I must admit…
I am a little nervous. I am definitely excited. I am somewhat overwhelmed.
We are finally starting a new church plant. The projected “grand opening” date is getting closer. We have so much to do! Preparing the building, training the Sunday school assistant, designing signs and tracts and invitations…
My head starts spinning when I think of it all.
The new building for Berea Baptist Church
(Want to take a pre-remodel tour of the building? Click HERE.)
Berea is in the main intersection of the village of Sangla.
But there is one preparation that I long for more than anything:
I desire my heart to be prepared.
We can have a beautiful building, perfect Sunday school class, music ministry ready to go…
And it would be heartbreaking to realize that I had not prepared myself!
If we had no building, no invitations, no signs, no piano, we could still have the presence of God and the blessing of the Lord if WE are prepared.
I was reading through Nehemiah chapter one this morning. What a huge task he was about to take part in accomplishing! He was going to build the wall around Jerusalem!!! But I am gripped by the things God did in Nehemiah’s heart to prepare Him for the task.
(Lord, prepare my heart for the work at Berea!)
Brokenhearted for the things that broke God’s heart
1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Exalting the Lord
1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
Humbled and Had a Contrite Spirit
1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Full of Faith in God’s Word
1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Hopeful in God’s Mercy
1:9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
Recognized His Dependence on God
1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
Fearing the Lord
1:11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
Faithful in Responsibilities
2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
Consumed by God’s Burden
2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
Respectful to God-Designed Authority
2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
Praying for God’s Will
2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
In our daily walk, we can prepare everything: schedules, calendars, supplies, meals, lessons, music, classes…
But may we never forget the most important preparation.
The preparation of our hearts.