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Thanksgiving Sermon from Nehemiah November 11, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Nehemiah, Religion, Sermons, Thanksgiving.
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    THANKSGIVING AFTER A GREAT WORK

    Nehemiah 12:27-13:1

    We are to be thankful at all times but it is especially important that we show thanksgiving after God accomplishes a great work in our lives. It is important because through thanksgiving we recognize that it is God who has blessed the work of our hands. That should be the meaning of the American Thanksgiving holiday. We are thankful for what God has done. Whether you primarily emphasize family or country or some other great work during this Thanksgiving season, thanksgiving is the recognition that only God can make these blessings possible. In this passage we find the Jews celebrating the help of God in building the wall and providing them protection from their enemies. What we want to look at are the elements of the dedication of this wall and their thanksgiving to God

    MORE THAN JUST A WALL 

     One obeys what he knows to be true already. They gathered on the day of the Feast of Trumpets (Numbers 29:1-6).

    One builds on the success God gives (the wall built in 56 days).

    One turns to God in the face of trouble (intense opposition).

    1. With an attitude of agreement

    2. With an attitude of worship

    3. With an attitude of confession. They mourned because of their disobedience (verses 9-11).

    4. With an attitude of joy. They responded to God’s Word (verse 12).

    The dedication ceremony was the conclusion not only of a great work but also of a renewed covenant with their God. This happens multiple times in the Old Testament. What is the importance of the renewal of the covenant by every generation? For one thing, it was preventative. Periods of time when the covenant was not renewed like the time of the Judges and much of the period after Solomon always led to sin and judgment.

    THE BACKGROUND 

    They heard the Word of God (Nehemiah 8:1-9:3).

    A. How does one go about acquiring a desire to hear God’s Word (8:1-3)?

    B. How should we approach God’s Word (8:4-6, 9-12)?

    C. What are the three steps in studying God’s Word (8:8, 12)?

    1. Find out what it says, “…read distinctly…” (verse 8).
    2. Find out what it means, “…gave the sense of it…” (verse 8).

    3. Find out how it should be applied, “…understood the words that were declared…” (verse 12).

     The Dedication Ceremony Was a Ceremony of Thanksgiving and Joy and Singing (12:31-44; see especially verse 43).The Peace Offering (Sacrifices) is Costly.

The Peace Offering is a Public Confession.

Rev. Daniel Baker’s Addresses to Young Men is quoted by Spurgeon as saying, “It is a bad fireplace where all the heat goes up the chimney: true religion spreads joy over all around. Yet the fire warms first the chimney in which it burns, and grace comforts the heart in which it dwells. Nobody will be warmed by a cold hearth.” 

The Peace Offering is to Involve Every Person including Children.

The Result of the Dedication Ceremony was Twofold (12:44-3:3). Their mourning over their sin was necessary but it was the joy of the Lord in response to the Word of the Lord that resulted in good works.

D.L. once said, “I never knew a case where God used a discouraged man or woman to accomplish any great thing for him. Let a minister go into the pulpit in a discouraged state of mind, and it becomes contagious: it will soon reach the pews, and the whole church will be discouraged. So with a Sabbath-school teacher: I never knew a worker of any kind who was full of discouragement, and who met with great success in the Lord’s work. It seems as if God cannot make large use of such men.”

They become generous. Generosity is an indication of the status of your relationship to God.

They dealt with sin. Holiness is also an indication of the status of your relationship to God. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1. If you are in the Word, striving to obey the Word, you will purify yourself, not because you understand the rules that God has given but because you understand and are thankful to the God who gives the rules.   D. On what three levels do people react to God’s Word? Intellectual (8:1-8)Emotional (8:9-12)

Volitional (with the will; 8:13-18)

They recognized who God is (9:5b-6). You do not learn God through prayerful meditation. You learn God from His Word.

Martin Luther’s understanding of the biblical use of the word “justification” is what transformed him from a miserable monk looking for relief from the fear of God to a pillar of strength against the forces of hell.

They continued by recounting what God has done for them beginning with Abraham (9:7-37) and the relationship of mercy that God has maintained with them. To praise God for His character without reveling in His works of power and His works of ministry is an empty praise. God is not some static being, some vague presence, He is an active person interested in a relationship with His people.

They committed themselves to obedience to God’s Word based on their understanding of God’s Word (9:38-10:39).

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