Outline and Notes of Nehemiah 11 and 12

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Introduction
     Why are we looking at Nehemiah chapters 11 and 12?
  1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
  2. Nehemiah recognizes that he is not a one man band.
  3. Each name in this list was important to God.  And everyone seated here today is important to God.
  4. Challenges our desires to be seen.
    • Matthew 6 Jesus warns against doing things to be seen.
    • We are tempted to believe that we matter too much.
    • Or, we are tempted to believe that we matter too little.\
    • Our passage today challenges both views.
  5. Significance of the ordinary
    • We are tempted to think we need to be doing dramatic huge events to be effective in ministry.
    • What God wants us to do is be faithful.  He wants us to be steady and committed to the basics.
Do you know what God is doing in the world today?  Do you know how He intends to accomplish His purposes?  As surprising as it may seem, what God is doing in the world today is building churches, churches that are made up of seemingly insignificant people who have normal lives and normal problems.
     ILLUSTRATION: How Billy Graham came to faith. DL Moody – Wilbur Chapman – Billy Sunday – Mordacai Hamm – Billy Graham.  But do you know who won DL Moody to Christ?  His Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimbel.  Do you know who won Edward Kimbel to Christ?  No one knows…except God.
     Your biggest accomplishment in your life might not be something you do, but someone you raise. Or, someone you disciple.
What is the Text Saying?
  1. The People and Priests and Levites (11:1-12:26)
    • These men were like Christ. (v.2)
      • The record of these people in Nehemiah 11:2 is a record of ancient pre-Christ, Christlikness.  Jesus is the supreme example of One who left all that was good to Himself and went to a place that was not pleasant for Him, that was not exciting for Him, and that held no pleasure for Him: He go crucified.  To follow Jesus is to follow Him in laying down our lives for the benefit of others as He did for us. (v.2)
      • We want to embrace Christlikeness, recognize Christlikeness, and celebrate Christlikeness.  That is what makes it such a blessing to be part of a local church: there are so many people who are so Christlike. (v.2)
    • These men were Men of Valor (v. 6, 8, and 14)
      • What was it about these men that made them worthy to be praised?
        1. They lived there.
        2. They were serving there.
        3. They were praying there.
        4. They were watching there.
        5. They were singing there.
        6. They lived for God.  They lived for truth of the Scriptures.  Lay your life down for these things.  That is what it looks like to be a hero.  That is courage.  To live for what matters most, even if it costs your life.
      • We need men to be standing up in a world were everyone else is laying down being passive.
  2. The Dedication of the Wall (12:27-43)
  3. Provisions for Temple Worship (12:44-47)
    • Whatever it costs us, though we must sacrifice, we must support the worship of God in the Temple.  That is what our lives are about.
What is the Text Teaching Us?
  • God is building churches made up of seemingly insignificant people who have normal lives and normal problems.
How Does it point us to Jesus?
What Changes Monday?
  • For what will you live?  Will you live for what looks impressive on the outside but is empty on the inside?  Or will you live for what may not look very impressive on the outside, but on the inside is real because God is being worshiped?
  • It is one thing to bring his people out of Babylon, but how do you get Babylon out of the people?
    • We face the same problem.  How can we get the world out of our church and Jesus into our community?
  • The city of God is to be restored and key to this is
    • (1) maintaining unity, legitimacy, and purity in leadership and
    • (2) getting back to the priority of true worship, focused on the hearing and understanding of God’s word
Conclusion
     God mercifully delivers people.  He finds them on the path to destruction, and He transports them to the path that leads to life.  Those on the path of life cannot worship with those who are on the path to destruction, because those on the path to destruction are worshiping everything but God.  So these lists are about the worship of God.
     What list is your name on?  Is your name enrolled among those on the path to destruction?  Or if we were to make a list of those on the path to life, would your name be on it?  Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of Life?  Are you worshiping the one true and living God through Jesus by the power of the Spirit?
     If you ask me, How do I know whether my name is in the Lamb’s book?  My questions to you are:
  1. Have you trusted in Christ?
  2. Are you a member of a local church?
     If you are a member of a local church because you have trusted in Christ and you have been baptized into Christ Jesus as a public witness to that reality, your name is on that list.  If your name is not on that list, if you do not trust Jesus, if you are not a member of a church, please consider the outcome of your life.  I offer you right now the opportunity to trust in Jesus.  You can receive Him.  You can trust Him.  He will save you.  If you call on the name of the Lord, you will be saved (Romans 10:13).
Discussion Questions:
  1. How is what is happening in your local church more significant than what happens in your nation’s capital?
  2. The people blessed those who chose to live in Jerusalem (v.2).  What would it look like for you to “volunteer to live in Jerusalem” in your own time and setting?
  3. What can you do to bless the people around you who have made choices that put them at risk or that go against their own interests?
  4. Why was it important for the Israelites to remember their spiritual heritage?
  5. Why is it important for us to remember our spiritual heritage?  What are the advantages and dangers of remaining mindful of the past?
  6. In comparison with old covenant Israel, what might be different about the way we think about those who have gone before us in the faith?
  7. Have you ever been involved in a dedication ceremony?  What makes such a ceremony meaningful?
  8. Do the instruments and formality seen in the worship in Nehemiah 12 indicate anything about how God’s people should worship Him even today?
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