Nehemiah Chapter 6:2-3
Our Defense: Recognising the great work
by I Gordon
 ↩ Again, the size of an act is not the issue. God looks at the heart. Even small acts done in faith and love will be fully rewarded in heaven. Matt 10:32. And therefore, they are great works! They will last for eternity.
 ↩ When is the last time you considered yourself a stranger, pilgrim or exile on this earth? That's what the old men of faith considered themselves. In Hebrews 11 we have the Hall of Faith. The greatest men the earth has ever known. They are those that God says 'of whom the world was not worthy'. This chapter is about faith and the basis for their faith was their continual gaze into eternity. Look at what is said again and again:
By faith Abraham went out not knowing where he was going 'for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God' (vs 8-10). 'All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers, and exiles on earth.' (vs 13). But as it is they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared a city for them. ' (vs16). Moses chose to endure hardship with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for 'he was looking ahead to his reward.' (vs 26). Others were tortured, not accepting release so that they might obtain a better resurrection.' (vs 35)
I don't think there would have been a lot of worldliness in that list! All had their eyes on the things to come.
 ↩ Here are a few anyway, some of which were stated in the small study on worldliness earlier on.
1John 2:15-16 carries on in vs 17 with 'The world is passing away, and also is its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.' James chapter 4 and 5 is about worldliness and he finishes up with 'Therefore be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord...Strengthen your hearts for the coming of the Lord is near!' 1Pet 4:2-7 is a passage on worldly lusts and ends with 'they will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead... The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit.'
 ↩ This was brought home to me recently again, through a dream that a friend of mine had. She had been going through various trials and had been quite down when the Lord gave her an incredible dream, showing her (and our) destiny to come. In it she saw herself standing with millions of people and they were talking about the Lord. She said the place was filled with a peace and beauty she cannot describe. And she saw the Lord Jesus presenting the people back to the Father who was seated on a throne. The dream carried on and looking down upon the earth, she saw military action and tanks going in every direction upon the earth. Finally she saw people upon the earth, running in fear into forests and woods where hidden camps had been made. Obviously it is the first part of this dream that relates to the topic at hand, but the whole thing shows the reality and awesomeness of our future and the dread for those who will not listen.
 ↩ Paul obviously knew the reality of heaven. He had been caught up there, seeing and hearing inexpressible things. (2 Cor 12:2) And he wanted to go back! Listen to his desire - 'for to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.' (Phil 1:21-24) That should be our desire as well.
 ↩ What is the fear of God? Well it means that we live every moment of our life in a continual state of fear, not ever knowing what God is going to do to us. Ok? Thanks for coming and have a happy afternoon. Um, er, no. The fear of God is important but thankfully I got the first definition wrong! The fear of the Lord is a reverence for God, leading to honour and trust and putting God first in each situation. Look at how Jesus lived his life on earth; the prophecies said that 'the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord' would rest upon him and 'he would delight in the fear of the Lord.' (Isa 11:3) How was that lived out? Was Jesus scared of the Father? No. He gave all glory to the Father, put all situations in the Fathers hands, and only said and did what he heard and saw the Father doing! The fear of the Lord led to God in action through the man Jesus Christ! Are you paralysed by the fear of man? If we were honest, it is a fear that gets each of us at times. It got Abraham (Gen 12:12, 20:2) Peter (Mk 14:66-72) and many other in Jesus' day (John 12:42). Is this you? The bible tells us to again fear, honour, and remember the Lord. Psalm 118:4-8 "Oh let those who fear the Lord say that his loving kindness is everlasting...The Lord is for me, I will not fear; What can man do to me?" Isaiah 51:12-13 "Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies...You have forgotten the Lord your Maker who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth." Heb 13:5-6 "He said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you', so we may confidently say 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?' Proverbs 29:25 "The fear of man brings a snare, but those who trust in the Lord will be kept safe."