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NEHEMIAH 2023 PART 14 STAYING HEALTHY AT THE REFUSE GATE This Sunday we are speaking about ‘The Dung Gate’. It seems quite an unpleasant and inappropriate subject to speak about in church and yet God thought ‘the dung-gate’ was important enough to have it built in Jerusalem’s walls and to write about it. Nevertheless, we still don’t like to talk about these things. There is a story about a rather ‘Prim & Propper’ Christian lady who was planning a couple of weeks’ vacation in a campground in Florida. Before she booked the holiday, she wrote a letter to the campground manager to make sure the campground was fully equipped. She was very concerned that this campground had adequate toilet facilities. She was however, so ‘Prim and Proper’ when writing the letter, she couldn’t quite bring herself to write the word ‘toilet’. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term ‘Bathroom Commode’. However, after reading the letter back, even that term ‘Bathroom Commode’ sounded quite crude to her. Finally, she decided to abbreviate the term ‘Bathroom Commode’ to the initials ‘B.C.’. This was acceptable to her so she wrote, ‘Dear Sir, does your campground have it’s own B.C.?’ SLIDE When the campground owner read the letter, he couldn’t figure out what the lady was talking about by the initials ‘B.C.’ and after worrying about it for several hours, decided to ask his wife. She also had not seen the initials ‘B.C.’ before but concluded that the lady must be asking about the location of the local Baptist Church. ‘That’s it,’ the campground owner said and sat down and wrote the following reply: ‘Dear Madam: I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure in informing you that the ‘B.C.’ is located nine miles north of the camp site and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along, and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now, there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats. They plan to hold the supper in the middle of the B.C. so everyone can watch and talk about this great event. I would like to say it pains me very much, not to be able to go more regularly, but it is surely not for lack of desire on my part: as we grow older, it seems to be more and more of an effort, particularly in cold weather. If you decide to come down to the campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you and introduce you to all the other folks. This is a really friendly community. So, apart from the fact, we don’t like talking about such things, toilet facilities are a vital part of healthy living, something which we must attend to daily. They are a necessary part of our personal hygiene where we ‘off-load’ our personal waste. It's true, it’s true we need a loo In every house and maybe two, To do the thing that rhymes with ‘shoe,’ Which after you’ve done you feel brand-new. It’s just something we all must do. I’m grateful for The Humble Loo And hope the same is true of you.(Chris Lambe) So today we are talking in plain terms and stating that Jerusalem had a designated place for human waste which now has quite a profound spiritual significance to help us walk a healthy and victorious Christian life. SLIDE - There it is appropriately placed at ‘The Bottom’ of Jerusalem, with the Fountain Gate right next to it. We could call this area, ‘The Bathroom of Jerusalem’. HERE’S OUR TEXT … Nehemiah 3:14 BSB SLIDE The Dung Gate was repaired by Malchijah (Mal Kie Yah) son of Rechab (Rack-ov), ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem (Bet Hak Keram). He rebuilt it and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. POSITION & CONDITION Once again, the first thing we really must stress is that this gate does not relate to our spiritual position but to our earthly condition as believers, as we travel through this world day after day. It relates to our emotional and mental condition. OUR SPIRITUAL POSITION IS SET IN CHRIST! It tells us we are righteous in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) We are seated with Christ far above (Ephesians 2:6) We are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3) WE