Pastor’s Desk November 11th

Scripture Passage:  “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”  Nehemiah 4:6
Dear Friends,
     There are some Scriptures that seem to appear in my devotionals more often than others.  That is because they speak directly to my heart and the situations I am presently dealing with.  I love to preach through the book of Nehemiah because it is a practical guide and manual on rebuilding a church.  The same steps Nehemiah incorporated in rebuilding the wall are the same steps churches use when rebuilding.  The same obstacles Nehemiah faced and adversities he had to overcome are the same one’s the modern church faces on a day to day basis.  They may look a little different on the surface and may be identified in a different manner, but they consist of the same traits.  Even when a church is strong and void of major splits, there is wall work that needs to be done to keep the foundation strong and the perimeter wall intact.  If repairs are not made and foundations strengthened, it is just a matter of time until the whole structure collapses.   Sometimes it is good to remodel what is in existence to keep it fresh and attractive.  A church is just like a home.  There is always something that needs to be done and projects to be completed.
     In every church I have ever been a part of there have been cycles of mountaintops and valleys.   When you are in the mountaintop cycle everyone is excited and wants to work.  New people are coming in and the ones who have been there for years lead by example and assimilate the newcomers into the ministries of the church.  When you begin the valley cycle, you begin to see people become slack in their attendance and lethargic in in their ministry and worship.  People who once volunteered and involved themselves in ministry become sporadic in their faithfulness.  They camp more, vacate more, and play ball more.  They are sick more and tired more. Those who attended all three services in the past begin to be Sunday morning only worshippers and eventually even miss some of those. They become cynical, dissatisfied, and often divisive.  They are easily offended and look for excuses to quit rather than reasons to continue.  They become comfortable in the rubble and accustomed to the scenery of disarray.  Satan has convinced them this is normal and things will never be any better.  THAT IS A LIE!!! It all changes when one person becomes burdened and desires to experience God’s glory more than the world’s façade of happiness.
     The success of the building of the wall of Jerusalem began with a God placed burden.  Nehemiah loved his nation, his city, and his people.  More than anything else he wanted to see Jerusalem rebuilt and his people return back home.  Nehemiah took ownership because he had a personal investment in the outcome.  After the initial evaluation, Nehemiah shared his burden and vision with the elders and involved them in the decision making process.  He knew that the project was too enormous for him to accomplish by himself.  Every one bought into the dream and contributed by doing their part.  There was nothing easy about their task.  There were obstacles to overcome, naysayers to distract, enemies to defend against, and times of discouragement to battle.  But the success of the wall being rebuilt was worth the effort.  The time of the rebuilding of the wall was one of the darkest times in the history of the nation Israel.  The result of one man’s burden was the city walls were rebuilt, the temple restored, Jerusalem became inhabited again, and the dispersed began to return home.  With all this in mind, let us prepare and equip ourselves for the job at hand and the work which needs to be done.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny