Summary: This is the 10th sermon in the series "Rebuilding". Once you begin to complete your rebuilding, you need to find ways to make it last.
Series: Rebuilding [#10]
MAKING IT LAST
God has been moves in awesome ways. Many have been rebuilding parts of their lives and we are seeing it happen. It is worth all of the hard work to rebuild. With that in mind, I must caution you. Once the walls are rebuilt and things are going well it is easy to “coast”. Revival had broken out in Jerusalem; but at some point, people had to get back to their jobs and daily responsibilities. There is real danger following a great move of God. If we are not careful we will slide right back where we were. In fact, sometimes we slide farther.
What do we do to ensure that we don’t end up in the same place of ruins down the road? What do we do to make sure what God is doing now will continue for years and years? After all, we are really just getting started.
Nehemiah 9:1-3 (NIV)
“On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.”
In order to make it last you must…
1. Take care of today.
We need to be doing those things to ensure a strong future for the Church; but you can sometimes get so focused on the future that you don’t take care of today. If you don’t take care of today, you may not have a future. What are the components of taking care of today?
We need to go to God humbly and let Him clean up our lives every day. Don’t let sin pile up in your life or you will end up right where you started.
God said we are to be holy because He is holy. That means we are to be “set apart”. We are to be separated from the ways of the world, (this doesn’t mean separated from people). If you start living with the enemy, you will end up where you started.
Don’t get so busy that you don’t stop what you are doing and worship God. By the way, if you don’t do those things listed above, you won’t be able to truly worship God; because true worship is when you are totally focused on what you are worshipping.
It is important that we remember where we used to be and how things were before the walls were rebuilt. Nehemiah 9:5-37 is a remembering of milestones in Israeli history. We don’t need to remember this in order to have a pity party.
There are 2 main reasons we need to remember where we started. We need to remember where we started so that we can learn from our past mistakes. We need to remember how good God is and that He is a God of 2nd chances, (and often many chances). God wants us to succeed. If not, He would have never created us, because He knew He would have to send Jesus to die for us before the foundations of the world.
We must be obedient to the Word. We need to be committed to living out the Word in all that we do.
In order to make it last you must…
2. Make an investment into the future.
This may sound strange, but if you have been around people that have been settled for a while, this will make sense. The reason that it is so hard to make necessary changes in churches today is because we don’t really care about the future. The attitude can become a do it my way until I die and then I don’t care what you do. There is a reason that you don’t see a lot of younger people in service in most of our churches. (We can’t say that here.) These younger guys may do something different or they may mess it up- Both of which are ok.
Chapters 10-12 tell us about the vows that the people made in order to insure a healthy and godly Jerusalem. The people made 4 vows and these 4 vows if followed will insure success.
Submit to God’s Word.
Be separated from the ways of the world.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
(Keep a day set aside for worship).
Support God’s work.
God provides the resources we need.
You may be thinking that you have already heard these steps in other sermons about rebuilding and you would be correct. It takes the same commitment to continue that it did to rebuild. The only difference is it is harder to keep going. You may be at that point in ministry where you are saying, “I am tired of having to keep rebuild”. I am tired of having to keep starting over. Then I would say to you, “Continue in these things and you won’t have to”. You may be at that point where you are saying, “I am so tired from rebuilding that I can’t continue”. You may need some rest. Rest in Christ.