Raise Your Standard
Am I we've been walking through these books and and and on this team of rise up rise up and build. And then we had a lesson from chapter 1 just a quick review of lesson from chapter one was on spiritual activism that that you know, a lot of there's a lot of activism in the world today, but but we need more spiritual activism and when we're going to fight the the ills of society protest without prayer. Is pointless that was all that was our message for our first message our second message was divine opportunities and we talked about how the fact that when your heart is set on Kingdom Business be ready for divine opportunities. She what you wanted when you're about two things that God is about God has to show up. He is responsible to show up and show out and he does it better than anybody else. He does it better than anybody else. So now we're we're we're at this stage about third message. And a third message is found in Nehemiah chapter 2 verses 11 through 18. So we're going to jump right there and I'll read in your hair and you can look on the screen or open your butt your tablet your Bibles and follow along. I'm reading from the new King James version that said version it says so I came that is Nehemiah. I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days then I arose in the night. I and a few men with me. I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. Nor was there any animal with me except the one on which I wrote? And I went on by night through the valley gate to the serpent. Well until the refuse gate and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down and its gate which were burned with fire.
And I went on to the Fountain gate and to the king's pool, but but there was no room for the animal under me to pass. So I went up in the Night by The Valley and viewed the wall. Then I turned back and entered by the valley gate and soul return. 416 and the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done. I had not yet told the Jews the priests the Nobles the officials or the others who did the work. Then I said to them. You see the distress that we are in aisle Jerusalem lies waste and its gates are burned with fire come. And let us build the wall of Jerusalem so that we may no longer be a reproach and I told them of the hand of my God, which has been good upon me and also Up The King's words that he had spoken to me. So they said let us rise up and build then watch this. They set their hands to this good work.
There's a story. That was put in the form of a cartoon of a man who was in his morning prayers and as he was in his morning prayers. He said Lord. I feel like the enemy is attacking me constantly. He is beating me down Lord. Help me Lord protect me and keep me from all harm. amen and when you got up
all of a sudden he felt a pelt hit him upside the head. Causing a knot on his forehead. And he said God. See my enemies they're all around me. And and and you let this happen to me what I just prayed. I just talked to you about this and look what you made them do to me.
As he was filming an angry, he turned around to see the Risen Lord.
With his arms stretched out.
And what do you also saw was that he was in the shadow? AutoZone, he was in the shadow of the body of Christ. And the shadow look like a cross. And behind the back of Jesus was a barrage of stones. pelting the back of Jesus and one little Pebble got away and knocked them on the head. And Jesus said to him I am so sorry.
That that did did something hit you.
And the man looked and saw that Jesus was taking the brunt of the enemies attacks. You see church when the enemy comes in like a flood. I said when the enemy comes in like a flood the Bible says the spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. Even though we may be going through some trials and some tribulation. We have no idea what the enemy really has in store for us. But I thank God that Jesus is there I thank God that Jesus is our protector. I thank God that he is our keeper. I thank God that he is our story. I thank God that Jesus keeps us even when we don't see what what's going on on the other side.
