Summary: This is the 11th sermon in the series "Rebuilding". The Christian life can be like a roller coaster ride.
Series: Rebuilding [#11]
A ROLLERCOASTER RIDE?
Have you ever been on a rollercoaster? You go up and down, round and round, and then it’s over. You end up at the same place you started. Why do people ride rollercoasters? They ride them for the thrill. Besides the excitement of the ride, there is no value in a rollercoaster. It takes you nowhere and it just takes up time and space. There are a lot of materials that go into a rollercoaster that could be used for houses and other useful structures.
If you are not careful, your life, work, home, church, etc… will become like a rollercoaster. You will put people in charge to run the rides so that you can give people a quick thrill and then let them off and put some new people on board. If that is what your life becomes, you will spend your time maintaining your “rollercoaster”.
Nehemiah 13:1-3 (NIV)
“On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.”
In order to continue forward you must…
1. Stay faithful to the Word.
We will find in a moment that this day of reading the Book of Moses was after Nehemiah had returned back from his trip to see the king. While Nehemiah was gone, the people became “lax” on reading the Word. The people had to correct their error after Nehemiah had returned. Let’s make it our goal to be continual learning of the Word and be willing to make necessary changes.
Nehemiah 13:4-14 (NIV)
“Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests. But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense. I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected? ”Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms. I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites. Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.”
In order to continue forward you must…
2. Stay faithful to God.
Not only did the priest let the enemy in, but he removed offerings out of the store room in order to provide a place for the enemy to live. While all of this was going on, people stopped giving like they were supposed to and the Levites and singers had to go back to their “secular” jobs. Nehemiah removed Tobiah and his things from the storerooms and had the room purified. He then returned the equipment and offerings back to their places. We must keep our lives clean of evil so that we do not invite the enemy into our lives. Remember, the walls are up and the gates are on; the only way the enemy gets in is if we let him in. If there is something that is dirty in your life, then let God purify you.