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Rebuilding Needs Giving

Rebuilding with Ezra  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Before the exiles left Babylon to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Lord's temple, they did a lot of counting. They counted everything and everyone who will come along the journey. Four principles to rebuild the Lord's temple is to Embark towards living a new life, to be Zealous in our giving, to Reform the way we think and to first rebuild the Altar. The Israelites who remained in captivity for 70 years in Babylon embarked to return to their homeland and live a new life. They were Zealous in giving their freewill offering. Living a generous life brings about benefits. It Honors God, it draws us closer to God, it makes us to be more like Jesus, it cures our sense of materialism, it demonstrates our faith, it reveals our character, it brings God's blessings, it increases our happiness, it expands our influence, it multiplies our money, it brings God's protection and it will be rewarded in heaven. God don't need your Gold, He wants your Generosity.

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Opening

Who wants to see this church rebuilt?
When we started this series last Sunday, we had an overview of the book of Ezra
There was a lot of counting
They had an inventory of everything and everyone before they left Babylon to rebuild the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem
They counted the number of priests, musicians, temple servants and many others
Similarly, our church needs rebuilding
We are going through some processes that we need to experience in order to witness the glory of God
Just like the army of Gideon, our numbers was trimmed down to what it is now
But, it should not in any way discourage us
But on the contrary, this should all the more encourage us
Why??
Because God will earn all the glory out of these, look
Judges 7:2 NCV
Then the Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men to defeat the Midianites. I don’t want the Israelites to brag that they saved themselves.
BREATHE!
When I accepted God’s call for me to serve 6 years ago, It was not a very handsome start
I was ridiculed, belittled, mocked and persecuted
6 years after, and during in between those years, I am still ridiculed, belittled, mocked and persecuted
I always say these, and I will say it again… We do not demand for “respect”, we do not beg for “respect”, we EARN “respect...
If I can not earn yours, it will be useless for me to continue as your pastor
But I praise the name of Jesus because He kept me going
At times when I am almost about to give up, I thought of resigning from the church
But I praise the name of Jesus because He kept me going
My numbness in Christ helps me to keep going
Galatians 1:10 NIV
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
He was always there to say, don’t give up! Keep up!
This are the words of Paul to the believers of Galatia, in verse 10 of the first chapter of his letter…
Galatians 1:10 NCV
Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Jesus was always there to say, don’t give up! Keep up!
You’re doing the right thing, and I am with you, the Lord said
And whenever I am in that state of solitude, this verse rings up in my mind
Galatians 6:9 The Living Bible
And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.
Now, let me see the hands of those who are giving up… anybody?… hmmmm… I guess that’s a good news
BREATHE!
I am resolved to a be part of this church as the glory of God rebuilds it… may I know…
Who among you are with me on this journey?
Don’t simply raise your hands… think before you act
Because honeymoon is over, and there are plenty of works that needs to be done ahead of us
BREATHE!
Back to our business for the day
We will pick it up from where we left off last Sunday