Oftentimes we can be like that man. Not realizing we may be going through some storms and some difficulties, but I want to thank God even for those storms because guess what it could be worse. It could be worse. I just want to praise God today and thank him for his goodness. And for his Mercy because God God is a good god father now. We just ask that your word will speak to us speak to our hearts and our minds in Jesus name. Amen. We talked about spiritual activism. We talked about Divine opportunities today. I want to talk to you on the subject matter of raising your standards. Raise your standards Bible recounts. Nehemiah's Journey. And and shares with us how he got to Jerusalem and when he got there he didn't tell any and everybody what was what was in his heart that God had asked him to do what God has put on his heart and with the key that allowed him to do. He he he took the time To survey and see what's going on. Nehemiah walked around the city before he did that. He he he had to rest from his journey. You see me and Maya traveled a route that was over nine hundred plus miles to get to Jerusalem. So when he said he got there and then he relax for 3 days. He was there for three days. He had to pee after recover himself. And and and and and so when he got there to Jerusalem, he began to walk after three days. He began to go around the city and as he was going around the city, he was observing if the report that he had gotten back. From his fellow Jews was an accurate report. I would say that he is he is applying Reagan politics in this situation. You know what Reagan politics is right? I trust what you say, but I got to verify it. I trust you, but I got a verified she not everything you hear you automatically should trust is not everything you do here or even nowadays stuff that you see you got to inspect that thing. You got to evaluate whether it's true or not. And even though it could be true. You still don't know the motive or the reason behind what's going on. And so Nehemiah realizing that listen I've heard the report and I could see with my eyes that there's some things that are challenging, but I'm going to walk around this whole city to see what's going on. It's so near Maya. This is the route that he took this is this is the way way he went around the city this would this section would be call the city of David. This is just a small part of Jerusalem. It is full context if I want I want to show you the full picture of Jerusalem here where the black lines are. That's the full city of Jerusalem, but where that where that orange line is that that's the area that Nehemiah was focused on and so Nehemiah made it his business to examine to inspect to carefully look at what is going on. on the ground It's one thing to be somebody's something to be somewhere far enough and not realizing that I'm taking somebody else word for it. But Nehemiah comes down himself. I'm going somewhere with that. He comes down himself now because of nehemiah's efforts and because of the good hand of God that was on him. This is what Jerusalem look like in the time of Jesus. What I want to tell you that it couldn't have looked like that had it not been for the work of Nehemiah. And so we want to thank God that that that the prophecies in the promises of the Messiah was fulfilled simply because Nehemiah did a at work. Although difficult was necessary and Nehemiah built a small portion of the city and built its walls around to protect the people of God.
Nehemiah nehemiah's call was one of Hardship, that's what she said in the Sabbath school lesson that that the promise was given the prophecy was given that said that these walls will be built in trouble sometimes. You see we have to realize that even when things are difficult. We still got to do the work.
And it's evident in other areas of Our Lives when no matter how crazy is it is outside and the weather is bad. You still see people getting up and going to work.
Sometimes people who are sick and shouldn't be getting up out of bed. They still getting up out of bed to do work.
On my vacation. I was visiting with my mom and she had a procedure and and and they had to cut her stomach and when I went I I saw her she she had had the procedure when I visited with her. She had this huge big patch over her stomach. And they kind of put a little plastic fitting that kind of keep water from going in there. But she said that yeah, they cut my stomach from here to ear. You know for this procedure in NM and praise God she is doing well. But my mama don't like to sit down. And as she does housekeeping for a living, okay, and it's amazing that she shared with me that listen. I ain't going to go clean a hotel rooms and then come by and come home and clean my own house. And so as is our custom she's up at 5 in the morning cleaning some part of the house. And that's just nnnn she tells me she says, you know when I get bored, I just rearrange the house. Go to just as over here all of a sudden the dress was over there why you put it up cuz I just like the way it look over there and then about a year later that's over here. Again, that's how my mom operates and then she just really need to sit down and relax. But what she she's going to work even though she just came off a procedure. And I wonder if I and apply that to my life spiritual. That when things are difficult to when things are hard we still don't pray we still go. Did we still going to serve the Lord? We still going to show up? No matter what because what God is faithful. God is good. God is to be praised. And when we take our eyes off of Christ, the devil will put her eyes on everything else that brings discouragement.
Nehemiah realizing that listen to I got to work to do and I can't stop this work. It's so Nehemiah set out to to do the thing that God has put in his heart. He he set out to build the wall. I know that's that phrase is difficult in this political climates. to build a wall But I want to let you know that this kind of wall is not a wall like what other folks talk about other folks thoughts about walls of separation and division was a wall of protection a wall of safety a wall that showed that that that the city was impenetrable. This city was a city that was protected not just buy a physical wall, but by a spiritual wall Show me Amaya set out on this golf course and and he said he said that he didn't tell anybody what was in his heart. He just simply survey the land and at the appropriate time. He got that the leaders together and he said to them listen listen listen. I see the trouble that we are in. I see that our city walls are Crush than and tore down and and its brand I'll gates are burned with fire.
but come Let us rebuild.
I acknowledge the problems that we have. I acknowledged the difficulties that we're facing but come. Be a solution. , let's work together because you see the leader can't do it by himself and the workers can't do it by themselves has to be a partnership that works together to build up the standards.
Show me Amaya calls them all and says listening.
Here's the situation. We're in here's our difficulty. We need to come together and build this wall and then he said something to them. What he says by the way.
