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A Mind to Work

Benjamin Ng
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  • February 20, 2021
    11:15 AM
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Father in heaven thank you for this time that we can come and study your word thank you for this blessing with morning Lord anytime that we have an opportunity to open your word I consider it a wonderful privilege because Lord we don't know when that freedom is going to be taken away from us but Lord whilst we have this freedom help us to treasure it help us to earnestly seek for that blessing the blessing of your spirit to speak to each and every one of us when you convict us or Lord you convert us help us to rise higher as we study your word this day for you pray in Jesus name Amen. So 2 weeks ago I studied Nehemiah chapter one and chapter 2 with all of you and it was where we ended with Nehemiah. Encouraging the people that were in Jerusalem to rise up and build the walls of Jerusalem Nehemiah had had clear indication from God as he in chapter one prayed and confessed his sins God began to guide God began to work on his behalf and he saw the clear providence of God and even though he arrived in Jerusalem and the world had been halted and the people were discouraged and even though he went around and surveyed the the city and the State of the city on the walls and everything he was not discouraged because he saw how God had been in his prayers how the king had given him unlimited resources how he gave the gods to Him to guide his safe passage and how God had allowed Well it was yes King our desert seas had allowed Nehemiah but of course it was by the hand of God to go back and personally build the walls of Jerusalem and so Nehemiah came back with great faith he came back with great assurance that God was with him and so we pick it up now in Nehemiah chapter 3 starting in verse one the Bible says this then Elias ship the High Priest rose up with his brother and the priests and they build that the Sheep Gate they sent to find it and set up the doors of it even unto the tower of Mia they sent to fight it unto the tower of Ana Neal and next on to him build of the men of Jericho and next to then build Zakhar the son of Imrie but the fish the sons of Hessen are build who also lay the beams there of and set up the doors there of the locks there of and the Baas there off then next unto them repaired. Off the son of your rider the son of cause and next on to them repaired Mashal them the son of Vera Collier the son of meshes Abele And next on 2 of them repaired Zadok the son of Bonna you know to everyone there was a work assigned when you read through this whole chapter Chapter 3 and we're not going to do it because it really is you know we've read the 1st 4 verses there and it is just listing of names of people and what they did and what their responsibilities are but when you read through this chapter you'll realize one thing everyone had something to do everyone had a tusk assigned to them everyone knew their role and everyone when they were appointed to do it they did it they rose up and they worked together and build the house of the Lord and the walls and the city everyone was inspired by the faith of Nehemiah and they were ready to fulfill the work that God had assigned to each and every one of them friends even from the outset we here on set here we see and we learn a very important lesson and I want us to look at this quote here Christian service page 10 paragraph 4 we're told this to every one work has been allotted. And no one can be a substitute for another Everybody has a responsibility we're told your No one can can come in and say Ok you don't do it I'll take on the extra burden no everyone has a responsibility each one has a mission of wonderful importance which he cannot neglect or ignore as a fulfillment of it involves the wheel of some soul and the neglect of it the Wolf of one for whom Christ died friends what I want you to realize here this morning is that everyone has a place in God's work we're all connected just like the builders on the walls of Jerusalem there everyone realize there their work and the question that I have for you here this morning even as we're just beginning do you realize the work that God has for you Do you know what God has called you to do you know the place that you have in God's work but let's continue shall we as they were building what happened we're going to come pick it up here in chapter 4 starting in verse one. But it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we build on the wall he was wroth and took great indignation and mocked the juice and he spoke before his brother and the army of some area and said What do these feeble Jews will they fortify themselves will they sacrifice will they make an end in a day will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned you know when they began to build the wall of Jerusalem then send ballots he was against them and you know friends that's really important lesson we've got to learn when you do God's work don't expect that the way will just be made smooth for you just because God called you don't ask for a lighter burden but ask for a stronger back you know you have to expect opposition and the work of God has always had its doubters and its markers and don't be surprised when it happens to you actually it's better for you to expect that it happens so that when it doesn't happen you'll be pleasantly surprised you won't be taken aback they had hardly started when Sanballat appeared and started to mock them and you know friends we got to remember this and 1st Peter chapter 4 verse 12 beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you you know many of us we are taken aback when these sort of things happen because we expect God just to come in and help us and do all the work for us not realizing that God and his workers have always had is that alters and his persecutors throughout all history I mean just take the case of Moses when he you when he was called by God to go and leave the children of Israel out from Egypt you would have thought that augured