ARE NOW COMPLETE IN HIM (Colossians 2:10) OUR EARTHLY CONDITION IS ONGOING. It needs daily attention, just as we all need to visit the bathroom commode daily to be clean and healthy. THIS REFUSE-GATE IN JERUSALEM REPRESENTS A PLACE OF PROVISION FOR ALL BELIEVERS TO BE ABLE TO OFF-LOAD OUR EMOTIONAL & MENTAL WASTE AGAIN & AGAIN JUST LIKE WE HAVE TO REGULARLY VISIT THE BATHROOM COMMODE. THIS IS THE PLACE OF OUR SOUL RELEASE. Just as in the natural, we discard and let go our inner waste … so spiritually God has made a place for us to do the same THIS IS NOT A PLACE OF CONFESSION OF SIN MANY PREACHERS TEACH THIS IS A PLACE OF REPENTANCE. One guy said, none of us finds it easy to acknowledge our sins before the Lord. He said, ‘All our sins are like filthy rags and everything we touch is tainted.’ This guy didn’t understand the sheep gate which tells us Jesus took our sin away forever. (John 1:29) ALL OUR SIN HAS BEEN DEALT WITH ON THE CROSS FOREVER! We already saw that at the sheep gate … and hopefully that has been established as a core belief in our soul. THIS IS NOT ABOUT SINFUL ACTS … BUT THE EFFECTS OF SIN -NOT OUTWARD ACTIONS BUT INWARD ATTITUDES WHAT IS IT THAT WE DISCARD HERE? WE NEED TO DISCARD OUR EMOTIONAL & MENTAL NEGATIVES SLIDE OUR PERSONAL, EMOTIONAL & MENTAL WASTE CONSISTS OF PRESSURES, ANXIETIES, FRUSTRATIONS & BITTERNESS etc. These are negative things that daily build up on the inside of us. They come from having to struggle and strive to survive in an unredeemed world. Often we are left with … Residue from battling negative attitudes around us … Remains from getting upset and angry with people … governments and things … Remnants from the impact of disappointments etc. These all start to build-up inside. We are often left fearful, anxious, angry, resentful. We find ourselves tense and negative about everything. There’s a buildup of feelings of rejection … despondency … self-pity … self-loathing. We end up with obsessive thinking and become intolerant of others. We don’t really know how much we are affected until we go to Jesus our burden bearer. THESE THINGS CAN BUILD UP ON THE INSIDE OF US THROUGHOUT EACH DAY / WEEK AND IF WE DON’T OFF-LOAD THEM WE WILL START TO FAIL & FALL APART. The Hollywood answer is … ‘Have a drink’ … Have some Prozac … Take sleeping pills … Become workaholics … Get a massage etc. THE BOOK OF HEBREWS CALLS THESE THINGS WEIGHTS Hebrews 12:1b NKJV SLIDE … Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. TO LAY-ASIDE IS TO ‘OFF-LOAD’ … We must learn to be regular in off-loading our negatives. N.B. ‘The sin which so easily ensnares us’ is unbelief! The major sin we still wrestle with. GOD HAS MADE A PLACE FOR US TO OFF-LOAD OUR PERSONAL WASTE WHAT IS HERE AT THE DUNG GATE? LOOK AT THE NAMES MENTIONED IN THE BUILDING OF THIS GATE Nehemiah 3:14 SLIDE The Dung Gate was repaired by Malchijah (Mal Kie Yah) son of Rechab (Rack-ov), ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem (Bet Hak Keram). Malchijah (Mal Kie Yah) = 'my King is Yah' = Jesus is my King Rechab (Rack Ov) = a Benjamite and means to utterly control usually of chariots or animals. HERE, MY SOUL (or the animal) IS BROUGHT BACK UNDER HIS CONTROL Beth-haccerem (Bet Hak Keram) = 'house of the vineyard' … Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5) Here our soul is brought again to ‘abide’ in Him (the Vine) where His life flows through us and we bring forth much fruit. LET’S PUT ALL THIS IN A SENTENCE SLIDE Jesus, my King, brings my rebel-soul back under His sovereignty and replants my soul in Himself, ‘The Vine’, where His life flows through me and I prosper. We must daily abide in Jesus, leaning into Him. Here we will be set free and released from internal burdens and His life will flow through us. NB: WE MUST COME WITH OUR BURDENS TO JESUS … JESUS OUR BURDEN BEARER IS HERE Matthew 11:28 SLIDE Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest … NB: We don’t need to be conscious of what our contaminants are, just like we don’t examine the waste we off-load physically. We don’t have to confess or understand the problems. WE JUST HAVE TO BRING OURSELVES TO HIM & LET ALL GO! SLIDE HERE