What do we see? What do we do?
Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (Bar-ta-may-es) (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” 50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
Bartimaeus – may have been blind and a beggar but he knew what Jesus was capable of doing….others doubted him tried to shoosh him but He “saw” clearly who Jesus was…he was the one who could heal him….can we have the heart of Bartimaeus and see Jesus for who he is so our nation might be healed. In the middle of all the distractions we need to see Jesus and we need to see the way Jesus sees….others saw a blind man, Jesus saw a man who had faith and vision despite that he couldn’t see.
Do you have the vision of a blind man? Do you have the faith to believe Jesus can do anything?
Can you believe in today’s political, health, and economic climate that Jesus can restore our nation and reach our world? Do you believe he can do it for you for whatever you are facing?
few weeks ago we talked about Nehemiah and found
Vision will help us…
- not react to the problems in the world but be proactive for the long term
- live the design God planned for us from the beginning that is why we are a masterpiece
- give us the heart to help others see the need and help with solving the need
- give us the skills we need to accomplish the task and gather those around us to help
Nehemiah 2: 11-15
So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, 12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. 13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. 14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. 15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate.
The wall of Jerusalem represented many things as it does to us today
- Protection – no one got in or out without everyone knowing, no enemy could easily defeat them
- Peace – as the wall was in place, the people in the city could rest and be at peace
- Identity – it represented who they were as a weak people or strong people. It unified them as people of Jerusalem people of the covenant of God
- Healing – as the wall was up the people had time to heal of their abuse, physical, emotional, and spiritual pain
Like the blind man, Nehemiah chose to believe God for the miracle and see what he needed to see in order to gain that miracle.
I see the wall as representing our faith and values and we need to assess how they have been destroyed in this nation. Like Nehemiah we need to take an honest assessment of where we are, see and acknowledge how broken things are. Nehemiah went with a small group of people. A group of like-minded people.
I want to challenge you to lift your vision higher and be like-minded with other brothers and sisters in Christ who believe the Lord wants to restore our faith and values in our region and nation, not only for us but even for unbelievers…
Last week I mentioned….
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down. (NASB)
When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
When people of real faith live their faith and pour out the love of God on others, when the wisdom from the Lord is allowed to shine and guide the decisions of families, work places, communities and a nation…blessings can’t help but flow.
We need to really see…we need to lead with vision and then act accordingly.
Nehemiah 2: 17
But now I said to them (the leaders of Jerusalem), “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”
The laws we pass, the rules we make, the knee jerk reactions our communities and nation have to problems will not solve anything. We got this way over time and it is going to take time and strategy to save our communities and nation and end this disgrace.
There are obvious problems we have in our nation with the economy, violence, racism, but at the root of all of these problems is a lack of faith and values…do you know all of the school shooters did not have a father, active in the household. Apart from a sense that every person has been designed with a plan in mind by our creator if this is not instilled in hearts then it is easy to take life either in the streets or in the womb. If there is no sense of accountability then the immoral debt, we find ourselves in as a nation can continue to enslave generations.
We can complain about all of these things or we can lead with vision and rebuild the wall that protects our families….everyone can begin doing something
Nehemiah 3:1, 2
Then Eliashib (Eli-a-shib) the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild at the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set up its doors, building the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and the Tower of Hananel (Han-a-nel). 2 People from the town of Jericho worked next to them, and beyond them was Zaccur (Za-cur) son of Imri (im-ree).
Next was Uzziel(Uz-e-EL) son of Harhaiah (Har-Hi-ah), a goldsmith by trade, who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah (Han-a-nigh-a), a manufacturer of perfumes. They left out a section of Jerusalem as they built the Broad Wall.
Shallum (Shall-um) son of Hallohesh (Hallow-esh) and his daughters repaired the next section. He was the leader of the other half of the district of Jerusalem.
Next to him, repairs were made by a group of Levites working under the supervision of Rehum (Ray-um) son of Bani (Bahn-ee).
