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Fight for Your Family

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2018 3:32 pm

Fight for Your Family

The Verdict / John Munro

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July 30, 2018 3:32 pm

Pastor Rodney Navey July 29, 2018 Nehemiah 4:6-14

The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Encouraging Prayer
James Banks
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore

I imagine every parent and grandparent in this room would say I would give my life for my kids. Admittedly, somewhere in that ages 12 to 17 they might waffle a little bit, but overall and seriously we would we would give our lives.

God puts that kind of love in our hearts for our families and this morning on the video clip like this one can involve some emotion. I want it to this morning.

Emotion is not all bad.

It can be used for bad and they can control was, but God gave us emotions and there should be some emotion as we think about our families this morning. Nehemiah led a group of his people from exile into Babylon back to the homeland Jerusalem. He laughed a life of comfort in the king's palace to take on a task that was bigger than himself to rebuild the walls that had been destroyed in the destruction of Jerusalem 70+ years earlier. The work was difficult and the obstacles were many. Nehemiah knew the walls that were important to the life of the nation and before we get into our primary text and Nehemiah 4 ask you to start reading with me a in Nehemiah chapter 1 in verse three as Nehemiah was getting a report in Babylon about what was happening in Jerusalem. This was the report in verse three. They said to me, the remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are destroyed by fire. Much of been done in previous returns to Jerusalem. The temple was being built many good things were happening, but the city itself and the people were very vulnerable as the walls had not been rebuilt. It was so important to Nehemiah to the people of Israel that it had physically affected him, he had moved into an emotional state of being very troubled by what was happening among his people in his homeland look all over. In chapter 2 in verse two and the king said to me, why is your face sad this this cup bearer. This one who had been important to the King King Artaxerxes. He said wiser face sad seeing you're not sick. This is nothing but sadness of the heart. Then I was very much afraid.

I said to the king, let the king live forever.

Why should not my face be sad when the city, the place of my father's graves lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire in the king said to me, what are you requesting so I prayed to the God of heaven. What a quick prayer that had to be.

And I said to the king, if it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight that you send me to Judah to the city of my father's graves that I may read the old yet. The enemies around the Israelites didn't want them to succeed.

They were they were glad that the nation had been destroyed and they had seen the good work that had begun their and they definitely didn't want to see these walls built up because they knew what that would mean for the people of Israel and so many obstacles were confronting neo-mind as he began this good work. Sometimes you think will when you begin to do the work of God that everything is going to go smoothly. If you step out in obedience. It will all become easy, but for Nehemiah the work really became more difficult.

Once he stepped out there were many who opposed him who did not want to see the nation of Israel who will even as you move into chapter 4 verse one you're seeing some of the responses as they had begun the work.

No one send balance her that we were building the wall. He was angry and greatly enraged and jeered at the Jews and he said in the presence of his brothers in the Army of Samaria where these feeble Jews doing well, they restore it for themselves. What a sacrifice with a finish up the day with a revived the stones of the heaps of rubbish and burn one's at that to buy the Ammonite was beside him and he said and he said yes what they are building.

If a fox goes opponent. He will break down their stone wall.

Nehemiah was facing much opposition only just to get to Jerusalem, but then to get the work done on it was.

Not easy. There was an enemy that was facing them, but rather than running. He stood up and he started encouraging the people. This is where we start moving toward our our text this morning. Look with me in verse six of Nehemiah chapter 4 so we built the wall and all the wall was joined together to half its height. In other words, they were about halfway finished at this point for the people had a mind to work. God was doing something much bigger than them much bigger than their enemies could've ever anticipated. But when some balance to buy and the Arabs in the ammonites and asked that I heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches will be getting to be closed. They were very angry and they all plodded together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion in it and we prayed to our God and set a guard alike that we prayed to our guard, our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night in June.

It was said the strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There's too much trouble by ourselves. We will not be able to rebuild the wall to see the opposition on the outside, and even all the inside. People began to doubt can we really do this.

Is this possible. Doesn't look like were going to be able to complete this task. Verse 11 in our enemy said they will not know or see to we come among them and kill them and stop the work at that time the Jews who live near them came from all directions and said to us 10 times you must return to us.