The hand of God is upon me. And this is how you know, the hand of God is upon me because they can't the same King that told y'all to stop building sent me here so that you could build not only did he send me here so that y'all could build but he empty he gave his resources. To prove to you that it's okay for us to rise up and build. And so so so if if what I share with you that that if you're about Kingdom Business expect Divine opportunities. Well, then here is your message for today. We want to raise your standard raise your standard for you to raise your standard his what it is when you have experience Divine opportunities. You can't help but to raise your standards. When you have experienced Divine opportunities, you can't help but to raise your standards you can't help but to be motivated to do what God called you to do because God has showed up in your life. God has declared to you that I am on your side. I am with you wherever you go. Do not fear do not be afraid. I will be with you.
There is no reason why the Jews will still sit back and say we can't do it. We tried it before when we got stopped. Guess what? It doesn't matter when you see that God has showed up. When you see that God has made himself as manifested himself. You can't help but the raise up your stand the city walls were broken down. That that that the symbolism of that is so rich because because what that means is that the people were put to shame each and every day. Imagine if you lived in a house that didn't have any walls to your bathroom.
Imagine if you if you work if you live in a place with people saw your business all day long. The walls were broken down. Imagine a place where where people can just walk up in your house anytime they want cuz your front door is burned with fire. Imagine you live in a place where it's just like people come and go as they please. Let me borrow that plate is walk in your house. Take your stuff. What was the condition of Jerusalem it was a laughingstock. It was a mockery. And the sad thing was the people were discouraged. The people were the people work work work work work in a in Des Peres near Maya said we have been under a reproach. They didn't like what they were in but they didn't know how to get themselves out. They didn't know what to do. They were praying they weren't that was seeking God, but but but there was just nothing there to motivate them to raise their standards. It was nothing there for them until Divine opportunity showed up. And the thing about it is is that when we recognize Divine opportunity, we can't delay. We can't wait we've got to act on it. It's like it's like a it's like a plane that that lands and and and is ready to take off. You got to get on that plane before it takes off again.
Because because if you wait. Then it might take you 40 years before the opportunity comes back. It might take you a long time before the opportunity to returns when God shows up. You got to decide to partner with him and work with him. The world is burn down. The people are are are are are are are sadder than they're discouraged. what God tells them through Nehemiah rise up and build they could have said we can't do it. But the people of God recognize the Divine opportunity of said we going to raise our standards. You see a lot of times. We are we today in this generation. Are we we we we need to raise our standards. Young people it's not any and everybody you should be letting in and out of your life. You need to raise your standards. Is not Eddie and everybody you should talk to about about things that you that you want to achieve and you want to aspire to it's not every and everybody you need to let into that space of your life because they could be discouragers.
You need to raise your standards. In your marriage raise your standards in your devotional life. You need to raise your standards. God is doing something for us each and every day. He's showing up he's showing out all the time.
But yet still we don't realize that when God is showing up in our lives he's doing so for us to raise our standards. See God doesn't God wants to call us up higher. He wants to lift us up so that we can be a living testimony for him. Jerusalem was supposed to be the place where the king of kings and Lord of lords would enter in through those Gates lift up your heads O ye gates and be lifted up. Ye Everlasting doors and what the king of glory shall come in. Who is this king of glory the lord strong and mighty the Lord Mighty and back lift up your head. Oh ye gates and be lifted up. Ye Everlasting doors and the king of glory shall come in. Well, who is this king of glory? The lord of hosts? He is the king of glory but many of us can't say that because I'll Gates a burn with fire. We can't praise God that way because I get so burned with fire. We ain't got no gates to lift up. We got no standards to be for people to say, you know what I know him. I know her I know them they don't do this and they don't do that and then specially they definitely live up to the standard at the word of God says
we got to lift up that standard Church. What are the things that I learn? this past week Was The Branding of our church at Seventh-day Adventist the general conference shared the complete their communication Department shared with us. They said that listen if you want a church that has Dynamic praise and worship all the time. You might not find it. at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, if you want a church that that that that pretty much that pretty much will will go and and and and And do a whole bunch of stuff and be involved in politics and stuff like that. That's not the Adventist Church here is there is where we are and this was the statement that they share this is where we are if you want to know the Bible. And fine hope and love in Jesus. We can help. that is the message that the Seventh Day Adventist Church we Are putting out there. We may not be good at giving you the highest praise like some some of these other churches. We may not be good at at at at being involved in politics and and and pretty much social social activities we do that but but we may not be good at that. But here's what we are good at if you want to know the Bible. Define hope and love in Jesus we can help. So we can't do everything. What is the one thing we know we can do the one thing we know we can do we can help you find hope and love in Jesus. Through the study of the word of God. I love a good praise and worship. I love a good praise and worship but but at the end of the day.
