TITLE: How To Kiss A Frog
TEXT: Nehemiah 2:1-8
PROPOSITION: Some tasks are not pleasant – but they are the will of God.
KEY WORD: Principles
SCRIPTURE READING: Nehemiah 2:3-5 - 3and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?” 4Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
1. Story of "Frog Prince"
2. Theory - Task too repulsive will not be done.
3. Application – Dirty work can have rich rewards. Why not done?
1. To return to Jerusalem he had to change the king's heart.
Prayer to God 1:7-11 - 7We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; 9but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ 10Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. 11O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer.
2. Waiting is Essential.
Book begins in December (Chislev). 1:1
Approaches the King in April (Nisan). 2:1
Living Bible "One day in April, 4 months later ..."
3. Be honest with your feelings. 2:2 - Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.”
Nehemiah was sad. It showed on his face.
He was "sore afraid."
4. One more prayer.
The king offered help.
2:2b-3 - So I became dreadfully afraid, 3and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?”
Pray one more time – 2:4 - Then the king said to me, “What do you request?”
So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5. Have a plan.
2:6 - Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
Write a letter - Permission to travel - Invoice for timber- 2:7-8a 7Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, 8and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.”
6. Make sure that God is on your side.
2:8b - And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.
FIVE PRINCIPLES ON "FROG - KISSING"
1. Changing the heart and character of a person is God's specialty.
Saul to Paul
Lydia - heart opened
2. Praying and waiting go hand in hand.
Elijah -prayed for rain, looked, prayed again, looked
3. Faith is not a synonym for disorder or a substitute for careful planning.
Don't just "jump in" and think later.
We must not run ahead of God.
4. Opposition (resistance, ridicule) is to be expected when God's will is obeyed.
Godly will suffer persecution.
Many will not understand our motives and actions.
5. JUST DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!
When it is time to kiss the frog, just do it.