Mark 7:26-30 “The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.”
Stay in the boat. If you have faith, Jesus will meet you where you are at. Sometimes, I just need to be at church. I know it’s not all about me, but sometimes, it is. I need the church. I need to be where God is and where His people are. If I honor Him, He will meet me.
Mat 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The church belongs to Jesus. You can’t mess with His church! He bought it with His blood. He cares for it, He died for it, and anything you need can happen at church!
Don’t Get Off the Wall!
Neh 4:1-6 “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!” Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders. So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
Neh 4:6 “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”
There is something about having a vision for a completed project before it’s done that keeps you going. Great artists like Michael Angelo always had an idea of what the completed project would look like before it was done.
If you lose the vision, anything will get you to stop. ‘My knee hurts, I’m tired, I’m hungry…’ Any excuse will do. Nehemiah and the Jewish people had a view to work. They worked with all their hearts—in 52 days. They had to have guards and those who did build were armed.
Neh 4:14-18 “And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.”
There must be purpose and vision in order to complete the work. There must be motivation. When the house is on fire, you’ll do everything you can to get your kids out. You’ll go through whatever it takes in order to save your family.
Keep going. Don’t get off the wall. Because at the end of the road is the miracle we’ve all been praying for, but we can’t stop now.
Neh 4:7-15 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
“Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
“Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
“Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
“When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.”
They continued, they were consistent. Don’t worry about the negative stuff and just keep doing a good work. Get your vision on what God wants you to do. It’s worth continuing!
Luke 10:1-12 “1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.”
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.”
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Luke 10:17-20 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Don’t focus on the things of this world. Put your treasure and focus on the Lord and His call on your life.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.