With Debt Gone, What is Possible?

Photo of a rainbow on the water with a whale jumping out of the water and the words, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine--to him be glory."

$ Thousand$ Every Month

Our church must currently allot about six thousand dollars every month for the mortgage payment on the Fellowship Hall. We have been paying on that mortgage since that building project was completed in 2008. In the coming weeks we, the stewardship committee, would like to discuss the possibilities for expanding and enhancing our church’s ministry, by using that $6,000 a month for other priorities.

Solomon Built Temple and Palace

We read in 1 Kings 6:1 that King Solomon began to build the temple for the Lord. After 7 years the temple was complete. Next, in chapter 7, he began to build the palace. We are told that, in about 20 years’ time, he completed the temple, palace and walls. Many years later, in 2 Kings 25, we read of the fall of Jerusalem, knowing that Israel has already been captured and exiled by the Assyrians.

Babylonian Exile

Then the tribe of Judah, under King Nebuchadnezzar, was captured and exiled by the Babylonians. The Bible tells us the Babylonians set fire to the temple, the royal palace, and they broke down the wall around Jerusalem, as recorded at the end of 2nd Chronicles. During the time of its desolation the land rested until the 70 years were completed, in fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.

Nehemiah Wants to Rebuild Jerusalem

The book of Ezra then tells us of the return of the exiles to the land, but I want to skip ahead now to Nehemiah.  There a most remarkable story is recorded for us. Nehemiah has heard from his brothers about the Jewish remnant and Jerusalem’s condition.  The people left in Jerusalem were in great trouble. The wall was still broken down and its gates were no longer there.

Reverently, Nehemiah started with his prayer to God. He tells of his position as cupbearer to the King. Then he says he needs God to make a way for him to speak to the King so he can help God’s people.

Drawing of 3 men using stone blocks to build wall with the words, "Nehemiah Building the Wall."

God’s Hand Upon Nehemiah

God answered Nehemiah’s prayer and used the king to pave the way for Nehemiah to bring the needed resources to help the city rebuild. Nehemiah inspected the wall around Jerusalem at night, before talking to the people who would be doing the work. Afterward, he told them how the gracious hand of God was upon him. In chapter 3 we find a long list of family names and the portion of the wall that each rebuilt, giving credit to each and all who shared in the work and how it was accomplished. Finally, chapter 6, verse 15, records the most remarkable part of this story: “So the wall was completed at the 25th of Elul in 52 days.” How awesome is our God?

Stewardship Committee at Mt Olive

When we formed this Stewardship committee last year to work toward reducing Mt. Olive’s debt. Since then, God led me, time and time again, to reflect on Nehemiah’s story. It took King Solomon 20 years to build the temple, palace and wall. However, in God’s hand it took God’s people only 52 days to rebuild the wall. God provides the resources (and He may use you and me as resources). Trust God with all you have, place your whole life in his hands.

I want to remind us all of the gracious hand of God upon us, as it was with Nehemiah. We can insert each of our family names into this story. The people of the church are working side by side to pay off the mortgage on our Fellowship Hall building, to the glory of God.

Pray about this Cause

God asks us to pray and tell Him of our needs—and pray believing. Please join us in prayerful consideration as we move forward in this mission to eliminate debt. How can you be used in this cause by our great and mighty God? Many of us have already made pledges to increase our giving toward the paying down of this debt. We will celebrate and raise money with a St. Patrick’s party on Mar 16, Saturday. Please come and enjoy the traditional Irish dinner and a fun evening with us. There is no charge!

Photo of a rainbow on the water with a whale jumping out of the water and the words, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine--to him be glory."

Closing Prayer

In closing, I would echo the two passages that Debbie mentioned last week. Isaiah 52:7: How beautiful are the feet of them who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns. And Ephesians 3; verses 20 & 21: Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that works within us. To Him be glory, in the church and in Christ Jesus, through all generations forever and ever. Amen.

—Collette Keeton

(from her presentation to the congregation)


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