DAILY DISCIPLINE #87
By Colleen Donahue
The Israelites, the people of our study in the book of Nehemiah, were a people that had rejected God. As a result, God had given them up to their own ways, and they were conquered. But always amidst the apostasy, there was a remnant that had remained faithful to God, and in time God used them to revive a sleeping people that now lived about 800 miles away from home.
Initially, there was a turning toward God because of misery and pain. They needed help and God in His mercy arranged for them to go home to Jerusalem and start over by softening the hearts of the foreign kings that ruled them. Leaders were raised up for this time - one of which was Nehemiah, the man we have been studying.
We continue our story of Nehemiah this month with him promoted to the governorship. He had been successful as a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes and then as the master builder for the wall around Jerusalem. The people had grown to love and trust this man as he worked with them. He not only helped complete the task of rebuilding but kept the opposition from stopping them altogether.
The significance of our story goes beyond the study of one man and the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem. It was really the rebuilding of a nation which was made up of individual hearts that needed revival. The truths in this book reach down into our own lives when we consider the times we have rejected God and our spiritual walls lay around us abused, ignored, and in ruins.
Your own life may seem ruined and in disrepair. For a Christian, this is displayed by little time with God, prayerlessness, lack of discipline, depression, laziness, procrastination, moral compromise, and rebellion. What can be done to rebuild these walls? May God give us answers as we look to....
NEHEMIAH --Part 2- REBULDING THE WALLS
Day 1- As governor, Nehemiah did not want to abuse his privileges amongst a struggling people. What privileges did he wisely forego?
Nehemiah 5:14, 16-17
How did he operate differently from former governors?
Nehemiah 5:15, 18
Day 2- As we saw from our study last month, opposition to rebuilding the walls came right from the beginning. Now, with the project nearing the end, it only seemed to intensify as their enemies used intimidation, rumor, slander, and fear tactics to put a stop to the rebuilding.
Note: Vs.6-7 express "THE RUMOR". A rumor always has a few key ingredients. It comes from a wrong motivation, it's source is unknown, it is highly explosive, and it results in personal hurt.
Day 3- If you are rebuilding your walls YOU MUST EXPECT opposition. Satan hates that any man or woman should turn back to God once he's gotten them away. It may come in a subtle or an intense form but it will come!
I Peter 4:12-16
Day 4- God is not the cause of any opposition towards us but He does allow it to come. Why? Doesn't He want us to succeed?
Proverbs 3:11-12/ 2 Corinthians 1:8-9/ James 1:2-4/ I Peter 1:6-7/ Revelations 3:19
Day 5- Recognize the source of all opposition.
Ephesians 6:12 / I Peter 5:8
Day 6- Know first that God has already triumphed on our behalf.
Nehemiah 2:20 / Isaiah 41:10 / Romans 8:35-37 / 2 Corinthians 1:10 / 2 Timothy 1:12 / Hebrews 13:6 / I John 5:4
Day 7- Commit your way to God and tell Him about everything in prayer all the time.
Nehemiah 1:4 / 2:4 / 4:4,5,9 / 6:8-9 / Psalm 31:5/ Luke 18:1/ James 5:13
Day 8- Be strong, steadfast, courageous and discerning so that you can meet opposition head on and with practicality.
Nehemiah 4:9,16-23/ 6:8-9 / Isaiah 40:31/ 41:10
Day 9- When we triumph over opposition our "walls" are rebuilt and the enemy is demoralized.
The desire to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem was the start of revival in the wayward nation. It was their beginning in getting back to God and getting right with Him. In its simplest form revival is the reviving of the dead areas in our lives by the "Reviver" Himself. "Revival is not so much a vertical outpouring from heaven, for the Reviver is already here in His temple, the bodies of the redeemed; it is more a horizontal out moving of the Reviver through these temples into the world". (Quote by Norman Grubb)
Day 10- THE DESIRE TO REBUILD the walls was only the FIRST STEP but an important one. It showed their serious commitment to God and God in turn began giving them light from His Word.
Day 11- So, with us... as we begin reading our Bibles, and hearing God's Word through others and through the Holy Spirit alive within us, our faith grows and is strengthened so that we can obey the light we are receiving from God.
Matthew 13:23 / Romans 10:17
Day 12- When our hearts are moved by God's Word, then there will be practical obedience to accompany it.
Day 13- Continuous revival in our own lives means that in this present moment we WALK STEP BY STEP with Jesus obeying the light that He gives us today.
Matthew 7:24/ John 14:23 / James 2:17
Day 14- The past is past, and the future isn't here. We only have TODAY to walk with God.
