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Summary: Setting up the structures in your life and the life of the peolple of God.

Introduction: End of WWII wasn’t the end of the war. There was still work to do, peace to be enforced. Similarly Christians who think walking the isle is the end of their responsibility to God - It’s only the first step.

Background: Nehemiah knew getting the walls up didn’t fix the underlying problem

Purpose Statement: As children of God we need to organize our life around…

I. The Correct Priorities (v.1)

A. Levites/Ministers

1. The need for correct doctrine in our lives

2. We are becoming religious not little Christs

B. Worship

1. The need for worship to fill our lives DAILY!

2. John 4:19-24

C. Doors

1. The need for doors to guard our hearts, minds and spirit

2. Whenever it breaks illustration

D. Gatekeepers

1. The need for accountability in our lives

2. Christian Behavior Illustration

II. People We Can Trust (v. 2)

A. Brothers

1. The church ought to be our family

2. We’ve not done a very good job of this

B. Godly People

1. What kind of people are you taking your advice from?

2. We turn to Oprah, Dr. Phil, Ann Landers, etc.

C. We need to be that kind of person as well

1. You need to be there for people as well

2. Character not comfort illustration

III. Preservation of the Faith (v. 3)

A. Be prepared for attacks

1. On your person, on your faith, to get you to sin

2. Screwtape Letters

B. Avoid the darkness

1. Don’t go where you know you shouldn’t

2. Pick up the snake Illustration

C. Don’t fight alone

1. Too many of us think we’re spiritual supermen

2. Edinburgh Castle Illustration

D. It starts at home

1. Protect yourself, your home, your work, then your church

2. Evil is like a wild wolf illustration

IV. The Potential For Kingdom Growth (v. 4)

A. Lots of room for growth

1. In your life, church, family and friends/security helps cultivate growth

2. I’m Well Established illustration

B. Lots of work remains

1. The city was not intended to be empty

2. 75% of churches are plateaued or declining

C. Everyone is going to have to chip in

1. Too much work to be accomplished alone

2. Honey Bees Illustration

Conclusion: Keeping the homeland safe should be a priority in every Christian’s life

JOHN 4:19-24

19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

20 "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you {people} say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."

21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father.

22 "You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (NAS)

WHENEVER IT BREAKS

The story is told of a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000-foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relieve his fear he asked, “How often do you change the rope?” The monk in charge replied, “Whenever it breaks!”

Daily Walk, March 30, 1992

CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR

A study conducted by The Roper Organization for High Adventure Ministries in 1990 found that the moral behavior of born again Christians actually worsened after their conversions. Examined were incidences of illegal drug use, driving while intoxicated and marital infidelity.

The problem can be solved, says one researcher, with a new commitment to accountability and discipleship.

1. How’s your thought life?

2. How are you handling the balance between work and home?

3. Have you been in the Word over the last few days?

4. What has God been teaching you recently?

5. How are you doing in handling God’s provision of time, talent, and money?

6. Are you being responsible in protecting your eyes, hands, feet and mind with women other than your wife?

7. Are you shooting straight in answering the above questions--or trying to blow smoke?

CHARACTER NOT COMFORT

God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. His goal is not to pamper us physically but to perfect us spiritually. - Paul W. Powell

PICKED UP THE SNAKE

Iron Eyes Cody is a Native American actor who once did a TV spot for the Keep America Beautiful campaign. He was an Indian drifting alone in a canoe. As he saw how our waters are being polluted, a single tear rolled down his cheek, telling the whole story. This powerful public service commercial still shows up on TV screens after 17 years. In 1988 Cody repeated an old Indian legend in Guideposts magazine. Here it is:

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