How should we respond to the brokenness in our world? The people of Jerusalem responded by sharing the vision that God had given Nehemiah. In the book of Nehemiah, God put it in the heart of the cupbearer to the king of Persia to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. After inspecting the brokenness of the city, Nehemiah shared his God-given vision to rebuild with the people of Israel and they committed to join him to rise up and build. God has given us a vision to rise up and build to make more room for the broken in our city.
Good morning, church. We’re continuing our series through the book of Nehemiah. We are in chapter 2 the latter part of chapter 2. And we’re reminded today that the rise up series theme is in the book of Nehemiah, chapter two where Nehemiah went to the people of Jerusalem and he said, you see how the walls are broken down and you see the trouble that we are in. And he told him how the Lord’s hand was upon him and they replied, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good work. So that’s where we get the title of the series rise up from the people’s response to the vision that Nehemiah shared with them.
Before we continue today, I would just ask you, Do you have your journey guides? Hold them up. Let me see them. You got them? Okay. Good, good. So if anybody needs one if you need one, the ushers are ready. Just lift your hand if you don’t have a journey guide. There is someone down here. Anybody else? They will get one to you quickly The reason we want you to have one is because we’re not leaving room in the bulletin right now for notes for the sermon. We want you to take them in the journey guide and you’ll see that there’s a place for sermon notes. There’s a place at the bottom of every page for sermon notes for you to write down questions that you’d like to take to your community group and discuss. And so we want you to carry it to your community group. We want you to open it every morning and do the thirty day devotional. Tomorrow morning is day eleven so you could start there.
Or, if you’re just now getting started, you could start from the beginning that would be great. And we’ve got it as a Monday through Friday so you can catch up on weekends if you miss one. So we’re hearing great stories of life change taking place in our church as we get through this series. You will notice a couple of other items. One is we put a bookmark in your seat today, so you stick that in your bible and it will remind you to pray for certain issues that we have as a church. We want to really lift up to the Lord.
You can see the first one there is pray for unity that we would be as one as we hear God’s word. That we would respond together in unity. And so take that card, use it as your bookmark and be reminded to be praying because success is in the Lord’s hands it’s not up to us. And so we ask, and the Lord is the one who supplies our success and causes us to prosper.
One other item: last week we had the children begin this at the end of the service, where we said to the kids to take a card and then we also said to the adults to write down the names of people that you believe should come to the Lord. You want them to come to the Lord, you see the brokenness in their lives and you want to write their names. I said, write their names down for people that need a God story, people who need God in their life and then at the bottom. It says my long shot. And so we wrote down the name of the person that maybe you’ve been praying for for a long time, and you’ve almost lost faith that they’re ever going to see the Lord in their life. But you wrote it down by faith anyway. And so the children went first. They did it in children’s service, and then they marched in first, and they dropped them in this container right here and the kids, I don’t know parents. If you heard what I heard last week, they were excited. They were so excited. They were talking about how they were going to invite the people that they wrote down to come to church with them. They wrote names like their fellow school friends, people who went to school with them. But they also wrote some moms and dads down. They also wrote some grand parents and some uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters, and they lead the way.
Last week we actually had people crying as the kids walked in and put their long shot cards in, and then we asked the adults to do it. So at this service today we actually have extras at the four stations. So at the end, when we invite you to respond, an additional way you can respond starting this Sunday through the end of this series is well will have these cards down front every week. We also have them at the rise up kiosk in the lobby if you need time to think about it. But even if you’ve already put one in maybe you met somebody this week or you thought of somebody new that you didn’t write down. What we’re doing is we’re asking the Lord to save the people that were writing down. We’re praying for these people. I want to see this container filling up. And when we finish this series, when we start building out, we’re going to take these cards and put him in a smaller container and build them into the stage or the wall or somewhere. And so we can say to people when they come to Christ, ‘Guess what? Back in January of 2019, we prayed for you and your name is under that stage or in that wall, and we’re so glad you came to Jesus.
