Nehemiah 11:1-36, “A People on Mission”
Passage: Nehemiah 11:1–11:36
Intro: The city has been rebuilt, the people have begun to turn their hearts back to God, and spiritual renewal has swept across the community. Now, in Nehemiah 11:1-36, we read about the practicality of life and how the people gave thought to where they would live. The lesson for us today is simple. God forms a people in order to put them on a mission. Too often in American Christian culture, the gospel is presented as a sort of cul-de-sac religion. God saves you so you can have a better life. But salvation was never meant to terminate on the individual. God saves us so that we can join together with the body of Christ in the form of a local church and be on mission for Jesus.
Text: Nehemiah 11:1-36
I. A PEOPLE ON MISSION NEED VALIANT MEN
Simply put, men are the problem, and men are the solution. The number one issue in many families and churches is weak, passive, unequipped men. At CrossPointe our desire is to cultivate an environment of grace but firmness where men are challenged and nurtured to be valiant, courageous, strong, gentle, humble, fierce warriors. We believe that in this type of culture, women are not subjugated, rather they are exalted and honored and able to thrive.
II. A PEOPLE ON MISSION ARE THANKFUL
In verse 17 we read of Asaph who lead the praise and thanksgiving for the people. This is particularly important for us today. We live in a culture of entitlement. The air we naturally breathe is that God owes us something. As a result, we are instinctively ungrateful. Paul writes in Romans 1:21 that this type of attitude leads to futile thinking and darkened foolish hearts. We should be a people who are continually thankful to God.
III. A PEOPLE ON MISSION NEED GATEKEEPERS
In verse 19 we read about the gatekeepers who kept watch at the gates. Even after the city was rebuilt, they needed men to stand guard and offer continual protection for the city against foreign enemies. This is the job of the pastors/elders/shepherds of the church. They are gifts given by God to the church to guard them against wolves that come to devour the sheep. Paul warns the Ephesian elders of this in Acts 20:28-32. Jude 3 tells us that we must “contend” for the faith. A church that desires to preach the uncompromised truth of the Gospel will be opposed. Much of that attack will be in the form of doctrinal challenge. Thus, a people on mission need men who will guard the theological gate and thus keep the church biblically healthy.
More in Nehemiah
December 6, 2009Nehemiah 13:1-31, “Messy Maintenance”
November 22, 2009Nehemiah 12:1-47, “Thanksgiving, Process, and Providence”
November 8, 2009Nehemiah 10:1-39, “Lives of Obligation”