M: 1/11/20: “20/20 DISCONTENT”

Welcome back for Wk2 of our 20/20 Vision series, where we are praying and hoping you’d catch with razor clarity God’s Vision for your life and that would lead to your 20/20 focus for you in 2020.  Pastor Mark kicked off our series last week with an outstanding message to our series.  

We hope that we all don’t live our 2020 just as dreamers, living our lives as what could bes, but be people of Godly vision for our lives so that we’d live with purpose of what SHOULD Be.  

We all desire to live purpose filled lives, don’t  we!  But it will require focus!  

  • How many of you wanna live physically healthier in 2020, it will require focus on what to eat, how to exercise, develop a plan
  • Be more financially free?  Gotta come up with a budget, say no to impulsive purchases, make your own coffee or boba teas
  • Do better at school/work?  Gotta buckle down and study more, etc.
  • Grow more in your spiritual life?  Gotta set some clear plans to grow, continue to attend services, start a reading bible reading plan, join an OG, start serving in a ministry! 

I’m sure you are motivated in some of these areas because in 2019 you weren’t satisfied with, not proud of, very DISCONTENT with how things have gone in that area, and you’ve come to a point of saying, “Things have got to change!  Status quo is not acceptable!

Tonight/Today:  We’ll learn what motivated this seemingly insignificant person to receive his Vision because he too was discontent with how things were going and that fueled his focus for his life.  His God sized Vision created a God motivated life that changed everything around him.  And I hope that that happens to us today!  Our God sized Vision will fuel our focus and motivate life change in everything in and around us! 

Tonight/today, we’ll look at how this seemingly insignificant character that served the King of Persia.  And we’ll see how he received a vision for his life and how that not only radically changed his life, but propelled all those around him to focused action from that God sized vision.  

So who was Nehemiah?  I hope you’ve been spending time everyday with God in your Devotions using the 20/20 Vision Bookmark.  He is a Cupbearer of the King.  Now what is a cupbearer’s job? (Keynote 1)

A high ranking servant for the Kingdom whose duty was to serve the wine at the king’s table.  Question:  Why do you think someone had to serve wine at the king’s table?  Because of the constant fear of plots to take out the King, a person must be regarded as absolutely trustworthy to hold this position. He must guard against poison in the king’s cup, and was sometimes required to swallow some of the wine before serving it. His confidential relations with the king often endeared him to the king and also gave him a position of great influence.

The story of Nehemiah starts out in this way.  Let’s read (Keynote 2)

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:1 – 2 NLT).”

Nehemiah gets a visit from his Hawaiian braddah, Hanani who just arrived from Judah to the fortress of Susa, that’s a journey about 1000 miles as Nehemiah along with many Israelites have been exiled to the former superpower empire of Babylon, which is now in the power of the Persians.  And Nehemiah asks his brother, eh, howzit going in Jerusalem?  

Now, why is it important to know how things are going in Jerusalem?  What’s in Jerusalem?  Or I should ask what should be in Jerusalem?  The temple!  And without the temple there is no worship of God.  That’s why if the exiles in Babylon are gonna go back, they MUST have a place to worship God.  (Keynote 2)  When the babylonians invaded Jerusalem.  70 years later, the walls are still broken, siege ramps are still there where they breached the walls.  The temple is being restored, but no sense in doing that if there are no walls to protect it!  (Keynote 3)

And that’s why Nehemiah asks the question, how are things in Jerusalem.  

Well, the temple was bus up when Babylon overtook the Israelites and all the temple gold, silver, and articles of worship were plundered and carried away to Babylon.  And in Ezra, they temple is rebuilt (Keynote 4)

If you are reading with us in your bible bookmark, you would be reading Ezra.  Ezra and Nehemiah were one book and in the Hebrew tradition, they are one book, entitled “Ezra,” and Nehemiah is simply the second part of Ezra. The first wave of returnees, whose story is told in Ezra chapters 1-6, consisted of about 40,000 individuals going back and rebuilding the temple.  