TEXT: Rebuilding with Ezra

Ezra 2:68 NIV
When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site.
Keywords out of this verse are: ARRIVED, GAVE, OFFERING, REBUILDING, HOUSE OF GOD
From these are four principles in Rebuilding the Lord’s temple
Embark towards living a New Life
When the Israelites left Babylon, they embarked towards a new life
Let me put it this way… a group of tourists at the airport waiting lounge/boarding gate ready to depart… until, one of the guys went missing.. loitering around the terminal, and holding the rest of the group… the group has to decide, either for all of them to stay and look for the missing guy and miss their flight… or, for the rest of the group to embark and leave the missing guy behind… essentially, this is a group decision…
Let me put this in a different outlook… if you’ve been to a circus, it is more likely that you’ve watched the “flying trapeze” show. Where the acrobat has to let go of the bar, in order to grab onto the other bar… similarly, this is a personal decision...
Be Zealous in Giving
Reform the Way we Think
Rebuild the Altar
BREATHE!
Last Sunday we talked about living a new life...
Embark towards living a New Life
When the Israelites left Babylon, they embarked towards a new life
Let me put it this way… a group of tourists at the airport waiting lounge/boarding gate ready to depart… until, one of the guys went missing.. loitering around the terminal, and holding the rest of the group… the group has to decide, either for all of them to stay and look for the missing guy and miss their flight… or, for the rest of the group to embark and leave the missing guy behind… essentially, this is a group decision…
Let me put this in a different outlook… if you’ve been to a circus, it is more likely that you’ve watched the “flying trapeze” show. Where the acrobat has to let go of the bar, in order to grab onto the other bar… let go of our old life, then grab onto the new life… the acrobat will be airborne on midair between those two bars.... what gets him from the bar of old life, onto the the bar of new life is called… FAITH!... similarly, this is a personal decision...
Today, we will talk about the second principle in Rebuilding the Lord’s temple
Be Zealous in Giving
Come to the Altar
In other words, be always excited to give
Not by forced or coercion
Not by obligation
But by giving “freely”
BREATHE!
There was a small group of Filipinos talking to each other one day. And all they can think of saying was purely complaints. They kept on whining because of their circumstances. All they can find to do is to whine about their every situation. They lamented that life is hard, there’s no work available, they even complained about the weather.
In a twist of faith, this small group of Filipinos somehow secured their visas to migrate into this country. Oh boy, they were all so excited to leave their country. First thing they did was to go shopping, they went to “Shoemart”, to buy their suitcases, jackets, and things to make make their travel pleasurable. They started visiting relatives to say their goodbyes, and even hosted a despedida (farewell) party, a traditional Filipino send off gathering.
When they got here, they were so happy. Super happy, they loved the weather, they love to see white people all around them, they were mesmerized by the things that they see, they love the hand dryer in the restrooms, oh and the seat covers too. They love the food, the super servings that they could not always finish ending up in a doggy bag. They love the theme parks, they love everything.
After a while of honeymoon stage, they started buying things for themselves. They buy their cars, they buy their gadgets, they buy their homes.
And then slowly, they slipped into what I call “The American Grind”. Work, work, work and work. They feel very satisfied on their first year, still very good on the second year, some still are ok on their third year… until, they are sucked into this nation’s lifestyle.
Work, work, work! Bills, bills and bills still… over time, they started to complain and whine again. They wish to go home to the Philippines. Saying that there’s no place like home. That in the Philippines, they can afford to have maids at home. That everything will be literally done for them while they lay back and relax. In fact a lot of us are highly considering retiring in the Philippines. Aren’t we?
Look! Their situation had changed, their environment had changed, but their perception did not change. The way they look at things stayed the same.
Instead of thanking God, they keep on complaining to the Lord
How can we be ever thankful?
We can only have a thanking heart if we set our minds on things above, and not on earthly circumstances ()
Colossians 3:2 NIV
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
We can only give if we are thankful and contented with what we have
We can only love if we learn how to give
Like the saying that goes...
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving”
BREATHE!
Is giving just about money?
Absolutely not! Giving could be in a form of...
Talent
Time
Treasure
However, the word money was used 121 times in the NIV translation of the Bible which is more than the number of times the word “prayer” was mentioned
God uses money to test our faith
It tests our integrity, our humility and our generosity
Your net worth should not determine your self worth
Jesus said, if I can trust with you little, I will trust you with much
Money is God’s tool to build our integrity, our humility and our generosity
Why do you think God is very interested in our generosity?
Because generosity is “love in action”
Since God is love, He wants us to put love into action through our generosity
There are more than 5,000 promises of God in the Bible, and a lot of them are related to generosity
But always remember that for every promise, there is a premise
Why do we have to give?
Well, because He gave, and He continues to give
If we are to be like Jesus,
In which is the core of the entire Bible it says.. For God so love the world that He GAVE...
Love is all about giving and not getting
John 3:16 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Tell the person next to you.. “Give Freely!”… “It’s tax deductible!”
I remember in my younger years, all I am concerned about is what I could get. Example during Christmas season, I am all out inclined and looking forward to what gifts will I be receiving. It was always about what am I gonna get! What’s in it for me! It’s always about get, get, get and get!
When I got saved back in 93, I was not a happy giver at first. I was not faithful in giving my tithes to our church. When my Pastor will come to us and ask for some construction materials needed to build our church building, I was not very cheerful to give. I always shortchanged the Lord. My priority was myself and my family. I just don’t feel that it is necessary for me to give the 10 percent of what I made.
But over the years, now that I am a parent. My gladness shifted to seeing the happiness of my children, family, friends, or even random people that asked me for some help through facebook, when they receive something from me.
It brings me joy to be a channel of blessings to these people. My wife always say that, “your happiness is my happiness”… It is a contagious character and we hope to contaminate everyone… Now it’s about give, give, give and give!
How did this happened?.... Because I MATURED!
Sadly, there are still some, that until now, they are 50, 60, 70 or very 80 years old, but still, opted to stay immature, they did not grow, or won’t grow...
BREATHE!
I said that for every promise, there is a promise
God wants us to claim those promises by faith
There a very many benefits that your generosity can give you
I don’t have enough time to go over all of them, but let me give you a dozen
Try to write things down fast because you don’t want to miss any of these benefits

