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October 15, 2021 4:00 am
The not uncommon for pastors lead to be met with opposition or apathy and disgruntled people can make for a disheartened pastor.
So, how should he approaches God given task in the face of discouragement today on Truth for Life.
Alister Greg examines Nehemiah's outlines how to do God's work, God Nehemiah and I sent 17. You see, the trouble wearing positive from these very generous is he giving them the benefit of the is there an irony in this. You see, the trouble wearing. Chances are, they didn't see the trouble you find matters if you live en masse you see is a mess and these people to be living like this for so long accustomed to it on the wall was broken down opposite their house like the shape and did get on the grass and gone into some of the spaces there were only weeds that are grown up and although they were weeds they were kind of attractive and in the morning they get up on the lookout and it was nice. I know now comes in is to see the mesh of the matter is a lot of them didn't see the mess they had grown accustomed to disgrace. Now, we don't understand the challenge facing now my something really significant, overcome their apathy and we come to people who have become tired, discouraged disgruntled in the work then will hear them saying all kinds of things, especially when we come along, maybe to a new opportunity to a new charge we come with fresh vision would be into a conference something or start our heart we come back and were ready to go and will be confirmed by people, just as now, my was some of whom were doubtless thinking as where they while you know what this is out of our league.
You know, I don't know where you got these big ideas you must've got these ideas in the meat in the capital of Medo Persia are you coming back to Jerusalem.
You want to try and fill our heads full of all that Medo Persian stuff. After all, their pagans utilize one of the hardest things for me to deal with is to be surrounded by a group of leaders who don't lead, don't take time to relax. Don't take time to discover the motivating principles of God's word don't take time for the examination and are unprepared to respond to exhortation so we need to be much in prayer and to pray that God will create that spirit because so many people and and then others would be saying you know this was done before and it was done before. That's what we find out in Ezra chapter 48 some guy says scares me. We did this once before was a disaster. Never ever come across one of those kind and also the people say no is excited about this. This is out of our league. We tried before then working knowns excited about this year get those letters I dear fast I want to write to you to let you know that I'm deeply concerned about ABCD and so on, all the way through the alphabet and it may interest you to know that I am not alone in this and there are a great number of people who feel the same way as I do yellow fine.
Stand up and let me see, and you see what is the only thing that keeps you going in that situation.
The only thing that keeps you going in that situation is that God is put it in your heart to do anything. There's not a salary can be paid is not a coastline to be enjoyed theirs. There is no external incentive that anybody can give me that is significant enough to overcome that the only thing that keeps one to the task is that God has put it in our hearts to do. And when we find ourselves full of vision, full of hope, full of potential and are met by we tried before didn't work knowns excited is beyond us got a hold fast.
You gotta tie yourself to the max, write it out to keep your foot in the door if God had put in his heart to do that was sufficient right there to head back to Susa. The interesting thing is how does he respond while he responds with information verse 18. In other words he doesn't respond with cheerleaders. He doesn't go out and and get into that sort of the height and we can do it we can do it you know is if you know, I know you're a little discouraged but let me tell you know.
He says well let me let me just give you some information here. You see, the trouble were in verse 18. I also told about the gracious hand of my God upon me, and what the king had said to me now both of these elements where and are essential if we could appeal is a you know I just simply want to tell you about the hand of God upon municipal what does that actually mean you know how are you going to give any kind of earth to this subjective set of existential experience to what you're repairing me now can we quantify this. How can we know so he doesn't simply talk to them as it were in these spiritual hidden terms but he illustrates the sense of God's hand upon him by giving this description of what we just read in the first part of the chapter. I was very much a print afraid. I had been praying I mean, asking God just exactly what I ought to do. I been hoping for an opportunity there listening and what happened while I went into my boss just like a normal day my boss on this occasion, as you know, you look so sad you not say the people of the CC what did you say that while I said you know why shouldn't I be sad after all my people are in disgrace.
