sermons

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Arise and Build

Nehemiah: Building Thriving Relationships

 

It’s not about the wall. It’s about the people. God raised up people through Nehemiah to do what seemed to be impossible. Time and time again throughout history, whether on the battlefield, on the athletic field, from a platform, or in a march, God has used people.  The impossible becomes possible when God’s people step out in faith. Nehemiah had a burden to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. The place was in ruins. Israel had a newly reconstructed temple but were still vulnerable to attack. They retreated back to their homes wondering if they’d ever raise up a new generation to honor God. Nehemiah had a vision: he longed to see the broken becoming whole again, growing into highly functional, thriving people in relationship, and reconstructing their city for a new generation of God-seekers.

 

That’s our vision for the River Church, and it’s really all about discipleship if you think about it. Discipleship is following wholeheartedly after the One we serve to become like Him and live into this new vision for the next generation. Nehemiah engaged in the ancient practice of Jewish discipleship, not in a classroom, but out in the city where people live and work, much like Jesus would do 600 years later.

 


So how did Nehemiah do it? How did he build up broken people to serve God to build a better future for the next generation? He engaged in prayer. He executed through planning. He enlisted gifted people. He entered the battlefield of oppositional pressure. He exemplified God’s ultimate purpose in his life for the sake of others. It’s all recorded in the book of Nehemiah so that we could do the same.