So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall in open places I station the people by their clans with their swords and spears, and their bows and Outlook arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, and this is it. This is our our our focal passage for this morning. Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons or daughters or wives in your homes. Why were these walls needed. What was so important about them. I think for us to begin to understand. We should note that there are different levels of protection for the Israelites, just as there are different levels of protection in your home there surely is that time when we walked the doors because we protect our family. There are times that we hold the child's hand because we are we are getting ready to cross the road there is that physical protection that if there's any danger we would step in front of that danger. To protect those that we love them so that first level of protection is the physical doubt, the Israelites were in harm's way.

The threat of violence in the salt existed just as it does today the context of Nehemiah is that physical threat. But the threat had implications for the other levels of protection. There is also the moral level of protection the world is a dark place, ethics, character and integrity are in short supply. It's hard to live in a fallen world and not experience the corruption that's all around us. The wall for Nehemiah also represented this this moral separation from the morals of the world. But then I guess what I find to be most helpful is that spiritual level of protection through Israelites were faced with many items. The idols of the Babylonians.

The idols of those who would occupy Jerusalem and the surrounding areas and others. Nehemiah knew there was only one true God in full devotion complete affection for the one true God is the longing of every human heart, and only God himself can satisfy that longing in the wall was a symbol that the Israelites were committed just one true God, and there was a separation for them to serve into worship this one true God. And just like the enemy desired to stamp out its role. He wants to stamp out your family the enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to steal your marriage today don't think that you're struggling in your marriage is because here are two different people who both have their own desires and opinions but are struggling more in your marriage today because you have an enemy that is attacking you and wants to see your marriage go down you have an enemy who wants to steal each one of your children out from under your nose and believe me, he's making a lot of headway when I look at the state of families. I'm always reminded that the enemy is pursuing each one of our families.

He works in whole cultures. It's amazing to go into a place like Kenya and see the attack of the enemy destroying what God intended for marriage is to be gospel preaching and free. I'm trying to destroy the enemy trying to destroy what should be taking place in the halls disciple making is no different. Right here in the United States of America the onslaught you're struggling in your family yes dear to sinners who are married and there are two sinners trying to raise centers, but we have an enemy who wants to see your family taking down he doesn't want to see any walls of protection is after your family and if we do not stand up, our families will just be harassed and helpless.

She without a shepherd. The enemy wants to keep us from passing the fate down to the next generation and the devastation is huge. As we look around us, but then be reminded this morning of the very words that Nehemiah gave to the people of initial. He said do not be afraid of them easy to be overwhelmed by what's happening.

The odds were against Nehemiah in human terms and numbers.

Here is a guy was a cupbearer not a military leader. He was not a construction contractor or an expert builder here is a man who just filed his people, and God had a call on his life cottage given him an assignment. Jobs were against him and I would say the odds are stacked up to you today is apparent in your home. Did you know that one third of children growing up in America today are growing up without a father in their home and their houses.

One third of American children are growing up without a father in their's. Did you know the majority of kids who were brought up in the church are leaving the church after high school, physically now, spiritually and emotionally. They may have left a long time ago but by the time they leave high school over half some some statistics go up as high as 80 or 90%. Does that not tell us that there is an attack against our families against the very purpose that God has in one generation of believers raising the next generation that they might be believers that the glory of God that we've experienced this should be passed to that next generation. The high rate of divorce the social media expectations team depression and suicide, pornography, drug use and alcoholism, all stacked up against our families today. The attack is been devastating. Doesn't take long to find families all around us who are struggling who are under such stressful times in Nehemiah's words speak to us today. Do not be afraid God wants you to have peace is your marriage or family, your child, your spouse, your your parent under attack. That doesn't mean you have to live in anxiety and stress and doubt. He said do not be afraid of him who is VM. This this piece that God was to give us is greater than those that we identify as VM, but let me say first. The VM here is not each other. Marriages struggle and tend to put husband and wife versus each other but I would tell you today me and your wife is not your enemy, I would tell you ladies your husband is not your enemy, your battle as as a pair is not against your child and those who are children or teenagers or students today your battles not against your parents, your battles not against flesh and blood again.

Yes, you are a sinner, married to a sinner in your center being raised by center but as believers, God's design is that we work together against our enemy. Instead of sitting on opposing sides of the table with these huge problems, separating us somehow we got to get on the same side of the table and attack these problems together.

But who is VM in the text and in one way is the world it's those who choose to live a life contrary to God's way the world wants us to believe and behave like them.

They typically want us to look to live like them and if we don't live like field and all the sudden we've become.

