Rise Up and Build

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are about exiles returning to a ruined Jerusalem and rebuilding the temple and city. I think that it speaks to JFC today.

Our former church structure is in ruins; there is a remnant, with opponents (and legitimate claimants) and secular authorities making things pressurised; many people are apathetic and/or discouraged, being often just in survival mode; worship and ministry is limited; leaders are struggling to move anything forward.

The need is for prophetic timely words that inspire and motivate the leadership and people to rise up and build; the altar comes first, of dependence upon Christ’s sacrifice and being his people; then the temple, then the city, with God’s evident help and blessing; wrongs among the people need addressing, and fresh commitment being made.

The is no doubt more but central to all this, I believe, is what it means to us to build. Do we just rebuild what was there before? The genuine temple of God after his pattern – yes. But the extra structures that produced control and idolatry (veneration of our special format) – no.

So what is God’s pattern for the temple? The city does not need a pattern, just walls – living within God’s salvation? That can be explored more.

But here I submit that the temple/church pattern is that believers of a like heart decide to meet together to seek God, to exercise spiritual gifts, and to love one another practically (share whatever is needed), giving priority (seeking first) to kingdom matters before personal interests.

Leadership (serving example, not controlling), mission, roles, doctrine etc can all be worked out among the gathered saints, and between groups as they relate to each other.

Let us rise up and build!

If you’ve got to the end of this article and you’re thinking “yes, but…” or “no, because…” write your “yes but” or “no because” in the comments below.

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