Wise Building

Johnny Kjaer April 19, 2018 Nehemiah 2.11-20

2 foundational principles to learn from Nehemiah to be effective disciples in our time

I. Wise Disciples Inspect

A. Consider carefully the friends you surround yourself with because they impact the effectiveness of your work

v.12a - And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me.

Exodus 34:14-16 - For you must not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Be careful not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone invites you, you will eat from his sacrifice; and you then take his daughters for your sons, and when his daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will make your sons prostitute themselves to their gods as well. You must not make yourselves molten gods.

Nehemiah 11:30 - We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.

Nehemiah 13:23 - In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.

B. Understand that some situations require shrewd actions to be effective workers

v.12b - I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

v.16 - The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work.

Matthew 10:16-20 - Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

C. Evaluate the current condition and potential cost before you start working

1. Evaluate the need

v.13 - So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Well and on to the Refuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire.

v. 15 - So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall.

v.17 - Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.”

2. Evaluate the cost

v.19 - But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you            are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”

Luke 14:25-33 - Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

II. Wise Disciples ­Trust in the Lord

A. Remember God’s past faithfulness to build his people

v. 18 - I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So       they put their hands to the good work.

1:11 - Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man. Now I was the cupbearer to the king.

2:8 - And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

B. Remember God’s promises to complete his work through us

v.20 - So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

Matthew 28:18-20 - And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Philippians 1:6 - For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Johnny Kjaer

B.A. - Church Ministries, Maranatha Baptist University
M. DIV. - Faith Bible Seminary
D.Min. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (in progress)

Johnny is married to Tori.  They have 3 children Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti.  He has been a part of the youth ministry at Faith since his internship began in 2010.  He has been in the position of Pastor of Student Ministries since 2013.  Johnny is an ACBC certified counselor.  He also serves the church by directing the Lafayette Living Nativity and the Lafayette Passion Play.

Read Johnny Kjaer's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Kjaer to Faith Church.