These self-righteous people. Now don't get me wrong, we can act self-righteous and often times we bring some of the struggles and criticisms on ourselves but the world is pressing us into its image. It's trying to conform us to its ways. No wonder God commands us in Romans 12 one. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world wise is commanded, because were tempted to follow the world. Some who belong to the world and not to Christ, or indifferent. Others hate God's way. Anybody will hold to this biblical truth is not easy in the workplace is not easy and the University is not easy in the school system is not easy in your neighborhood to follow God's ways Satan the world us, pressing us and trying to make us like the world instead of like Christ, Satan, the roaring lion is the chief culprit.

He schemes and strategizes on how to take you and your family down when we fall. It's not usually because there's a one time event that that all of a sudden we're in this horrific place is usually because of of days and weeks and months and maybe even years that the enemies been strategizing against you seeking to devour you and keep you from becoming who God created you to be. He uses the world and even your own flesh to attack is been doing a long time. Sometimes I look at students so I was preaching to a group of students in Kenya this last week. It occurred to me again as as many times over that these students are facing the same attack that the students in America are facing this there facing the same attack that we face when we were students. The devils been doing the same thing for the time that he's been in existence. And since the time he was cast out of of heaven. He's been doing the same thing he doesn't want us to know the joy in the peace in the goodness of God, so he attacks God's people but the people have been created by God, and he tries the blind us from following human I think about students how the enemy all throughout history has tried to calls young people to rebel against authority and against their parents, and then of course that that spills over to every other aspect of why he's doing the same stuff but don't be hopeless God was to give you peace. Do not be afraid of them. Don't be hopeless.

Yes, we can't overcome them, but we should be hopeful because even though we can't can't can. Don't be foolish and neglect and ignore those strategies.

Against this, but be wise understand we do have an enemy and that the enemy is not each other.

It's the devil himself.

Do not be afraid. But secondly, notice what else Nehemiah told the people as they were rebuilding these walls. Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord. I love that description was great and awesome is great and he's awesome but what does it mean to remember the Lord if do not be afraid should bring God's peace.

Remember the Lord to connect us to God's power.

So to remember the Lord means that you have faith, what you can't see.

You can believe what you can't do God can do.

Quit looking at life from your perspective, see it from God's perspective changes things with God all things are possible. He brings peace in the storm he get stripped when you want to give up when you want to quit this last week when you thought I can't take it any more.

God's power was there to help you through it.

When all hope is lost when you are at your wits in you really maybe the best place because you realize you can't do it without God. It wouldn't happen. It wouldn't be possible.

Nehemiah heard the desperation in the people around him. You read over that text you knew they felt inadequate. He knew they felt the enemy was too great. But not only in remembering the Lord should we have faith, but remembering the Lord is that we become people of prayer. Nehemiah knew that God is great and awesome and prayer apart connects us to the power of God. It's asking him to do what we can't do.

Nehemiah was a man who was a man of prayer. When you look back in verse nine of chapter 4, he said and we prayed to our God. He knew that God was able to do what he could do what the people could do, but I'm not too sure were really praying people think back over this last week. Not only did you pray, but if you did, what kinds of prayers we pray, where you really calling on the God of the universe to intervene and do something that you cannot do when you asking God to change people's lives in the work in your family and your family members on the stale dated at how few husbands pray with their wives and not saying this to to beat all of our men up today but I am saying is to challenge you many men didn't grow up with the spiritual leader watching and observing many men may not even know what steps to take to begin depriving with their wives.

But God's call was to be spiritual leaders and scholars to be one with our wives and how can we expect the work of God to be happening in our families when we're not even praying with each other as husband and wife burdened as a as a pastor of followers of Christ by how few families pray together.

It's almost like even mealtimes become a part of a checklist. Will we. We were obligated to pray before the meal.

This is a such a habit or routine that there's really no meaning behind it, much less when we gather our families together during the week or at all as set aside times to begin to pray with him but our kids should be learning to pray and how much we depend on God and were not praying is not likely they will learn to pray either you remember the Lord by praying resident is trying to figure it all out yourself for not doing our job praying. No wonder few children and students pray as well do we not love Jesus enough to join him in his work of prayer listen to Jesus's very words as he walked on earth until now. You not ask anything in my name, asking you will receive that you may be full. John 1624 and he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18 one John 15 seven if you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you doing. I believe James for to you do not have because you do not ask. James 516, the prayer of a righteous man is great power as it is working with you.

Best way to find what your best weapon. Is it not prayer. It's not techniques, and worldly means, but is prayer to remember the Lord means that we take action. They prayed but they also set a guard against the enemies setting a guard as the personal responsibility of protecting. They were prepared for the attacks of the enemy.

