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How to Build a Kingdom City - Part B

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The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2024 6:00 am

How to Build a Kingdom City - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 20, 2024 6:00 am

Nate Heitzig concludes his message “How to Build a Kingdom City” and encourages you to keep living for Christ.

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Love doesn't just talk, it walks.

Love is fully love only when you can see it. It doesn't make you feel something, it makes you do something. And this should be our motivation for our city. Again, remember I told you, remind yourself of all the reasons you love your city.

And then, show your city how much you love it. Today on Connect with Skip Hytech, Nate Hytech concludes his message, How to Build a Kingdom City, and encourages you to keep living for Christ. But first, here's a resource that dives deep into the story of who God is and what that means to you. The best biographies contain the kind of intimate details that make you feel like you're getting personal access to the person you're reading about. From timeless icons to contemporary celebrities, it's exciting to learn about influential people. But one biography stands out above the rest, the biography of God.

Here's Skip Hytech. There's this vast, unfed hunger to know God personally. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes, and mystery central to God's being, and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. There's something uniquely elevating about focusing not on me, but on God.

It will do something to you. Skip's perspective shifting book is our thanks when you give a gift of $50 or more to help keep Connect with Skip Hytech on the air. Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're going to be in Nehemiah 1 as we join Nate for the conclusion of his message. I said to the king, I ask that you send me to Judah that I may rebuild it. His request is simple.

Hey, King, send me home because I got to fix it. His care leads him to a place of wanting to work and do something. It was after Nehemiah's weeping that working came.

Out of his despair came determination. Care and prayer will ultimately always lead to action. So I asked you before, do you care? Okay, if you care, are you praying? Are you praying for your city? And my last question is, if you're praying, how are you being an answer to your own prayers? Did you know that you can be an answer to your own prayers?

You know, some people pray the prayer, Lord, keep me out of sin, keep me from temptation. Well, you play a huge role in that of what you allow yourself to be exposed to. People who pray, Lord, change my city, change what's around me. Okay, what are you doing to change your city and change what's around you? You can be an answer to your own prayers. And no one can honestly pray for change if they're not willing to help bring it. The observers are many, the complainers are many, the spectators are many, the critics are many, the quitters are many, the movers are many, the laborers are few. And a true love for your city and the people in it will lead you to want to make it better. God is looking for workers, he's looking for laborers, not complainers and naysayers.

And if we spend all of our time just depressed about the state of humanity, we're missing the point. Nehemiah was a man of prayer, but he was a man who was willing to do the work. So Nehemiah goes home with a purpose, and his purpose is to glorify God by building the walls. Nehemiah leaves his job working for the king, and he goes home ready to work. And in Nehemiah 2, verse 17 to 18, Nehemiah comes to the city of Jerusalem, he comes to the people in the city, and he has a simple call to all the people in the city.

Look at chapter 2, verse 17. It says, Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach. Anyone else echo that heart and that sentiment? Lord, fix this city.

Lord, fix this country that we may no longer be a reproach. Continues, and I told them of the hand of my God, which had been good upon me. So they said, this is their response to Nehemiah, Let us rise up and build. Then they set their hands to this good work.

You know what I love about this? Nehemiah wasn't a builder, he wasn't a contractor, he wasn't a politician, he wasn't even a priest or a spiritual leader. He was a cup bearer for a foreign king. He had a simple job, he was a common man who had a job, and yet he decided to not just lament about the problems, but do something about them. All it took was one person to stand up and be counted, and then many people joined in the work and began to build. If you've been sitting around waiting, praying for someone else to rise up, praying for a movement to start that somebody would finally have enough and start a movement that you could be a part of, perhaps you've been waiting and praying for yourself. Perhaps as you've been praying, God's been giving you courage.

Perhaps God wants you to be the one person to stand up, and then many others will come stand up with you, join you, and help you begin to rebuild. Stop watching, start working, and as you stand, others will stand too. Look, revolutions don't happen by accident. They happen when one person sees a problem, has had enough of the status quo, stands up, and says, I'm going to be a part of the change, and then other people join in. That's how they start.

It starts with one person. And a true love for our city and the people in it won't stop at a feeling we have. It will translate into a work that we do. It not only feels generous, it is generous.

It not only desires change, it works for it. 1 John 3.18 says, My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. Love doesn't just talk, it walks.

Love is fully love only when you can see it. It doesn't make you feel something, it makes you do something. And this should be our motivation for our city. Again, remember I told you, remind yourself of all the reasons you love your city, and then show your city how much you love it.

Is that feeling as you think about how you love your city and why you love your city, don't let it stop at a feeling, let it translate into your work. Today, the world responds to the church and Christians by either ignoring us or mocking us. They either ignore us and say, stay in your lane, get out of here, we don't want to hear what you have to say, no one cares about your thoughts or your thinking, or they mock us when we get too loud. And at times, that can be pretty discouraging. That's why it's so important for Christians to work with purpose. We need to be diligent to the work set before us, recognizing the purpose of the work that we are doing is to glorify God. Hal Donaldson said this, the founder of Convoy of Hope, the church earns influence through sweat and tears on behalf of the community. The church earns influence through sweat and tears on behalf of the community. So if you've been looking for ways to change lives, why don't you start with actually physically helping people change their life? Get busy, get dirty, take care of them, feed them, clean up your parks, stand against injustice, work, and you'll earn the influence to tell them why you're doing the work. We as believers should be the hardest workers in our entire city for our city. We should be the best citizens, the first to respond to a need, the ones feeding the homeless, the ones cleaning our neighborhoods and parks, the ones supporting law enforcement when we see them. Colossians 3.23 says, whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as unto the Lord. And if anyone should be showing this Christian attitude, it's us, Christians.

