A Righteous Anger

It is not always a sin to be angry. In fact, there are times when it is a sin NOT to be! Nehemiah experienced one of those times when he was told about how the Jewish leaders were taking advantage of their poorer brothers and sisters through unjust mortgages and usury. Nehemiah 5:6 says: “Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words.”

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“Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”

Following threats by those who wanted to stop the construction of the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah 4:9 says: “But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them …”. Nehemiah kept an important balance here which should serve as an example for us:

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A Picture of Cooperation

When everyone does their part, it is amazing what can be accomplished. Nehemiah 3 describes how Nehemiah and the people who returned to Jerusalem rebuilt the wall around the city. What is significant about it is that no one person did it all; rather it was done by numerous individuals and groups who rebuilt one of the gates, or the section in front of their home. For example, verse 10 says: “Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house.” With everyone pitching in like that, the whole wall was soon rebuilt. Continue reading

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The Heavens Declare His Glory

The familiar words open Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God …”. Brown, Driver & Briggs tells us that the Hebrew word for “declare” here comes from the verb “sapar”, meaning “count”; and its piel (intensive) form here: “recount, rehearse, relate.” The heavens do relate something to us of God’s glory:

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“The Discipline of Evangelism” (Colossians 4:2-6 sermon)

(Preached at First Baptist, Pauls Valley OK, 10-12-14)

Many of us have looked on with shock and horror at the ISIS takeover of good portions of two countries in the Middle East, with the beheadings and other atrocities they have perpetrated. But millions of us have also been praying for God to work in that region of the world like never before. And there is evidence that He is! Just last Thursday, the Baptist Press reported that one of our missionaries ministering to the displaced peoples in the Middle East said that refugees have come to them by the thousands, and that our workers have had the opportunity to care for them, ministering with food and other help items some of us have donate towards, and as a result they are having unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel with them. In fact, the missionary said that the gospel is now moving forward among Iraqi and other previously unreached groups in ways they could only have imagined before!
We see in this report three keys to people coming to the Lord: first of all, prayer; secondly, a lifestyle and actions that prepare hearts for a witness; and third, a verbal sharing of the gospel that people might be saved.

As we continue our “Disciplines of Disciples” study, we remember that Jesus commanded those who would follow Him to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Him. We have seen over the past weeks that part of “taking up the cross daily” means adopting some “vertical” daily disciplines that we exercise towards God, such as daily blocks of time in prayer, spontaneous praying, Bible study and memorization, and also some “horizontal” disciplines that we exercise towards other people, like the disciplines of fellowship and service in the church. Today we are going to look at a third “horizontal” discipline, “The Discipline of Evangelism”, from Colossians 4:2-6:

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You And This Generation

How should we live in the world? What should be our attitude about the changing morals and standards we see around us? Acts 2:40 says that in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted his hearers to “be saved from this crooked generation.” This word gives us some clear Biblical direction for our relationship with a deteriorating culture:

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Nehemiah’s Model Prayer

Not only was Nehemiah an example of one who prayed spontaneous prayers (2:4) but he knew how to pray an effective longer prayer as well. In fact, in Nehemiah 1:5-11, we see that Nehemiah’s prayer has some similarities in its content to the “Lord’s Prayer” or “Model Prayer” of Matthew 6:9-13, including:

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