Let me suggest a couple ways that you prepare for action that you remember the Lord in his great power wanted is your example you take action by your example. Your example is a is a guard for your family the way you live as a constant reminder to your family and those around you, whether you remember the Lord whether he really is first whether you really do depend on him. If you don't live it. Don't expect your kids to give you a hoarseness alert.

The problem with many children. Today is that the following the example of the parents.

Maybe different idols may be different choices but is the same problem with the faith of convenience. Not commitment to faith with very little affection for God, but much affection for the world we take action bar example we take action by the word Nehemiah and his friend Ezra were very much concerned about the people learning the word of God. When you look on ahead and Nehemiah chapter 8 listen to the first few verses and all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Watergate and they told answer the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, that the Lord commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women all could understand what they heard on the first day of the seventh month and he read from facing the square before the Watergate from early morning until midday in the presence of the men and the women and those who can understand and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law the gun in verse eight. They read from the book from the law of God clearly and they gave the CX of the people understood the reading psych read explain repeat read, explain, repeat Nehemiah was a man who love God's word. He wanted to see it obeyed and lived out, do you find it difficult to set aside 15 minutes a day to read God's word and pray not not saying that's all the time you should spend listening to the Lord as you read his word, but but if you if you been committed to setting time aside each day is an individual to spend time with the Lord. How can we expect to be led by God. If were not willing to listen to God's word. Do you find it difficult to gather your family for five minutes a day, or even once a week to spend time in God's word again.

The problem is a love problem. How much do we really love God and how much do we really love our families don't don't forget the Lord. Remember the Lord, even from that great parenting passage in Deuteronomy 6 when he says hero is will the Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind begins to tell via the families teach the law of God to your children when you when you rise when you walk along the way.

When you lay down talk about the things of God. In that text he says don't forget the Lord if you're not in the word on a daily basis as an individual. If you're not bringing your family to the word of God on a regular basis, you're probably going to forget the Lord through the week. We can make excuses for only so long, but were a church that believes this book many people come to Calvary because they know this is a church that believes though this this Bible the word of God. We preach this book. The word of God because it points us to Christ, but we can make excuses for ourselves not being in the word, not knowing the word for the rest of our lives if we make excuses we stand before God one day to be ashamed. The world may pat you on the back. You may keep up with everybody in your neighborhood, you may be doing all the things that all your friends all your neighbors are doing. But when you stand before God.

He's not going to pat you on the back for keeping up with everybody else doing all the things that everybody else is doing, but he will be pleased if you have been devoted to his word and you have loved him more than you have loved the world, I do not apologize. This morning from a sharp tone.

I know I'm calling you out and I'm saying some things that are little bit more difficult but but I probably is convicted today on probably has burden today for the very families of our world and for the very families at Calvary than I've ever been before. And I know that if if were going to see a move of God that were not have to have his peace. Do not be afraid of the world or of the enemy that is power. Remember the Lord but were also going to need this third thing to be awakened by the spirit of God so that you can fight for your family and Nehemiah chapter 4 and verse 14 do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord. It was great and awesome and fight and fight for your brothers or sons or daughters or wives in your homes. You see, these are the people that God's put around you. Who else will fight for your family. If you know Nehemiah knew what was at stake. It was God's intention that this group would pass the faith they want to the next generation. It was so much more than just about nationalism was even more than just nepotism. It was about the glory of God. One day the Savior of the world would come through the Jews. This chosen people.

Nehemiah understood that God chosen them for reason to be a missionary nation, and he understood that the Savior of the world had been prophesied and he would come through the Israelites.

He understood what was at stake.

It was part of the rescue mission that God had in mind before the foundation of the world that his son is one and only son would come as the Lamb of God, to give his life as a ransom for many. Today we fight for families for the glory of God. Marriage is not about you having all your needs met or your wife having all her needs met this about the glory of God is about preaching the gospel through the wet husband loves his wife like Jesus loves the church is preaching the gospel that a wife would follow her husband as the church follows Christ made marriage is not about you it's about the glory of God in preaching the gospel identities not found in our children either.

They will mess up they will stray our job is to be obedient to God. Only God can change their hearts.

So how might you fight for your family make it really practical this morning.

