The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Building the Kingdom

Building the Kingdom and your part in it

We talked on Earlier about church visitors and how to make them welcome and what to do or not do to keep them coming and eventually become part of the church
Yesterday we talked about 2 builders and how we can be like the wise builder that builds on a Good foundation and remains strong and sturdy.
Today we are going to continue with the building theme and talk about a great example of a builder and how we can learn from his example to be part of building up God's kingdom.
I'm talking about Nehemiah.

The book of Nehemiah is about Nehemiah, and it is broken into 3 parts
A. Nehemiah and his years as The cupbearer- in captivity in the service of the King
B. Nehemiah The builder of the Jerusalem wall
C. Nehemiah The governor- 20 years, governor of Judah

Today we will focus on The Builder --- Nehemiah

Because of disobedience and constant turning away from God, the Israelites became captives of Babylon.
Jerusalem was destroyed and burned. The people were taken into captivity.
After many years Nehemiah was visited by some relatives from Jerusalem.  He heard about Jerusalem and it grieved him.
He became depressed and he prayed to God over his despair of his beloved city. He prayed for more than 4 months, from Chisliv or Kislev,  in the 20th year to Nisan, the 20th year. From winter until spring. 

Before doing anything else,  Nehemiah spent time in solitude and preparation.
How often do we want "it" right now?
Waiting time is never wasted time. 
Chapter 1:1-4 tells of Nehemiah spending 5 months of prayer, 
“All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.” - Oswald Chambers
Chapter 2 tells about Nehemiah traveling More than 800 miles to Jerusalem to assess the damage and begin repairs.
Nehemiah Got the King's permission and provision.
V.12-time alone with God
V.13-15- examine the damage
Do you pray and examine? Is this how you enter into work for God?

After solitude and preparation came strong motivation
Nehemiah was a very effective motivator. He got people excited to respond because of his infectious enthusiasm.
V17 we-us-together
Ephesians 4:16 reminds us that every joint in this body of Christ is equipped for the work it must do, and doing it properly makes the body grow.

There are 2 types of motivation: external and internal
External comes from outside of you--encouragers, people who inspire you
Internal comes from within you---picking yourself up and going on inner strength and courage.
Winston Churchill during WW2 said,  " I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears" this is external motivation.
At another time while giving a graduation speech all he said was two words, " Never surrender" this is internal motivation.
Matthew 4:19  Jesus said, He would Make them fishers of men.
God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the willing
Are you willing to be used?
V18- let's go

It's not what you don't have, but what you do have to offer, remember how many were fed with a few Fish, and a little bread? And remember the widows mites? She gave ALL, and it wasn't much.
Can I tell you a little secret about one of these builders that may shed some light for us? Did you notice Shallum, in verse 15? He’s just one of the dozens listed, but he repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah. No biggie, right? Well, it is actually a huge deal. It’s one man, sacrificing his time and effort to rebuild his community because of the larger vision at stake. But there’s more to the story there
In John 9, they’re calling this pool “Siloam,” but don’t be confused - it’s the very same one. This time, we’re there hundreds of years later with Jesus - as He heals a blind man, declaring His divinity in miracle form. Then in Acts 3, in the very same place, Peter heals a man who has never walked. THIS is an important place, right?
Could it be that the section of the wall God has given you is important for your sanctification and His Glory today, but that He might also have an eternal plan for the work you’re doing? What if your simple job is the setting for miraculous, Kingdom-size work for generations to come? I’m willing to bet, in one way or another, it absolutely is.

What can you offer? What can you bring? Prayer, money, hands, brains?

After preparation and motivation, there arose opposition
The opposition started out as verbal negativity but then progressed to violent opposition. They worked with a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other. Yet they kept working.  They worked all day and guarded all night.
V19- opposition
Nehemiah said, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.” Do we get distracted by opposition? 

Face all opposition this way:
Do your best
Do more
V20- God will give success
Leadership is at its best when you bring what YOU HAVE and let God bring the success.

In the end, Nehemiah and the people rebuilt the walls in 52 days!!!! 
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

We must be compassionate and not be held back by circumstances or distance between us and what is needed.

If we prayerfully undertake a project for God,
If we encourage and inspire each other toward the goal,
If we give each their own work,
If we guard each other's work
We can accomplish great things
Or--- we can be the opposition, which are you?

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