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R1676 The Gracious Hand of God

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2022 8:00 am

R1676 The Gracious Hand of God

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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April 1, 2022 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton and today's message, The Gracious Hand of God. We're headed to the book of Nehemiah, chapter 2, beginning in verse 8, in just a moment with Dr. Don Wilton, well-known author, evangelist, pastor, seminary professor, and today I would encourage you to allow him to be your pastor as we open God's word and discover the gracious hand of God. Know that we're open to pray with you anytime on our prayer line at 866-899-WORD, that's 866-899-9673, also the place to order great free resources like the Daily Encouraging Word Bible Guide from Dr. Don. You can get it in a quarterly form or even sign up for it on our website to get it email-a-phonically.

That's online at www.tewonline.org. Now, let's open God's word to Nehemiah, chapter 2, with Dr. Don Wilton. I want to share with you today a message entitled, The Gracious Hand of God, simple as that. In this series, clarity, and I'm going to ask that the Lord Jesus would give you individually real clarity on the greatest, perhaps, request outside of asking the Lord Jesus to forgive us. Lord, I want your hand to be on me.

Abide with me. I want you to abide with me, to be in me, in life and in death. We're going to be in Nehemiah, chapter 2, and I'm going to read to you perhaps the shortest verse you've ever heard me read, much to some of your great relief. We're going to be in chapter 2 and the last part of verse 8. I just want to read to you one statement at the end of verse 8. This is what the Bible says, and the King granted me what I asked, and the good hand of my God was on me. Just to the word good in the text, in the Hebrew text, is the word gracious.

The graciousness of God is in fact his infinite goodness. Now bear this in mind that God using godly people and godly counsel began to speak to the heart of this Jewish man who himself was in exile. He was away from his people. He wasn't even there, and God begins to put a burden in his heart. And it is a very big undertaking.

In fact, if one really thinks about it, one can only conclude that from a human point of view, it was highly impossible in many ways. You mean this man was in Persia and he's talking about Jerusalem, which is a long way from Persia in those days, and everything about it. And God's telling him, you need to get all the people together who fear me and who know me and who honor me in one place, and you need to rebuild the city. You need to reestablish the temple of worship. You need to put in place the foundation of a God people so that their sons and daughters are going to be able to grow up strong.

They're going to be able to shout forth and share forth and hold high the name of God, Jehovah. Well, Lord, what are you giving me as my starting point? Well, first of all, he had no resources. Nehemiah was just a cupbearer to the king. He had no resources.

And I think probably that's very literal. I think in his case, if you went to him and said to him, hey, brother, you know, in order to do what you're suggesting we do, we're going to need the following. I think he could have honestly said, I'm sorry, I don't have any of that. I don't have a brick mason, stone mason. I don't have wheels. I don't have trees to cut down.

I don't own a forest. I don't have finances. I don't have the people. He had no resources.

He had no people. Can you imagine embarking on a project for a nation and there are no people to do it with? People are the greatest resource in the world. You get the right people on the right bus with the right motivation, going in the right direction with the right driver and the right framework, you can travel anywhere.

And he's talking about a nation here. He had no influence. By the way, influence is a very precious thing. And you earn influence. You earn influence.

It's not a pronouncement. You could have the most money and sit in the highest seat. You can command the entire fleet. But if you don't have influence, you will never accomplish what actually needs to be done. You will have an adherence, but you will never harness an allegiance. You can be like that as a father, as close as you are to your sons and your daughters. We all know that. If you don't have godly earned influence with your sons and daughters.

Yes, they will obey you because you're dead, but they will not obey you with the love that accompanies their obedience. Well, Nehemiah didn't even have these people around him. He'd lived in this foreign land, this strange company, and he was just a cup bearer. He had no influence.

He had no protection. It's hard to avoid chapter three and chapter four. Next week, I'm going to address this. I'm going to speak to this. Because what God was telling them to do was set in the context of this outside world that was militantly opposed to everything about God.

Hello. And Nehemiah, God was speaking to him about what God required of God's people. And in the middle of all of that, there was no protection. They were an open target to what? To this outside world, this pagan world. And the Bible calls them enemies. Enemies, they were enemies of the gospel. Excuse me, to what point is the devil an enemy of God? He's not just a bad person or a periodic whisper of influence. He opposes God. He is, watch me, anti-Christ.

Speak about that next week. By the way, here's this man. May I just say this, and I'm not putting words into, he's got this incredible vision and godly people are talking and they know, and he's going before the king and he's praying, he's doing it all right, but he actually had no prospect of being able to do anything about it.

That's a nice, how do you do? You know, most Christians want to know exactly how something's going to work before they do it. God tells us no Christian ought to ever know exactly, because if you do, you evidently have no need to ask God for his gracious hand. If you can do it yourself, why bother to ask God? So the gracious hand of God, Lord, I want this, I know so many of us want this today. So what exactly did God want Nehemiah to do? Could we just put that on the table together? What exactly was God asking Nehemiah to do?