After the first service this morning, a grandmother came up to me with tears in her eyes. And she said, I almost jumped up and interrupted you during the first service. But I got to tell you this, I wrote my grand daughter’s name down last Sunday and put it in here. And this week she called me and she said, Grandma, I asked Jesus in my heart. She came crying to me saying that the Lord, answered my prayer in less than a week because I took the time to write it down and pray. You better believe the Lord t is taking notice of this. God is taking notice of this that we have our eyes on people that are broken and hurting. See, we all start out that way. We all must admit that we’re broken that we’re all in trouble without God. The beginning of healing is to admit it. And then to ask God to change your life.
And so Nehemiah was going to the people of Jerusalem and in Chapter two, where we’re at today, starting at versus eleven through twenty. He’s saying, may I see the broken walls? Do you see them and let us rise up together and build him? And the Lord will handle the results if we’ll just join him in the work. This is what he’s saying.
And as I look at those broken walls in Jerusalem and think about what that might represent for us today. Where are the broken walls in Wilson County, Eastern Carolina, America and the world? I think walls represent protection and defense and especially for the most vulnerable, because wealthy people can usually always figure out how to pay for protection and defence. But it’s the vulnerable that slip through the cracks that the walls break down in our cities, and then they are the ones most at risk. Widows and orphans. The walls are broken down. Single mom, what of her and her three kids? What of the homeless vets suffering from PTSD? What of those that are in their streets, suffering from mental illness? What of the hungry children that are at risk? They get fed during the school week, but at risk because there’s no food in their home on weekends. I could go on.
Do you see it? You see, the brokenness and perhaps the most vulnerable in our country are those who can’t speak for themselves, the unborn. And so they’re the most at risk because walls are like laws and laws are like walls. Laws put a boundary protection around those who are most vulnerable, or so they should, except for when the world gets turned upside down.
And so on this particular day at our church would have us remember the sanctity of human life because we believe that God made us in his image and that life is sacred. Yet on this day, ironically, instead of it being a day where we lean in and praise the Lord for life, I feel more the grief of the Holy Spirit in my soul this morning Do you feel it? That people in New York would, at the leadership level not all the people in New York, but those who celebrated a new law that is perhaps the most expansive abortion bill in the country, allowing late term abortion until the very day of birth. And under certain circumstances, they’ve expanded it so that others can perform these abortions, including position assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives. These were people who were trained to help women, and they’re at their most vulnerable. Bring babies into the world. And so now they will be by the law released to take the life of the baby.
When I read the word midwives, I was reminded of a Scripture I read earlier this week. Many of you are joining me in the one year Bible, and we opened up the Book of Exodus earlier this week, Chapter 1 where Pharoah went to the midwives of the Hebrews because he was worried about the high birth rate, the population growth of the Hebrews. He was worried about that, that they were going to outgrow the Egyptian population. So he told the Hebrew midwives to kill the boy babies. And then we read this in Exodus 1:17. It won’t pop up here because it just popped up in my head earlier today. Exodus 1:17, “Because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders.” So I guess it’s all about who you fear the most. God. But when we lose the fear of God, we lose even the basic human instinct to care for the next generation. We only care for ourselves now.
Should we judge those who have this opinion? I think not. Because we must first judge ourselves. We’re all broken. We’re all lost without Jesus in our midst. I guarantee you this morning the are men and women here who have experienced abortion in their life there are women here who have had an abortion. There are men here whose girlfriend or wife has had an abortion. Always know this is true. Just statistically, it’s true. We’re not judging you. If we judge you, we have to judge ourselves for our own sins. And I don’t want to be judged. Jesus has already taken my judgment. And he has paid for my sin. And he’s paid for yours. And so this is not judgment. This is not politics. This is about life and about the brokenness of our world that would celebrate death. Let that sink in. I want to be the kind of church that’s not okay with that. I think God wants us to be the kind of people that we’re not okay with the broken down walls . Let us be known as the people who build up, not tear down. Amen.
