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Signed, sealed and delivered

 

As this is Fair Trade fortnight, the service will also include a short clip about their work and there will be a demonstration of their wares and free samples in the Hub.

 

To demonstrate how serious they are in terms of their obedience to God, the people formulate a covenant which is signed and sealed by 84 people. Now comes the difficult part, delivering on it in five key areas:-

1 – Separation (v 30.)

The people had disregarded God’s Word (Deuteronomy 7 v 3) and instead of separating themselves from the surrounding nations they had inter married with them. But here they took a stand and put a stop to mixed marriages and made a commitment to separation for the sake of their faith.

PrincipleA Christian should only marry a Christian (2 Corinthians 6 v 14.)

2 – Sabbath (v 31a.)

The people had ignored God’s Word (Exodus 20 v 8 – 10) turning the Sabbath from a day of rest into the same as any other day of the week involving business and trading. But here they took a stand and put a stop to all the buying and selling and made a commitment to keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest for the sake of their faith.

PrincipleA weekly day of Sabbath rest that is different from the other 6 days (Exodus 20 v 8 – 11.)

3 – Stewardship (v 31b)

The people had conveniently forgotten God’s Word (Deuteronomy 25 v 4 & 5) and instead of allowing the land to lie fallow on the 7th year they had planted and harvested. But here they took a stand and put an end to the overuse of the land, by making a commitment to allowing it to have a Sabbath rest.

PrincipleWe are stewards, not owners of all that God has given us (Psalm 24 v 1.)

4 – Self sacrifice (v 31c.)

The people had overlooked God’s Word (Leviticus 25 v 10) when it stated that the 50th year was to be designated the year of Jubilee and that during that year all debt was to be suspended. But here they took a stand and lovingly reinstated the year of Jubilee giving all debtors a year of grace to earn money towards their outstanding repayments.

PrincipleLove and do not take economic advantage of your neighbour (Matthew 22 v 38.)

5 – Support (v 32 – 39.)

The people had failed miserably when it came to maintaining the temple and supporting its ministry. But here they took a stand to pay their taxes, bring their wood, and give of their first fruits and tithes in support of the temple and all that it offered.

PrincipleMaintain and support the ministry of your local church (Malachi 3 v 10.)

ChallengeToday we have no need of written binding agreements, supported by oaths (Matthew 5 v 34 & 37.) But the call to obey these five principles is still valid and should flow out of a joyful response of love.

 

Service Details

Theme: “Signed, sealed and delivered”
Reading: Nehemiah 10 v 30 – 39
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes

Download Sermon Here

 

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