Here it is. Number one, he wanted him to travel a long distance. I keep saying this and I know you'll pardon me for it. Persia to Jerusalem could go to Baghdad to Jerusalem. Iran, Iraq, the Persian region to Jerusalem for us, hop on a plane and we're there. Not for Nehemiah. And by the way, he didn't even have the means to do it. God wanted him to travel a long distance. Number two, God wanted him to rally a desperate people. His God wanted this man, these people to rally a desperate people, because he had a beautiful plan for them. Number three, he wanted Nehemiah to cast a huge vision. This is like one of these what visions.

How about this one? I'll deal with this a little bit next week. What did God want Nehemiah to do?

God wanted Nehemiah to deal with ungodly opposition. Forgive the interruption, we'll be back with the rest of today's message with Dr. Don in just a moment. Don't go away, but he wants me to remind you we're here for you. Connecting 24 hours a day at 866-899-WORD. That phone number is available 24 hours a day to talk and pray. Connect with great resources as well. 866-899-9673 and online as well at www.tewonline.org. While you're there, you'll find great resources like this. Spread God's encouraging word to your friends, family and community with the classic book set from Dr. Don Wilton. See you at the finish line when God prayed.

Don't go away, but he wants me to remind you we're here for you. Remember, you can hear today's broadcast, see some of the video versions of today's teaching as well, all on that website as well, absolutely free. It's www.tewonline.org. While you're there, be sure and sign up for the free daily encouraging word email from Dr. Wilton as well. Again, that's www.tewonline.org.

Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. How about this one? I'll deal with this a little bit next week. What did God want Nehemiah to do? God wanted Nehemiah to deal with ungodly opposition. It wasn't about a better way of doing something.

It wasn't about agreeing to disagree on an issue. This is ungodly. This is opposing God's work. What did he want him to do? He wanted him to build an impossible wall.

Again, with due respect to the magnificence of our generation, building a wall around an entire quote unquote city as small as it might be, can you imagine the enormity of that, the impossibility of that? Do you know how they built walls in those days? People carried one stone and one rock at a time.

He wanted Nehemiah to encourage a God-fearing people. One can only imagine the discouragement among the Israelites. They were scattered everywhere. They'd been beaten up. They'd been thrown around. They'd been maligned and belittled. They were living in strange lands, eating strange food, being barred from this and being criticized for that.

They were seriously badly treated people. And God comes to Nehemiah and says, I want you to encourage a God-fearing people. Ultimately, what he wanted Nehemiah to do was to just do what God was telling him to do. So what did God's gracious hand provide Nehemiah? So when you get down to chapter 8 and the last part, and the king granted me what I asked for the good hand of my God, the good hand of my God was on me. What did God's gracious hand provide?

I'm going to list some things here. Number one, God's favor. That's a beautiful statement. I want, don't you want God to be on our side? Because if God be for us, who can be against us? God's gracious hand is God's favor. That's what I want for my grandsons, for my granddaughters. I want God's favor on them. I know if God's hand is on my grandkids, they got, please allow me just to be grandpa for a minute. They got the stuff, man. I mean, they, wow.

I want that on them when they go to school, when they play, when the ball fields, when they're growing up, when they go through puberty and everything screaming at the same time. I want God's favor. That's what God did for Nehemiah. Considering the enormity of all of this, God just gave him favor. God's hand provided God's timing, God's timing. Timing is very important. But when, when do you carry out God's plan, his vision? When, when do you move?

You've got this organization, this job talking to you. When, what's God's timing? When some of you are thinking about retirement, when do you do that? When is God's gracious hand? God's timing is perfect. Some of you young couples want to start a family and you're saying, is this the time to start a family? God's timing is so perfect. And you know, you look back in the rear view mirror and you confirm that.

You've fallen in love with that other person and you know you want to marry, but you're not quite sure exactly when you should marry. God's, he loves you, man. Ask for God's hand. And out of that will not only come God's favor, but God's perfect time.

And you'll see that word many times here. Number three, God's provisions. So we already discovered that with Nehemiah, he didn't have very much in the way of provisions. He didn't have the resources, he didn't have the people.

How about this as a resource? He didn't have the authority. He didn't have the authority to march into Jerusalem and say, this is what we're going to do. Where'd all this come from? He was just cupbearer to the king.

He wasn't sitting in the captain's chair. So God, his gracious hand, give you everything you need. Number four, God's covenant accompanies his hand. I love that because we've read about that in chapter one, haven't we?

In chapter two. You remember in the prayer that Nehemiah prayed right at the beginning where he didn't know what to do. And he remembered God's covenant. God's the God of covenant. His gracious hand on Nehemiah brought to bear all the ingredients of his covenant with his people. Remember? Remember what he said to Abraham?

I want you to get up and go to this land. I'm not going to tell you now, that's future tense. There's faith right there. Just trust me. You don't need to know. I'll show it to you.