Now I’ll begin to preach. That’s the introduction. How should we respond? Well, here’s how Nehemiah responded; God got Nehemiah’s attention. He had a cush job. He was a cup bearer to the king of Persia, King Artaxerxes. He had a great job. And, of course, God called him to be an architect and a contractor. You could see how being a cup bearer completely prepared him for that. That’s how God works. He didn’t care about your ability. He only cares about your availability. If you’ll say yes to God, he will use what you have and who you are. And he will multiply it to his glory. So he called a cup bearer to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And so there he goes. He’s as we read today. He’s in Jerusalem. He’s left Susa, the Winter palace of Persia, where he’s gotten permission from King Artaxerxes . And now he’s at Jerusalem and he goes and he inspects the walls and he goes to the people of Jerusalem and he invites them to share in the vision God has given him.
And the people say, Let us rise up and build. I believe today that that same God is calling us to look and see the brokenness in our world, not to be okay with it, but to catch the vision and to share the vision and unity to do something about it and leave the success up to God. Are you ready? We’re going to talk about three steps on how we could respond to this vision that God’s put on us today for the brokenness in their world. Let’s read Chapter two versus eleven through twenty and then we’ll talk about it.
This is Nehemiah speaking in the first person. 11 So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13 I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work. 17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim[a] in Jerusalem.” This is God’s word.
Three steps on how we might respond to the vision God has given us. Here is the first step. Count the cost. You’ll notice the first few verses. Nehemiah arrives in the city of Jerusalem. He’s taken this great journey. He’s gone from Susa, which would be in modern day Iran. And he’s gone up the Trans-Euphrates and traveled probably three months to get there. He’s there and now he’s inspecting. You’ll see that in verse thirteen, verse fifteen. You’ll see that he’s inspecting the walls. He heard about it but he wants to see it for himself. When you inspect something, it’s more than just like casual looking? No, I think he’s got some guys he took with him. Not many, just his trusted advisors. They’re taking notes like, Okay, you can actually ride a donkey through this area, but this area right here yet you can’t even ride a donkey. You’ve got to get off and climb around. It’s so broken down. So we’ll need this much here and this. So he’s counting the cost. He’s thinking about exactly what will have to happen in order to do it.
I’ve got a map for you. I love maps. Have I mentioned that to you? And he’s saying things that we don’t just pass over. I’ve been to Jerusalem. I’ve taken some of you with me to Jerusalem and and the walls have been rebuilt again. They’ve been torn down since Nehemiah rebuilt him and rebuilt again. And some of these gates are still there. They have similar names, but here’s the Valley gate. This is where he started, right? And he’s traveling down past the Pool. King’s Garden, The ever popular Dung gate. Wouldn’t you like to live in that neighborhood. The Dung gate down here is the landfill called the valley Gehinum as Jesus calls it, in Hebrew Behenna, which he often used as a metaphor for hell, where the fire is not quenched and the worm, dieth not, and that makes sense because that’s where they’re putting all their waste down there, and you could imagine what that area was like. That’s the dung gate. He goes around and goes up through the fountain gate. And then right here he was unable to continue riding his mount. The wall was so busted down he had to go by foot and he finally decides to go back and get us back in the Valley gate. So that’s what we were just reading. He’s done a tour of the Southern part. He hasn’t even taken on the northern part yet, but he’s seen enough. He thought maybe there was some foundational work that we could build on. But no, it’s completely destroyed. There were parts that he can’t even ride a donkey through.
And so he he’s got the news, and so now he knows it’s time to tell the people, but notice how he starts. He makes a big deal about this, he says. I didn’t tell anyone what the Lord put in my heart. Only took a few men. I told no one. I went at night. He’s making sure that his count, the cost phase, is not public. He’s at home. If it were us, it would be like Robin and I would be at home talking about our house and dreams we have and how God wants us to be part of something bigger, something that will require a same notice. Nehemiah had to say no to his cush job back there in Persia in order to go do this. He’s not qualified. His only qualification is the Lord put it in my heart. And so he’s down. He’s never built a wall before. He’s really good at holding a cup of wine and taking the first sip. You know, he’s like Artexerxes secret service man. He’s good at that. But now he’s an architect and a wall builder. Why? Because God told him to, but he’s quietly counting the cost so that when he tells the people and they begin to ask why questions and what if questions he started through with the Lord and with his advisers, it’s an important step counting the cost.