Hebrews 3:7-8,15 / 4:7
Day 15- Obeying God is not drudgery. It results in great joy.
Nehemiah 8:17/ Psalm 126:5/ Jeremiah 15:16/ Hebrews 12:2
Day 16- Ultimately, as we walk with God and in His light, He will show us our specific sins leading us to CONFESSION...
Nehemiah 9:1-3/ Proverbs 28:13/ I John 1:5-10
Joel 2:12-13/ Luke 13:3/ Acts 3:19
Day 17- Read through the prayer carefully in Chapter 9 of Nehemiah. After adoration to God there is a very specific list of all that God had done and was doing vs. all that "they" had done (ie.their sins). It will be most graphic for you if you list this on paper. Then get before God and write your own list.
Day 18- No matter how bad we are, or how long our list of sins is, there is mercy at the feet of Christ if our repentance is genuine. Here are some other examples of personal confession and repentance in scripture.
2 Samuel 12:13/24:10/ Psalm 51:1-12/ Luke 5:8/ 15:18-21
Day 19- Real Repentance always leads to real reform. It changes us first as individuals and that leads to social reform. Notice how the repentance of these Jews resulted in very specific, practical actions.
Day 20- Their walls were finally rebuilt-- both around Jerusalem-- and the spiritual walls of their lives. Their joy and exhilaration could not be contained!
Day 21- "FULLNESS OF JOY is to characterize our daily walk. Or as David said in Psalm 23:5 'My cup runneth over,' not only full but running over!... we are to recognize that "cups running over" is the NORMAL daily experience of the believer walking with Jesus, not the abnormal or occasional, but the normal, continuous experience." Norman Grubb (Continuous Revival; CLC, 1971 p.19)
John 15:11/ Romans 14:17/ I Peter 1:8
Day 22- THE CONFESSION or Testimony that the Jewish people made to each other at this great festival was further proof of their heart commitment toward God. The costly part of our faith is not the heart believing toward God, but our confession of this before men. When other men hear what the Lord has done for us, they too are encouraged to get right with God and their fellow men.
John 4:25-26 ,28-30, 39-42/ Acts 19:18-20/ 2 Corinthians 4:13 / I John 1:1-4
WHAT STOPS REVIVAL?
Day 23- When the abundant joy and the inner witness are gone there is only one reason --SIN. It might be something you know about, but often it is behavior that has crept in unaware. The result is separation from God.
Isaiah 59:2/ Hosea 5:6
Day 24- We don't look within ourselves as we are prone to do. We must look to God who is LIGHT. It is God who reveals anything that is dark within us when our eyes are fixed on HIM.
I John 1:5-7/ John 8:12/ Ephesians 5:14
Day 25- Nehemiah had gone back to Babylon as he had promised King Artaxerxes. He remained there some time before asking permission to return to Jerusalem. What did he find when he got to Jerusalem?
The effects of revival will be short-lived once disobedience, compromise, and sin return.
Day 26- Now read through these verses in Chapter 13 and notice the drastic action that Nehemiah took against the sins being committed by the nation.
Day 27- There is another thing needed to keep revival continuous amongst a people and that is DAILY MUTUAL EXHORTATION- (not only exhortation from a leader or preacher). The reason for exhortation is to keep each other with "cups running over" lest we fall into the deceitfulness of sin.
NOTE: If the Israelites would have done this and "been their brother's keeper", they would not have fallen back into sin.
Day 28- Our churches are not to be places where we are preached at but where each of us is able to contribute with that Lord is saying and doing in our lives. Thus the Holy Spirit is allowed to have leadership and not just one man or woman.
Day 29- What effects will mutual exhortation have within a group of people?
Acts 15:32/ I Thessalonians 5:12-22/ 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15/ 2 Timothy 4:2/ Titus 2:15-3:1-2
Day 30- Nehemiah's drastic dealing with sin seems fanatic in today's lukewarm and compromising society. But if we, as individuals are to stay in fellowship with God we must call sin - SIN. It is not just a little worry, or a white lie, or a bit of indulgence. It is SIN and therefore demands that we turn in the opposite direction and walk completely away from it. This is called REPENTANCE.
Isaiah 1:16/ 55:7 / Ephesians 4:22/ Hebrews 12:1/ I Peter 2:11
Day 31- Our walking in the light will keep our life with God clear and clean and joyful. Not only will our life be in constant revival but others will want to walk with God as well.
Isaiah 60:3/ Matthew 5:14/ Acts 13:47/ Philippians 2:15
May God keep us in continual revival with Himself!
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