SOUL FAVOUR

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SOUL FAVOUR

Acts 2: 42- 47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

There was an ATMOSPHERE that was so powerful that it formed a CULTURE that was insatiably attractive.

Acronym of ATMOSPHERE

 

A  - ALIGNED ATTITUDE

Vs 42 “They (All of Influencers Church) devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching”.

They allowed the word to renew their mind.

Devoted – de vote.

·     I now no longer have a vote.

·     I de vote my own ideas.

·     I allow the teaching of the apostles to reprogram my thought processes.

·     I align my thoughts and attitudes with the word of God.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Proverbs 3:3 Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you]; Bind them [securely] around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart 4 So find favour and high esteem In the sight of God and man.

·     Devotion is focusing on what you believe and denying any other arguments

·     Devotion is an ALIGNMENT to the WORD of GOD.

Ephesians 4:4 (message) You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction.

You can be on the same road but travelling in the opposite direction.

Favour follows Devotion.

Favour follows a renewed mind.

Favour follows faithfulness to the Word.

 

T  - TRANSPARENT TOGETHERNESS

Vs 42 “ They devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and to the fellowship”

Vs 44 “All the believers were together and had everything in common”

Vs 46 “Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple”

Vs 47 “...enjoying the favour of all the people”

Our openness of relationship is far more important than what we do.

John 13:34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

Ephesians 4:4 (message) You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together both outwardly and inwardly.

.....so stay together - a command we need to obey.

• Don’t just love them out of duty but outwardly show your affection and approval of who they are, their value to God and the valuable contribution they make.

“They’ll know you are Christians by your love.”

How do we cultivate this?

·     Be prepared to trust people.

·     Believe the best in people.

·     Set people up to succeed not fail.

·     Trust peoples motives don’t judger their actions.

Col 3:13-14 NLT 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

·     It’s the beauty if diversity NOT uniformity

·     The way to get along with each other is to understand you have to work at it.

Get over Offence quickly? -  Understand you are going to get offended and make a decision before you get offended to forgive before you get offended.

Keep it Real. – Remember that the Lord forgave you. We only get offended when we think too highly of ourselves.

Choose to Love -   God sees this action as “PERFECT UNITY”

 

M - MAKE MOMENTUM

In physics: momentum = mass x velocity

The greater the mass and velocity of that mass the greater the momentum.

 

MASS: here were three thousand believers added in one day to the original amount.

VELOCITY

Vs 42 They devoted themselves to the APOSTLES

TEACHING, FELLOWSHIP, BREAKING OF BREAD AND PRAYER

Vs 43 EVERYONE was filled with awe, MANY miracles were done

Vs 44 ALL the believers were together EVERTHING was in common

Vs 46 EVERYDAY they continued to meet together. The Lord added to them daily.

 

There was incredible momentum.

To get anything moving energy needs to be applied.

·     Energy in the form of: work, process, strategy, action.

·     Momentum is deliberate.

·     Momentum requires Commitment

 

Favour followed the Early Church because there was a commitment to TURNING UP.

·     They understood what was required to change their world.

·     They didn’t attract favour by an optional commitment

·     They employed the power of momentum.

 

O - OTHERS ONLY

Vs 45 “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone who had need of it”

They were very cheerful, and very generous in the use of what they had.

Acts 4;32All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.

 

S - SPIRITUALLY STABLE

Vs 46 “Everyday they continued to meet together”

They understand the power in continuance.

·     No matter the season CONTINUE

·     Whether you are in the valley, on the mountain, in the dry season or the season of blessing. CONTINUE

Maturity is forged when we just choose to CONTINUE because we just KNOW it is the right thing to do.

Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.

Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do

 

 P - PASSIONATE PRAYER & PRAISE

Vs 42 “The devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to PRAYER”

Vs 43 “Everyone was filled with awe”

Vs 46 .....ate together with glad and sincere hearts

Vs 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the

people.

 

AWE: a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.

·     Praise is simply “faith in action”. Passionate praise is “passionate faith in passionate action”.

·     They continued in their prayer.

 

H- HOLY SPIRITS HELP

ACTS 3 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. 2 As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. 4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,[a] get up and[b] walk!”

We have nothing but the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Vs47 ...and the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.

 

E –ENERGETIC ENTHUSIASM

Psalm 100 .... I will enter his gates with ......thanksgiving in my heart.

Enthusiasm is a decision based on foreknowledge.

Hebrews 11.1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of things we do not see. Even though we haven’t been there yet God has revealed to us by his travel brochure (His word)

Faith without works is Dead.

