Lucia's Blog: "LET US RISE UP AND BUILD"
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"LET US RISE UP AND BUILD"

"Then said I unto them, Ye see the evil case 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.  And I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me, as also of 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 the good work."  
Nehemiah 2:17-28


As I read through the pages of the Book of Nehemiah, I cannot help but to be encouraged by this awe-inspiring man of God.  I find so much pleasure in reading this amazing book.  Nehemiah is inspiring to me because of his great leadership skills in accomplishing an enormous task in such a short amount of time.  It is through God using him as His instrument of glory that Nehemiah is able to make Jerusalem a much better and different place.  The walls were finished in only 52 days! 

Before I get into my focus subject or study, I would like to start with a brief background of who Nehemiah was.  We will also need to learn about Artaxerxes I and the Persian Empire, the Babylonian and Assyrian Empires, the three deportations of the Jews by the Babylonians from Jerusalem to Babylon as well as the return from Babylon to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the Temple and the restoration of the walls of the city of Jerusalem that were burned by fire.

In 721-722 BC, according to Assyrian documents, Sargon II captured Samaria, the capital of Israel. He deported around 28,000 of the surviving Israelites who composed the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  He rebuilt Samaria, making it one of the 70 Assyrian provinces.  Afterward, he moved Assyrians into Samaria so as to occupy it.  Some Israelites remained in the city making it possible for both groups to merge into one.  These became the Samaritans that the Jews rejected politically and religiously in the days of Christ.  We read of the beginnings of this conflict in Ezra 4:1-5.  When some of the Jews returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity, the Jews refused to let the Samaritans take part in the rebuilding of the Temple.  The Samaritans harassed them, Nehemiah 4:2.  Four centuries later, Jesus reached out to the Samaritans confronting the prejudice that had grown very strong in their day.  Jesus demanded that all such prejudices be removed in the Gospel, John 4.  

In 626 BC, 96 years later, Babylon rebelled against the Assyrian Empire and it fell into chaos. Sixteen years later in 612 BC, the Babylonians removed the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.  Thus, the city capital of Nineveh was destroyed some 150 years after Jonah had cried out against them around 762 BC.   In 605 BC, seven years later, the Babylonians defeated the Egyptian armies at Carchemish and as a result of this, they placed themselves as the only world empire.  After this victory, the Babylonians focused on attacking the kingdom of Judah but failed to defeat it.  The Babylonians succeeded where the Assyrians had failed.  Jeremiah the prophet had foretold of their captivity for a period of 70 years.  In 606 BC, Daniel and some other captives were taken to Babylon. In 597 BC, Ezekiel and some more prisoners were taken to Babylon.  In 586 BC, the city of Jerusalem is destroyed by fire.  In 539 BC, the Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and the Persians. And just as there had been three deportations of the Jews, there would also be three returns from Babylon to Jerusalem.  In 536 BC, the Jews rebuilt the Temple led by Zerubbabel. In 456 BC, under the leadership of Ezra, the Law was restored.  In 444 BC, they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, led by Nehemiah.

Let us turn back the pages of time to the Book of Nehemiah and focus on this remarkable man of God.  Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra and the cupbearer to Artaxerxes I who ruled Persia from 464-423 BC.  Artaxerxes I is best known for his role in allowing the return of the exiled Jews. Nehemiah led the third and last return of the exiles to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.  The Persian Empire had adopted exiles from many of Babylon's conquered realms.  Their attitude toward the Jews differed in that they allowed the Jews of Judah to return home and rebuild both the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem.  Artaxerxes I appears many times in both the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  After Ezra, Nehemiah, and Artaxerxes, the Bible becomes silent for four hundred years.  The books of Ezra and Nehemiah appear as one in the Hebrew Bibles.  Together they tell the story of the return of Judah's exiles, the rebuilding of the Temple and the restoring of Jerusalem's city walls.  Ezra and Nehemiah's accounts extend through the reigns of four Persian kings:  Cyrus the Great, Darius I, Xerxes (Esther’s husband Ahasuerus) and Artaxerxes I.  

When Ezra went back to Jerusalem along with thousands of Jews, Nehemiah stayed behind.   While he was serving as a cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes, he got word from Jerusalem that the city was having trouble with their neighbors.  One reason for this was that the old wall around the city had been destroyed years before and was never rebuilt.  The gates of the city had been burned, and the stones were in ruins.  The city was in rubble.  The walls served as protection from their enemies and intruders.  

