Thank you for being a part of our service this morning.  I appreciate your support and hope that this morning’s message will speak to your heart and make you want to seek to grow in your faith.

The last couple of weeks we have been looking at the Resurrection and Easter.  This week we get back on our journey of Nehemiah looking at Chapters 9 & 10.

 

The Greatest News the world has ever heard:  HE IS NOTH HERE, HE IS RISEN!

Matthew ends his gospel with the staggering news of the resurrection,  We should never let this get old in our hearts.

The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead tells us that Hope is Alive!

John 11:25-26 ESV “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Romans 1:4 NLT and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:4 ESV We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

 

 

Good Morning and Welcome to Bolton Community Church.  I am so thankful that you chose to worship with us this morning.  Just a few things before we get started.  We are experiencing a new way of doing the format of electronic notes.  Please bear with me as I try new ways to make it easier for you to take notes.  Also please help yourself to some refreshments in the cafe next door.

So I am going to ask you two questions and give you space to fill in your responses:

  1.  What part of today’s sermon stuck out to you?

  2. How can you use today’s sermon to help further your walk with Jesus?

 

 

Good morning and thank you for coming to Bolton Community Church and I am thankful for you taking the time to worship with us this morning.  This morning we will continue our journey through the book of the Nehemiah.  Today we will be in chapter 4 and looking at Overcoming Discouragement .  If you have any questions about today’s sermon or want to know more what is means to be “born again” please see me after today’s service.

NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 4:1-23

 

 

 

 

 

Questions of Reflection from Nehemiah 4 – Opposition from the Enemy & Perseverance

1. Introduction: Have you ever had a project that you felt like giving up on but paid dividends when you stuck it through?

12. On whom did Nehemiah keep the focus ( v. 4:9, 14, 20)

13. Nehemiah had a sidekick who would rush to the place of need and sound the alarm. Do we have friends that can help us in the hour of need?( v. 4:18)

14. The battle lines are drawn and every person was ready for battle – they had their swords, spears and other weapons ready beside them. Are you equipped for the spiritual battle that is raging? Do you carry your weapons with you? ( Eph 6:11 – 18; 2 Cor 10:4,5)

15. How do you respond to opposition? Do you get distracted, challenged to work harder, give up, get frustrated, complain, seek new solutions, trust God more, etc…

When we run into roadblocks sometimes it is important to discuss the problem with a close friend. Is there someone else that you can share your heart with?

 

 

Session 7: The Discipline of Prayer:                                          

SESSION GOALS

Every session has a point—what each participant should walk away from the discussion knowing, feeling, and doing.

Main Idea: Prayer and fasting can help us walk closely with God so that we can better enjoy and exalt him in the world around us.

Head Change: To know that prayer and fasting can help us remain close to the heart of God.

Heart Change: To feel more confident incorporating prayer and fasting into our regular spiritual practices.

Life Change: To commit to praying faithfully and including regular fasting as a part of our spiritual disciplines.


OPEN


How do you keep in touch with far-away friends?

Staying in touch with old friends, especially those who live far away, takes intentionality and creativity. Our methods have changed in some ways, with technology like social media, but letters and calls remain favorite means of communication between many friends. When we value those relationships, we make the effort to keep in touch. In today’s session, David leads us through a couple of strategies for maintaining a close relationship with God, who can seem far away and hard to connect with sometimes. But prayer and fasting can help.

Watch Session 7: The Discipline of Prayer (10 minutes).


REVIEW

The short description in Genesis 5:24 summarized the life of Enoch, who “walked with God.” He knew and followed God so thoroughly that people recognized the fruit of his faithfulness. His godly reputation was spoken of through generations. It’s the kind of reputation every believer should want to cultivate. How would you describe your relationship with God? What characteristics best define the way you connect to him and express your faith outwardly?

Enjoying God and exalting him with our words and actions does not come naturally. We must be intentional in staying connected to him. David shared two ways we can remain close to God. The first is prayer. What has your experience with prayer been like? How does prayer affect your sense of communion with God? To what extent have you struggled or thrived in making prayer a regular practice?

 

In Matthew 6:5–13, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. Praying is a humble endeavor between us and God, who already knows what we need. Yet he desires that we talk with him anyway. What questions have you had about the purpose of prayer? If you’ve ever wondered why you should bother praying when God already knows what you need, how did your questions impact your prayer life?

Prayer is less about getting something from God and more about knowing him more deeply. As we spend time with him regularly, whether alone for a period of time or on the go throughout each day, we develop a deeper connection with him. What strengths and weaknesses do you see in your current prayer habits? What changes do you think would make your prayer time more effective?

In the acrostic David suggested, he began with P for Praise, echoing the first line of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9. Remembering what God has done in the world and for us should motivate us to praise him. What can you praise God for today?

R stands for Repent. After praising God, we confess our sins and repent of them, coming clean before God. Our humility shows that we understand our rightful standing in his presence. And we can trust him when we repent because he has shown us his great love. Do you find it difficult or easy to repent of your failings? Why?