The walls are broken down. You sent that to the guy what did he say when he said how long you want to be gone for you, me, like you, want you to go back. Yes, it's always a significant thing incident. Some of us are afraid to ask for a sabbatical case at last for the rest of our life's if it doesn't like it, and as a result of the information he provided concerning actual historical events. He recognized in rear end and affirm for these people that God had moved in the heart of the king. The king had given his blessing to it all. He even helped out in the most practical of ways. He was able to describe all of this and as a result of the accounting of these events he inspired confidence in the people and they replied in this in the second half of verse 18 led start re-building there. You got it you see how you are vision. How does year of the vision while he gives the word of exhortation, even in the midst of the challenges which will inevitably come. And when the people begin to ask him what's going on. He responds by giving them actual factual information why we going to do this because God's word says that we ought to. Why are we establishing this kind of ministry or this kind of outreach because it is within the parameters and principles of God's word. Why do you believe that it would be successful right at this time because of a and B and C and D you see were ready with the information as a result of having done the reconnaissance and as a result of having waited for hundred 20 days on God in prayer before ever we launched into any first brings us to the six word which is application was going to have to be careful apportioning of tasks and responsibilities that comes later in the story, but for now, their interaction, plenty of rubble to clear and so they get into the fray see when leadership plans this kind of vision at the grassroots level. The change will become obvious.
I think if the vision is God-given and is humbly presented than God who implanted in the hearts of people and they will respond.
Let us start rebuild is not all were delighted to hear that go on now Maia get it going. No immediately. The personalized said this is a nice suddenly our existence here makes sense. Suddenly all this rubble is a challenge for us. Suddenly, as we been listening to you talk now. Maia understand that the real issue is not the gates in the walls. The real issue is God and his glory and we mean settling down to this. We haven't been lifting up our eyes and looking on the field we been concerned about the food that we eat for now.
What restaurant are you going to Jesus's food to eat that you don't do anything about them looking at one another going on all concern on our goals lunch. Now we come back with a lunch he doesn't want to lunch now he's got food even looked at one another as it could somebody abroad in foot. The woman didn't understand about the water and they didn't understand about the food in our churches. So many others are preoccupied with that which is now and earthly and transient and not about the things which are unseen which are of course eternal in their significance.
Let us start rebuilding and so they began this good work. One of the turning points are some of you have lived long enough will know in the morale of the British population in the height of the second world war was when Winston Churchill delivered a speech from his basement operation's headquarters down underneath the ground and in terms of motivation and encouraging people to application. It is, stood the test of time is a wonderful illustration I can't read it and do it justice, but I want to read part of it at least. Incidentally, Winston Churchill is a wonderful illustration of public speaking is a not here is a guy who had to natural impediments, one a lift and to us stammer and he became the greatest orator in the English-speaking world in the 20th century.
He turned them both into successes.
People used to copy them and they didn't realize that that was actually what was going on. They thought it was a style should be in around now do some marketing but anyway is what he said I have nothing to offer but blood, toil two years and sweat.
What is our aim. I can answer in one word victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however hard and long the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. We shall not flag or fail. We will go on to the end.
We will fight in France.
We will fight in seas and oceans.
We will fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. And even if which I do not for a moment believe this island are a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet would carry on the struggle until in God's good time.
The new world with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of the old and beaten, bloodied, battered London began just to sit up in the clade site of Glasgow destroyed by German bongs began to produce men and women with a spring in their step and folks who had not been able to enlist by virtue of their physical impairments began in significant numbers to identify themselves with the home front, people who had a job in the city during the day and I and no uniform in the evening and they would go out and they would stand at various points with all rigmarole of implements of destruction, most of which could have done nothing to stave off a significant attack.
Where did that come from it came from visionary leadership. They didn't have a musket to their defense will goods. Some of us are berating our congregations all I don't know why nobody's volunteering. I don't know why no one is initiating ministry. I don't know why this isn't happening and that's not let's take a good look at ourselves, let's take a listen to some of our sermons.
Let's consider our reaction and outcome direction.
Let's consider ourselves, let's start first with you want revival doing Gypsy Smith said but a circle of chalk on the ground stand inside it and ask God to revive everything inside the circle.
