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INTRO


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INTRO


HOW GOD ORDAINED VISIONS BECOME REALITY

The book of Nehemiah is one of the most lively and intriguing books in the Old Testament. The main character, Nehemiah, was an energetic leader who combined a deep trust in the Lord with precise planning, careful organization, and discreet but energetic action. While Nehemiah has inspired many leaders with his amazing insight and ability to encourage others to action, the most outstanding characteristic about him was his ability to turn a God-ordained vision into a reality. 

Nehemiah’s struggles, while 2500 years removed from ours, were no different than ours. He faced obstacles, difficulties, distractions and discouragements. Yet in the midst of them, he looked for opportunities to overcome them. Instead of asking “What if…” from a negative view, he asked “What if…” from a positive, opportunistic view. As we unpack this book we will discover how we can make our God-ordained visions become realities.  

Below you will find weekly resources, commentary, and study guides to help you as we journey together through the book of Nehemiah.

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MESSAGES


M   E   S   S   A   G   E   S

MESSAGES


M   E   S   S   A   G   E   S

Be sure to follow along with all of the messages in our series!


How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - Introduction to Nehemiah

Sunday, January 29th 

The book of Nehemiah is one of the liveliest and intriguing books in the Old Testament. The main character, Nehemiah, was an energetic leader who combined a deep trust in the Lord with precise planning, careful organization, and discreet but energetic action. He was a man who turned a God-ordained vision into a reality. Before we begin our study of Nehemiah, we need to understand the difference between a good idea and a God-ordained vision. 

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - The Maturing of a Vision

Sunday, February 12th 

As we continue in our study of the life of Nehemiah, we discovered that God placed a divinely inspired vision in his heart to rescue the people of Jerusalem. This vision began as a burden and soon became a great passion. But what does Nehemiah do about it? Interestingly, he doesn’t act immediately. The vision needs to mature before he moves on it, and there are three things that bring his vision to maturity. 

Nehemiah 1:4-3

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - Overcoming Discouragement During a Vision

Sunday, February 26th 

Nehemiah has led the people to join him in his vision of rebuilding Jerusalem. There is a sense of jubilation in Jerusalem. But not everyone is happy. There will always be people who oppose your vision. Nehemiah and the people now face what every person who ever has vision must face – discouragement. Nehemiah has to do something to settle and encourage their lagging spirits. He does two things we must do to overcome discouragement from without...

Nehemiah 4:10-16

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - Struggles from Within

Sunday, March 12th 

In the world of automobiles, “alignment” is something that is very important with respect to wheels and tires. If a car has proper alignment, the camber and castor of the wheels allow for an even wear on the front tires. But if a car is “out of alignment” the the car will pull in one direction or another, causing the tires to wear unevenly. Parts designed to work together actually begin working against one another. Some causes of misalignment are:

Nehemiah 5:1-19

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - The End of a God-Ordained Vision

Sunday, March 26th 

God always reveals himself in the midst of visions he has authored. When he does, attention generally shifts from what has been accomplished to who fueled the accomplishment. This is how you can tell if a vision is God-ordained or simply man-ordained. A God-ordained vision always leads to God himself. A man-ordained vision always leads to men.

Nehemiah 9

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - The Birth of a Vision

Sunday, February 5th 

As we unpack chapters one and two, we will see firsthand how a God-ordained vision was birthed in Nehemiah and how it grew into a mature vision that changed an entire city and nation for generations to come. 

Nehemiah 1-2:8

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - The Maturing of a Vision - pt2

Sunday, February 19th 

As we continue in our study of the life of Nehemiah, we discovered that God placed a divinely inspired vision in his heart to rescue the people of Jerusalem. This vision began as a burden and soon became a great passion. But what does Nehemiah do about it? Interestingly, he doesn’t act immediately. The vision needs to mature before he moves on it, and there are three things that bring his vision to maturity.

Nehemiah 1:4-3

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - Overcoming Discouragement During a Vision - pt2

Sunday, March 5th 

Nehemiah has led the people to join him in his vision of rebuilding Jerusalem. There is a sense of jubilation in Jerusalem. But not everyone is happy. There will always be people who oppose your vision. Nehemiah and the people now face what every person who ever has vision must face – discouragement. Nehemiah has to do something to settle and encourage their lagging spirits. He does two things we must do to overcome discouragement from without...

Nehemiah 4:10-16

 
 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - Delighting in God's Word

Sunday, March 19th 

What if we really believed God's Word is His breath and staked our lives on it?

"And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them." - Nehemiah 8: 12

Nehemiah 8: 1-12

 
 

 

How God-Ordained Visions Become a Reality - Maintaining Your Course

Sunday, April 2nd 

Chapter 13 shows how easily even the most spiritual community can find its standards subtly eroded as it gradually accommodates to the pressures of contemporary worldliness. Here is one thing we all need to know: NO ONE IS EXEMPT FROM SPIRITUAL DRIFTING.

