H: 2/16/20: “20/20 VISION: Dedication”

You are listening to:H: 2/16/20: “20/20 VISION: Dedication”

We are in our final message of this seven wk series called 20/20 Vision, where we’ve been following the life of Nehemiah and his vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  We talked about the importance of having a God’s vision for our lives and once we lock in on that vision, that can fuel our focus.  And when we have a 20/20 crystal clear vision for our future we are more likely to reach the end of our lives with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment because we lived for what should be and not just what could be. 

In wk 2, we spoke about how God uses our holy discontents — areas of our lives that we know need to change. Whether it’s your marriage, your work, or kids, something in our personal lives — that make us tell, “Nuff awready! No can be like dis no moa!  God, give me your vision for this area of my life.” “I had it already!”

In Week 3, we learned that any vision God originates, He orchestrates.  In other words, if it’s a vision from God, he’ll work with you to see it happen.  

Just as in Nehemiah’s day, God is orchestrating an amazing miracle today with our building project.  Remember the message that Pastor Theresa gave on what happens when our vision comes under attack. Not only will God give you everything you need to see your vision through, but He will also fight on our behalf when challenges arise. 

We spoke about one of the greatest threats to our vision.  It’s us. God created you and I for a specific vision that only we ourselves can fulfill. But if you don’t do it, nobody will.  And God so wants us to stay the course and continue to fight through those In – Between moments where we may not see things changing at the moment as we are make a shift.  Sometimes God is asking us to continue what we’ve started cuz the victory, the fruition of that vision is just around the corner.  

And tonight/today, we’ll learn what Nehemiah did when his Vision became a reality and how we can apply those same principles to our lives when what our God given vision becomes a reality!  

For Nehemiah, his vision of rebuilding the temple wall in record time is completed with the labor of all who did their part of the project, but that’s only a part of God’s grand vision.  

The dedication ceremony is planned, but that’s not the end.  It’s the start of the grand vision of the people having the ongoing presence of God.  The care for the temple would have to be planned.  The people of Israel will have life of worshipping God now.  The walls being rebuilt is one part of a larger vision of God bringing his people back as his people to a place where His presence would be at the center of life.

You gotta catch this important point:  When God give you a personal vision, it’s always a part of a grander vision.  God is gonna lead you through STEPS not LEAPS.  

Illustrate:  God is gonna lead us to do something now to stretch our faith in him.  It’s all a part of his greater plan.  (God is gonna give you his sunglasses to see what he wants you to see – if he shows you the grander plan you’d be blinded, so you take steps of faith to follow through, and when we follow in obedience, he ready to give us another pair of glasses to see, that’s his vision.  

Some of you came began the year with us and through your holy discontent, 

  • Get out of debt, but the grander vision is so that you can bless others
  • Have a better marriage and when he does that it’s not an end in itself.  The grander vision is he wants your better marriage to help others struggling and your kids to have loving examples as parents.
  • Become a Godly man, why?  So you can help other men to be godly!
  • Some of you got a vision from God to connect with others in ohana, and now you are seeing that God has a grander vision of you inviting others or even starting a new group to gather others.  

What started as a vision for you is not the end all as God now because of your obedience to following through, he is birthing another vision in you.  

Share one of my holy discontents:  There are a handful of people I’m connected with here who are new Christians and they have come to know Jesus in their relationships, but they are not necessarily married, but kinda living like they married. 

And there’s no condemnation, we not gonna put this guilt trip on anyone.

Vision of people not having a clear vision for Christian marriage.  I’ve been having key conversations with several in our church to give them a vision of a Christian marriage.  Gotta get one right.  The worlds ways, especially in Hawaii now is, to save money let’s live together first, buy a house together, maybe have children, and then, consider marriage, cuz now, kinda complicated as is this person my spouse, what about the kids names. 

So I’ve been meeting and planning on meeting with others to introduce them to God’s Plan A for marriage.

The point is, that carrying out of your vision MAY just be the start of God bringing you to something greater in your life.  We’ll never arrive, we are going from one glory to the next glory.  One amazing level of greatness to the next level of greatness.  From Division winner, to AFC champions, to Superbowl champions spiritual speaking!  

Today, let’s see what we can glean from, learn and apply to our lives from, what happened when Nehemiah’s vision became a reality.  

So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.  When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God (Nehemiah 6:15 – 16 NLT).

The people of Israel reached this grand milestone moment in their history.  The once bus up wall is now completed. If this doesn’t seem too miraculous, so let me show you why it’s a big deal.  Biblical scholars estimate the length of the wall appeared to around 2.5 miles, it’s thickness was around 8 feet, and it’s height averaged 39 feet.

And why was that a grand event?  The bigger vision of the project was not just to rebuild the walls, but to rebuild the temple and have many of the exiled people in Babylon come back to Jerusalem and reestablish a culture, a people of worship.

With the temple and the walls to protect the temples rebuilt, the people could experience the presence of God again, all because Nehemiah received his vision from God (put on sunglasses) and walked in obedience with laser sharp focus to do his part.  

The good news for us today is that to experience God’s presence, we no need build a temple, his presence is where, within each of us.  

And we’ll see today, what they did when they reached this milestone moment and apply that to our lives today when we reach milestone moments in our lives.  