Just start doing it. Abraham never sat down and said, well now excuse me Lord, before I start packing my bags, I need to know exactly, and I want to know if there's a rest stop between here and Beersheba. Because you know my wife, when she got to go, she got to go.

I'm not taking her out of this house. You know, I think God said just get up and go and you'll be amazed what rest stops I'll provide for you. Because I know. I know the circumstances.

I know what you need. I made you and I love you. God's covenant. Then he said, I love this part of the covenant. He said, I'll bless those that bless you and I'll curse those that curse you.

I'll put a hedge of protection. What comes with these covenant? Everything. What does God's gracious hand bring? God's abilities. God's abilities.

Well, what do we put into that bag? God's ability to think. God's ability to know. God's ability to act.

God's ability to provide. And then number six, and I hope it comes up on the screen because I've never put down a point like this. Et cetera.

That's my sixth point. E-T-C. That's a secret word. Do you know what it means? It's just what you and I always tell everybody when we don't have enough time to tell them what we know we need to tell them. Et cetera. So, you and I know very well, considering the wonderful God we serve. Et cetera. What comes with the gracious hand of God? Do you know that everything that God is, is made available to all of those who love him?

That's your et cetera. So, let's bring this together. Let's personalize this. I've asked, Lord, please give me clarity with this. Lord, how can I ask God for his gracious hand? How can we do that? How can we do that as a church moving forward?

I've just put down four very simple suggestions to you. How do you ask God for his gracious hand? Number one, be very humble, be very humble. I detect in Nehemiah a humility. He's just so humble. I'm just telling you folks, I sat with Dr. Billy Graham. He was a member of this church.

I sat with him for 25 years and wrote that book that's all over the place called Saturdays with Billy. When I think of Billy Graham, I think of the face of God's grace. Not because he was perfect, but because I knew him very personally. This great man accomplished great things, was loved by so many people and millions of people came to know Jesus. But he was so humble. And God's gracious hand was, you cannot explain it.

It was the gracious hand of God. Be very humble. Number two, be very prayerful. We're praying for 52 days as a church. Be very prayerful. If you and I are not humble and prayerful before God, we cannot expect his hand of grace. Number three, be very focused.

You want God's hand of grace? Be very focused. Don't get pulled off track. Every time God wants you to do something, this world out here, this anti-world, this anti-Christ will start trying to pull you off track.

He'll get a hold of you. Be focused. You want the hand of God's grace? Be focused. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Don't turn to your men as a platoon leader and say, we're going to take that hill, but I just want you to know on the left flank, the chances are all of you are going to lose your lives and that's going to just be a lost cause over there. Be very focused. You know you need God's hand of grace. And one more, be very determined.

That's the final thought God gave me. Just be very determined. That little word determination there is not a self-determination. It's because you know God has spoken and you know God is giving you this burden and you know that he's laying before you and you are affirming everything about him and you've called upon his name and you are humble and prayerful and you are focused. Carry yourself with a spiritual commitment. It's a spiritual determination.

It's a spiritual strength. Every day, go back to the Lord and say, Lord, I know in whom I have believed. And God will allow you.

He will allow the church. He will allow sons and daughters to accomplish things far greater than you and I could possibly imagine because he's God. God is far greater than any of us combined and then a million times over. And God loves you.

This is the God we serve and he came to this world, gave his life for us so that we in him might be able. Abide with me, we sang, in life and in death with God for me who can be against me because I, God said, will never leave you. I'll never forsake you.

Would you just bow your heads with me for a moment? As many in our worship center are bowing to pray, I pray that you would pause where you are in your moment of the day and think about not only what you've heard from Dr. Wilton and his teaching from Nehemiah, but as he's been talking about the gracious hand of God, it's our prayer you heard the voice of God, reminding you through his word that he loves you, he has a plan for your life, and no matter what you have done to perhaps derail that plan, there is a way back and a way home. If you'd like to give your life to Jesus Christ, you can repeat this prayer right after me or just say me too, God, as we share this time together. Lord God, I know sin has separated me from my life. So God, I turn my back on my sin and I follow you.

Jesus, I believe you are the son of God, that you died on that cross and rose from the grave to conquer death. And so Jesus, help me now to follow you, to make you the Lord of my life, the CEO of my life. I give my life to you. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. If you have just prayed along with me, if perhaps maybe the Lord has just stirred your heart, Dr. Don reminds us it's not the words that save you, but if you are ready to say yes to Jesus Christ, now is the time to allow us to walk you through the next steps. Let us grow with you, pray with you, rejoice with you. Dr. Don would love to pray for you. If you'll call and let us know about your decision, 866-899-WORD is the phone number. Jot this down, store it in your cell. We're available 24 hours a day at 866-899-9673 and on our website at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. 24 hours a day, we're here to encourage you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-13 09:52:56 / 2023-05-13 10:02:19 / 9

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