WITH OUR BURDEN BEARER EVERY NEGATIVE-EMOTION, WRONG-ATTITUDE JUST FALLS AWAY AS WE FALL INTO JESUS. He knows who you are and that these negatives of the flesh are not you. Here you fall into him … He holds you and the strivings … self-will – independence – of the flesh, all falls away. This is your private, personal time to off-load all your negatives … and come away free Hebrews 7:25 NKJV Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Psalm 68:19 Christian Standard Bible SLIDE Blessed be the Lord! Day after day he bears our burdens; God is our salvation. Selah. Salvation = Yeshua = ‘God is our Yeshua’ Every Christian, even the best, has need of daily cleansing from his daily assailment and this cleansing depends on the purifying activity of moral effort maintained by the help of God's grace. (Unknown) CONSTIPATED CHRISTIANS Sometimes you meet a grumpy, opinionated, negative person … They’re not happy with anything … SLIDE GRUMPY OLD WOMAN You know ‘THEY HAVEN’T BEEN FOR A WHILE’ OR You might meet an uptight, intense super-spiritual person You say, ‘THEY HAVEN’T BEEN FOR A WHILE’. SLIDE THE KEY TO CLEAN & HEALTHY LIVING IN THIS WORLD IS TO OFF-LOAD YOUR BURDENS WITH JESUS’ REFUSE-GATE You may be experiencing some emotional trauma that you thought you’d already overcome, but it’s back again. You may ask, ‘Why is this happening to me again. Why can’t I get over these things. Maybe God didn’t really heal me. Have I lost my salvation?’ Don’t be discouraged! Just as you have to go daily to the bathroom-commode … so you have to daily come to Jesus – you are not backsliding … You just need to off-load again. One Lady minister wrote, ‘I hear many women say they give their worries to Jesus but then they end up taking them back. This proves that casting our burdens unto Jesus isn’t a one-time done event. (Julia, ‘Loving Christ Ministries’) Your ongoing issues and trauma could be because of a build-up of emotional and mental waste inside again which you simply need to off-load as you did before at Jesus’ Refuse-Gate … And you will have to yet again. We need constant release. This is His provision to keep you healthy and clean KEEP SHORT ACCOUNTS WITH GOD Ephesians 4:26 NKJV Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath. This is saying, before the day is gone, off-load your anger at The Refuse-gate. You might be struggling with certain physical ailments that you are unable to get over … THIS COULD BE BECAUSE THERE’S BEEN A BUILD UP OF EMOTIONAL & MENTAL WASTE INSIDE YOU. THE ‘REFUSE GATE’ IS HIS PROVISION TO KEEP YOU HEALTHY & CLEAN Joan James writes in her book ‘Make Me Whole’ … ‘Smouldering anger is subtle because a person thinks they are handling it by keeping it under-cover, yet this same person may suffer from anxiety or elusive allergies. (‘Make Me Whole’ page 79 Paraphrased) 1 Peter 5:7 BSB Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. CAST = Throw Upon… Psalm 37:3&5-7 Amplified Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness and truly you shall be fed. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass. And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday. Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. Psalm 62:8 NKJV Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart (inner man) before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. Many times I wake early in the morning and feel pressure in my mind; however, I have learned to come to Jesus at The Refuse-gate. I sense Jesus standing through the bed and I literally roll over and lean into Him. Here I sense release from very deep inside me. I don’t know what the issues are and I believe He doesn’t care about them. He’s here for me and as I lean into Him I feel His power impact me and tension starting to leave. Sometimes tears well up in my eyes from deep within and I know I am being set free from waste. I feel lighter and sustained by Him. This happens morning after morning and will do so until Jesus comes again. One doctor said, ‘If we don’t weep through our eyes then we will weep though other organs in our body!’ WE MUST LEARN TO OFF-LOAD DAILY

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