When Nehemiah heard the bad news, his spirit fell into sorrow in such a way that even King Artaxerxes noticed it and wanted to help him.  Nehemiah was a wise and godly man.  After a silent prayer, he opened up to Artaxerxes and revealed what was grieving him.   He shared with his king the problems his people were having back in Jerusalem.  Moreover, he asked the king for a 12-year leave of absence!  Even though, he was not a wall builder, he trusted his Jehovah God and allowed Him to lead him into accomplishing this enormous task. 

Remember that Artaxerxes had already sent Ezra off with his generous blessing.  Now, 12 years later, he agrees to allow Nehemiah to go too.  He sends Nehemiah with letters of authority and abundant supplies that will enable him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  As we read the Book of Nehemiah, we find out that it was not an easy task to accomplish.  The Jews had many enemies such as the Samaritans.   It is undeniable that Nehemiah had a challenge on his hands:  "Then said I unto them, Ye see the evil case 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."    (Nehemiah 2:17-18).   And what was the response of the people?    "Let us rise up and build."   This two verse text really captures my attention!  They were determined to go into action:   "So they strengthened their hands for the good work."  What an awe-inspiring story of trusting our LORD to do His work no matter what the circumstances or opposition.

The enemies were looking for ways to stop their progress.  In addition to this, they had other obstacles such as all the rubbish and debris that was in the way, making it hard to rebuild.  It is a fact that Satan always opposes the progress of the LORD'S work.  Satan opposed Nehemiah externally as well as internally.   Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem did everything in their power to stop the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem.  Their opposition was serious!  Consider the following obstacles and oppositions they found in their way:

  • Ridicule:  "They mocked us and despised us." (2:19).
  • Anger:  "Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews."  (4:1)
  • Criticism:  "What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?”  (4:2)
  • Mockery:  "Even what they are building—if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!"  (4:3)
  • Threat of all-out-war:  "All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it."  (4:8)
  • Compromise:  "Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me."  (6:2)
  • Lying:  "It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these reports."  (6:6)

Notice that Nehemiah did not succumb or surrender to any of these attacks.  Truly Satan opposed Nehemiah the same way he does us.  Notice how Satan worked on Nehemiah internally:

  • Discouragement:  "And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish."  (4:10)
  • Wanting to quit and be defeated:  "So that we are not able to build the wall."  (4:10)
  • Greed:  "Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews."  (5:1).   "There were others who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine.”  (5:3).   "Now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others.”  (5:5)
  • Finally through Cowardice:   "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night."  (6:10)

Despite all of this, it is remarkable that they were able to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in just 52 days in 454 BC.  The work was completed (6:15) and the enemies of God were defeated (6:16).  

"When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God."

Nehemiah did an incredible job of delegating the task he was charged with.  Because of his tremendous leadership a census was taken, the guards were put in place, the walls were dedicated and most importantly, the Word of God, the Law, was restored back to His people.  The Book of the Law was read publicly.  The host for this big event was none other than Ezra, a devout scribe.

The Jews listened and acknowledged what God had done in preserving them as a nation.  They celebrated what was called the "Feast of Tabernacles."  Part of the Jewish celebration was to build small booths out of large palm trees to remember the days of their wandering in the desert.  In Hebrew, a booth is a sukkot.  At the dedication, "they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar."  Nehemiah 12:43.  I cannot help but get emotional when I read these words.  I wish I could have been there to hear them shouting with great joy!

By the way, Nehemiah kept his promise to king Artaxerxes and returned to Persia after 12 years to serve in the king's palace. What an awesome leave of absence Nehemiah experienced!

The Bible mentions the building of many things.  Consider some of them:

1.  Cities:  Genesis 4:17
2.  Houses:  Genesis 33:17
3.  Walls:  Nehemiah 6:15
4.  Altars:  Deuteronomy 27:7
5.  Tabernacle:  Exodus 40
6.  Temple:  I Kings 6
7.  Fortifications:  Ezekiel 4:2
8.  Sheepholds:  Numbers 32:16
9.  Tombs:  Luke 7:2-5
10. Synagogues:  Luke 7:2-5


In the Word of God, we have many examples of men of faith who were relentless builders and who were always ready to say, "Let us rise up and build."  Consider some of these men:

  1. Noah who built the ark, Genesis 6
  2. King Solomon who built the Temple, II Chronicles 3
  3. Our Lord Jesus Christ who built His church, Matthew 16:18
  4. Jesus passes on this obligation to Christians, Matthew 7:24-25
  5. The apostle Paul was a master builder following the divine pattern preserved in God' revealed Word, I Corinthians 3:10

In the book of Ecclesiastes 3:3 we read, "A time to tear down and a time to build up."  