Now it’s time to Ask (A). Tell God what’s on your mind. Make requests for yourself, friends, family, world events, work, etc.—whatever is on your heart. He’s ready to hear us. Looking to him for help is right and good. Think through the requests you typically bring to God. How many are personal to your life? What percentage would you say are devoted to others’ practical needs or spiritual struggles?

Finally, to finish out PRAY we should Yield (Y) to the Lord’s leading and will. We entrust ourselves to him and how he sees fit to answer our prayers and direct our lives. What’s your usual response when God answers your prayers the way you asked him to? How do you react when you do not get the answer you sought?

The second discipline, and acrostic, that David shared was FAST. After Jesus demonstrated how to pray, he explained the right way to fast in Matthew 5:16–18. Prayer and fasting typically went together in Jewish culture as complementary disciplines. Before this session, what did you know about fasting? To what extent have you practiced fasting?

David’s acrostic began with F, Focus on God. Fasting is meant to bring us closer to God, not show ourselves to others as super spiritual. What activities help you focus on God more than your surroundings, worries, or tasks? How might fasting help you narrow your attention primarily toward God?

The most memorable aspect of fasting is Abstaining from Food (A in the acrostic). As David described, how often we set aside meals can vary—one meal, a full day’s worth of meals, one meal a day for several days, or any other pattern. Setting aside those mealtimes is an act of trust that God meets your needs more than even food does. If you have fasted in the past, how did you structure your experience? What challenges did you face? If you have never fasted, what questions do you have about the spiritual benefit of it?

As we abstain, we Substitute (S) the time we would be eating with prayer and Scripture. Fasting isn’t a weight-loss strategy but a discipline to draw us closer to God so that we “Taste (T) and see that the Lord is good” (an allusion to Psalm 34:8). What situations in your life have kept you praying long and hard? How could fasting help you focus on seeking God for a specific circumstance?

As David said, it is good to walk with God through prayer and fasting. When we seek the Lord, we will find him. What can you do today to move one step forward toward a more abundant prayer life? How will you incorporate fasting into your spiritual walk with God?

LAST WORD

Every relationship requires communication. When it comes to communicating with God, he invites us to pray and sometimes fast as we seek his counsel and accept his loving care. David gave us helpful acrostics to remember how to think of prayer (Pray, Repent, Ask, Yield) and fasting (Focus, Abstain, Substitute, Taste). As we establish regular patterns of prayer and fasting, and encourage others to do the same, our relationship with God will strengthen. Consider your own habits around prayer and fasting this week as a way to deepen your spiritual journey.

 

DEEPER WALK


Pray:
Choose a time each day for the next week or month to devote to prayer using the Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield (PRAY) method. Consider asking a friend to begin the same pattern of prayer to help you continue this habit. Encourage each other as you go.

 

Plan: Make a plan to begin or continue fasting if your health allows it. If you are new to fasting, start small, perhaps by skipping one meal. Think about what you will focus on during that time period instead of food. Will you study Scripture or pray about a specific issue? Determine what your motivation for fasting will be. Consider asking a friend to fast with you or to support you during your fast.

 

Commit: Mark your calendar, alert any family or friends who may be impacted by your adjusted meal schedule, and commit to when you will fast. Prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As the time approaches, continue to pray that God will allow you to hear from him during your fasting experience.

 

 

Nehemiah Chapter 3 – Know Your Role
Pastor Scotty Matthews – BCC Senior Pastor

Thank you for scanning our notes feature.  I hope that you are enjoying the service and apprecaite you willing to Worship with us.  Now here is some thoughts on what you just read:

NEHEMIAH 3:1-32

The book opens up with Nehemiah learning of the bad news about the condition of the walls of Jerusalem and the condition of the people. Nehemiah showed in his questioning of his brother of the condition of God’s people and city and what followed what his priorities were as a servant of God. Not only did he humble himself with fasting and prayer, he wanted to be the one that God used bring a solution to the problem at hand.

But there are obstacles. The present king who Nehemiah is serving as cupbearer is Artaxerxes I, who we saw in Ezra 4 stopped the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, and that the walls in particular are mentioned 3 times in Rehum and Shimshai’s letter to Artaxerxes. Also, remember that Artaxerxes is the King. You cannot just speak to the king or enter into his presence uninvited without risking the loss of your life.

So Nehemiah needed the courage and boldness to speak to Artaxerxes, and that opportunity came at the beginning of chapter 2. God gave Nehemiah mercy in the sight of Artaxerxes. Nehemiah was fortunate that when Artaxerxes made the edict to stop the work on Jerusalem, he had in the edict the possibility of the work starting again by saying that the work had to stop until further notice from the king. So, Nehemiah, after praying to God asks for everything that he needed to get the job done, showing that not only had he been praying and fasting persistently over a 4 month period for the opportunity to speak with the king, he had been preparing for the work over that same period. He planned for God’s response to his prayer.

