Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
In December I wrote a blog with this title and based it on my study of Ezekiel. But this edition is a little different and it is based on the message that Pastor Brandon gave on January 21st. While I don’t usually base my blog posts on a recent message (it kind of feels like cheating), this particular message spoke to my heart in several ways. So, I thought it was worth repeating some of the things from the sermon that were most meaningful.
I must be honest, when I came into the church on Sunday, I wasn’t real excited. Nothing was really wrong, I was just having a few internal struggles about some things and not really being thankful to the Lord. But I was scheduled to greet this morning so I put on my ‘happy face’ and did my duty. (That sounds terrible, I know!!)
But when Pastor Brandon got up and started giving the message that the Lord gave him, things began to change. If you were there, the message was from the book of Nehemiah. I have gone through a couple of studies on this book and it has been meaningful to me in the past. But over time, it has pretty much been forgotten. One of the first things that hit me was the statement that “harmony is found when everyone does what they are supposed to do.”
Pastor Brandon elaborated by saying that what we are doing for the Lord may not be what we want to do or we may even think it is not doing any good. I thought back to some times when I complained about the things I do here at the ministry and even at Stonepoint. Sadly, when I complained, It wasn’t just to myself, but I shared it with others. Whatever happened to, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Phil. 2:14). Then It struck me that I am doing what is needed by the church at this time. It may change, it may not, but I Think God would have us do what is there before us. There is an old saying, “it’s not about me.” But, how often we make about us. I went home and talked to God about this.
He then then gave an overview of some of the things that Nehemiah and the Jews faced while they were rebuilding the wall. He summed up this overview by giving six points that God’s people need to remember from the book of Nehemiah when serving Him. I’d like to paraphrase them below:
1. Every work of God will face opposition. This opposition will come both from outside as well as inside the church. We should not be surprised at this. Jesus Himself suffered persecution from the very people who should have rejoiced at His coming. Instead, the say Him as a competitor.
2. If God has called you to a work, He will protect you in it (Nehemiah 4:15). As God protected the Israelites as they rebuilt the wall, so to, He will protect us as we serve Him.
3. God’s work cannot be accomplished in your own strength (Ephesians 6). We will wear out if it is done on our strength. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. Without that, we may become discouraged and give up.
4. God’s work cannot be accomplished without tireless grit. The greatest works are accomplished when God is at the center and the people work. Serving God is not fun and games. It is sometimes hard, tedious and sometimes boring. Satan will come in during our weak times and tell us it’s not worth it, or that we need a break. But if Christ is the center of our lives we will have His power to go on.
5. When God calls you to a great work, don’t get distracted. His enemies tried to distract him and invited him to meet with them. But Nehemiah knew that they “only wanted to do him harm.” He then told them that he had work to do and would not come down and meet with them (see Nehemiah 6: 2-3). Satan will go to great lengths to put up roadblocks so that we will give up serving our Lord. we need to be aware of that fact and rely on His grace and strength.
6. Lastly we cannot invest your energy for ourselves, we need to invest our energy for our great and awesome God. May we do whatever we do for His glory alone.
I will grant you that my attempt to capture what this Sunday morning message was like, is poor at best. If you are interested, you might consider going to the Stonepoint website and listening to the message. May God give us the grace to be a people of unity and who serve Him from our Hearts. May God bless you all.