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Earthing a Vision (Part 1 of 2)

Nehemiah 2:11-20
ID: 4701
Program

You've probably heard the expression “It’s the thought that counts.” But when God plants a vision in an effective leader’s heart, the thought takes root and compels action. Learn how to turn vision into reality, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.

From the Sermon

April 25, 1997

Earthing a Vision

Nehemiah 2:11-20

Series: The Pastor’s Study, Volume 1

Id: 2100, Has Transcript
What Is Spiritual Knowledge?

What Is Spiritual Knowledge?

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Philippians 3:8

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with Him. I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account.

It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know Him not as in the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him. I must know His natures, divine and human. I must know His offices (Prophet, Priest and King)—His attributes—His works—His shame—His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I “comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.”1

It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Savior, my mind will be full to the brim—I will feel that I have that which my spirit longs for. This is the bread that satisfies all hunger.

At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I will want to know. The higher I climb, the loftier will be the summits that invite my eager footsteps. I shall want more as I get more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more.

To conclude, this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating that sometimes it will completely lift me above all trials and doubts and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man . . . born of a woman . . . few of days and full of trouble,” for it will throw about me the immortality of the ever-living Savior and cover me with the golden cloak of His eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’ feet, and learn of Him all this day.

1) Ephesians 3:18-19

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. Used by Truth For Life with written permission.

Elijah Predicts a Drought

1Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe1 in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2And the word of the Lord came to him: 3“Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

The Widow of Zarephath

8Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 15And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Elijah Raises the Widow's Son

17After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child's life2 come into him again.” 22And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”

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Footnotes
1 17:1 Septuagint; Hebrew of the settlers
2 17:21 Or soul; also verse 22

1Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

2Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—4that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

5Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Final Greetings

7Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant1 in the Lord. 8I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

10Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15Give my greetings to the brothers2 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

18I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

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Footnotes
1 4:7 Greek fellow bondservant; also verse 12
2 4:15 Or brothers and sisters

Water Flowing from the Temple

1Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.

3Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits,1 and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. 4Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. 5Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. 6And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea;2 when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.3 9And wherever the river goes,4 every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea5 may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea.6 11But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

Division of the Land

13Thus says the Lord God: “This is the boundary7 by which you shall divide the land for inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14And you shall divide equally what I swore to give to your fathers. This land shall fall to you as your inheritance.

15“This shall be the boundary of the land: On the north side, from the Great Sea by way of Hethlon to Lebo-hamath, and on to Zedad,8 16Berothah, Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer-hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17So the boundary shall run from the sea to Hazar-enan, which is on the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north.9 This shall be the north side.10

18“On the east side, the boundary shall run between Hauran and Damascus; along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel; to the eastern sea and as far as Tamar.11 This shall be the east side.

19“On the south side, it shall run from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribah-kadesh, from there along the Brook of Egypt12 to the Great Sea. This shall be the south side.

20“On the west side, the Great Sea shall be the boundary to a point opposite Lebo-hamath. This shall be the west side.

21“So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. 22You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord God.

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Footnotes
1 47:3 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
2 47:8 That is, the Dead Sea
3 47:8 Hebrew will be healed; also verses 9, 11
4 47:9 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; Hebrew the two rivers go
5 47:9 Hebrew lacks the waters of the sea
6 47:10 That is, the Mediterranean Sea; also verses 15, 19, 20
7 47:13 Probable reading; Hebrew The valley of the boundary
8 47:15 Septuagint; Hebrew the entrance of Zedad, Hamath
9 47:17 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
10 47:17 Probable reading; Hebrew and as for the north side
11 47:18 Compare Syriac; Hebrew to the eastern sea you shall measure
12 47:19 Hebrew lacks of Egypt

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Of David.

1Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

2Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits,

3who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

4who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5who satisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6The Lord works righteousness

and justice for all who are oppressed.

7He made known his ways to Moses,

his acts to the people of Israel.

8The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9He will not always chide,

nor will he keep his anger forever.

10He does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14For he knows our frame;1

he remembers that we are dust.

15As for man, his days are like grass;

he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

17But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children's children,

18to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.

19The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all.

20Bless the Lord, O you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his word,

obeying the voice of his word!

21Bless the Lord, all his hosts,

his ministers, who do his will!

22Bless the Lord, all his works,

in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

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Footnotes
1 103:14 Or knows how we are formed
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

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