And so he said, the Lord had put it in his heart . So this thing he’s doing is not his idea. It’s a vision from God, but he’s not ready to share it with others yet because he’s counting the cost.
Verse eleven says. I went to Jerusalem and I was there three days. So three days before he started the inspection tour, why didn’t he start immediately? It was “Camel-Lag.” That’s what it was. He’s had to overcome “Camel (jet) lag.” Pamela. Look, I did better the first service on my delivery. Either that or I had a better audience. I don’t know which one it was. It’s a lame joke, right? He needed to take a rest. He just went on a three month journey on the back of a camel. Camel lag. All right. Anyway, it’s really funny when I wrote that in my notes this week. But he took a three day break to rest alone with God .
Now he’s on site. He’s here. It’s almost time to tell the people. What if they say no? What will I do then? Lord, I’ve come all this way. I’ve risked everything. What? How will I do this? I can’t do it alone. I have to have people around me. I got to ask the big ask. He took three days before he inspected. That reminds me of what Jesus asked the disciples when they said we want to follow you, we want to follow you. And he said, For which of you desiring to build the tower does not sit down and count the cost whether he has enough to complete it now. Jesus wasn’t in the tower building business. He was in the church building business. He was building the Kingdom of God. So why is he talking about towers where he was giving them an example? Because in that same chapter of Luke 14 he says to them If you want to follow me, you must deny yourself . take up your cross daily and follow me. If you were going to build something when you count the cost, you need to count the cost before you follow me. Because you can’t half follow me. You must fully follow me. It’s going to cost you everything. To follow me is what he’s saying.
Nothing you invest in the kingdom is ever lost. It will cost you everything, but you will gain more than you put in. Trust me on this. I’ve proved it. If it there’s nothing good that you give the God ever lost, its always multiplied. It’s just true. And so, he said, count the cost now. Rise Up is our sermon series through the book of Nehemiah. This is true. It’s also a three year generosity initiative where we’re making room for more people that we invite to come as they are and be forever changed by the love of Jesus. So over the next three years, we’re making a commitment so we can say yes to our kingdom investments in their generosity so that we can make room for these people.
Now there’s a granddaughter already came into the kingdom. No, let’s leave it in there because we’re going to stick it in the wall because the church is not the bricks, the church is the people. It’s not the steeple, it’s the people, right? So what are we doing? Well, there are three critical campus projects that we’ve counted the cost on.
We started almost two years ago now, asking for professionals to come in. We quietly did it before we told you. We followed the Nehemiah method, and we started phase one, which is the children’s wing and the playground. Now. we want to upgrade and be able to use the room next door. We call it the theater room because we haven’t touched it. It looks just like it did when we bought it. We’re like a family that bought a house and it was a fixer upper. And we’re just now getting to that room. And so we want to bring that into use. So we need to spend some money and some effort on that. We need to rise up and build so we’ll have additional worship space, additional space for fellowship and an additional space for youth. We get a “three-fer” out of that one. We also want to improve our first impressions of the lobby bathrooms, coffee shop area. We want to bring that up today, and so that when people visit our church that are far from God, it looks like we got ready for them to be here so that when they come, they will say, “It looks like they love us and that they’re welcoming us in.”
Now, when you’re a family member, you get to where you don’t realize what your house smells like. You know, like you go to your house and get it. I don’t notice anything. Then somebody visits and they go. What’s that? You know? Because you just get used to the smell and look of your own house. But we always have to think about these people. Don’t we? Because we care about their lives and we care about their brokenness, we are the people who have been called to rise up and build. So we’re constantly thinking, How can we stretch and how can we do that?
