Build Your House

Nehemiah 7:4
“Now the city was large and spacious, but the people in it were few, and the houses were not rebuilt.”

By this time, in the Nehemiah’s story, much has been accomplished. He has experienced the call of God that took him from a highly coveted position in the kings court to becoming a leader among the congregation of Israel. He has seen God provide for his personal needs as well as the needs of his new found ministry. He has seen the people who had been both divided and discouraged rally together to accomplish the work of God and build the city wall. With all that Nehemiah came to realize that the work was still incomplete. There was much more that God wanted to do in and through his life and ministry. As he looked out over the city he discovered that the people had yet to build their own homes.

Consider for a moment the ministry of Joshua. He gathered the tribes of Israel together and drove the Canaanites out of the land. Under his leadership the enemies were defeated and each tribe was given their allotment of the land. As time went on it became clear that the people were neglecting to fight the battles necessary within their own territories and needed to be encouraged to get to the task at hand. A very similar problem is taking place here. The wall is built around the city by the combined efforts of those from every tribe, but the necessary work for the homes to be built has been neglected. The reason given is the limited number of people.

It is not uncommon for people who come to Christ to have victory in a lot of areas of their lives and still neglect to fight battles on the home front. A person might be hailed as a great employee and church member, yet still not treat their family members in a way that brings glory to the Lord. Regardless of how far you have come in your relationship with Christ, allow me to encourage you to consider  how much your relationship with Jesus is affecting your marriage and your family. Are you taking your Christianity home with you and focusing on building up your family? Whether you are a son, daughter, mother, father or grandparent it is time to build up our homes for the sake of the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.

Jim

 

When Lions Attack 

Amos 5:18
“Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness, and not light.”

In recent years, people have become fascinated with end-of-the-world scenarios. We have been inundated with movies about environmental crises, alien invasions, and zombie apocalypses, that have brought an end to the human race. Mixed in with these, have been best selling novels about the Book of Revelation. Believers and unbelievers alike, have read cover-to-cover, as the prophecies of the Bible are painted in real life scenarios. With all of that, we have seen little change in the course of the world we live in. It is as if people are excited about the possibility of the return of Christ, but not quite committed enough to allow it to change the way they think or live.

Things were the same in Amos’ day. Many people, who were living ungodly lives, were hoping for the Messiah to come and fix everything. Amos explained to the one who is not committed to the Lord, the day of the Lord will not be what they are hoping for. He went on to illustrate it this way,

Amos 5:19 “It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him!”

Just as the armies came and took Israel captive, so the day of Christ’s return will one day come. The message of Scripture is a call to prepare in advance. The first step is to trust Christ for salvation, the next is to surrender all to him. The question to ask is, “What silly things are you holding on to that you would find embarrassing if Christ were to come today?” Whatever those are, it is time to set them aside and “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

Pastor Jim