Hand Me Another Brick Leadership Series #33. Read It Today!
Dear Visionary Leader:
Why do we love the Church? Because, Jesus Christ loves the Church! The Bible says, “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). Not the buildings–the people! We, the Church, are the object of His love. And, what He loves, we ought to love.
When Saul was on the road to Damascus, intent on persecuting the Church, Jesus arrested him on the road and appeared to him, saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 26:14). I can imagine Saul thought, “Whoever You are, I’m not persecuting You; I am persecuting the Church.” But the inference is clear: when you persecute the Church, you persecute Jesus. When you forsake the Church, you forsake Jesus. When you honor the Church, you honor Jesus. The way you love the Church is the way you love Jesus, for the Church is the Body of Christ. He is the Head.
In our previous ezine, we focused on our personal examination. This included an examination of our dedication to Christ and our duty to the Church. As fellow leaders, we have a God-given duty to the Church. Yet, this duty is not meant to be viewed as a burden, but rather, an honor and a joy! In this week’s lesson, I will explain the prayerful contemplation required to keep us to close to Christ and His Church. Jesus said that the house of God is to be place of prayer for the nations.
Not only did Nehemiah and his people have a time of personal examination; they also had a time of prayerful contemplation. Notice, in Nehemiah chapter 9, a long prayer begins in verse 4 and continues in the last part of verse 5, through verse 6: “Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites . . . and said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”
II. A Prayerful Contemplation
You want to know where the longest prayer in the Bible is? It is found in Nehemiah chapter 9. Verses 4-6 are simply the preamble. In Nehemiah 9, the people began to contemplate the blessings of God. They looked back at the past.
It’s marvelous the way they contemplated God’s great blessings upon them! For example, in verses 19-31, they spoke of the provisions of God; in verses 22-23, they spoke of the promises of God; in verses 24-25, they spoke of the power of God; in verses 26-28, they spoke of the patience of God; in verses 29-30, they spoke of the punishments of God. As they reviewed the past, they talked about God’s blessings and their failures. They looked backward and said, “Oh, how good God has been! But how we fail the Lord!”
If the house of God is not going to be forsaken, not only must there be personal examination; there must be prayerful contemplation. Think of the blessings of God, would you? Think how good God has been to your church. Think how many homes have been put back together. Think how many teenagers have been rescued from sin. Think how many blessings have come to elderly people. Think how many people have been snatched from the jaws of hell and been made citizens of Heaven.
How I praise the Lord for His goodness toward His people! How I thank God for His provisions! How I thank God for His promises! How I thank God for His power! How I thank God for His patience!
Think on these things. How good God has been to you? After such contemplation, how can we ever forsake the house of God? God forbid that we do!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networkin