Then we want to redo the nursery, making it safer, more secure, more attractive and with more space. Have you seen the parking lot? Every spring we mow the parking lot and then we hit it with Roundup because it really needs some work. And it doesn’t really show that we care. We have a school that meets here Monday through Friday and they don’t have a place to play and they’re playing in the parking lot. We don’t want them to get hurt, and I could go on.
These are three mission critical projects that the contractor that did the children’s wing says it’ll cost about a million dollars. So we’ve counted the cost. Now, where’s that money going to come from? Success is in the Lord’s hands. On February twenty fourth, We’re going to ask you to fill out a commitment card and to write down what God told you to do and whatever that is the following Sunday we’re going to celebrate. Trust me, I’m going to be the first one jumping up and down going Yea, God, because I believe something miraculous is about to happen. But it’s not gonna be you or me that causes it. It is going to be God.
What’s my part? To say yes to God and to go on the spiritual journey together with God’s people and then God is the one who has the results. Here’s the question I would ask you as you count the cost at your house. Have you made God the priority of your life? Do you love him first or is there some other area? Some other thing that you love more? You can always tell about a person what they love most by looking at two books, their datebook and their check book. Those two will tell you what a person loves most.
Here’s the second step. Make the commitment. Number one is count the cost Number two make the commitment. Verses seventeen and eighteen. Now we’ve been reading tthose two versus a lot these three weeks. But he goes to him and he asks,do you see it like you’ve been looking at these broken down walls because you all live in this area. I’m just now getting here. I heard about it. I went on an inspection tour. It’s fresh to him. He’s like, man, it’s bad. It’s worse than I thought, have you looked at it? You know, sometimes when you’re in a bad situation, you get used to it . He’s asks what are we going to do?
You can’t change this old world. You can’t. You can’t change this city. What? You’re right. You can’t. But you can ask the Lord and you can say yes to what he wants to do through you. So that’s what Nehemiah has done. And he’s inviting them to see the vision he has because in his mind, when he closes his eyes, he sees the walls built already. He already sees it, and he sees the people thriving. He sees the children playing in the street, well fed and protected. He didn’t see the brokenness when he closes his eyes, because what’s in his heart is something new. Do you see what I see? And what do you feel? What I feel that God’s put on my heart? And he says, Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem in verse seventeen. Let us do it.
Here’s the thing. I’m thinking God’s going to do it. He’s either going to Nehemiah and that crowd that he’s speaking to, but if they say no, he’s going to find somebody else.
I hope we say yes. I don’t want Him to find somebody else. I want Him to use us. I want Him to use me, don’t you? I want to be the one who says yes to God. And then he told them in verse eighteen of the hand of my God that’s been upon me for good. He says, Look, it’s not my idea. Gods telling me to do this. He’s telling you to join me. Come on, God’s with us. Let us do it. They respond, let us rise up and build. So they made their commitment because they recognize God’s hand upon Nehemiah and he gathered them and the the timing was right and they made a faith commitment.
The book of Psalms says, “Commit your way to the Lord Trust in him and he will act.” The book of Proverbs says, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” When I asked Robin to marry me and all of you know this right, When you make a commitment to get married, you have no idea how much that commitments going to cost. But every great thing begins with a commitment. You don’t You don’t check it out and see how it’s going to work. Then you make a commitment. You make the commitment before you really know what’s going to happen. And then you ask the Lord to give youthe power to keep the commitment. And so forty years will have gone by in June and I’m thankful that the Lord has allowed me to keep the commitment and allowed Robin to keep the commitment. We had no idea of the tears. We would cry together through the suffering, but also the blessings and the joy. I wouldn’t take anything for all of it.
My sweet mother who went to be with the Lord. She graduated to heaven in two thousand and one and I still miss her when I think about her. I heard her singing in my head just now when I said I wouldn’t take nothing, “ I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now. Going to make it to heaven somehow.” Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey because God has brought me on it. It always starts with commitment.