Nehemiah 13

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RESOURCES


R   E   S   O   U   R   C   E   S

RESOURCES


R   E   S   O   U   R   C   E   S

Take advantage of these high resolution wallpapers for your devices. 

Simply click on one of the buttons below and right click (computer) or hold on the image (mobile) to save.


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Be sure to join us in our Nehemiah reading plan!


Study Guides

Here's our week one study guides, these are great resources for you, your family, and your groups!

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NEHEMIAH


N   E   H   E   M   I   A   H

 

 

NEHEMIAH


N   E   H   E   M   I   A   H

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO NEHEMIAH


NEHEMIAH AT A GLANCE

13 chapters, 406 verses. The book of Nehemiah has been called one of the liveliest pieces of writing in the Bible. It is a sequel to the book of Ezra, which records the stories of the first two remnants that returned from exile to Jerusalem. The book of Nehemiah tells the story of what befell the third wave of returnees, some thirteen years after the second group had returned. Two main actions occur—the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem and the recommitment of the returned exiles to fulfill their covenant obligations. There is something for virtually everyone in this book, which is a general’s diary, a governor’s report, a civil record, a management handbook, and a memoir all in one short book. The events covered in this historical chronicle and collection of hero stories span approximately fifteen years. Part of the liveliness of the book stems from the striking character of Nehemiah, who emerges from the pages as a godly and decisive leader.

AUTHOR & DATE

Nehemiah is the central figure in the book that bears his name. It contains some of his own records, but some scholars question whether he is the author of the entire book. Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem in 445 b.c., 13 years after Ezra arrived. He returned for a further visit sometime between 433 and 423 b.c. He may have made several journeys between Persian capitals and Jerusalem in this period of 20 years.


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The Persian Empire at the Time of Nehemiah

During the time of Nehemiah, the Persian Empire had reached its greatest extent, engulfing nearly the entire Near East. In 539 B.C. the Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians and absorbed the lands of Israel and Judah (known as Beyond the River) into his empire. The next year he allowed the people of Judah (now called Jews) to return home and rebuild thetemple of the Lord. Several waves of returning Jews continued to resettle in Judea, and Nehemiah was granted permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s ruined walls around 445 B.c.


Did you know?: Cupbearer to the king

Cupbearer to the king may sound like a lowly position, but it was actually considered a highoffice. The cupbearer’s job was to taste any wine brought to the king, in case it was poisoned. The king had to trust his cupbearer with his very life. Because of their trusted position, many cupbearers, such as Nehemiah (1:11), were able to exert political influence in the royal court. But that hardly gets a mention in this story. What mattered most was that Nehemiah had the ear of almighty God in heaven.


The Gospel in Nehemiah

Nehemiah continues Ezra’s final glimpse of God’s people mercifully re­established in their land after the Babylonian exile and before the long, dark intertestamental period of waiting for a greater restoration and revelation of God’s deliverance. Many have noted this book’s lessons in leadership. Wise, prayerful Nehemiah leads a third group of exiles back to Jerusalem and there unites the people, amid surrounding opposition, to rebuild the city walls and to live as God’s people according to his Word. But Nehemiah is about much more than leadership, however inspiring that leadership might be.

In the end, this book leaves us with a leader’s failures more than his successes. Rather than focusing mainly on human faithfulness to God, the book of Nehemiah shows God’s faithfulness to his unfaithful people. This divine faithfulness is rooted in God’s covenant promises. As in Ezra, the remnant of God’s people is here recorded carefully by genealogy: this is Abraham’s seed, the people God promised to bless and through whom he would bless all the nations of the world. Perhaps at no point in their history had the prospects for this people looked bleaker, with a ruined city to rebuild, hateful enemies all around, and sin always threatening from within.

At this point of weakness, Nehemiah leads the people toward trust in a strong, trustworthy God. The wall rebuilt under Nehemiah’s direction pictures not fearful retreat or isolation but rather God’s protection of this people whom he has chosen, and through whom he will accomplish his redemptive plan for the human race. The book’s climax comes not simply with the finished wall but with worship of the Lord God who has spoken and whose word will not fail. As we see this people rebuilding, so imperfectly and sustained only by God’s faithful promises, we cannot help but look ahead to God’s people today. For we too, though not working with physical stones, are “like living stones . . . being built up as a spiritual house.” And Christ himself is the chief cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:5–6).

Nehemiah’s people were waiting for the promised Savior, who now has come according to God’s word of promise: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Even as we see and worship Jesus, God’s people today also wait for him—for his second coming. As living stones in God’s spiritual house, with Jesus as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:19–22), we also build imperfectly, battling enemies without and sin within. But we also look ahead to God’s promise of that “holy city, new Jerusalem,” the eternal dwelling of God with his people (Rev. 21:2–3). Safe in that city, around the throne of God and of the Lamb, “his servants will worship him” perfectly and forever (Rev. 22:1–3).