The Holy City            Nehemiah 11 pt 2

 

Turning up at an event doesn’t make you a professional surfer even being in the event doesn’t. You may wear the singlet and surf the heat but being truely professional is more than mere attendance and participation. Its an attitude an unwavering composure and dedication to perfect and hone your sporting pursuit. It is also a way of being a essence central to the core. I some ways it’s the difference between attending the contest as a guest or dwelling in the contest environment as a local in habitant.

These people have come to dwell in the ‘holy city’ vs 1. The city might house the temple of God but it is the people who should reflect his holy character. It’s one thing to have a house in the holy city; it’s a completely different matter to live in a holy manner in the city. Similarly its one thing to meet with the people of God and hear and know about God; its completely different to be a son or daughter of God and have him leading and shaping your life.

Richard Baxter once commented to other ministers; “a holy calling will not save an unholy man”.
These 2 examples of Gods calling still ring true today and we see them in others in the scriptures.

Jeremiah the conscript and reluctant prophet: Jer 1:4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. 6 Then I said, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the LORD said to me, Do not say, I am only a youth; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.

Isaiah The enthusiastic volunteer: Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I! Send me. 9 And he said, Go, 

Both of these men were motivated and drawn by God and love. Gods love and love for the people around them. Which ever way God compels or calls us we must respond as these 2 men did. We must surrender ourselves to Gods sovereign purposes and be ready for what he has in mind.

Another list of people: Neh 11 We see displayed in this chapter a list of people who willingly served God. This list is full of diversity; leaders of people and regions, priests and levites, servants and watchmen. Some were skilled administrators (vs 9); maintenance workers (vs 16); worship and prayer leaders (17); the choir (22) and politicians / royal representatives (24). All were working together for Gods purposes and glory.

1 Pet 4: 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

All service, theirs and ours, applauded or unsung is an opportunity from God; for others and for his glory. To see others as important and be willing to serve and sacrifice is a very godly thing.

The church’s best story is that of self-effacing service and interdependent partnership. We are meant to be a community of service to each other not of one class serving another out of position or duty. The holy city of God isn’t the buildings of location its the people….

Some people write heavily, some write lightly. I prefer the light approach because I believe there is a great deal of false reverence about. There is too much solemnity and intensity in dealing with sacred matters; too much speaking in holy tones.  C. S. Lewis

Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.  Mahatma Gandhi

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. Leo Tolstoy

““a holy calling will not save an unholy man”.

Richard Baxter”