The leadership guru, John Maxwell writes this: “Some people want everything to be perfect before they’re willing to commit. But commitment always precedes achievement.” Peter Drucker says that until a commitment has been made they are only promises and hopes but no plans. Everything begins with a commitment.
So here, my proposal. Will you make a commitment to make a commitment? Let me try that again because you are the crowd. Will you make a commitment to make a commitment? Is that preacher language? You’re trying to trick us? No, I am not that smart. Don’t make the commitment yet. Here’s what I’m saying. Don’t say I think I’m willing to do this. I think I can. I think I could give God this much of my life or this much of my time or this much of my treasure. Will you make a commitment so that when God shows you what he wants you to do, that you’ll make the commitment to do it so, well, you make a commitment to make a commitment.
Let me make it easier. That’s too hard. Right where you are, put your ‘Yes’ on the table. No matter what He asked you to do, the answer is yes. That’s pretty clear. I don’t know what it is yet. I’ll make the decision. Trust me, then I’ll show you always is like that. That’s how God works. When you make a commitment to make him commitment, when you decide today my yes is on the table, and counting the cost in my house with my kids, with my spouse thinking about what God wants us to do as a little family as we’re part of a larger family.
Here’s number three. Here’s the third step. Trust God with the results. Verses nineteen and twenty, This is where we are now. We’ve run into the bad guy’s crowd again there, dressed in black. Do you see it? Sanballat the Horonite? They have titles. It’s like I talked about last week one Sanballat the Horonite is in the corner over here and then we have Tobiah the Ammonite.
And now there’s a third guy. They’ve brought him along; he’s new. Let’s look here again. Verse nineteen. We have a new guy; his name is Geshem the Arab. I don’t know why they brought him along. I know that Samballat is from the area of Beth-horon. Which is why he is called the Horonite. He’s a governor.. And then it looks like the other guy is Tobiah the Ammonite from the city of Ammon, which still exists today. It’s the capital of Jordan. Amman, Jordan. Then we have this guy who’s an Arab a man named Geshem. Now, who are they? What are they doing? They are not Jews and they do not want the walls rebuilt. And so they jeer and despise. Those are the two things that they’re doing here.
To jeer means that you don’t have a good argument about why not to do something. And if you don’t have a good argument, you make fun of the other people. And so instead of saying, you shouldn’t rebuild the walls because of this, that or the other, they start making fun.
In the King James version, it says they laughed us to scorn. They laughed us to scorn. It means to mock by imitation or stammering speech. So maybe that’s why they brought Geshem the Arab along. Maybe he was a good comedian; he was a stand up comic. I don’t know. I’ve been trying to visualize where he came from. Maybe they brought him along because he could do a good impression of Nehemiah. I’m sorry. That’s how my head works. Don’t you do stuff like that when you’re reading these stories. Like what? Who’s this guy? Why is he here? Maybe he’s good at jeering; he’s like a professional jeerer. I don’t know.
These three people do not want the walls rebuilt. So they make fun of Nehemiah and they hate him. You can tell they hate him . And they ask two questions and these questions are jeering questions. What is this thing that you’re doing? You are going to rebuild this mess? People before you have tried and failed and you’ll fail too. What is this thing you’re doing? Then the next question is really not a question. It’s an accusation with a question mark at the end. Are you rebelling against the king? And so, how does Nehemiah respond? He could have given back to them just like they gave to him. But he doesn’t; look what he does. First of all, he says something about God . I replied to them The God of heaven will make us prosper. You can say what you want to but success is in the Lord’s hands.
You might look at us and we don’t look like much. But our God is the God of heaven. He’s over the king. He’s over the universe. He can do this thing and we’re trusting it to his hands. And then he said something about what they would do. He didn’t say that they could produce any results. But he did say what they could do. We will rise and build. We can control that part. We can’t control success. But we can control whether or not we show up. It’s not about ability, it is about availability that God’s looking for. Is your Yes on the table?