Malkijah (Mal-ki-jah), one of the goldsmiths, repaired the wall as far as the housing for the Temple servants and merchants, across from the Inspection Gate. Then he continued as far as the upper room at the corner. 32 The other goldsmiths and merchants repaired the wall from that corner to the Sheep Gate.
Everyone was able to do something to rebuild the walls, priest, merchants, Levites, men, women, people from this side of the tracks and from that side of the tracks. It didn’t matter economic status or even if you got along with everyone their vision was beyond their petty differences to rebuilding the wall.
Everyone stood side by side even with their differences because they began to look higher. They were being overrun by enemies, their economy was a wreck, morally they had degraded and forgot whose they were they could have tried to patchwork fix these problems but until the wall was rebuilt they were going to be constantly battling these.
What is our wall? I mentioned earlier our faith and values…we have many one enemy and he is using many people, and our ability to be distracted and desire to solve problems quickly being focused on the dailyness of problems rather than the long-term solution.
What am I asking you to do? Just start…I believe we will talk more about this later but for now.
- Begin to pray that you see the solutions to the problem and ask for the Lord to help you to stop reacting and start being proactive
- Pray for our nation – if you read the book of Nehemiah you will see with every problem Nehemiah had a solution and he prayed….There is a chart in the notes on the app
- Look for ways that you think will help rebuild the wall
- Talk with others about who are like-minded about potential solutions (yes voting is part of it but we must do things daily to rebuild the wall
- Rebuild the wall in your own life – if you don’t spend time every day in the Word and prayer start. Start curbing your tongue, I spoke a few weeks ago about loving the way God loves
I will leave you with a story today…
A Baptist pastor stood before his congregation one Sunday morning and said: “My sermon this morning is going to be very short. In fact, It will only be three sentences. So listen closely!”
“Most of our neighbors—and most of the people in the world—are on the road to hell.”
“Most of you don’t give a damn.”
“And most of you are more concerned that I just used the word ‘damn’ from the pulpit than you are that most of our neighbors—and most of the people in the world—are on the road to hell.”
We must lift our vision and lead with vision
Graph for notes
|1. Walls broken and gates burned (1:2–3)||1. Grief and prayer (1:4), and motivation of the people to rebuild (2:17–18)|
|2. False accusations of the workers (2:19)||2. Confidence that God would give them success (2:20)|
|3. Ridicule of the workers (4:1–3)||3. Prayer (4:4–5) and action (greater diligence in the work, 4:6)|
|4. Plot to attack the workers (4:7–8)||4. Prayer and action (posting of a guard, 4:9)|
|5. Physical exhaustion and threat of murder (4:10–12)||5. Positioning of the people by families with weapons (4:13, 16–18) and encouragement of the people (4:14, 20)|
|6. Economic crisis and greed (5:1–5)||6. Anger (5:6), reflection, rebuke (5:7), and action (having the people return the debtors’ interest, 5:7b–11)|
|7. Plot to assassinate (or at least harm) Nehemiah (6:1–2)||7. Refusal to cooperate (6:3)|
|8. Slander against Nehemiah (6:5–7)||8. Denial (6:8) and prayer (6:9)|
|9. Plot to discredit Nehemiah (6:13)||9. Refusal to cooperate (6:11–13) and prayer (6:14)|
|10. Tobiah moved into a temple storeroom (13:4–7)||10. Tossing out Tobiah’s furniture (13:8)|
|11. Neglect of temple tithes and offerings (13:10)||11. Rebuke (13:11a), stationing the Levites at their posts (13:11b), and prayer (13:14)|
|12. Violation of the Sabbath by business activities (13:15–16)||12. Rebuke (13:17–18), posting of guards (13:19, and prayer (13:22)|
|13. Mixed marriages (13:23–24)||13. Rebuke (13:25–27), removal of a guilty priest (13:28), and prayer (13:29)|