 

R- Real Revelation

Vs 46 ...they broke bread daily”

You can’t live out of yesterdays revelation.

You can’t dish up stale food from the kitchen.

 

E – Excellence in Everything

Vs 47 “they enjoyed the favour of all the people”

The people found favour with ALL the people because they were operating with an excellent spirit.

“Excellence is doing your absolute best with absolutely everything you have.”

 

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Get Wise

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Get Wise

WISDOM BUILDS THE SOUL

 

Romans 16:19 I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.
Proverbs 4:7  Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

 

It has been said that there are 3 ways to learn:

1.   The easy way – Learn from other peoples mistakes

2.   The hard way – Learn from your own mistakes

3.   The tragic way – Not to learn from either

 

2 Chronicles 1:6-12
6 There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
8 Solomon replied to God, “You showed faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. 9 O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! 10 Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”

Wisdom can be described as God’s Word Applied.


Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV)
Wisdom is the principal thing;Therefore get wisdom.

PART ONE

What is Wisdom For?

James has seven suggestions for the purpose of wisdom (James 3:17, 18). 
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

·      Purity. 

·      Peace loving. 

·      Gentleness - Kind and considerate.

·      Merciful.

·      Shows itself by the good it does.

·      Impartiality. 

·      No hypocrisy

 

Wisdom’s purpose is the foundation of our relationships in life. It gives us the ability to build great moral and value structures on.

 

How do you Get Wisdom?

Proverbs 2 1-7 The Benefits of Wisdom
2 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

 

1.  Stir up a DESIRE for Wisdom

The actions described in this verse is:

·     CRY out

·     SEARCH for it

 

2. Ask For it..

·      You cannot study to get a degree in “wisdom” because it surpasses knowledge and intellect.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

Simply put: WISDOM BEGINS WITH A CHOICE

Proverbs 8 (NLT)
1.Listen as Wisdom calls out!Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!I raise my voice to all people.
 
James 1:5
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

 

 

3.  Be of Good Character

 
James 3:13 (NKJV)
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
 
Proverbs 1 (NLT)
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,to help them do what is right, just, and fair.

Discipline is living within the boundaries of God Word and His Grace.

4.   Do Good

 
James 3:17
It is full of mercy and good deeds.
 
Hebrews 10:24 NLT
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
 
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
 
1 Peter 2:12
Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will give honour to God when he judges the world.
 

 

5.   Remain Humble

 
James 3:13 NLT
 If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honourable life,  doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

PART TWO

 

1. Wisdom is the Foundation

·      Building dream houses depends on carefully following detailed architectural plans.

Proverbs 24 (NLT)
3 A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.
4 Through knowledge its rooms are filledwith all sorts of precious riches and valuables.

 

·      The foundation of a house determines what is built.

·      Foundations are also built for the worst of seasons and weather. They are built to withstand the storms. Floods and gale-force winds that do come our way.

 

Matt 7:24-27
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
 
Psalm 127:1 NIV
 Unless the Lord builds the house,the builders labor in vain.

 

 

2. Wisdom is Releasing…

 

·      Many build something that SEEMS right instead of what IS right.

·      Some attempt to build on rules and regulations, assuming that if they keep all the rules, they can never go wrong.

 

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NKJV)
12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.

Rules will always look at what is lawful but wisdom will focus on what is helpful and beneficial.


 

3.  Wisdom and Knowledge go hand in hand

 

Proverbs 14:33 (NLT)
33 Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart

 

Proverbs 3:13 (NLT)
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.

 

·      It is one thing to have knowledge but another to know how to apply it

·      Raw talent can take you so far, however to be successful you have to apply yourself.

 

Proverbs 2:2 (NLT)
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

When you understand you have to make a decision and use discipline to create the boundaries.


Colossians 2:6-7 (Message)

6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.


If you would like to know more about Jesus please click the button below.

 


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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 2

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 2

PART ONE - REVIEW

The “Blessed life” is characterized by GENEROSITY..

2 Corinthians 8..

       The Macedonian church we an extremely poor church who were under fierce pressures, yet were outrageously generous.

The Bible says…. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.

 They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor.

 

6 simple lessons:

Everybody can be Generous.

Generosity is Evidence of God at work in you.

Generosity opportunities are not always timely.

Generosity is the result of Revelation from God

Generosity leads to Purity of heart.

Generosity is a privilege and spontaneous

 

 

BLESSED NOT STRESSED….PART TWO

John 3:16 For God "So Loved" the "World" that He "Gave"..

The Churches command is to go into ALL the World and make disciples.