said I will be with you right but. It took 10 plagues for Pharaoh 4 to finally give up and say Ok let everyone go with you 10 plagues he didn't listen in the 1st or the 2nd or the 3rd or the 4th it took 10 plagues and many threats he gave up to Moses said if you I see you here again under to kill you so don't think that the work will be made smooth Just because God calls you just because you're able to for miracles you're still have your deltas and your markers and your persecutor So don't be surprised don't be surprised in fact we've got to expect it even the 1st John chapter 3 verse 13 tells us do not be surprised brother and if the world hates you you got to expect these things to happen this is what happens when you separate from the world the world will begin to hate you but let's continue Nehemiah chapter 4 and verse 6 so built the wall and all the world wall was joined together and the hof there off for the people had a mind to work. You know in spite of all the opposition and all the mocking and all the threats and whatever Sandalow threw at them they pushed through with the work and they were build able to build half of the wall how the Bible said what they had a mind to work they all came with the understanding that there was a work to be done and so they put all their hearts to the work no one was slacking no one was lazing around they all had a purpose and they were helping each other and not waiting to be helped or to be served you know the people they had a burden for the work friends they want working for wages they weren't working for recognition opposition they weren't while working for any ultra emotive they weren't working for anything except to build the wall and the city for the Lord and let's continue verse 7. But it came to pass that when Sanballat And so by and the Arabians and the Ammonites and Ashford ites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up and that the breaches began to be stopped then they were very wroth and conspired all of them together to come and to fight against a roost of them and hinder it so now they hear that the work is successful and they're coming now even to one fight against that they're not just throwing insults and mocking at them any more they're ready to come and fight literally physically in the flesh you know friends the work does not get easier it doesn't you don't get to this point where you experience all the trials that you could experience and go Ok I'm not going to be surprised by anything anymore no it only gets worse and unless we have a mind to work you know we unless we have that right mind set to work will fall under the pressure won't be able to handle it and will begin to turn around and blame God we've got to have this right mindset friends unless we understand the reason why we are Christian why we are they haven't asked why you decide to go to church you know Dollops will always come in why because the devil hates God's work and he's always going to throw opposition against it and unless you understand the purpose as to why you are a Christian today you will begin to blame God you're going to begin to hate him the mindset must change in how we view church in why we go to church on Sabbath morning in why we live this Christian life in general we got to know why friends we got or else we are going to buckle under the pressure of what Satan throws at us. Let's continue Nehemiah Chapter 4 verse 9 Nevertheless we made our prayer on so God and set a watch against them day and night because of them so in spite of what was happening they had a mind to work and they lifted up their prayers to God and made them even more watchful it made them even more faithful It didn't make them let go of God but made them press even closer to God I'm reminded of these texts in the Bible collections chapter 4 in verse to continue in prayer and watch the same with Thanksgiving 1st Peter chapter 4 in verse 7 but the end of all things is at hand be ye therefore sober and watch unsuppressed you know friends in these times that we live in we need to be watchful we need to be sober we go to pray much more in lest Satan steals a march upon us we must not be ignorant of his devices unless he gains an advantage over us we gotta watch and pray so you can see that the lessons that that we're learning from Nehemiah. Are very much to do with what we have to apply in our day and age we got to be Wall Builders on the walls of Zion we got to do the Lord's work and when you do there's always going to be opposition and when that arises we've got to be even more preferable even more watchful especially in these times but then we continue Nehemiah chapter 4 and verse 10 what happens Judah they come and say to them the strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed and there is much rubbish so that we are not able to build the wall. You know all things began to happen from within they say the strength of the burn embarrass their decayed this not saying I'm burnt out and burnt out carrying all this heavy load and you know friends when used begin to feel burned out even when you're doing the Lord's work is because you've made the Lord's work your idol do you know that it's possible to be burnt out from doing God's work instead of spending time with the Lord of the work we try to do in our own strength and so even though these these men and woman they were accomplishing a great work for the Lord and God had promised to be with them and build with them and fight for that they began to rely on their own strength you know it was so easy just to get up in the morning go out and start building the wall I'm doing God's work Surely God will be with me right even though I neglect to spend time with him and not only that they said what there is much rubbish we are not able to build Did we can to make excuses as to why they weren't able to build effectively of the church in this location is not conducive to to having a church here the work is too hard in this area is anything really too hard for the Lord you know we began to give reasons as to why we cannot do it personally I'm burnt out or there's just so many oppositions that we can't