OceanSide church of Christ
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Part of the series: HOW TO HAVE SUCCESS
HOW TO HAVE SUCCESS (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. The success of a congregation should always be one of the desires that each member of the congregation possesses.
B. It is easier to long for success that it is to obtain it.
C. Fortunately, God has given us a picture of success and how to obtain it in His Holy Word. It is revealed in the book of Nehemiah.
1. In 52 days, Nehemiah and the Israelites built the wall of the city of Jerusalem (Neh. 6:15).
2. There were many elements to their success. We examined four of them in our last lesson.
a. Concerned leadership
b. Confession of sins
c. Consent to risks
d. Conduct a survey of the immediate situation
D. This morning we want to look at some of the other key components of success revealed to us in the book of Nehemiah.
I. COMMUNICATE A PLAN OF ACTION
A. Nehemiah had heard that the wall of the city of Jerusalem was broken down. Upon his return, he surveyed the situation. In his mind, he developed a plan of action.
B. This plan, however, had to be communicated to his brethren (Neh. 2:17-18a).
Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me.
C. The elders at OceanSide began several years ago to establish goals for this congregation. They allowed everyone in the church a voice in how to achieve these goals. At the present time, eight (8) goals are being pursued.
1. Build a strong membership base
2. Unite members in the work of the church
3. Pursue a more aggressive approach in local evangelism
4. Develop greater loyalty and commitment of the members to the local congregation
5. Enthusiastically become more involved in the various areas of work in the local church
6. Increase visitation of weak members and visitors expressing an interest in the church
7. Seek new avenues of service to our military members and their families
8. Revitalize the Bible School Program and curriculum
D. Israel got behind the goal of Nehemiah (Neh. 2:18b). As members, we must get behind the goals set by our leaders if we are going to be successful.
II. CONFRONT THE ENEMY
A. We first read of the enemies of God’s people in Nehemiah 2:10. The text says that Sanballat and Tobiah were grieved exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
B. In Nehemiah 2:19, these same men along with another named Geshom, laughed us to scorn, and despised us, when they heard that God’s people would rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
C. Nehemiah was quick to take a position against these men. He set the boundaries very firmly (Neh. 2:20).
Then answered I them, and said unto them, the God heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
D. In our efforts toward success, there will always be opponents and naysayers.
1. They will be persistent and use many methods to oppose our work.
2. We must set our boundaries firmly against them (II Cor. 6:14-18).
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Or what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
3. This will be difficult for some within the church.
a. They do not know the enemy.
b. They know the enemy and have been deceived into thinking they are not as bad as some say they are.
c. They have lost their desire to fight.
d. They have not been trained to fight long, difficult spiritual battles.
III. COLLABORATE OUR EFFORTS
A. This principle is taught throughout Nehemiah 3.
1. In this chapter, two families, thirty-nine individuals, and nine groups are named as working side-by-side rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
2. Two phrases are recurring in this chapter.
a. And next to him…
b. And after him…
3. The workers are made up of all types of people: priests, apothecaries, rulers, goldsmiths, merchants, and even the daughters of Shallum are listed (Neh. 3:12).
4. It is interesting to look at the first one on the list (Neh. 3:1).
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and the builded the sheep gate…
a. The high priest and the priest were the leaders of the people.
b. They were willing to get their hands dirty in this monumental effort.
B. We, too, must collaborate our efforts in building the church here.
1. I Corinthians 3:9
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
2. Ephesians 4:16
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
C. There is one dark spot in chapter 3. It is found in verse 5.
And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of the Lord.
1. For some reason, these nobles would not work.
a. Did not like to get dirty
b. Did not fit into their busy schedules
c. Did not like Nehemiah
d. Were not in the limelight
e. Did not care about the project
f. Were friends with the enemy
2. Question: Will you be like one of these nobles?
IV. CONVERSE OFTEN WITH GOD
A. One of the things that the book of Nehemiah reveals is the need of prayer.
1. Nehemiah 1:5 – And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God…
2. Nehemiah 2:4 – So I prayed unto the God of heaven…
3. Nehemiah 4:4 – Hear, O our God; for we are despised…
4. Nehemiah 4:9 – Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God.
B. There is power in prayer.
1. Prayer unlocks the storehouse of heaven. Prayer unleashes the power of
God. Prayer releases the grace of God.
a. Matthew 7:7
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
b. Matthew 21:22
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
c. James 5:16
…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
C. Whether it is something great or small, we need to pray. When God is left out, all our human plans mean nothing (James 4:13-17).
1. The Schemes of Man (James 4:13)
2. The Shortcoming of Man (James 4:14)
3. The Strength of Man (James 4:15)
4. The Sin of Man (James 4:16-17)
A. Success is defined as a prosperous end.
B. We can have it if we will:
1. Communicate a plan of action
2. Confront our enemies
3. Collaborate our efforts
4. Converse often with God
C. One more lesson will bring this series to an end.