The King grants Nehemiah’s requests, and he goes to Judah, giving the letters of the king to the governors in the region. He goes to Jerusalem, where he spends 3 days examining the walls and planning for the work. In Nehemiah 3, we see some of the evidence of the amount of planning that went into the building of the walls. There was a lot of planning before the walls began to be built, possibly even where people would be working on the walls. We see organization in this chapter to make sure each section of the wall and each gate had people working on it. The list of workers seems to take us counter-clockwise around the wall. It begins at the sheep gate and the two towers on the north side of the city (v1) and circles around the city until it gets back to the sheep gate (v32).

OBSERVATIONS FROM THIS CHAPTER

  • One phrase that is repeated 15-20 times in this chapter is “next to him/after him.” They are working right next to each other, working with one another (Ephesians 4, Romans 12). Having someone next to you can be an encouragement for you as you work.
  • These builders were not “professional” builders. There were people of all occupations were doing the work. These were not professional builders and carpenters. I was struck that no expert builders are listed. Instead, we see perfumers (v8), goldsmiths (v8, 31), temple servants (v26), merchants (v32), and the High Priest/priests.
  • There were many other leaders (other than the High Priest). officials, v9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. No one is too good to get their hands dirty. They are from other cities. Distance didn’t keep them from working. An official with his daughters- v12- an official and His daughters – women were working too! Everyone’s role is important.
  • Tekoite leaders (v5)- Unfortunately, these leaders did not want to get their hands dirty. Not having someone that wants to work could be discouraging. But the common Tekoites worked in spite of their nobles not working.
  • The Tekoites even repaired a second portion of the wall (v27). Along with the Tekoites, 6 other groups repaired two portions of the wall (11, 19-21, 24, 27, 30).
  • in front of house – 10, 23, 28-30 – How well would you build the wall around your house? Would you make sure this is the strong part of the wall. (Working where family can see)
  • In v13, we are told that Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired 1000 cubits of the wall (aprox 1500 ft). This is the biggest measurment we are given. They may have repaired the biggest section
  • verse 20 – Baruch diligently/zealously repaired. Some translations say he carefully repaired the wall, but the Hebrew word used means to burn or to be kindled, showing more of an idea of zeal or passion for the work.

What an inspiring example of what can be done when God’s people work together under dynamic leadership! This chapter shows what kind of planning and organizing went into building these walls. This shows us the value of working for God in an organized way. Everyone should be given work to do, and each one should know what is expected of them.

  • What parallels can you draw between the physical rebuilding of the wall and spiritual rebuilding in your life?


  • How can the concept of rebuilding be applied in healing interpersonal relationships?

  • In what ways can you contribute to the ‘rebuilding’ efforts in your own spiritual community?

  • In our society today, what “walls” do you see that need rebuilding? How can you play a part?

  • How does the unity of different groups in Nehemiah 3 provide insights into handling diversity in our communities today?


  • How can the example of the cooperative work in this chapter influence your understanding of teamwork?

  • Reflect on a situation in your life where a Nehemiah-style leadership could be beneficial.

  • What personal “walls” in your life might need rebuilding, and how can the lessons from Nehemiah 3 guide you in this process?

I fell that these 8 questions are important ones to ask if we are to go deeper in our faith.

Have a great day Pastor Scotty

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

Good Morning and welcome to Bolton Community Church on line notes.  I am thankful that you are joining us this morning and if we can be of any assistance to you and/or your family please let me know.  

Matthew 14:22-33

 


We all nee to learn to redirect our focus more towards the cross then to our own sitiuations.  

 

Challenge you this week to write down a list of ways you like to be more focused on things.  

 

 

Pastor Scotty

 

Good Morning and welcome to Bolton Community Church.  I am Pastor Scotty and these notes are to help guide you through this mornings service.  I have been here for 6 years and seen how God has worked through the people in the church.  This mornings message is about PATIENCE, something that I can honestly say I lack at times.  I hope that you are encouraged and challenged by this message this morning.  Our goal is to want you to deepen your faith and explore the scriptures for yourself.  If you have any questions please ask me or feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Have a blessed day!

THE POWER OF PATIENCE

JAMES 5:7-11

  1.  
    In your own words what does that mean to you?

  2. In your own words what does that mean to you?

  3. In your own words what does that mean to you?

Thank you for coming today and I hope that you are challenge to Seek Jesus more in your life.  Come by and visit us on Wednesday Night for a look at  how we need to be Dreaming BIG!  This starts at 6:00pm.

Good Morning and Welcome to Bolton Community Church!

I want you to know that we appreciate you giving your time this morning and hope that you leave spiritually filled and encouraged.  Or if the Lord Wills, that you are convicted by the service and continue to seek truth.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or call me at 518-644-9847.  Thank you and have a blessed day.  

James 5:1-6 ESV
Warning to the Rich

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

First, Don’t it Greedily –It Wisely 5:1-3

Second, Don’t  It Deceitfully – Earn it 5:4

Third, Don’t Spend It  – Share It  5:5-6

•God’s concern is not with actual wealth, but with our toward wealth.

•God’s counsel is not against people who are wealthy, but against the wrong  of the wealthy.

 

Have a great day and as a token of our appreciation go next door to Sunrise Cafe to get 10% off your order.  

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