Digging Deeper ONLINE A Vision That’s Bigger Than You Nehemiah 1-2 Overview: Message Summary: Though the wall

of Jerusalem had been broken down for more than 140 years, and though Nehemiah lived 750 miles away, God planted a vision in his heart to rebuild the city walls. However, the first thing he does might just surprise you. In this message, Pastor Stowers looks at the first two chapters of Nehemiah and talks about the birth of a vision that’s too big to accomplish. In 587 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem after an 18-month siege. Temple and the walls destroyed. About 50 years later, The Persians took over, and the Persian king allowed some people to return to the city to rebuilt the temple. Though the wall of Jerusalem had been broken down for 141 years, God placed a vision in the heart of a leader named Nehemiah, the cupbearer to the King who lived far away (approximately 750 miles). After prayer and planning, Nehemiah petitioned the king for permission to rebuild the wall. In addition to asking the king to reverse a 13-year national policy, he asked for provision and protection. Upon arrival, he inspected the walls, communicated the vision and began the project. 1. HE God has to work in you before He can work through you. We have to take the time to allow God to work in us. 2. HE O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grand him mercy in the sight of this man. - Nehemiah 1:11 Don’t tack on prayer…make it central to your decision-making. “Then the kind said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:4 Pray for (1:11)

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3. HE

5 and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it." 6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?" It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. 7 I also said to him, "If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8 And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?" And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. Nehemiah 2:4-8 The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven… For Further Reflection: At one time or another, most of us have said, "I am too busy to pray!" If the work of God or the work that we want to do for God depended on our energy and insight, then it might be true. But of course, at least theoretically, we believe that God's work can only be done through his power (Psalm 127:1, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain"). Yet we don't think our biggest job is to pray. We learn as we go before the Lord in prayer to gain his perspective and to gain confidence. Maybe that would make a big difference in what we try to accomplish for the Lord! In this study Nehemiah models dependency on the Lord for his strength. 1. How do you respond when you hear bad news about people you know and care for? 2. List the specific concerns that Nehemiah mentions in his prayer (Neh. 1:5-11). 3. As you think about your ministry, are there any reports you are hearing that you need to petition God for? 4. What will you do to take a risk and become part of the answer for that prayer?

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