*And remember for the Jews, the temple represents to place where the presence of God exists.  Now, where is the temple today?  We are the temple of God, we as a church and God lives inside our very lives.  

Paul says it like this in (Keynote)

1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?”

Let me ask this important question to you, “howzit going with your Jerusalem”  We’ll read shortly that he doesn’t get good news about the condition of Jerusalem.

It’s like this:  

What if you go to the doctors for your annual check up, get your CBC bloodwork done, check your vitals, blood pressure, heart rate, and weight.  

And the Dr. tells you:  Wow, you’ve gained plenny of weight since I last saw you, blood pressure is 180/100, blood sugar levels Glycated hemoglobin A1C test results shows 6.5, your LDL levels are 250.

You think you’ll tell the Dr., “Mahalo Dr. I’ll see you next year!”  I hope not!  If you’re concerned over your well being you’d be shocked, saddened, angry, frustrated, and maybe for some, you’d be in denial!  But if you care about your well being, you’d be deeply affected!  And if you really care, you’d have a holy discontent.  Why because your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, is not well.  It’s broken and it needs to be rebuilt!  RIGHT! 

How are things going with you?

When things are not as they should be, that should bring about what is called . . .  Holy Discontentment:  And this is the definition:

when you experience an uneasy sense that something is broken in your life or in the world around you that doesn’t match the heart of God and that impassions you to take positive action to change

I used to love reading the Sunday comic strips in the newspaper.  It’s been gone for years now.  You must know this modern day famous prophet Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character of yesteryear. If you’re in my generation, Popeye existed before Popeye’s chicken.  (Keynote

He had some famous sayings, “I yam what I yam and dats all what I yam.

Then he’d say this in his moment of Holy Discontent, especially when Olive Oil was threatened by Brutus: “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more!”  Then he’d open up his can of spinach at eat it and he’d say “I am strong to the finichCause I eats me spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man.”  That’s when he’d experience his holy discontent.  And he’d beat up Brutus.  (KEYNOTE)

All of us are just like Popeye, sometime we say, That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more!” about something that’s happening in our lives.  That’s popeye’s response.  But I like tell you what I say local kine to those things that are bringing me holy discontent, “nuff awready, no can be lidis no moa!”

  • For Moses – it was the misery of God’s people, in slavery.
  • For David – it was Goliath talking stink about His God and his people.
  • For Paul –  it was “this good news of Jesus can’t just be for the Jews, it’s for everyone else”!  

And this is how Nehemiah felt!  “Nuff awready, no can be lidis no moa!”

Let’s Learn from Nehemiah from how he responded to his Holy Discontent.  

1.  Search & Survey

They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been 

  • destroyed by fire (v.3).” 

For Nehemiah, His Holy Discontent was the state of the walls in Jerusalem.  It’s broken.  Poho that the temple is built back up but there are no protections for it.  And he says, “Nuff awready, no can be be lidis no moa”

As you search and survey you life, ask yourself how’s it going . . . 

  • In your own LIFE

It starts with searching and surveying your life.  What’s not going as well as God would have it go.  Another way of seeing it is, what’s not Kingdom living?  Where is Jesus not in charge of and is maybe all hamajang!  That you feel “Nuff awready, no can be lidis no mo!”  God so desires to give you 20/20 Vision for that area and he’s hopefully creating some holy discontent in your life to impassion you for positive change!  It starts here!  For Nehemiah he asked the question how are things going and he got his answer, “Things are not going well, The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down.”  As we say here, “all bus up the walls”  The people are in trouble and disgraced, all shame cuz of that!

Have you honestly searched and surveyed your life?  What’s not quite right?  What’s not kingdom living?  What’s not aligned to God’s heart?  Causing you to say, “Nuff awready, no can be lidis no moa!”  God is gonna use your Holy Discontent to give you HIS vision and I hope we call catch it

This is how Nehemiah responded to his Holy Discontentment.  He. . . 

2.  Pause & Pray 

When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven (v.4).”

He was sad.  And it brought him to tears!  For how long?  Days!  That’s what fasting does!  It causes us to pause, eliminate the distractions and allow us to hear God in prayer.  

