When we are busy with our lives and our families – we can get overwhelmed by the responsibilities and distracted by the opportunities.
Often we are striving to relive our “glory days” or reclaim our lost dreams for success rather than giving our life to help God’s dream for our children come true. Building our convictions on the Bible will help us trust God to meet our present needs and to fulfill His plans for our lives and our families.
God wants us to see there’s no place like home and no time like now for Him to work through us. Ask yourself the following questions before diving in to this study:
- Are you passionate about the Kingdom?
- Do you have vision for your home and family?
- What passions in your life are greater?
Are you passionate about the Kingdom?
 …when one of my brothers, Hanani, came from Judah along with some other men. I asked them about those Jews who had escaped—who had survived the exile—and about our city, Jerusalem.  It’s a disaster. The survivors of the exile who are in the Persian province of Jerusalem have been wronged and are hated. The wall of Jerusalem has been reduced to piles of rock, and its gates consumed by flame.  Hearing this, I was overwhelmed with grief and could only sit and weep. For days I mourned this news and sought the audience of the True God of heaven, praying and fasting before Him. Nehemiah 1:2-4 Voice
Nehemiah was bothered by the state and condition of Jerusalem. He didn’t just feel it on the surface … it disturbed him. It so disturbed that he felt the need to take personal action.
Pause and reflect
- Are you that concerned about God’s Kingdom?
- Do you see yourself as just a part of or a member in the Kingdom? Or is the Kingdom your home, family, and heart?
Your passion will illuminate your purpose
O Lord, hear Your servant praying to You and pay attention, and not just to my prayers but also to the prayers of these very Jews whose greatest joy is to live in fear and awe of You. I am asking for success today, God; please make sure this man is compassionate to me, Your servant. In that day, I was cupbearer to the king.Nehemiah 1:11 Voice
At this point, Nehemiah suddenly realizes why he was in the position he was put in. As cupbearer, he had access to and influence on the king.
You can’t start with pursuing your purpose – you need to start with your relationship with God and deal with whatever keeps you from being alive inside.
Does God inspire you?
12 under the cover of darkness, I was accompanied by a small group of men. The True God had placed a secret plan on my heart, and there I had left it hidden until the time was right. No one knew what it was I imagined for Jerusalem. With my men walking beside me, I mounted and rode around the city.Nehemiah 1:12 VCE
Nehemiah had an image in his mind of what Jerusalem was supposed to be. It drove him, and made him both fearless and determined because he knew his vision was supported by God.
Pause and reflect
- What’s your vision for your Jerusalem?
- What’s your vision for your neighborhood, your city?
- Has your relationship with God placed a vision in your heart for your area?
Jerusalem: your neighborhood
 Jedaiah (Harumaph’s son) partnered with Rephaiah, working directly across from his own house, as did Hattush (Hashabneiah’s son).  Benjamin and Hasshub worked on sections directly in front of their homes, then Azariah (Maaseiah’s son and Ananiah’s grandson) worked on a section beside his home.  Beyond the horse gate, each priest repaired the wall section in front of his own house,  Then Hananiah (Shelemiah’s son) and Hanun (Zalaph’s sixth-born son) worked on the next section, and Meshullam (Berechiah’s son) worked on the section across from where he lived. Nehemiah 3:10,23,28,30 Voice
Nehemiah began to rebuild Jerusalem by getting everyone to build near their home, i.e. their neighborhood. When you take responsibility to build your marriage, your family, and your neighborhood this is how you build God’s Kingdom.
Pause and reflect
- Do you take responsibility for your neighborhood?
- Are you the evangelist, the leader in your community?
The power of a million dreams
We returned to building, focused and determined to work as one people. We stacked rock upon rock until one end of the wall met the other and it grew to half of its original height.Nehemiah 4:6 Voice
 Even with all that interference, the wall was soon finished. It was the 25th day of Elul. The work had been accomplished in 52 days.  When our enemies heard the work was complete and the surrounding nations saw our wall, their confidence crumbled. Only one possible conclusion could be drawn: it was not just our efforts that had done this thing. God had been working alongside us. Nehemiah 6:15-16 Voice
When each of us has an authentic relationship with God that motivates us to take responsibility for the neighborhood our family lives in, we can have an incredible impact.
God or Amazon?
 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17 NLT
Where do you go to feel better? To God in prayer and fulfilling his purposes for your life, or the world for temporary pleasures and comfort?
Choose purpose over comfort
And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God.  He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godlyLuke 1:16-17 NLT
 …Don’t follow after the wicked ones or be jealous of their wealth. Don’t think for a moment they’re better off than you. Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness.  Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most.  Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly! Psalm 37:1, 3-5 TPT
Building in my home
“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.”Malachi 2:15 NLT
This is how, long ago, holy women who put their hope in God made themselves beautiful: by respecting the authority of their husbands. Consider how Sarah, our mother, obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him “lord,” and you will be her daughters as long as you boldly do what is right without fear and without anxiety.1 Peter 3:5-6 VCE
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.Hebrews 11:7 NIV
You can’t build your neighborhood if you neglect to build your home.
Pause and reflect
- Do you prioritize building your home?
- Do you have spiritual goals for how you want your family to become more godly and purposeful?
- What areas in regards to building your home do you lack faith in?
Building In my neighborhood
Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith.Hebrews 11:8 TPT
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.James 2:23 NIV
The 4 levels of building:
- Marriage – I take responsibility for my spouse’s spiritual condition (Priscilla & Aquila)
- Kids – I take responsibility for my children’s spiritual condition (Mordecai)
- Kingdom – I take care of & adopt Christians into my home (Nehemiah 5:17-18)
- Neighborhood – I take responsibility to build community in my neighborhood (Nehemiah 3:10-33)