Sunday, 1 February 2015

Building, Rebuilding

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builder labours in vain.,,,useless to build a home or guard a city.
Or move home.
Or start something new.
No work can prosper without the Lord. We cannot create something, or try to protect something, without God's blessing and presence. Matthew Henry comments:
"Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world...The Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him."And so: "Use wisdom and understanding to establish your home; let good sense fill the rooms with priceless treasures." Proverbs 24:3 - 4

Brian Houston: (Release, Revive, Repair, Rebuild study) "Life is too short to live broken and beat up. Sadly, we live in a world full of brokenness often because of lives built on the wrong foundations. The foundation on which you build your life determines what is established, what is planted and immovable. Everyone is in the process of building their life - and builders require plans - so what plans, or 'whose' plans are you following?

God gave Ezra and his people a miraculous opportunity to rebuild the walls of His House and their future. The wonderful thing about God is that we can rebuild our lives when we follow His plan for us. God's Word is full of wise instruction on how to rebuild broken lives.

 One of the best commitments we can make is to build what Jesus said He would build - His Church. "To make the community livable again" we must rebuild lives through healthy, flourishing local churches whose teachings are firmly planted in the Word of God. When we do this, it brings our life in line with His will. One of the greatest decisions you can make is to choose to live a life dedicated to accomplishing and building something that will stand as a testimony or legacy for the generations to come.

Isaiah 58:9 - 12:
If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,

If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,

Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places

firm muscles, strong bones.

You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.

You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again."

As with Ezra, God gives us new life to restore old ruins, revitalises us.
Brian Houston's questions:
What am I building that will stand the test of time? Is what I am building in line with what God is building?

Isaiah 61:3 reminds that God will renew and restore: he will "provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour.

I am reminded that it is not about me, it is all about Him. That His glory was ruined on the cross but he rose from the ruins into glory. He is in the business of recreating ruined lives.

Wonderful thought. Paul says: "God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns."

"I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering. You will turn back to me and ask for help, and I will answer your prayers. You will worship me with all your heart, and I will be with you and accept your worship." (Jeremiah 29:11 - 14)

Brian Houston (Day 8 of Release,Revive, Repair, Rebuild: "Ruins speak of former glory, of something that once was but is no longer - better days, glory days. Ruins represent failure - images of former battle, devestation, broken remains, abandonment.

In Old Testament times, God presenced Himself in a temple of stone. When that temple was in ruins, he sent Ezra and his people to rebuild it. Today, God dwells in the hearts of men and women when they receive Jesus. What is man-made can lay in ruins, but what God makes is eternal.

Personally, all our potential through failings weaknesses and mistakes could be left in ruins just like that temple. Perhaps right now you face financial ruin. Maybe you are on the edge of a ruined reputation or a relationship that is in ruins. Is there a dream you have abandoned because it lies in ruins? Because Jesus brings the ruins of your life, back to life!

It is amazing to me that God never leaves what belongs to Him in ruins. He is a God of life, of restoration and He is forever building our lives. It's a process where God releases us from bondage and repairs our brokenness. He revives us by His Holy Spirit and line upon line of His Word, He relentlessly rebuilds our life. We were created for glory and through Christ, we will be returned to glory.

Isaiah 61 declares this beautiful exchange:

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.

 Do not allow yourself to sit amongst ruins! Rise up in spirit and in stature, knowing that He has called you unto Himself, 'set apart for His glory'. Take courage in these verses today, knowing that whatever circumstances you find yourself in, what is ahead of you are glorious plans and purposes.

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