In the book of Haggai. They were getting ready to build the temple. The temples already rebuilt in the book of Nehemiah, they’re building the walls. But in the Book of Haggai, they were getting ready to build the temple. And the Lord told them this. Be strong. All you people of the land, declares the Lord work for I am with you declares the Lord of hosts according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, my spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. In other words, the Lord told the people when they were getting ready to build the temple. What he say, he says, Be strong. Do the work. Do not fear, Be strong. Do the work. Do not fear, because why? Because I’m with you. I’ll finish it. I will get it done. You have to show up.
When Moses made excuses when God called him when he was eighty years old, he’d been shepherding a flock of sheep for forty years. He’d been a prince of Egypt for forty years. And then he he killed an Egyptian trying to set the people free in his own strength. So he went off and hid for forty years in the wilderness and was a shepherd. So he’s eighty years old when he saw the burning bush and God said, I want you to go set my people free. Go let my people go. You go do it. I’m calling you and Moses does not want to do it. He does not feel qualified. And then God asked him this question. What’s that in your hand? What is that?
I ask you the same question. What’s in your hand? Because God really doesn’t care what that is.Because whatever it is, he can multiply it to His glory. He can use it. He can use your your occupation? What’s in your bank account? What do you drive? Where’s your house? Where is your family? What’s that in your hand? That’s what I’ll use. It doesn’t matter what it is. God gets more glory. But you need to open your hand. God just wants to use what’s in your hand and especially likes it when it’s not much.
When the disciples saw the hungry crowds, they pointed out, Jesus, we should send these people home, their bellies air growling, he says. You feed them. They replied that it would that take a year’s wages to feed all these people. Then thank the Lord for Andrew. He was always good.He didn’t talk much, but he was good at bringing people to Jesus. And he brought this little boy. He found this little guy, he’s got a pack lunch with a couple of fish and loaves of bread, and he’s willing to give it to you. Jesus, He’s willing to open his hand and give you what’s in his hand. He’s got a little packed lunch his Mom gave him, and Jesus looked at that little boy and took that. He broke the bread and the fish and it fed the five thousand. Yeah, what’s in your hand? We will trust God with the results.
When you trust God with with the results, you put the success in His hands. Be strong, do the work and do not fear; that part is in our hands. We trust God for the results.
The Book of Proverbs says. Where there is no vision, the people perish. What’s the opposite of that equation? When there is vision, the people thrive. Brokenness is brought to healing, walls are rebuilt and lives are brought into abundant life when we share the vision that God has given us.
Will you count the cost? Make the commitment to make the commitment. Trust the Lord with the results. Let’s pray, Lord, I pray first of all, for the person that came here this morning and every Sunday there’s someone like this who came in saying, My commitment today is to come to Jesus. I need salvation. I need the Lord in my life. If that’s you, I’m praying for you right now. You can pray with me. The main important thing is that you believe in your heart The words that you pray and pray with me. Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I need a Savior. I believe you died on the cross for my sins that you were raised from the grave and that you live today. Come and live in me. Forgive me of my sin. Make me the person you want me to be. I want to be a child of God And I want you to be my lord and savior. Lord, save me If you prayed that prayer right now believing in your heart The Bible says you will be saved. And you’ll be a child of God And you will experience the abundant life of having Christ Jesus and his Spirit live in you There are many here that have prayed that prayer believing, and they’re believers. They are children of God. Today they know Him as Savior. But there are still areas in your life that you’re holding back. You haven’t trusted him with your dating life, single person. You still think you can handle that on your own instead of giving that the God who you date. Married person, you haven’t trusted God with your marriage . Mom and dad, you haven’t trusted God with your children. Business person, you haven’t trusted Him with your success. I could go on. I don’t know. But you know what? You’re holding back. Holy Spirit. Open our eyes and our ears to see that place that we’ve said no to you. Because today we say yes to you. May it be so in Jesus name, Amen.