I like what Dennis Rainey tells me in his book stepping up, he said, as a husband and father. You are the warrior who's been charged with the duty of pushing back against the evil that seeks to pray on your wife, daughters and sons if you don't step up who will when you think of protecting your family. Perhaps the first things that come your mind are keeping your house locked are holding on to your child's handle the crowded sidewalk. But as I looked, the duties go further through in a fight for your family. He list for things that you would do in regard to your marriage.

He said I have established boundaries to protect my marriage, putting things in place so that I'm not building opportunities to be unfaithful to my spouse. I've established boundaries to protect my marriage. He said secondly I protect my children about training him them in the choices they would make. Thirdly, I protected my daughters by dating them and later by interviewing their dates work that I protected my family by working with my wife to set up boundaries about media I would add walk with God. Be a man who listens every day by reading the word of God and by bringing your family before the Lord in prayer commit to dealing with the idols in your life where God is first, I would say also pray for and with your wife then initiate family time a particular family devotions a family night and family ministry together. What what great investment even as our team in Kenya.

There were there were senior adults and there were children on this mission trip and there were there were couples and there were families and you think that was that was a pretty big investment for somebody take their whole family on a mission trip. What a great investment. She spent time doing the Lords work together so it's all a part of that family time then love God's church he attended for us to be a part of the community love God's church as his people. It's a place where you learn the word of God and you encouraged your your you get call to get rebuked to get corrected.

You get trained in righteousness the ladies how do you find obviously your walk with God.

Many godly adults look back and point to godly women who were involved in their lives and set an example to talk them. Find your meaning and satisfaction in Christ.

Secondly, if Mary respect her husband. Don't try to change them through your words, let God change him through prayer and your behavior. Thirdly give priority over career to your family. Not saying you can't work outside the home, I'm just saying you can't let that get in the way of how much your family needs your help link to your house, but that's a valuable God honoring role huge in God's eyes huge for the well-being of your family and fourthly don't believe the lies the enemy tries to tell you preach the gospel yourself. See yourself as God views you and then listen to other godly women in your life to let the world influence you and impact you, for children and students to give you a few things if you go to fight for your families a way where kids were just students, but you know the enemy will attack you and try to come into your life in a way and hinder use so that it hurts the whole family and so children and students.

Honor your parents know the primary thing the enemy will subdue is the cause conflict between you and your parents. He's battling for your so your family, and he knows he has a decided advantage if he can get you to dishonor and disobey your parents. He's pushed to a place of your foot on his face. When you honor your parents.

Again, I know that's harsh talk, but the devil was pure evil.

He's your truest enemy and should befall with everything have.

Secondly, children and students surrender to Christ and the authority of Scripture. There will be many plausible arguments many things that makes sense that you will hear from the world, but always choose the authority of Scripture over what the world tells you when the books are opened and the word of God is open, you will see how true God is in everything that he has said all the plausible arguments in the day will come to nothing but God's word will stand forever and then students live for much more than today live for something that will last for eternity.

God the Word of God and the souls of people I would say to you today church family. Don't give up and don't settle for less, than God's best brothers sisters in Christ, extended family members. You get what I'm saying fight for the people God has placed in your sphere of influence your family and your church family and who was going to fight who will begin to build the wall again will be a godly man a godly woman, a young person who will follow Christ who will begin that work in chapter 3, it's interesting. A person want to says that a lot Alliance, the high priest rose up with his brothers. The priest and they built the sheep gate. They consecrated and set the doors. Somebody started.

Somebody said, let me be somebody who is obedient. I will follow the ways of God. The design of God who today will be that person knows that I want to fight for my family.

Obviously there's no wall we can build this impenetrable.

Ultimately, our job is to surrender to Christ and point others to him. Jesus gave every last ounce of energy in life for you default the most fierce force, the most evil enemy. And then he lay down his life willingly and obediently to his father to rescue the most undeserving needy and helpless. You and me will you fight for him. What great high calling. We have to be a part of the kingdom of God. We need him will you fight for Christ, for the kingdom by surrendering all to him by being obedient, he will become your refugee will become your fortress, but somebody's gonna start somebody's gotta say I want to be that man.

I want to be that woman. I'm going to be that student. I am going to not be afraid of them. I'm going to remember the Lord I'm going to find for my family. Father, we thank you for your work this morning, even as Nehemiah understood the need for protecting the people around him his own nation.

I pray that you would burden our hearts today that we would see how important it is to protect and to fight for the people you placed around us were marriages for our children for our extended family for our church family and I pray that you call people out even in this moment call people out who will follow you will fight the good fight. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

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