Summary: This is a sermon preached at the beginning of a major relocation building program.
ARISE AND BUILD
ILL. I had a preacher friend tell me one time that he had always wondered what all those men at the ordination service were saying as they leaned down, placed their hands on the one being ordained, and whispered into his ear. He told me that he had found out what they were saying was “Don’t start a building program.”
Building programs get a bad reputation. Many churches have split over the color of the carpet or the placement of the organ. There are several things that we need to make sure are in line before entering a building program.
1) Our motive—why build in the first place?
2) Our attitude—“my way or the highway” will not work—a spirit of compromise.
3) Our gratitude—Continually giving thanks to God for his blessings will keep us focused.
I. BECAUSE GOD IS LEADING! EZRA 1:2-3
A) It is not about us. Cyrus was a pagan king..
Mohammad Ali was flying to a boxing match when he and the other passengers on his plane ran into some very turbulent weather. Ali was never known for his humility so this story doesn’t take many by surprise. When the captain turned on the seatbelt sign the fight attendant went to Ali and asked him to fasten his seatbelt. “Superman don’t need no seatbelt, he replied.” To which she responded without missing a beat “Superman don’t need no airplane either, now please fasten your seatbelt.”
B) Unity is of utmost importance. Ezra 3:1
The human race has been compared to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, “The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night of earth’s winter eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness.”
Christ has given us an alternative—to forgive each other for the pokes we receive. That allows us to stay together and stay warm.Wayne Brouwer, Holland, Michigan, quoted in Leadership, p. 68
C) Worship must continue to be present.---they joined together to worship
II. BECAUSE GOD DESERVES OUR VERY BEST! HAGGAI 1:2-8
A) One way that we give God our best is to recognize where our blessings come from.
B) God will only get our very best if we will refuse to be greedy.
A notorious miser was called on by the chairman of the community charity. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.”
“Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died? fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?”
“No, sir,” replied the embarrassed volunteer. “Our records don’t show those things.”
“Well, I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?”
Landon Parvin in Leaders, quoted in Readers Digest, May 1996, pp. 67-68.
C) When we give God our very best He multiplies his blessings on us.
III. BECAUSE GOD DESERVES THE PRAISE! EZRA 3:11
A) Because of God’s blessings we have outgrown this facility.
B) Some will criticize Neh 4:1-3
Tonto and the Lone Ranger were riding through a canyon when they noticed an Indian war party looking down on them from every side. The Lone Ranger said “What are we going to do?” To which Tonto replied “What do you me we….Paleface?”
C) We are to keep pushing on Neh 4:6
A building for the worship and praise of our God. A building for the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
A building for the fellowship and togetherness of our families.