23 February 2020
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Kevin Costner plays Ray Kinsella in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. In the film Kinsella hears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field. Against all odds he goes along with the vision, experiences a miracle, and finds peace with his late father.
Similarly, in 445BC, Nehemiah was supernaturally guided – not by a made-up “voice” but a vision from the Father – to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed 140 years earlier. Against the threat of hostile forces he mustered the help of fellow Jews for the daunting building project. In the end Nehemiah not only secured the perimeter of the Holy City but reestablished a community that lived in proper relationship with God.
Christians today live in troubled times, just like Nehemiah did. Opposing worldviews and declining morals have eroded the foundations of the Church. God said this of His people, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap….” (Ezekiel 22:30).
Are you willing to “stand in the gap” like Nehemiah? The sermon series will challenge us to live courageously amidst a world hostile to the gospel and employ principles of building a community of the faithful.
The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
This worship service was live streamed to Facebook. Click Here to watch it.