How to Build On Solid Ground

scriptures

Today is a day of Celebration for Faith and Victory Church!
• Today we commemorate the victory of our church for arriving at 12 years of ministry to the city of Auburn and the people of Faith and Victory
• Here we pause and Praise God for what he has done in our midst
• Raise your hand if you got saved here, rededicated here, baptized here, if you weren’t going to church,
• 12 years, 11, 10, etc
• God has saved people from death, healed, set free, redeemed, led families, restored marriages, provided jobs, ended addictions, filled with his presence
• He’s a good God and he has done great things in our church over the past 12 years- and today- we celebrate!
• Today I want to read to you a few verses from Nehemiah 8
• In this chapter- 3 great things were done as Ezra brought forth the reading of the law-
• Neh 8:1-12 READ
• Now if you did not catch what was going on there, let me explain what happened! Ezra just held the world’s first church service!
• In verse one we see that everybody gathered together in one place, like we do here on Sundays.
• In verse three we see that the service lasted from morning to mid-day, kind of like our Sunday service!
• In verse four we see that Ezra had a specific wooden platform from which to preach, kind of like this here pulpit!
• In verse seven we see Ezra leading the people in praise in worship, the even lifted their hands while worshiping!
• I want to focus on some key verses of it and how it pertains to us this morning- celebrate our anniv. but also get something from this scripture..
• The Title of the Message today is How To Build On Solid Ground

scriptures

Preaching on Ezra.

• The Word Has all the Answers
• READ v 1-3
• “read aloud from daybreak til noon”
• What was happening is that Ezra was speaking to the people of Israel “all the people came together as one”- they saw value in coming together to hear from the scriptures
• Ezra was sharing with them the book of the law- it says that he read aloud from daybreak to noon- before this- only priests had the knowledge- here is ezra sharing it with everyone
• Thats a good church service! “all the people listened attentively to the book of the law”
• In this scripture from Nehemiah we see the people of God, interested in hearing the scriptures of God- but more than that- ezra Preached them in a way they could understand them!
• What these guys knew- and what we know- The Scriptures have all the answers-
• We, as a church have always had the word be the center of our church.
• There is a theological term- “Sola Scriptura” it means “scripture only”
• This was the view of our church fathers in the first and second century-
• The Early Church Fathers (Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement, the Didache, and Barnabus) instructed on doctrine their only source for authority was Scripture.
• Their writings are full of quotations of the Old and New Testaments.
• John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
• We as a church believe that Jesus IS the word of God and that everything that he spoke was God speaking.
• This is why we listen to preaching every week, bible Study, etc. We believe that this is God speaking to us through the scriptures.
• We established our church on this central focus- we keep the Bible at the center of who we are nothing else
• We also believe that because Jesus IS the word- that the Whole Bible is Jesus speaking to us
• Jesus has all the answers- through his word- through his spirit-
• 2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
• 2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
• Thats what we believe
• Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
• This Bible- this scripture- is serious business- It is in fact God speaking to us!
• Neh 8:8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.
• This will also ring true in your own life as you base your life on the word and live by it
• See, what is happening, and what has happened, is that people have allowed subversive teaching and doctrines of the world to creep into their world view
• At the expense of Truth- they have allowed teachings and doctrines into their lives that have led them astray
• If you want to build on solid ground- if you want to experience the best of God on this side of heaven- live by the word
• This is where the world and the church do not see eye to eye- they want us to “get with the times”
• Folks, they have been trying to get us to get with the times for 2000 years
• I promise you that no jews in Jerusalem were advocating stopping the passover for the benefit of the Romans
• “hey guys, maybe we should change the passover so that more Romans would want to take part”
• “Lets change the way we do temple worship, just go out and invite those pesky samaratains to come and join us”
• No way- They could convert- but the process of conversion was from the outside to the IN not from INSIDE the church to the OUT

scriptures

Worship is not about you, it’s about God.