Today, the Lord's church is facing difficult times where we must "rise up and build."  The house of God stands in bad repair today because worldliness and humanist philosophy have become a part of our lives.  Can the house be rebuilt as it should be?  Let us reflect on this thought!


How Shall  we then Rise up and Build for God?  Consider the following:


I.  Let us Rise Up and Build our Faith and a Strong Christian Character:

We have been introduced to the man Nehemiah.  A young Jewish man carried away by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.  Despite being a prisoner and exile, he rose to a trustworthy position in service to the king of a pagan and ungodly nation.  This speaks greatly about the man's integrity and wisdom, a man whose life radiated to those that were around him.  

In the Bible, we also read of other great men such as Joseph, Moses and Daniel, who excelled in the courts of foreign world powers.  By their examples, we are strengthened to be convicted as Christians and not compromise our faith.  We are called to be set apart from the world since we are not of this world.  The Word of God repeatedly instructs us not to be "of the world."  (John 17:14-17; Romans 12:1-2; I Peter 2:11-17).  Their lives of faith, righteousness and devotion to God are much-needed lessons for us today!  Despite all of Satan's wiles, they valiantly rejected that which was sinful in the eyes of God.  Take for instance Joseph, who repeatedly said "NO!" to the many sinful, immoral advances of his master's wife.  Moses, who steadfastly said "NO!" to the sinful pleasures of this world.  Daniel, who purposefully said "NO!" to unfaithfulness toward His God.  And Nehemiah who unyieldingly said "NO!" to compromise for the sake of peace and collaboration from the enemies.

Let us, therefore, learn from these great men of God to always say "NO!" to all forms of sin:  sinful words, thoughts, and deeds.  We must forcefully reject all of Satan's devices and temptations to surrender to unfruitful and sinful living.  Let us not neglect our God-given responsibilities and duties. We will be judged!

As those who profess to be followers of Christ, we must leave behind this world and its pleasures. This character is what sets us apart as true Christians.

  • We must crucify our thoughts, our deeds, and our habits, Galatians 2:20 
  • These must be nurtured and carefully formed in our daily walk with God with a positive attitude of heart, Philippians 4:13
  • With a vigilant heart toward our habits, Proverbs 4:23 
  • And finally by a persistent addition of the excellencies of Christ, II Peter 1:5-8, 10  
  • Let us be a good influence as children of God whose righteous character is above reproach in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation, Philippians 2:14-15

II.   Let us Rise up and Build for the Cause of Christ:

As I consider carefully Nehemiah's character traits, I am amazed at his selfless character of love and devotion toward God and his nation.  Nehemiah was smitten with deep sorrow to the point of despair for his beloved Jerusalem and the terrible living conditions of his brethren, the remnant living in Jerusalem.  It is noteworthy that his grief leads him to a proper examination of self and the source of all unfailing help, our God.  He acknowledges sin as the cause of their unhappy state, Nehemiah 1:6. As Christians we must reflect upon our own fleshly weaknesses as well as our sins that we may make ourselves right with God.  The apostle Paul reflected on this in I Corinthians 9:25-27, 

"Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."  

Our Lord Jesus taught the same idea in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, Luke 18:9-14. Let us purpose in our heart to be "built" in Christ in the sense of obeying Him, not allowing sin to harden us and thus render us unfruitful for God's purposes.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall."

Let us also take to heart the Lord's exhortation to holy living as is stated in II Timothy 2:19-21.  

"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.'  Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.  Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."'

It is tragic and lamentable that the Lord's church which He purchased with His blood is in decline today.

  • Can we simply blame it on circumstances?  
  • Can we just accept it with resignation?  
  • Are we to rest in blissful ease while the enemy is busy sowing tares among us, Matthew 13:24-30?  
  • Are we aware that the church is facing a serious problem and is in danger of collapsing?  

So often, we talk too much and do nothing!  Nehemiah tells us that they finished the rebuilding of the walls in only 52 days.  How was this possible?  Because everyone was working!  They were able to accomplish this progress because of their mutual cooperation.  Their whole purpose was directed to the glory of God.  They were resolved to overcome every hindrance that might stand in their way. Hindrances such as problems, laziness, and apathy.  So often, we forget that the need of the hour is ACTION against the enemy.

I know that many Christians will respond by saying, "Jesus said the way that leads to life is narrow and only a few will find it."  It is indeed a true statement, Matthew 7:13-14.  Are we even trying to proclaim the good news of salvation?  Are we leading others who are lost to where the gate can be found?  Remember that in Nehemiah 2:18, the people decided to do the work.  If the church is to grow and be fruitful, it is the duty and responsibility of the church to do the work God has charged her with.  Paul said of the Thessalonians,

"For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything."   I Thessalonians 1:8
Let these words sink deep into our hearts!

