Ordinary People … ……Extra-ordinary Faith

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Ordinary People Extra-ordinary Faith. Nehemiah - faith & action in the work place [Neh. Chapters 1 & 2]. Andy Dymond. Context for Nehemiahs life. Persian (Iranian) exile period 5 th Century BC - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


<ul><li><p>Ordinary People Extra-ordinary FaithNehemiah - faith &amp; action in the work place</p><p>[Neh. Chapters 1 &amp; 2] Andy Dymond</p></li><li><p>Context for Nehemiahs lifePersian (Iranian) exile period5th Century BC Descended from Jewish exiles captured &amp; brought into Babylonian exile 140 or so years previously (586 BC)Then the Persians conquered Babylon in 539 BCCyrus the Great chosen by God (Isaiah 45: 1-7) to subdue nations, open doors, to return the Jews to Israel and to rebuild Jerusalem (538 BC)Many Jews remained permanently in Persia &amp; some in high positions but were never secureThe scene is set several generations after the return (445 BC)Nehemiah had become a cup-bearer (wine taster) to the King</p></li><li><p>Setting the sceneNehemiahs position was one of influence and honour, but also of riskCompare Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, Daniel, Esther The information came through natural connectionsA brother with others came to him with news (Ch 1: 1-2)But acting on it brought huge risk to Nehemiah (Ch 2: 2-3)Faith is the certainty of the unseen (Heb. 11:1) Risk is the context, the physical reality, chance of loss or painPrayer brought faith and risk into harmonyConsidered prayer (1:4) accompanied by purposeful activitiesSpontaneous prayer (2:4) from a life of knowing God </p></li><li><p>Lessons from the storyHow do we respond as disciples to distressing national, business or family news or challenges?The Where is God in this? dilemmaDoes God care, or want to act? If so ..... should he just act without our prayer? What is our role in intercession, confession, faith, action?Types of Prayer - We cant just jump to the end game Daily prayer encountering the Lord Seeking &amp; wrestlingFaith is a conclusion, not necessarily a starting pointAction on trust </p></li><li><p>Timing of Nehemiahs prayer &amp; outcomeNews came in the month Kislev, 20th year (Ch 1:1)9th month of the Jewish Calendar (Nov/Dec)Wept, mourned, fasted &amp; prayed (Ch 1: 4)Sought for Gods will, and Planned for positive answer &amp; accepted opportunityOutcome - Before the King in the month Nisan (Ch 2:1) Same 20th year of King Artaxerxes (2:1)1st month of Jewish Calendar (Spring), 3-4 months later</p></li><li><p>Nehemiahs prayer diary (Ch. 1: 4-11)Worship of the dependable God (v. 5)Seek Gods attention (v.6)Confess &amp; identify self with the problem corporate &amp; personal sins (v.7)Situation was rooted in historical &amp; factual reality of sin &amp; disobedience (v. 7-8)Holding God to a promise (v. 9)Visioning the route to Gods honour (v. 10) compare Ex. 32Seeking for an answer (v. 11)Taking action (v.11)</p></li><li><p>Gods good hand on a willing servantA sense that Gods call would need a mission planTrust in God built on results of 1st steps Fearful start ...... O King, live for ever (Ch 2: 2-3)Kings astounding answer ..... What is it you want? (v 4)Second answer ..... OK, how long will it take? (v 6)Confident request ....... Letters of passage Visa! (v 7)Next request ....... Wood for construction (v 8)Also received a cavalry escort! (v 9)</p></li><li><p>The missions success over 12 yearsConfident arrivalCareful survey and faith combined (v 11-12)Encountered opposition &amp; plots from regional powers Organized local Jewish officials, priests &amp; nobles into the construction projectCompleted the city walls in 52 days (Ch 6: 15)Remained on as governor for 12 yearsRestored the spiritual covenant life of the Jews, together with EzraDealt with many problems &amp; social justice issuesWas a leader who walked the walk </p></li><li><p> Conclusion - Steps to service</p><p> .... for every member in the midst of lifeApproachable - Ready to hear &amp; listen, and to be vulnerableResponsible - challenging situations can lead to opportunityPrayerful Seek and ask... reason, promise, vision, stepsOpen to calling A sense of mission ... Prepare for it!Patient - Wait for Gods timing maybe disappointment or delay is a chance to plan &amp; set markers for Gods confirmationConfident in trouble when we know Gods hand upon usBold faith increases with each step, may start falteringly but God gives encouragement along the way</p><p>*</p></li></ul>