do it here. Friends Not only that look at what else is happening Nehemiah Chapter 4 of us 11 and 12 and our adversary said they shall not know neither see till we come in the midst than among them and slay them and cause the work to cease and it came to pass that when the Jews which by them came and they said to us 10 times how many times 10 times from all places when you shall return unto us they will be upon you there were threats from the outside you know verse 12 from all places when you return to us you know the n.i.v. says this wherever you turn they will attack us seemed like a hopeless cause wasn't it they were scared for their lives so not only for years from within but fears from without began to catch up to them. Why even though they were doing the lord's work they forgot that God was with them they repeated it even 10 times you know wherever you go they're going to catch you and they're going to kill you wherever they said it 10 times talking about repetition deepening impression they had already believed it and if they didn't at that point after saying it 10 times they definitely believe that right. Discouragement began to settle in they had forgotten the God of the work they had focused on the work they were given Bible studies at least that's what it would be to equate it to in our day right they were going visiting people. But in the midst of it they thought of I'm opening up the Bible I'm doing God's work they forgot to spend time with the God of the work. But look at what Nehemias does look at how he responds Nehemiah chapter 413215. Therefore set in the lower places behind the wall and on the higher places I even set the people after their families with their swords their spears and their bows and I looked and rose up and said unto the nobles and to the rulers and to the rest of the people be not afraid of them remember the Lord which is great and terrible and fight for your brother and your sons your daughters your wives and your houses and it came to pass when our enemies heard that it was known to us and God had brought their counsel to not that we returned all of us to the wall every one unto his work I want you to notice something very interesting here that we just read in these 3 verses Nehemiah did not deal with some of those issues. Were burnt out and there's too much rubbish he did not deal with that at all it's as if they complained to him and he just totally ignored. But there was one thing that he did deal with which was the threat of people coming in and killing them and hindering the work and so what did you do he put more people with spears and swords and shields to God more people that were full time just to God while others build it and then even those that build it they had some weapons to defend themselves as well you know too often we give reason why we feel burns out and the reason why we give so many excuses why we cannot work people ready to kill us and so much rubbish the reason is because we forgotten about the greatness of God And so people began holding weapons in one hand and the other hand they also built the work of God as well. So you know friends how does that apply to us we've got to remember that we've got to have a weapon to defend us it's a sword it's called the sort of the Spirit is called the shield of faith we've got to have that devotional time with God in His word and pray much that is our defense and then we've got to go forward and do the work you know you can't just go do the work without having the sort of the spirit you've got an arm yourselves and then you can go forward and do the work there has to be this balance on one side we've got to protect ourselves on the other side we've got to go and do the work of the Lord you know church members I want to ask all of you those that have been baptized What work are you doing for the Lord today look I'm not saying that you've got to work your way to heaven but your actions are the result of your devotion and prayer life with Jesus do you know that I want to show you this quote taken from Christian service again 118 paragraph 2 No sooner is one converted that there is born with in him a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus the saving and sent to find truth cannot be shut up in his heart you know friends you are either a missionary or you're a mission field there's nothing in between the moments that you are converted there is born in you there is something that is placed in you that gives you a burden and a desire to share this good news with others the reason why we don't desire to evangelize and share Christ with our friends is simply we are not converted. We aren't born again. We can see even the kingdom of heaven do you realize that. But Nehemiah he didn't even deal with the burnt out work he didn't deal with the rubbish too much rubbish there was a genuine problem people wanting to kill them and the other 2 problems they just want problems are all so on the m I did was station more gods he knew what to deal with as a leader he had the wisdom from God to know how to move the work forward and help people to see that God was still with them but friends if you are not working for God today. I want to tell you simply you're not born again do you realize that the minute a person is converted there is born with in him a desire to tell others about Jesus and if you don't have that desire it's because Jesus is not in you it's that simple friends I want you to consider that as we move forward. Me and my chapter 4 in verse 20. In what place there for you hear the sound of the trumpet resort ether unto us our God shall fight for us you know I skipped a few verses but this verse bears mentioning because although they had weapons they never needed to use it do you know that. Yes they had to try their best they had to train themselves they had to be prepared that they had to hold the weapons but Nehemiah said what did you see what he said there are God shall fight for us they had to do their part in preparing in training we have to put our we have to put our best foot forward in doing the very best to to witness and to fight God's battles but he is the one that