Restorers, Repairers and Rebuilders #3 Preparation
Introduction: We last issued the challenge for rebuilders and looked at the first steps involved in becoming a rebuilder. First, there must be the commitment to care enough to get involved and then total reliance upon God evidenced by prayer and fasting. This week I'm going to give you a little bit more of the actual requirements for the job itself.
A Rebuilder Must Be Sanctified Nehemiah 2:1-6
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
Nehemiah was set apart (sanctified) to be a rebuilder.
He was set apart from His job, his career even his life.
He was set apart to the work of rebuilding the city walls.
This action was
done under the authority of the King.
A NT Rebuilder is also sanctified (set apart) for the task.
Sanctified to the Lord’s work.
1 Corinthians 1: 26
-27 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the
foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak
things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Then you must
realize you are sanctified from this world.
2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and
touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
This setting apart
can only be done by our King, Jesus Christ.
John 17:17-20 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Let Christ himself
teach this. Luke 9:57-62 And it came to
pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will
follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have
nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto
another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my
father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and
preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but
let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus
said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is
fit for the kingdom of God.
This must be the NT
Rebuilder’s reality, "No one ever accomplished anything worthwhile unless
they were willing to sacrifice everything worthwhile in exchange."
A Rebuilder Secures Authority
Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me
to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come
into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he
may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained
to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall
enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon
Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's
letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When
Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it
grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the
children of Israel.
Nehemiah sought the
King’s authority. He secured written
authority from the King for passage, provisions and protection.
The NT Rebuilder has
secured God’s authority
For Passage Mark 16:15
Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.
For Provision Matt 28:19 Go ye therefore and teach (make disciples) all nations baptizing (immersing) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
For Protection Matt
28:20 And lo, I am with you alway even to the end of the world.
A Rebuilder Sees
Nehemiah 2:11-16 So
I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass. Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned. And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
the task before him.
Before the vision
of the new walls could be seen there had to be a hard look at the ruins. He
took a hard look at the wall, the gates and the ruins.
combination of God’s calling and Nehemiah seeing the need, a plan was laid that
would accomplish the task.
NT Rebuilders need to see the destruction before there can be construction
difficulty of the task you are about undertake.
Do not go into the work with the idea that it is easy. Understand that building from scratch
is always easier than rebuilding from ruins.
George Barna in “Turnaround Churches” 9 out of 10 churches that have plateaued or declined do not turn around, they eventually die.
Rebuilding means dealing
with the rubble, the ruin and the mess of broken lives and homes.
Rebuilding a life
ravaged by years of immoral sexuality means dealing with sickness, disease,
dangerous relationships and many untold hardships.
Rebuilding a church means dealing with the traditions and problems of the past generations.
Rebuilding means a long-term
if not life long commitment.
Again George Barna
claims at least 4-5 years before a church can be salvaged.
Jesus’ Word to
Rebuilders, “Count the Cost” - Luke 14:25-33
Luke 14:25-33 And
there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any
man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,
and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my
disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be
my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down
first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest
haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all
that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not
able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth
not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him
that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a
great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So
likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot
be my disciple.
A Rebuilder Shares The Burden with Others Nehemiah 2:17-18
Then said I unto
them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the
gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of
Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my
God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto
me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands
for this good work.
Nehemiah shared his
Who he shared with:
the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the
rulers, the rest that did the work. He
shared with all those who could or should help.
What he shared: The
waste, the distress and the reproach. The hand of God and the King’s words
How they reacted: Those
who saw the vision gave their outward agreement, “Let us rise up and build” and
their inward commitment, “They strengthened their hands for this good work.”
Those who refused
to see the vision had Outward Derision, they Laughed and scorned and inward
Deprivation, No part in Jerusalem.
NT Rebuilding is a team
Each of us needs to be involved in the work, under our own Nehemiah
Each of us has been
given a Nehemiah. He is here to help
you see the vision and the reality of the work to motivate and challenge you to
the greatest calling and mission ever given.
Foundation Scripture: 1 Cor 3:9 For we
are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10 According to the grace of God which
is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and
another buildeth thereon.
Though none of us
are worthy of serving God, and none of us are strong enough, talented enough or
smart enough to be a be a NT Rebuilder of lives, families, churches or
communities. Yet God still calls us. He
is not interested in your self-confidence but in your Saviour-confidence. Will you believe Jesus? Will you trust Him to supply what we will
never have in ourselves? It is our trust
in God that allows us to hear the call and begin the work. First in rebuild
myself and then to direct, inspire and empower me in the work of rebuilding the
ruins that surround me.
The Path I Feared
I said, Let me walk in the field.
He said, No walk in the town.
I said, There are no flowers there.
He said, No flowers but a crown.
I said, But the air is thick
and the fogs are veiling the sun.
He answered, Yet souls are sick
And souls in the dark are undone.
I said, I shall miss the light
And friends will miss me, they say.
He answered, Choose tonight
If I am to miss you, or they.
I pleaded for time to be given,
He said, is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in heaven
To have followed the steps of your guide.
I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town.
He said, My child do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?
Then into His hand went mine;
And into my heart came He.
And I walk in a light divine
The path I had
feared to see.
Lord, in the task of rebuilder the ruins around me, give me the wisdom to know what to do as well as why. Open my eyes and my mind in addition to my heart. Give me the vision to see the reality of the ruins then the courage of your commission to complete the task.