God's Heart for the City

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Nehemiah 1:1-11
Sunday, 14 August 2011

This week we were blessed with a guest speaker, Mel Ponder, who shared a message of God's Heart for The City based on Nehemiah 1:1-11.  We discovered Nehemiah's heart which was God's heart for the city of Jerusalem.  God has a heart for the city as we see Joshua taking out Jericho before entering the promise land; the great commissioning in Acts 1:8, "to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth."; there are several books of the New Testament that are written to the church of Galatia, Corinth, and Ephesus; and in Revelations Jesus comes to the churches of the city.  If this is God's heart, then what does it mean for the church? What does it mean for me?   Mel gave us four points of meditation.

1.  Move from condemning the city to blessing and praying for the city.
2.  Build bridges and not walls.
3.  Success is not measuring attendance but measuring impact.
4.  Change our mindset from serve us to service 

Mel gave some incredible illustrations of churches that have a heart for the city and the impact they have been able to make through God blessing them.  Lastly, he encouraged us to be a church that is outwardly focused and emphasized how we all can make a difference.  He asked the question, “If Hope moved out of Santa Rosa Beach, would it be missed?”  
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