will give us the victory he is the one that will fight for us we got to train yes if you if you got to preach you've got to show the mobs you got to study you've got to read your Bible but the conviction and the conversion does not come from you friends it comes from the Holy Spirit that's working through you it's not that you're anything special. Except that we're the vessels willing and ready to be used by the Lord right the Lord's work must move forward yes from strength to strength and we must put forth Ernest efforts to do our part but the Lord is the one that ultimately gives the victory we just must have a mind to work let's continue. Nehemiah 42123 so we labored in the work and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appear likewise at the same time I said unto the people let every one with his servants large within Jerusalem that in the night they may be a god to us and labor on the day so neither I nor my brother nor my servants nor the men of the God which followed me none of us put off our clothes saving that everyone put them off for washing you know every one knew their roles half did the work the other half held Spears from morning till evening everyone knew what needed to be done and they were watchful they even did not put off their clothes except to wash them every single person had a mind to work look friends that issue today is not what country you're living in the issue is not whether you are in a in a big city or a little city or a countryside church the issue is not even the house secular The area is the issue is not how rich or poor you are or how rich or poor the church is the question that I really want to ask you is this Do you really have a mind to work do you really have a mind to work for the Lord. Do you go to church expecting to serve or do you go to church expecting to be served you know the biggest hurdle that we have to cross is our mindset how you view church how do you view your life as a Christian where are you as a 7th Day Adventist the biggest hurdle all of us need to jump over or what really needs to happen is a shift in our thinking and in our mindset and what we call this friends it's born again. It's conversion is what we're told here in Romans Chapter 12 verse to be not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and Except of will and perfect will of God We need a mind that is transformed and created in Christ Jesus we need to be made into the image of God We need to have the mind of Jesus a fusion chapter 4 in verse $2324.00 further says this be renewed in the spirit of your mind that you put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness friends we need a renewed mind the problem as to why we are not witnessing for Jesus today the reason why our churches are not far in advance of holiness and even outreach an evangelist ticket to bodies is because our minds are so focused on the world. We are so focused on non spiritual things that God is not able to work through us because we don't have a mind to work. A Philippians chapter 2 verse 5 tells us Let this mind being you which was also in Christ Jesus 2nd Timothy Chapter one and verse 7 for God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind also 1st Peter chapter 4 of us one for as much then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh look at look at this heart arm yourselves Likewise with the same mind for Hugh that has suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin. And 1st Peter chapter 5 Verse 2 also says feed the flock of God which is among you taking the oversight there off not by constraint don't be force don't not because it's your job but willingly not for filthy Luka but of a ready mind you see friends over and over again we see throughout Scripture the biggest challenge and hurdle that we have to overcome is our mind because our minds are so focused on the world and not on eternal things you know some of us we've gone to church for so long we forgotten the hope of our calling we've forgotten that this world is not our home and that the focus of our our building should not be on this earth but in heaven yes I hear all the things that are thrown at me then you know we got to live in this world though we need to have clothes on our back and food to eat right of course yes we need to get married sure and we say all these things are cetera et cetera and I hear all of that and then the question is asked Ben what's the balance then. Are you telling me that I'm going to be like the rich young ruler and sell everything and go and follow Jesus what's the balance how do we balance all of this or friends that's different for everybody if I were to give you a suggestion you probably would never follow it why I'm going full time minister I'm a pastor I'm fully in this I'm not expecting you to live like me the Bible workers are fully into this as well can expect you to live like them right what's the balance then where do you draw the line. You don't know friends until you allow God to change your mind I can throw out any suggestion and depending on who is listening you might agree or totally disagree and it's not because my suggestion was so utterly crazy. But that your mind was not ready to accept it. If you see that let me say that again you will not know what the balance is between earning a living and living your life and serving God until your mind is transformed. Look as long as the world is alive in your mind even just giving the Sabbath to the Lord is too much and mind you giving one day to the Lord is not balance 6 days for me one day for God How is that balance that's not balance that all right but even just giving one day out of 6 to the Lord is too much for some people do you understand that and even to be honest when you look at the Sabbath 24 hours 24 hours you are not focused on God 8 hours at least you're sleeping to some You're sleeping more than that 10 hours 11 hours you think that's where there's a time are yes I can rest there's no balance and that we take it selfishly and sleep longer and then we eat and we cook and we go to you know socializing and all those sorts of things and if we were really to put