• 2. You got to worship
• READ v 4-6
• V6 Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
• We are a church of worship- You saw it today
• Some people don’t understand worship- worship is FOR GOD- its not for YOU
• people say “worship wasnt good today” I say ” you didn’t worship, huh”?
• READ Psalm 150
• What was happening in the Israelites right now- is that they were EXCITED to hear the word of the LORD and EXCITED to praise his name-
• See, back then, people had a keen awareness of the presence of God, because they depended on him for their sustenance
• we’ve fallen away from that- we got the job, we did the work, we got that raise
• If you were planting seed every day, and hoping it would rain, how would you praise him after the rain fell? after a good harvest?
• How did you praise him after you got saved? When you realized that You had been forgiving from your sins and you were no longer his enemy?
• This is why we say “amen” during a sermon or song- we are excited? Direct your heart and mind towards God and LIFT HIM UP!
• IN your life- If you want solid ground
• You’ve got to praise him in the storm- when you’re going through stuff you have to praise him
• I know I say this often- but I know this for my own life- we dont have worship services at my house- we do listen to worship songs- but we dont sit around and worship
• but here in the assembly- I love holding my wife’s hand and worshipping God together
• If you want to have a solid ground for your life and family- worship God. Worship him when its bad, when its good, when you’ve got it, when you don’t
• This means- show up to church! I know- you can do it at home- but man- its powerful when we’re together worshipping as the family of God- when his presence is in our midst and ministering to us
• When we’re together as community!

3. Celebrate Living For God
• READ v9-12
• In this scripture, the people are so overwhelmed by the reading of the word- that they begin to weep and Ezra encourages them- no need to weep- party!
• 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
• Sometimes, people get so serious about serving God they forget what a joy it is!
• How great is our God and worthy to be praised- how glorious he is over all the earth!
• we should celebrate that every chance we get! Just the fact that we are ALIVE
• 1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
• This is what we are going to do today- we are going to be celebrating that God has done great things in our midst!
• One of my favorite verses- When ever I lose my way- I read Ecclesiasties-
• this verse gives me focus-
• Ecclesiastes 3:13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
• Thats about it- no matter you have, no matter what you do, just enjoy food and drink and the fruit of your labor
• Sounds pretty good to me
• What can you do in your life?
• Learn to celebrate! Big stuff, small stuff- anything!
• I’m not the best at this- Shelly is- I went to her house one time, saw that she bought her kids end of year gifts- We went and did it- small but impactful
• When I was kid- I remember driving around until we hit 100k- got out and jumped up and down and did the party poppers- it was stupid- but its one of the memories of my childhood
• Bring God into the equation- be sure you’re celebrating with HIM
• He’s the one who gave it to you!
• I dont know about you- but I love being alive. I absolutely love it. I love breathing

solidground1

Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord

4. Go Tell people
• Now the end of this chapter- the israelites are so moved that they go and tell the rest of Israel to celebrate- sure its tents and jewish custom
• but here’s the point- what they had experienced compelled them to go and share it with others
• Folks- God has a big plan for our church that he has given me
• planting churches- growing our church- changing lives
• the gospel is being diluted- peoples souls are at stake
• we must take a stand we must share the gospel
• Acts 24:25 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come,
• we are educating our children, worshipping God, learning from his word and teaching others to do the same
• serving the community, but telling them the gospel
• mission trips but sharing the gospel
• Staying true to the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ (if someone preaches you a gospel other than the one)
• Here’s the plan
• Grow to the point where we can financially support another church plant
• I dont know where that point is
• But as we continually gather, and give and serve- IT is going to happen
• Outside the church serves one purpose- pull people in
• Why? TO hear the message of the cross- Jesus Christ came to save sinners
• Get people filled with the spirit of God, saved, sanctified, serving Jesus
• Commit today to building on solid ground. Word, Worship, Celebrate and TELL SOMEONE
• What good is it if you don’t tell someone???

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