What are some milestone moments we experience?  Reaching a certain age (retirement), becoming 21, becoming married, reaching your 10th, 20th, 25th wedding anniversaries, graduating, buying your first house, getting that job you’ve prayed for?

This summer my wife and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  Now that’s a milestone moment!  We are discussing ideas of what to do to celebrate that milestone (Any ideas) and give thanks to God for his help to have us continue our love for each other.  

For us as a church, one day, and in a years time we’re praying, we’ll have our own church building down the road!.  And it will serve 24/7 as a gathering place for people to catch God’s vision for their lives.  And when it’s ready for us to move, we’ll have a grand dedication event.  

So let’s learn and apply to our lives what we do when we reach those milestone moments.  

When you reach Milestone Moments in your life . . .

1.  Plan a Praise Party  

For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres (Nehemiah 12:27 NLT).

Now it is completed. The wall is built. The gates are hung. It is a well defended, it’s a beautiful city, and the people have returned from exile. The time has come for celebration and the dedication of the wall.

In this section we have an account of a great procession around the top of the wall. There are choirs and musicians, and, of course, officials and politicians. 

Speak about the power of praise.  It’s an act of acknowledging who made all that happen.  

That’s why we start our services with singing!  And for many of us, we miss this part!  Our worship team’s goal is to lead us to a joyous praising of our God.  It’s not a warm up for the speaker.  

How many of you go to concerts?  What if it’s one of your favorite groups playing your favorite song, would you be sitting?  Attend football games?  What if your team scores a winning touchdown, would you be sitting?  What do you immediately do?  Raise your hands in victory!  Why don’t we do that in our time for God who has won our victory!   Doesn’t our amazing God deserve our best celebratory actions!  (Let’s stand and practice.)  

What do kids do toddlers do to their parents when they are walking around?  Up daddy, Carry Me, 

Imagine yourself in front of Jesus, and he points out your sins, your wrongdoing, and he says, I wanna give you a gift of forgiveness for all those things you have done wrong.  What posture would you take?  

Where do we get the idea that our worship has gotta be solemn, so serious, in our services?  Now I get it, if you are so new to attending church, you’re not sure who you are singing to, please don’t feel like you gotta go through the motions.  BUT, if you believe the words you are singing, that Jesus is the Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keep, Light in the Darkness, my God that is who are!  

Next, what do we learn from Nehemiah when he reached his MM moment

2. Purify Yourselves 

The singers were brought together from the region around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites. 29 They also came from Beth-gilgal and the rural areas near Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built their own settlements around Jerusalem. 30 The priests and Levites first purified themselves; then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall (Nehemiah 12:28 – 30 NLT).

What is this about?  The priests and Levites first had to purify themselves?  

When someone had a ceremonial impurity and was declared unclean, he or she was separated from the community and not allowed to worship at the temple during the period of the impurity or uncleanness. The process of purification depended on the degree of impurity and ranged from physical washing to offering an animal sacrifice to pay for the unclean act.  So for a dedication to take place, everyone had to be purified!  

Do we need a bar of soup today?  Do we need to set up hand sanitizer stations around our doors to purify ourselves if being pure is so important?  

Let’s say you reach a milestone moment in your marriage.  I’m sure in the midst of praise, you know there are still areas that you still have gotten right, still yet needs work.  Do you know how we purify ourselves today?  Let’s read:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NIV).

Do you know what soap to use to purify ourselves before God?  It’s the soap of confession!  What is confession (not like going to the priest and saying “Father forgive me for I have sinned”)  You can go directly to God yourself!  And when you do, he’ll forgive you and purify you.  So the question I have for you is, have you purified yourselves today?  Still feeling unclean, God says, just confess your wrongdoings, and he’ll purify you!  

3. Put God First (with your resources)

44 On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work. 45 They 

performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as commanded by David and his son Solomon, and so did the singers and the gatekeepers (Nehemiah 12:44 – 45 NLT).

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine (Proverbs 3:9 10 NIV).

The Priests and Levites are the ones who’d care for the articles of worship at the temple and they were dedicated for that role.  So God directed the people to give their best of their resources.  A tithe was a tenth of their resources.  The first part of the harvest is the best part.  In Japan, the best tea was the first shoots of the tea plant!  The most valuable.  And God was directing them to give of their best to the continued work of the temple to house the presence of God.  And the tithe was a tenth of their resources.  

Now the tithe and the first fruits represents a value of our heart. 
Jesus says like this, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

God wanted the people to treasure why the wall was rebuilt, why temple had to be rebuilt, so that there was gonna be ongoing worship and experiencing the presence of God.  

How does that relate to us today?  Put God first in all your resources.  Where’s your treasure?  Are you giving your best portion to God?  Listen to me carefully, if you treasure God’s presence in your life, give your best to worship him, all of your life, your best time, your best of your talents, and the best of your monetary treasures!  If you wanna learn more about giving your best to God, I urge you to take Financial Peace University on Monday night, Feb 24, in our Academy.  That’s where they learn about getting out of the financial slavery of being debt so we can have the freedom to be generous givers!

That’s the indication of your heart.  Give of your best to God.  

So let’s apply what we’ve learned today and practice entering into joyous praise, purification if necessary, and giving God our hearts in worship of him.  

×Note: To download, click the button. If it doesn't work, right click, then click "Save Link As." Download only works if media is stored within this site. Download Video
Download Audio
Download PDF

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top