it all together it would not even amount to 12 hours that we are giving to God even on the Sabbath so don't tell me that you keeping the Sabbath is balance it's not but even if I were to say that and I would just say hey just go to church on Sabbath 3 hours right some of you would rise up in rebellion against that and the problem is not because of the Word of God or anything that I've said the problem our minds are not transformed. So what's the balance. To some Sabbath is too much to some midweek premiering for one hour is too much. So others 10 percent ty Eve is too much. What's the balance friends as long as the world is alive in your mind you will never know and so sometimes I throw out some things to challenge you to make you to think. And not because Ben is crazy or on reason or doesn't know how to live a Christian life or forgotten what it means to be a Christian in the world working in the world but that I want you to pause and think maybe God. I have so much of the world in my mind. Whatever Ben says is just too outrageous but friends what needs to happen you got to be born again your mind needs to be renewed you need to be transformed in need to be created again in Christ Jesus you have to have a born again experience of the water and of the spirit we all need to go away and pray we got to learn to walk with Jesus just like in. Just like Moses did just like Abraham did just like Paul did just like John the Baptist did just like a larger and just like Daniel and then we got to learn to surrender our hearts to Jesus if not even a little bit of sacrifice will always be too much what's the balance the balance is you've got allow Jesus to come into your heart again friends and clear away the rubbish that is there in your heart so that you can just even for a little while think clearly that you can be reasonable in the expectations that God sets before you that you can see Jesus the man of sorrows who bore everything and give up everything. Just for the sake of our salvation. Then you look at your life and say Ok God let me find the balance. Because even once a week church is too torturous for so many people. Don't even let me get started on Sunday morning 6 o'clock 7 o'clock prayer the day that Adventists definitely will think it's right for me to sleep and right there are so many things that we can do to find the balance but unless your mind is converted unless it has been renewed unless you have been born again unless you have been like me in my praying and confessing your sins and asking God to forgive you and cleanse you and give you a new heart and mind you will never rise up and do the work of God and if you never do that for once you will never be able to see even the kingdom of heaven and so today friends even as we are looking at Nehemiah and his story. As being the wall builder I'm convinced that many of us who are listening here this morning you're not living the life that God wants you to live you're not doing what God wants you to do and you need to go back to the drawing board I'm convinced that you need to just go back and get on your knees and ask God to forgive you for all the worldliness the selfishness the pride the lusts of this world the desire for fortune and all these things ask God to sweep aside us him. To give you a clean heart and and then you will be able to see very clearly what that balance is. So don't don't even try to tell anybody don't even try to come and challenge me and tell me you disagree with me unless you 1st brought it to the Lord unless you're walking with a lot unless you are praying with him unless you are having a deep and abiding experience in the Lord then and only then you will be able to see the balance for yourself will be impossible to see that balance for other people. Unless you see it 1st for yourself and so friends it's not even about building the wall. We are so far from that the work of God Here in Malaysia is languishing even in our church and back and answer friends we need to come up higher. We need to recommit our hearts and our lives back to God we need to ask God to give us a new heart and a new mind this day just so that we can begin to have faith just so that we can begin to love him again just soul that we might find our true calling of what God is calling us today here in 2021 what he's asking us to do to live for him. And friends I believe that if we if we do that when we come together as a church. One will put a 1000 to flight and 2 will put 10000 to flight. Though the unity of the believers will be so strong that there will be exponential growth not addition but exponential and we will see the work of God explo and will see miracles we will see God work through each and every one of us because we've allowed him to transform us so that we can begin to live the life that he wants us to live. So friends we need to have a mind to work today and in order to do that our mind must be transformed let's pray Father in heaven. Lord we've tried to serve you with a carnal mind a worldly mind a mind that is full of everything except you lord we've come to you with self asking you to bless us please Lord forgive me so often I've brought I've brought my own thoughts and desires into even the preaching Lord forgive me forgive us I pray Father that you would fill us with the Holy Spirit that you would transform us with your spirit. That you would refresh and renew us take away the stony heart out of our flesh and give us a heart of flesh or Lord give us your heart to build to discern spiritual things to be able to hear your voice to give us a love for you and for your work and a burden for souls Lord please shake us awake this morning help us to realize that we are so far from you that we need to surrender again so Lord please help us change us and more this and shape us into your image so that we can finish the work here on this earth the finally we can go to heaven with will be no more death pain sickness or cry. But law today please welcome on each of our hearts and minds we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leader visit w w w audio verse or.


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