Without a doubt, ACTION is required to help the church, the kingdom of Christ, grow.  This demands devotion, obedience, and personal growth in both Bible knowledge and character.  Let us learn from Nehemiah where everyone was working!  What do you think would have happened if the people had said, "Let Nehemiah and the priests do the work.  We have busy and complicated lives already?  "Let someone else do the work."  This is why so many churches are dying today both in faith and numbers.   The people in Nehemiah's days worked together in unity.  There is nothing more pleasant that doing the Lord's work together and in harmony with other Christians of the same precious faith!

Therefore,
  • Let us be united in heart and spirit and contend for purity of doctrine, II Timothy 1:13.  This we must do to ensure our personal and hearers' salvation.
  • Let us watch and guard for one another that we may see that the wall of Truth is never broken down, and the church's spiritual welfare is lovingly guarded against false teachers.  
  • Let us not be partakers with them in their evil deeds since God will judge us and reject us, Jude 3-4;  II John 9-11.  

Let us heed the warning of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:15 and II Timothy 4:1-5.

"15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves."
"I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  2 preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  3 For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.  5 But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry."

Let us revive our spirit as Christians in the same way that Nehemiah 8 describes to us how Judah turned their heart toward God.  We can still benefit from the characteristics that made these people distinctive.  Consider them:


  1. The people were attentive, focused on the Law of God:  Nehemiah 8:3
  2. The people stood, showed reverence toward the Truth:  Nehemiah 8:5
  3. The people cried "amen."  They were in agreement with the Truth:  Nehemiah 8:6
  4. The people bowed in humility before God:  Nehemiah 8:6
  5. The people worshiped and revered God:  Nehemiah 8:6
  6. The people wept and were joyful:  Nehemiah 8:9
  7. The people listened daily with consistent devotion:  Nehemiah 8:18

In the same manner, we must be zealous in building the Lord's church with purity, keeping it strong by rising up against Satan and all his agents of wickedness.  

"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand."  Ephesians 6:12-15

III.  Let us Rise up and Build Better Homes:

As children of God, we must maintain the kind of homes that God intends for us to have upon this earth.  The family unit is the first divine institution ordained by God.  It is as ancient as time and revered as an expression of God's headship over all His creation.  God placed the first humans, male and female in the Garden of Eden.  Likewise, He provided companionship in one for the other.  This reflects the perfect unity of the Godhead as well as the divine design for the family, reflecting God's wisdom and providential care for the crowning glory of His creation.

The world is in desperate need of homes where God is recognized as the Head; His Word as the only guiding light; and His glory as the only motivating power.  Apart from these Biblical principles to govern the home, our homes and family system are in danger of collapsing altogether.  This is leading us to a blatant ignorance of authority, flourishing in decadent societies.  God calls for faithful parents to guide, nurture and train their children in His way as His perfect arrangement, Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4; I Timothy 5:14.  The godly home is our last line of defense against the ills that overtake the world.  It is commonly said, "As goes the home, so goes the nation." 

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:4

IV.  Let us Rise up and Build a Consciousness of Christ and His Cross:

There is no doubt at all that this world is drowning in abject hopelessness because of the deadly and dangerous consequences of sin.  The truth is that outside of Christ there is NO salvation.  The Bible, the Word of God, is crystal clear in teaching these facts, Romans 3:23; 6:23; John 8:24.  The ugliness of all this is that SIN separates man from God.  He is deeply contaminated and corrupted by sin,

"Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear."  Isaiah 59:1-2.  
"For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23
"I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."  John 8:24

Therefore, all Christians are obliged to rise up and build a keen awareness of Christ and His cross to those who are wallowing in the depths of sin.  In a few words, it is our duty as Christians to proclaim the Gospel, the good tidings to all sinners.  It is not an option; it is a command!  Let us purpose in our hearts to continue teaching others the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and save souls.  Let the words of  Mark 16:15-16 sink deep into our hearts.  Let us get busy doing the Lord's work!  

"5 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned."

Evangelism must never stop while we are building and laboring intensely in the kingdom of Christ. Are you aware that every ten seconds another lost soul dies without the hope of salvation?  They are dying lost and without Christ. It breaks my heart!  

My brethren, let us awaken from our slumber, rise up and save souls NOW, teaching sinners the Gospel of Christ and the hope of eternal life.