-      God’s plan is to use the church to go into “ALL the World”...

-      The Church is to be a Blessing to the World

“If God’s desire is for you to live Blessed not Stressed, then it is God’s desire for the Church to live Blessed not Stressed.”

 

There are many Biblical principles and practices for us to adopt and live by. The practice flows from the principle which attracts the blessing.

 

PERSONAL BLESSING

Jeremiah 17:7   But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

Proverbs 16:20      Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers

Deuteronomy 30:16   For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

 

COLLECTIVE BLESSING

Malachi 3:10   Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

 

TITHING

 

Tithing is essentially giving a tenth of your income to God.

·     It was established before the Law

·     The tithe is Holy.

·     The tithe belongs to God

·     It transcends the law and It is found in the New Testament. Luke 11:42

·     The OT practice was based in Law and was done out of a “Have To” approach

·     The principle was perfected in the NT by the Law of Grace and moves from a “Have To” to a “Love To” attitude

 

1. GIVING IS A GRACE

2 Cor 8:7

7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

 

·     Just as you freely receive by grace, therefore you can freely give, by grace.

·     Giving is a Grace that has been given to you, just as love is a grace by which we operate by.

·     Salvation is a Gift of Grace.

·     The extension of Grace toward ourselves and others is linked to our revelation of own personal salvation.

 

”Tithing is an Act of gratitude responding to the Gift of salvation." - RT Kendall

 

 

2. FORGIVENESS FLOWS FROM GIVING

Luke 6

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 

  • As giving is an Extention of the Grace of God. As you extend forgiveness, you are “for” the extention of the Grace of God to others.

 

 

3. FREELY RECEIVE TO FREELY GIVE.

Luke 19

6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

8 Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

 

If you struggle in the area of joyful giving you could actually struggle in the area of receiving.”

 

When we understand Grace, we understand freedom. Giving does not become an issue when we understand GRACE.

 

4. MONEY REPRESENTS “UNREDEEMED TIME.”

 

 

 

TITHING: “GODS PLAN FOR THE CHURCH TO LIVE BLESSED AND NOT STRESSED..”

“If all Christians tithe there would be no such thing as poverty.”

— RT Kendall

 

 

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 1

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 1

 

TOP 10 SECRETS OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE

According to psychcentral.com these are the 10 most common attributes that happy people have in common.

1. They Practice Gratitude.

2. They Enjoy Their Own Company. 

3. They’re Honest and Tell the Truth.

4. They Make Time for Fun.

5. They Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep.

6. They Practice Forgiveness.

7. They Help Others.

8. They Enjoy Their Work.

9. They Have Good, Healthy Relationships.

10. They Believe in Something.

 

Jesus is the Centre of all things..

          "For from him and through him and for him are all things." - Romans 11:36 

 

JOHN 3:16….FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE....

The most Generous act in History by God the Father who sent Jesus to this earth for you and I.
Generosity personifies the character of God.
Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.
This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. That’s what prompted us to ask Titus to bring the relief offering to your attention, so that what was so well begun could be finished up. You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you’re articulate, you’re insightful, you’re passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.
I’m not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians’ enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich
— 2 Corinthians 8 (MSG)

1.  Everybody can be Generous

They were  “desperately poor.”

·     Often we see generosity as something we do when we can afford it.

·     Generosity is not an affordable item. 

·     Generosity comes from a position of your heart, not a position of your head.

"They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!"

 

2.  Generosity is Evidence of God at work.

 Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. 

·     Generosity is an evidence of a person walking with God.

 

3.  Generosity Opportunities are not always timely.

Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit.

·     Generosity is often defined by the circumstance.

Mark 12 (The widow) "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all."

·     The opportunity of generosity is defined by the circumstances surrounding it. Generosity, in this case, is defined as what she couldn’t afford.

 

4.  Generosity is the result of Revelation.

vs5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

·     The fight was between the natural (reason) and the spiritual (revelation)

·     The generous opportunity will be a decision of revealed conviction.

·     When you give out of Revelation and Conviction,  Lord calls it PURE.

 

5.  Generosity leads to Purity of heart.

The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts.

·     John 3:16 For so loved  that "HE GAVE"…..

·     Generosity comes form the place of "SO LOVING"....

·    "SO LOVING" demands ACTIVATION….

·     You can give and not love but you cannot love and not give.

 

6.  Generosity is a privilege and spontaneous.

They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians. This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard.

·     It becomes an a privilege because “WE GET TO” as compares to “WE HAVE TO.”

