Forward No Matter What
Nehemiah was a leader among God’s people. He was concerned that the temple walls in Jerusalem would never be rebuilt, leaving the Temple vulnerable. He led the effort to rebuild the walls, facing attacks from neighboring groups, as well as corruption and moral decline from within. And yet, with God’s help, he finished the work and continued to keep God’s people on a path to restoration and faith. Nehemiah stayed focused on the vision God gave him to rebuild the Temple and reunite God’s people.
Here in the present, a lot has changed over the last 18 months… across the world, in our church, and in each of our lives. We have faced so many challenges and obstacles that it has become difficult to look for a solution amid the problems we face. But God’s mission for us as individuals and a church hasn’t changed. He still puts the burden on each of our hearts to reach people with the Gospel through whatever means necessary. We know it’s not going to be easy, but the people around us need to know Jesus. And so, we move forward with a God-sized vision.
In this series, we’ll learn from Nehemiah to find God’s vision for Victory of the Lamb and for each of us. We’ll consider the internal and external obstacles we might face in reaching today’s people with Christ’s victory. And then, after we know what’s ahead and prepare for the challenges, we’ll get to work building God’s kingdom here on earth.
September 12, 2021: A Vision for Something Better
Nehemiah hears and sees the problem: the walls around the Temple are still broken down. The house of God is vulnerable to attack and dishonor. He fervently prays a prayer of repentance on behalf of himself and the people. He then meets with the leaders and clearly proclaims a vision of a better future for God’s people… with God’s help.
At Victory, we pray for God’s guidance in reaching today’s people with Christ’s victory. We ask Him to help us recognize the opportunities He places in front of us through community involvement and a hybrid ministry model. By first grasping the problem, viewing the solution, and planning to seize the opportunity, all of us in the Victory community will be blessed to do the work that leads to a God-sized vision.
Scriptures: Nehemiah 1-2
September 19, 2021: Getting Down to Work
God’s people are moved by the vision Nehemiah shares to rebuild the temple. But they don’t stop there. Under Nehemiah’s leadership, they decide to unite and get to work on the temple for the glory of God.
It’s a blessing to dream and talk about the future here at Victory. We need to start any work we do with prayer and planning. But then, after we have a clear vision and plan, we need to get to work. Each of us can play a role in the mission at Victory through serving and participating in groups, which helps us grow closer to God and one another.
Scriptures: Nehemiah 2:17-18, Nehemiah 3
September 26, 2021: Opposition from the Outside
Nothing is quite as easy as it seems. Once Sanballat and Tobiah hear about Nehemiah’s efforts to rebuild the temple, they do everything they can to sabotage God’s work. But Nehemiah is undeterred. He expected opposition and struggle. So, he makes a plan to trust in God and prepare for conflict while continuing the work.
Any time we have a God-sized vision like the one we have at Victory, we should expect conflict. From technology difficulties to the busyness of life to the post-Christian culture we live in, we know we’ll face opposition that will make it a challenge to work at our mission. But the work can’t stop when it gets difficult. With God’s guidance, the Victory Community will move forward with the work, no matter what.
Scriptures: Nehemiah 4
October 3, 2021: Challenges from the Inside
As the work continues, Nehemiah finds out that God’s people have been corrupted from the inside. They are neglecting the poor and charging unnecessary interest. Nehemiah knows they can’t go forward with God’s plans on the Temple walls if God’s people are unwilling to examine and repair the “temples” of their own lives.
Vision, hard work, and perseverance are necessary in doing the work to build God’s kingdom. But they’re not the only parts of the project. Each one of us at Victory has the opportunity to reflect on and repent of our sins to help move the mission forward and reach people with the Gospel. Inward repentance and renewal must precede outward projects and goals.
Scriptures: Nehemiah 5
October 10, 2021: Spiritual Renewal in the Love of God
The walls were up, and it was time to gather at the temple as God’s people. Nehemiah and Ezra read God’s Word to the crowds. The people are moved by God’s Word. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the people repent, and a revival begins.
Our Ministry Center is an important building where God’s people gather. But it’s not the building itself that is important. The move of God comes through the Word of God. That’s why it’s essential that Victory pursues opportunities to reach people in our community and across the world through digital tools and outreach opportunities. And each person at Victory can be a part of this spreading of the Gospel.
Scriptures: Nehemiah 8-9
October 17, 2021: Remaining Faithful to the Work
Even after all the work is done on the temple, there is still lingering corruption and challenges. Nehemiah stays vigilant and calls God’s people to remain faithful to the work of building and maintaining God’s house.
As we accomplish God-sized visions, there will be ongoing work to do. At Victory, we learn from each opportunity we take, and we continue to go back to our mission and values to stay focused on the work. If you have fallen away from worship, serving, or groups, now is a great time to refocus and reconnect at Victory as we all work to help people find their victory in Christ.
Scriptures: Nehemiah 13