Our mission is to spread the Everlasting gospel. We got a we got to we got to get back to that core belief. So as Nehemiah challenge the leaders to rebuild the wall to build up the standard to lift up the standard. I want to challenge us today to do the same. But see the question is some people will get caught up. Some people will get caught up in what is the standard? So what is the stand? I will tell you what the standard is now the standard is not the Ten Commandments.
The standard is not the 28 fundamental beliefs. Percy the standard is not a what the standard is a Who?
It is in the hole. It is in the home of the person of Jesus Christ because Jesus says if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me. That's who the standard is. So lift them up in your whole house. Lift him up on the job lift him up at the schools. Let them up when you go out and walk by the way, Jesus Up Lift Jesus up because he is worthy to be praised lift him up. If you lift up Jesus people will see you and see Jesus and they won't look at your fault. They will look at his perfect righteousness, and they will say I want what you got because you've got Jesus that is the standard. He is that wall of protection around you whenever the enemy comes in like a flood. It is Jesus that stands against him. You can't fight the devil you can't argue with the Devil the devil will just whoop you upside your head, but if you'll just step back behind that wall call Jesus Christ. I let him fight your battles. It will be all right with you lift them up before your children left them up and watch how he will not draw He will draw all men women boys and girls to him. the children of Israel had seen the Divine ordinance of God, they've seen and they've experienced the Divine opportunities.
And they went into prayer and sought God. and by doing that They lifted up Jesus Christ. You see when you lift up Jesus. Guess what? He takes responsibility for everything. He takes responsibility for everything. He he he covers you in such a way that all you have to do. Is stay connected to the Vine? All you got to do is just stay connected to him. Now. Here's how chapter 3. Vs13 and imma stop at verse 18 and and I was amazed at the parallels that I saw cuz just like how Nehemiah came down to see what was going on in Jerusalem. The Bible says no one has ascended into heaven. But but but Jesus came down, he came down to Jerusalem just like her Nehemiah came down to Jerusalem and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up Jesus. Is that role that was built around Jerusalem? to protect the city the keep the city he was he became the gate upon which communication and travel and everything went through you couldn't you couldn't pass through that gate into Jerusalem without Jesus. And it says that whosoever believes in Him should not perish do you believe in Jesus Christ? Cuz he is the standard and he says if I be lifted up, I will draw all men women the boys and girls to me. And so when we lift up Jesus church, we are will lifting a wall or we're building a wall around ourselves to keep the enemy out. To strengthen our bonds with each other to uphold what is righteous and good and just and when we lift him up he promises that he will do the work when the son of man is lifted up He will draw all men women boys and girls on to himself so church I challenge you today. Let's raise our standards helped Jesus up lift him up hymn says to see that b****. You let the dying look and live to all where we first dissenters living water. He will give and don't wants meek and lowly get the prince of heaven was he and the blind will grow up in darkness and the blood of Christ through the blood of Christ will see lift him up the Risen Savior above the rating Strong Lift him up to see that speaking now. He bits you plea from wrong. today if you desire
To commit your heart to Jesus Christ to have him be lifted up in your life. So they can do the work of redeeming you can do the work of sanctifying you can do the work of purifying. What's your stand to your feet?
please forgive us for our sins.
As individuals as parents as a church to you. We realize Lord God that we have been sitting in a rubble. And we can't get ourselves out of it.
Lord let your Divine favor Let Your Divine blessings be revealed to us in such a way that we are unmistakably clear.
Did you call us to this work? But I pray that.
We will not try to do this work on our own and in our own efforts and in our own strength, but that we will look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. And may he be the Builder? But in circles are surrounds us. He is our standard we accept him as not only our Saviour but also our Lord. And we thank you in Jesus name for hearing and answering these prayers. Amen. Please remain standing. We're going to sing our closing hymn lift him up.