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Parable: There once was a thriving little church in the country. Internal squabbles developed that tore the church apart. Attendance dwindled until the church died. It time a middle-class neighborhood grew up around the church. One day a newcomer, tired of looking at the run down church, started to paint & clean the old church. Some former members came by to watch. They sat in the old dusty pews and told stories about Sunday night hymn sings, or the pot luck dinners. Oddly, no one mentioned the squabbles. They started to help clean up the old place. Leaders of the homeowners association laughed at the idea of a church in their community, but the old members persisted. Within weeks they resumed hymn sings and pot luck dinners. Songs of praise could be heard Sunday mornings and evenings. Folks in the neighborhood who had never attended the church began to come by. God saw it all and it was very good.

Nehemiah saw a similar scene when he returned to Jerusalem in 445 BC. Most of the city lay in ruin. The walls were broken and burned. He shared his God-given vision and the people responded. (Neh. 2:17-20)

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