How many of you are undergoing some kind of fast?  At NHCO, we hope your fast is creating space for you to Pause, so that God can clearly communicate with you.  

Have I shared with you what I’m fasting from?  PMike shared it was from ESPN.  That was last year, but with this year’s big sport news, I gotta keep up, Tua going pro, San Fran going to the Superbowl, etc.  I surveyed my life and realized what takes my attention and it’s a habit I’ve developed.  when I go to bed, but I don’t sleep right away.  I open my Ipad and catch up on my sports news, watch youtube features, and there are so many good things to watch on youtube, how to fix this, ratings and reviews on that, sports highlights for football and basketball.  And I usually fall asleep while watching something.  And many times, the Ipad falls on my face and wakes me up.  

So instead of hitting my bed and opening up my ipad, I’m making space to hear from God, talking to him about all kinds of stuff all before going to bed.  What a change!  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own 

understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Prov 3:5 – 6 NLT).”  

That’s when God speaks when we pause and pray cuz we are open to hearing his Vision for what we are Holy Discontent about.  

3.  Own & Obey

“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored (v. 8 – 9).’”

The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. 11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.

Nehemiah remembers and owns up to the promise he and his people received from God.  I want to obey your commands like how our forefathers did in Egypt to be delivered out of slavery.  I wanna obey your commands so that I can be brought back to your promised land and honor your name.  And Nehemiah prepares himself to approach the King with his God sized vision to go back to rebuild the walls.  You’ll hear more about this next week and what his obedience to God’s Vision does for the rest of his people.  

God will surely reveal his vision for your life.  The challenge is, are we gonna own up to what’s not quite pono, right, Kingdom living and Obey what he’s asking us to do?  That SHOULD BE our FOCUS!

If the Lord is giving you some Holy Discontent in your finances, maybe your focus should lead you to sign up in obedience for Financial Peace class.

Not doing well in your relationships:  Connect with others to get support

Not doing much with my life:  Well, maybe you gotta start serving!  You’ll have an opportunity to do so next week as we’ll have a ministry fair.

I could go on and on about how we should own and obey!  

Personal example of owning and obeying.  

  • Mark Cabatbat:  starting a mens group for men because of his Holy Discontent first starting in himself
  • Women in our church saying we gotta be Undaunted in our walk with Jesus, no women left behind. Friendships
  • This guy and myself want to reach guys who’d not normally come to church, but would play softball, so we connecting them through softball
  • We can’t remain in a cafeteria and rent forever!  Some came and had a Holy Discontent about that.  Let’s have our own place open 24/7 as our Ministry headquarters! 
  • Several 20 Somethings came up to me a year plus ago and said where’s an OG group with our generation.  They had a holy discontent.  And now as they stepped out in faith, there’s a group.  
  • 31 years ago, I so wanted to reach my local friends, my pidgin speaking family members, and God brought others who felt that Holy Discontent and this year, we’ll dedicate the completion of the entire Hawaii Pidgin Bible, Da Good an Spesho Book!  And the digital version is gonna come out shortly!  We’re beta testing it now!

All of this and many others holy discontent people have stepped out in obedience like Nehemiah to do a God sized Vision.  

Will you respond to God as he has a God sized vision for you?  But it will require you to OWN UP to that God sized vision and OBEY as your FOCUS.  This is what Jesus says

“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them 

(John 14:21 NLT).”

There is a premise and a promise.  If you do this, then this will happen.  What’s the premise, the principle, If you own up (ACCEPT my commands, and OBEY THEM, then we show our love to Jesus.  And he’ll REVEAL HIMSELF, SHOW UP in our lives.  Now you gotta catch this.   We so want God to reveal more of himself to us, but if we are not gonna OWN UP and OBEY what he’s already revealing to us, do you think he wants to reveal more to you!  

Pray:  So how are things going with you?  Nuff Awready, no can be lidis no mo!  

Benediction, I surrender all.  Let this be our prayer to God.  

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