We continue with our sermon series entitled ‘Nehemiah’. With preaching from Alan Cole and our worship service led by Brian Dickson.
Philippians 4:4 encourages the Christian to rejoice always. This joy is not based on our external physical circumstances but in our relationship with a caring and powerful God. People rejoice in different ways, sometimes loudly, as in a football crowd, but often quietly as we pray to God and contemplate His word. What does Nehemiah teach us about rejoicing?
1) The people rejoiced together. People crowded into Jerusalem from all the surrounding villages to celebrate the rebuilding of the city. As Christians we gather together in church to celebrate all that Christ has done for us.
2) Before they rejoiced they prepared themselves for worship. Repentance and re-dedication preceded the rejoicing.
3) They rejoiced at a job well done – the city had been rebuilt. We too can rejoice as we do work for the Lord. As the angels in heaven rejoice over the saved sinner, so do we. (Luke 15:7)
4)They rejoiced at the works God had done to bless them. They had faced much opposition in rebuilding the walls, but the strength of God had enabled them to overcome the attacks. Our God is mightier than our enemies.
5) They thanked God for each other. Building the walls had been a co-operative effort with each person looking out for everyone else. We can rejoice because God has given us our families – both natural and Christian.
6) As Christians, we have reasons to rejoice over and above that of Nehemiah. Philippians 4:4-6 tells us to rejoice because we can bring every difficult situation to God knowing that He will give us the power to overcome it and to put peace and joy in our hearts. 1 Peter 1:6 exhorts us to rejoice even in persecution because we know that the trials of this world are only temporary and we have a home in heaven prepared for us.
- In Nehemiah 12 we have the people coming from all the surrounding villages to rejoice together. Why is it important that Christians come together to church to worship communally?
- Nehemiah assembled bands and choirs in order to worship God. How important is music in our worship? How should we cater for different styles of worship?
- True worship comes from the heart. How can we best prepare ourselves to worship God?
- Philippians 4: 4-14 Paul tells us how the Christian can rejoice. What reasons does he give for the Christian being able to rejoice in spite of adverse circumstances?
- 1 Peter 1:6 tells us to rejoice in persecution. What does he say in verses 3-8 which enable Christians to rejoice even when everything seems dark around them?
Sermon Title: We all love to rejoice
Bible Reading: Nehemiah 12:17-37
Preacher: Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson