going with those tithes and offerings, and some people give of themselves to keep the church going.

There is a place for every member to the church!

Al these things are to work with the commands of Jesus Christ!

The main thing is that when God calls us for His use, then we need to say yes. Self-sacrifice is the great test of faith!

By being obedient to the Lord, we step into the wonders of the plan of God!

We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His supreme power over all His creation.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His majesty, and His goodness, along with His greatness.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His faithfulness to those who love Him.

Nehemiah was an intercessor for his people, and he did not know it as of yet.

Nehemiah realized that it was actually a sin that was holding up the progress in Jerusalem.

We will find out that it is a great sin not to pray for the peace in Jerusalem and be commited to Israel as much as we are commited to our own nation also realizing that we are ambassadors for Christ to all nations.

It is always sin that interferes with progress made in our lives and our relationship with the Lord.

*****Neh 1:7 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.

By not keeping the commandments of the Lord we show the Lord that we do not love Him!

Deu 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

This not just for the Jews.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

When we are not keeping the commandments of the Lord, rightly divided, we are also very corrupt against the Lord!

*****Neh 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Neh 1:9 But 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.

Nehemiah realized why he was in captivity, it was because as a nation, Israel and Judah had forsaken the Lord.

Nehemiah also realized that God had allowed room for repentance and a great promise that God had made.

If they would repent, then God would gather these Jews no matter where they had been scattered.

Deu 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
Deu 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Deu 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

We know from all these things written for us to see, that God did not break a promise then and God will not break a promise today.

How do we make America great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

How will Israel be made great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It is the same for every nation where Christians are located!

Who was God talking to this day?

*****Neh 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

We know that God has made certain promises to the Children of Israel and God will keep all His promises.

We also know that God’s timing is in His control.

When God’s makes a promise we cannot dictate when that promises will be fulfilled, but we can be sure that God will fulfill our needs until that time comes.

God did not need to be reminded that this was the same people He had redeemed from Egypt, but He tells us to study the Scriptures, so we know these things and it was OK for Nehemiah to mention this fact to show his own trust in the Word of God.

Isa 64:9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

We also know God has made many promises to the Church and God will fulfill these promises also, again in His own time.

God has not forgotten any of these things, for it is impossible for God to forget about His children.

The good fathers always remember their children! Jehovah God is the “Greatest” Father

Nehemiah needed to see the king and God made a way for him to do so.

*****Neh 2:2 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,
Neh 2:3 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?

Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. It was Nehemiah’s job to taste the wine to make sure it was safe to drink. If Nehemiah looked sick, then it could have been caused by the wine.

Certainly this king would have his eyes on Nehemiah to make sure he was healthy.

We should be able to see how God arranges things for our best interest.

Nehemiah was just some Jew who just happened to become the cupbearer for the King.

I’m sure the he was not to thrilled to be the one to make sure the King’s wine was not poisoned or spoiled.

In the end, Nehemiah had a great job but in reality, he was placed in that job just for the time that was coming now.

God always has a man in position for His plan to move forward, and I am sure He has some women in places also, just so His plan moves along as it should.

Nehemiah was not sick, he was brokenhearted, and it showed.

We will see how the plan of God is worked out with the utmost precision.

It took a lot of nerve for Nehemiah to address this king, but God had touched the heart of this king, so Nehemiah was treated more like a son than a stranger.

We can see all sorts of types in these passages!

The beginning of these things was the fact the Nehemiah had first prayed, in fact he had fasted and prayed because he had a true concern for his people.

Do we have that much concern for our children or our grandchildren that we would not fast and pray for our people just as Nehemiah?

We should pray first at the sign of trouble, we should pray often, and pray much, and sometimes we need to fast and pray and then we need to listen for God to answer. Remembering if it is according to the plan of God, He will never say no.

Salvation of our children and our families are in the will of God and part of His plan!

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nehemiah stood in the gap and interceded for his people. We know of another, the Lord Jesus did so on a much grander scale.

As a father for his dear son, he asked, just what is it that you need?

And what did God say about our prayers?

Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

While this king was listening, Nehemiah wanted to be sure he asked for the right things and no one knew that better than God so Nehemiah made a real quick silent prayer.

*****Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Neh 2:5 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.

Before we go too far, we must understand, there was no benefit for this king to allow the wall to be restored around the city of Jerusalem.

If Jerusalem rebelled again it would be costly to lay siege and wait on them to starve to death again.

Two groups had already been financed by Persia to rebuild the Temple so that to should not be asked again, but to keep the city secure, not from Persia, but from the locals such as Samaria, was a thing the king may consider, especially since God, Himself would put these things in the heart of this king.

Know this, that at any time this king could have refuse any or all the request of the Jews, but he did so willingly and gladly!

So Nehemiah requested and secured a royal commission to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls.

We should remember it was dangerous for Nehemiah to show a sad countenance in front of the king.

The kings in this day were always aware of plots to over throw the king or assassination.

When God touches a ruler’s heart, it is never about over throwing that ruler.

Nehemiah had prayed and he would speak the words God had given to him, and remember God’s Word never comes back void.

God’s Word will do what He sent it to do!

We must also remember prayers that are prayed out of an emergency, out of an immediate need, many times God will answer that prayer as soon as He receives it.

It was important that the things Nehemiah asked, to be pleasing to this king!

Here again we see another “type” to help us in our prayer life. We should never pray to the Father for things that are not pleasing our King, King Jesus!

Here again we see that Jehovah God was considered to be the Creator even by this pagan king and valued for this reason.

As far as Nehemiah was concerned, this matter needed to be settled this very day.

God answered and to Him be the Glory, and because God answered, this king gave Nehemiah much more than he asked for!

*****Neh 2:5 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.
Neh 2:6 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.

The truth is we seldom consider and study on what we need in our prayers. I’m not talking about those needs we all have that God supplies without asking.

I’m talking about that special need! Nehemiah had been making plans on what it would take to do these things, he would now ask the king for, but only after he had made his request to the Lord.

A true lesson is that God loves details! God loves for us to consider those things we pray for and then give Him the reasons those things are important to us, and most important we must have the faith that says to God, “I know you have the power to do this thing I’m asking”.

As Preacher Sam said, “God is Able”!

Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

God, in answer to prayer, is ever ready to bestow what is best for us. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

This was a silent prayer that Nehemiah prayed between the time he made his request to this king, and the answer he would give.

Another lesson we learn God is always listening. Nehemiah did not have to wait on God to finish what He was doing with someone else!

This shows us the “omnipresence” of the Lord God Jehovah!

Pro 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path

We see that this king had grown affectionate for Nehemiah, not in any kind of sexual way, but as a friend and he wanted to know how long he would be gone.

*****Neh 2:7 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;
Neh 2:8 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.

Nehemiah knew that if he did not have proof of the things this king had promised, others in the government would deny him of any request because, Nehemiah was still just Jew, but the world forgets the Jews are still the apple in God’s eyes.

Zec_2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

What is the secret of our success as Christians? We must have God with us!

We do not need the machines of this world.

We do not need the methods of this world.

We just need to be obedient to God, so we know our prayers reach into Heaven.

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Psa 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

We just need more God!!!!!!!!

We cannot believe we have the power to do the things such as Nehemiah requested, without God!

What did Jesus say?

Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Amen

Let’s Pray