If our churches will be stored and moved under God, we are crucial, not because of who we are, but because of what God has determined is a pattern of leadership 73. Despite all of that there was opposition, and there always will be. They came around. What you think you're doing you got to be kidding, sarcasm, mocking, ridicule, discouragement, are you rebelling against the king. How have you must've been to build a reach into his pocket and bring out the letters of approval from the king. Some of us here today will be undergoing great opposition.
It is a real struggle incident in pastoral ministry is difficult to know what to do. I think I find myself retreating again and again to the verse that I mentioned in the first session.
Two Timothy 45 what should we do number one keep your head, but to endure hardship. Whoever said it was going to be fun funds a bonus, we anticipate fun, but is not always fun tell the guys are my pastoral team. Hey, this is fun is say well it's disastrous. I said I know is disastrous but is kind of fun disasters is not so I don't know about that. Well I see you have delightful days you have disastrous days. We are dull days dollars inside you is dollars because your doll your marriage is doll because your doll is hard to face stream so he affirms it as the last word affirmation there were eight of them. Verse 20 I answer them by saying the God of heaven will give us success. Some hundred and 21 I to the hills will lift mine eyes from whence.com my need.
This is the magical Psalms now, my safety cometh from the Lord who heaven and earth hath made a name I what you think you're doing to think you're a big shot. No how you think you're going to do this God will do it God of the oil do it through lies, but God will do the God of heaven will give us success God's work done in God's way, said Hudson Taylor will never lack God supply and he says, by the way, you can clear off because you don't have any part in this historic city.
This is our place. You've no legal authority here. You've no right over it. You have no claim to it, but our God will give us success and we will go on. Can I see this final question. Let's ask ourselves this question. What are we trusting God to do that is so incredible that it cannot be achieved apart from his divine enabling. Is it right first thing in those terms, I think so. The disciples come to Jesus and they say Jesus. I think it's time to send this card awaited been here for an awful long time. The shops are closed. There's nowhere to get food were going to have a disaster on our hands. Please send them home. Jesus is one of you give them something to eat. Sorry. Yeah, we don't have anything. The only thing we mailed the Russell other some kids some weekend this year and he's easier, Philo's and cuttlefish. But what are these are among so many you can possibly feed 5000 men plus the women and the children with five loaves and a couple of sardines. Can you because you know the story and you know the way it is taught in Sunday school right application for the teacher. Wouldn't you like to be a little boy like this who gave his lunch to Jesus. When you like to be significant. The way he was significant when you like to save the day for Jesus. There was Jesus with all those people and all hungry and nothing the chest when he was at an extremity and Kim that we boy and save the day. The miracle of course is not that the rebuy would offer his lunch. The medical is that Jesus would use the replace lunch. The medical is not that now my we go 900 miles to the tax. The miracle is that God would use. Now my in the task. The miracle is not that we give ourselves up in service to a great cause and to serve under a great King and commander the recall is that we have been given any part in the unfolding plan of God. He who could create ask Nilo all kinds of lunch Dane's to use five poultry sandwiches and a couple of fish and he who rules over all games to look on the likes of you and me and say I'm going to give you a part. What a great ministry. What a great privilege. May the Lord lift up our eyes, our gaze establish a vision or was it Wesley said, give me 100 men who hate nothing but sin and love God with all their hearts, and I will shake England for Jesus Christ. What are we trusting God to do that is so incredible that it can only ever be achieved as a result of his divine intervention?
Should make all of us stop and think and pray for life. Greg will return in just a moment to close for our message today reminds us that God works through us and he alone gives success.
To that end, our passion the Truth for Life is to teach the Bible, we know that God uses his word to do his work.
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Now we bless you again for your word.
I pray that you would take out of all of these words of mine that which is all of yourself and all of us because with peers here today know the great danger of imagining that we are living at a level that were not living at and as a result of our imaginings. They when we then preach at the level of our imaginings and we made people think they were actually doing stuff were not doing and so bring displayed on ourselves and discourage others bring us back to basics. We pray we want to commit ourselves to being men and women of your truth want to give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of less is now in give his grateful hearts for all that we share in Jesus name we pray, about the pain. Enjoy your weekend time spent with your local church. Join us again Monday when Alister explains how the fear of failure affects not only leaders but also those who follow Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is for