Generous - Self Assessment
Generous - Self Assessment
Here is a little self assessment you can take to help you of your journey of Generosity..
I am always looking for opportunities to be generous.
I count it a privilege to give to others.
I find it difficult to be generous when I look at my finances.
I would love to be more generous.
Generosity does not come easy to me.
I need to work on this more in my life.
I am going to look for more opportunities to be generous

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BEHIND, BEHOLD, BUILD

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BEHIND, BEHOLD, BUILD

When Building a House

·      you don’t just decide one day to build a home and purchased a block of land and start building.

·      Even if you are a builder, you don’t do this.

·      There is a specific process that needs to take place for the dream of the new Home to become a reality.

·      There is planning, and councils, and architect drawings, builders, tradesman, banks, utility compliances and a whole lot of stuff that needs to happen.

·      Sometimes it can become so emotionally, financially and physically draining.


To make a Dream a reality you have be prepared to make some changes along the way..

Just like this market…

1 Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews,

2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”

3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”

 4 Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land!

5 Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.”

 6 At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.

 7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious.

8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion.

9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.

 10 Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”

 11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.”

 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”

13 So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.

 14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”

 15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.

16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah

17 who were building the wall. The labourers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.

18 All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.

 19 Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.

20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!”

 21 We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.

22 I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.

23 During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.
— Nehemiah 4

As you are moving ahead with your dream....a few things to be to help you...

 

1.   Your Dream may Face Opposition.

When God births a dream in you, as much as it is for you, it is for so many other people.

·      Your dream is ultimately not yours but it comes from God.

·      Anything that God initiates or creates the enemy hates.

·      When you start to declare it and build something that honours God… expect opposition.

·      The enemy hates it when you take ground.

·      If you are birthing and activating God’s purpose in your life….EXPECT OPPOSITION!!

·      It will come in all forms…

  1. Accusation
  2. Ridicule
  3. Sickness
  4. Opposition that does not make sense
LITMUS TEST: If you start dreaming again, and the dream comes under attack, you know you are probably heading in the right direction.

Because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
— 1 Corinthians 16:9

What can the opposition look like?

1. Intimidation:

Nehemiah 6:2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”But they were scheming to harm me;

2. Ridicule and Mockery:

Nehemiah 4:2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing?

3.    False Witnesses

Nehemiah 6:5-6 They were twisting the truth to stop the wall from being built.

The enemy is an accuser of the saints. He will always try and deflate you, speak defeat over your life; he will try and expose your weaknesses.

John 10:10a says: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.”

Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed;
— Psalm 21:11

This is a battle for AUTHORITY.

·      The Cross of Christ is the ultimate Authority

·      Your God given dream, birthed by God in your heart, carries the authority of the Cross

·      It carries the authority of the Word, which is Christ himself.


 

2.   Charred Stones is all God wants…

God dreams always look bigger than us…(And they are).. We often look at the brokenness, the deficiencies, the failures of “who” we are and discard the possibility of seeing that dream birthed.

The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 happened because a little boy with the 2 fishes and 5 loaves gave what he had…the giving of the one thing ended up in multiplication.

  • Charred stones that have been discarded as rubbish as unusable….God CAN use again.

Luke 20:17 “Jesus was the stone the builders rejected.”

        He makes significant things out of insignificant things.


3. Don’t Drop Your PRAISE.

 

Nothing worth building costs nothing.

There will always be a price to pay for something significant.

Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”
— Nehemiah 4:10

They weren’t complaining because of the opposition. They were complaining about the amount of the work.

  • When you get physically tired, your defences are down, your motivation is less. Then your language drops.
  • They started speaking about the impossible
  • “We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”

 

Judah means “Praise”.

Praise is essential to keeping you in faith.

When you are tired one of the first things you can tend to lose is your praise.

  • Praise is a matter of decision
  • When you are tired.....Praise even more…..The Joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

Why Praise is so important?

  • Praise gets your eyes off of your circumstance and back onto God, who, by the way, gave you the dream in the first place.
  • Praise is activated by Faith
  • Praise denies the flesh and the flesh doesn’t really like it
  • It positions the flesh, our feelings, in its rightful place, back under the direction of our renewed mind that is making a decision to praise anyway.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases
— Psalm 103:1-2
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
— Hebrews 13:15
Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
— Psalm 100:4

Isaiah 61:3-7 (MSG)

Announce Freedom to All Captives

61 1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
    because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
    pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
    planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
    raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
    take the rubble left behind and make it new.

You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
    and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
    honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
    you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
    and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
    and your joy go on forever.

 

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