12 Benefits of Generosity

My Generosity Honors God
Proverbs 14:31 NCV
Whoever mistreats the poor insults their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
My Generosity Draws Me Closer to God
Matthew 6:20–21 NLT
Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 6:21 NLT
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
My Generosity Draws Me Close to God
Matthew 6:21 NLT
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
If your heart is with your properties and belongings, you’ll be drawn closer to those things
My Generosity Makes Me Like Jesus
Proverbs 21:26 NLT
Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
My Generosity is the Cure for Materialism
1 Timothy 6:17–18 CEV
Warn the rich people of this world not to be proud or to trust in wealth that is easily lost. Tell them to have faith in God, who is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy life. Instruct them to do as many good deeds as they can and to help everyone. Remind the rich to be generous and share what they have.
If you are not generous, you are materialistic
Who are the rich people?… we all are rich people, not only those in Time or Forbes magazine
Millions of people in other parts of the world wants to be where we are in terms of economic status in life.
My Generosity Demonstrates My Faith
2 Corinthians 9:13 NCV
It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ—the gospel you say you believe—and because you freely share with them and with all others.
Stinginess is caused by unbelief
My Generosity Reveals My Character
Proverbs 22:1 GW
A good name is more desirable than great wealth. Respect is better than silver or gold.
God uses money to tests what is inside you
One day a father and a son was hanging out together. Then suddenly, the son said… “dad can I have some french fries?”… dad replied, “sure son!”… so off they went to McDonald’s here along Miramesa. The Dad got his son some french fries and he paid for it… Once they got back inside the car, the smell of the freshly fried potatoes was so inviting that the dad reach for a piece of fries. But before he could snatch a piece of those fries, the son slap his daddy’s hand and quipped the box of fries towards his chest, like a football player protecting his ball and said, “dad, you can’t have any! these are mine!”
I remember in my younger years, all I am concerned about is what I could get. Example during Christmas season, I am all out inclined and looking forward to what gifts will I be receiving. It was always about what am I gonna get! What’s in it for me! It’s always about get, get, get and get!
When I got saved back in 93, I was not a happy giver at first. I was not faithful in giving my tithes to our church. When my Pastor will come to us and ask for some construction materials needed to build our church building, I was not very cheerful to give. I always shortchanged the Lord. My priority was myself and my family. I just don’t feel that it is necessary for me to give the 10 percent of what I made.
But over the years, now that I am a parent. My gladness shifted to seeing the happiness of my children, family, friends, or even random people that asked me for some help through facebook, when they receive something from me.
What a short memory the boy had. He outright forgot that it was his dad who got him those fries. That it was his dad, who paid for it all.
It brings me joy to be a channel of blessings to these people. My wife always say that, “your happiness is my happiness”… It is a contagious character and we hope to contaminate everyone… Now it’s about give, give, give and give!
How did this happened?.... Because I MATURED!
Sadly, there are still some, that until now, they are 50, 60, 70 or very 80 years old, but still, opted to stay immature, they did not grow, or won’t grow...
My Generosity Brings God’s Blessings
Proverbs 22:9 GW
Whoever is generous will be blessed because he has shared his food with the poor.
My Generosity Increases My Happiness
Acts 20:34–35 GNB
You yourselves know that I have worked with these hands of mine to provide everything that my companions and I have needed. I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’ ”
BREATHE!
I remember in my younger years, all I am concerned about is what I could get. Example during Christmas season, I am all out inclined and looking forward to what gifts will I be receiving. It was always about what am I gonna get! What’s in it for me! It’s always about get, get, get and get!
When I got saved back in 93, I was not a happy giver at first. I was not faithful in giving my tithes to our church. When my Pastor will come to us and ask for some construction materials needed to build our church building, I was not very cheerful to give. I always shortchanged the Lord. My priority was myself and my family. I just don’t feel that it is necessary for me to give the 10 percent of what I made.
But over the years, now that I am a parent. My gladness shifted to seeing the happiness of my children, family, friends, or even random people that asked me for some help through facebook, when they receive something from me.
It brings me joy to be a channel of God’s blessings to these people. My wife always say that, “your happiness is my happiness”… It is a contagious character and we hope to contaminate everyone… Now it’s about give, give, give and give!
How did this happened?.... Because I MATURED!
Sadly, there are still some, that until now, they are 50, 60, 70 or even 80 years old, but still, opted to stay immature, they did not grow, or they won’t grow...
My Generosity Expands My Influence
Proverbs 11:24 MSG
The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.
My Generosity Multiplies My Money
Proverbs 11:25 NCV
Whoever gives to others will get richer; those who help others will themselves be helped.
My Generosity Brings God’s Protection
Psalm 112:5–6 The Living Bible
and all goes well for the generous man who conducts his business fairly. Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it.
My Generosity will be Rewarded in Heaven
Luke 16:9 GW
⌊Jesus continued,⌋ “I’m telling you that although wealth is often used in dishonest ways, you should use it to make friends for yourselves. When life is over, you will be welcomed into an eternal home.
Is there anybody who’s gonna be in heaven because of the way you use your money?
BREATHE!
One day a father and a son was hanging out together. Then suddenly, the son said… “dad can I have some french fries?”… dad replied, “sure son!”… so off they went to McDonald’s here along Miramesa. The Dad got his son some french fries and he paid for it… Once they got back inside the car, the smell of the freshly fried potatoes was so inviting that the dad reach for a piece of fries. But before he could snatch a piece of those fries, the son slap his daddy’s hand and quipped the box of fries towards his chest, like a football player protecting his ball and said, “dad, you can’t have any! these are mine!”
What a short memory the boy had. He outright forgot that it was his dad who got him those fries. That it was his dad, who paid for it all.
God don’t need your fries, He wants your freewill offering
God don’t need your gold, He wants your Generosity.
BREATHE!
Beginning today, I’d like to challenge you to join us… my family humbly commits $100 every month on top of our tithes & offerings and this shall go to our building funds
It has been our prayers to have our own permanent place of worship
And like what I said, that there is a premise for every promise of God

Prayer

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