  • Do you not know that the WORD of God is the answer to man's problem, SIN, Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16?  
  • Have you forgotten, men of God, that GRACE must be extended, without respect of persons, to those of every nation, race, etc.?  
  • Are you not aware that we who profess Christianity must teach the fear of the LORD and His righteousness?  
  • Are you conscious that all Christians have the obligation on their shoulders of the Great Commission wherever we may go, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16?  
  • Have you, Christian, forgotten so quickly that the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the POWER of God to SAVE souls contaminated by sin, Romans 1:16-17?  
  • How did the Christians in the first century, using only weary feet and leaky boats, preach the Gospel to the whole world in just three decades?
  • What are you, Christian, waiting for?  RISE UP and BUILD souls upon the safe and sure foundation of the glorious Gospel of Christ!

CONCLUSION:

As we bring this lesson to a close, we must be aware that to "rise up and build" is crucial to God's people for developing a strong and resilient character.  Let us rise up and be devoted to God and His business like Nehemiah, Joseph, Moses and many men like them did.  Men who despite all of Satan´s wiles, walked faithfully in all righteousness and devotion to God.  These are much needed lessons for us today!  Despite all of Satan's wiles, they valiantly rejected that which was sinful in the eyes of God.  Let us, therefore, learn from these great men of God to always say "NO!" to all forms of sin: sinful words, thoughts, and deeds.  We must forcefully reject all of Satan's devices and temptations to surrender to unfruitful and sinful living.  Let us not neglect our God-given responsibilities and duties. Let us leave behind this world and its pleasures, crucifying our flesh.  

Therefore, let us be busily involved in building the CAUSE of Christ with a humble spirit as we fulfill this as our foundational purpose in life.

  • Let us rise up and continue to build our FAITH and CHARACTER: Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 4:5; Romans 10:17; Romans 1:17; Romans 4:12; Matthew 21:22; Ephesians 6:16; I John 2:13-17; I Timothy 6:12; Hebrews 11:13; I Corinthians 16:13; Acts 14:22; Romans 4:20-24; 2 Corinthians 8:7; I Timothy 1:19; Luke 17:5; 2 Timothy 1:12.  Let us make use of every proper and right avenue to build up our FAITH and CHARACTER!
  • Let us also continue to build up good works.  Good works are vital to our service to God.  We are rewarded by our good and righteous works, I Corinthians 3:13-15.  We were created for good works, Ephesians 2:10.  Finally, we are equipped with the Word of God for good works, 2 Timothy 3:17.  Let us work the works of Him!
  • Let us rise up and build our brotherly love: Hebrews 13:1.  Brotherly love is a crucial and essential part of the family of God.  Therefore, let us love one another, I John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10.  Let us serve one another in love, Galatians 5:13.  Let us build up and edify one another, I Corinthians 8:1.  Brethren, let us not forget that building is important while we walk here on earth.
  • Let us also rise up and continue to build our unity.
    • Being of the same mind and judgment, I Corinthians 1:10
    • Dwelling in unity, Psalm 133:1
    • Living in peace, Romans 12:16.  We must not let the massive attacks from without interrupt our unity.
  • Again, let us rise up and build faithful attendance: Hebrews 10:24-25
  • Let us rise up and continue teaching others Christ and His cross, the hope of salvation:  Mark 16:15-16; Romans 1:16-17.
  • Finally, let us rise up and build better homes to the glory of God:  Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4; I Timothy 5:14.

May we continue to rise up and build for His glory.  May we never find any excuse for not doing more than we are supposed to be doing.  May we never give up but continue rising up and building for the furthering of the glorious Gospel of Christ.  May we continue our work to its completion! And when our work is finished, may it be known and perceived as a work that was done by our Father in heaven.

Luci


P.S.  I am sure that by now you all know that I like to finish my writings with a song of exhortation, so I leave you with the words of this beautiful song.


Arise and Build

1. The Lord has laid the firm foundation,
   And He has given us the goal
   To bring the Light to every nation,
   To share the Hope with every soul.

   The One who calls is our Provider;
   We do not join this task alone,
   For He who brings each new beginning
   Will give us strength to see it done.

(Chorus):

   So reach out to the hand that is beside you.
   Together let us hold His banner high.
   That Christ may be exalted,
   His commission be fulfilled,
   Let us hearken* to the call:
   Arise and Build!

2. For Jesus Christ is our Foundation;
   In Him alone our plans are laid,
   To count ourselves among the faithful,
   To have God's holy Word obeyed.

   Now as we join this task together,
   We trust in Him to see us on.
   The gates of hell cannot withstand us:
   We shall prevail til we're done!

(Repeat Chorus, then repeat last chorus line)