And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (Neh 2:18)
The Bible tells the stories of builders, many of whom had serious perspective problems.
Nehemiah stands out among the builders of the Bible because of his profound perspective. This sermon, delivered in the first assembly of the Laurel Canyon church in our newly expanded facility, uses Nehemiah’s example and reminds us of certain foundational truths which we cannot afford to forget.
A building does not define our identity, reflect our health or determine our potential (Rev 3:1)
We are a part of the church built by Christ (Mat 16:18)
We are servants of the Most High who does not dwell in hand-made houses (Acts 7:47-50)
We are being built up as a spiritual house (1 Pet 2:4-5)
Therefore, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
God-centered perspective compels us to live as if our building isn’t done (Acts 20:32)
This sermon was delivered in the morning assembly of the Laurel Canyon church, February 5, 2012.
In November and December 2011, Jason Hardin preached a series of sermons entitled, “What God Says About Your Money.” Part 5 of this series explores the financial insight of King Solomon. How did this exceedingly wealthy and wise man describe money and the things it can accommodate?
Tom Brady has three Super Bowl rings. He’s married to a Brazilian supermodel. He has more money than he can spend. And yet, you can hear shades of Solomon in this interview with 60 Minutes.
I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. (Eccl 2:1-11)
When asked, “What’s the answer?” Brady responds in exasperation, “I wish I knew!”
Thanks be to our Father in heaven that Solomon’s documented search for meaning led to an answer. THE answer.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Eccl 12:13-14)