And sadly, I see people every day that claim to be Christians but care less about their city and those around them than some people who don't even know Christ. Look, I'm going to let you know, you can't do everything. You can't do everything. You can't fix Albuquerque overnight. You can't fix your city overnight.

We're doing this series that's 11 weeks, 12 weeks. I'm going to let you know, in 11 weeks, our city's not going to be fixed. It's not like we're starting this series and in 11 weeks, we have an 11-week plan and the city's going to be transformed.

It's not going to happen, but it can start. We can start a groundswell of people who care, people who are working, people who are doing what they're called to do, and that groundswell can have a snowball effect, and in a year, two years, three years, four years, we can see a different city. What's the city you want to leave to your kids? What's the city you want to leave to your grandkids? What's the city you want to leave a legacy behind?

I want this to be a kingdom city, a city that exalts the name of the Lord, a city that the nations look to as a beacon of hope. It's not going to happen overnight. You can't do everything, but everyone can do something. So find something that you can do. Find somewhere that you can work. Find something that you can be a part of, and whatever you do, do it with your whole heart and do it with passion.

You know why this is so important? Because your work is a witness, and a good worker is one of the best witnesses. You can pass out tracts. You can invite people to go to church. Those are good things.

Do those things. But when you passionately and with sincerity work hard for other people, people will say, something's different about that person. Tim Keller says this, and I've said this quote many times, when the world sees the church doing evangelism, making converts, it only sees us increasing our numbers and increasing our power. But when it sees us sacrificially serving the needs of our neighbors, whether they believe or not, then it may see that we are motivated by love, not the desire for power. Now, listen to this second part, because I'm not advocating what some might think is a social gospel. We'll just do things and don't preach. We must both preach the gospel and serve those who can do nothing for us in return. Do both. I'm not telling you stop preaching, stop passing out tracts. I'm telling you, go out there, preach the gospel, but back it up with love for the city, doing things for others that can do nothing for you in return. Do both.

Show the world that you love them. This is the model of Jesus going into all the cities and meeting their physical needs and then speaking into their spiritual needs. Our city needs to see our love before they're ever going to listen to our message. This is what building a kingdom city looks like. So throughout this series, we're going to be giving you challenges.

Matt talked about these. We're going to be shooting videos and giving you guys ideas in ways that you can actively get into the city and be a part of bringing change. We're going to ask you to look for ways on your own to make an impact for the good of the city that you're in. Make bags for homeless people. Keep them in your car.

When you pass somebody, don't avert your gaze. Give them a bag. Tell them that Jesus loves them. Make signs for your neighborhood with your family, telling your city how much you love your city and how much God cares about them. Clean up a local park. Serve at a food bank. Give and get involved in this year's Thanksgiving pickup party and toy drive.

Make bags of non-perishable food items for Feed New Mexico Kids. Volunteer to serve at Care Net. Sign the petition standing against HB 7. See a need and meet a need. Do something. Actively get involved.

Stop watching and start working. You're called to make a difference in this city. Jeremiah 29, 7 says, Work for the peace and the prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Does anybody ever feel like you're in exile in this world today? You're not. You're an American.

You live in Albuquerque. You have rights and freedoms and you live in a free country. But even if you were in exile in captivity, God's command is work, not pray, not think about. Work for the peace and the prosperity of the city to which you've been sent into exile. Work for it. Even if the city that you're in isn't where you were born or plan on spending the rest of your life, as long as you're here, you're called here, so start making a difference here. Let's close with our final point in how to build a Kingdom City, and that is that we are to stop giving in and start giving all.

Stop complaining and start caring, stop watching, start working, and finally, stop giving in and start giving all. You've got to know that as you get involved in the work that God wants you to be a part of, as you start getting your hands dirty, as you start showing up, as you start getting vocal and being involved in the community, you're going to get persecuted. The attacks will come. We see this with Nehemiah.

The second that he starts working, the attacks start coming. Once they start making a difference, the world starts persecuting, and we read a number of different plots to try to shut Nehemiah and the Jewish people up from doing the work that God has called them to do. In chapter 4, verse 2 through 3, they are ridiculed for what they're doing.

It says, what are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices?

Will they complete it in a day? Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall. In chapter 4, verse 7 through 8, they are threatened physically. It says, when they heard that the wall of Jerusalem was being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come attack Jerusalem. In chapter 6, verse 1 through 4, they make a plot to try and kidnap Nehemiah. In chapter 6, verse 5 through 9, they fabricate lies and false accusations about them. It says, it is reported that you and the Jews plan to rebel. Therefore, according to those rumors, you are rebuilding the wall that you may be their king. Now these matters will be reported to the king.

Making up false lies? Well, they want to take over the government. In chapter 6, verse 10 through 14, they try intimidating Nehemiah by hiring a man who comes to Nehemiah and says, let us meet together in the house of God and let us close the doors for the temple, for they are coming to kill you. Nehemiah, you've got to hide. Stay in the church. Close the doors. Don't come out.

You've got to protect yourself. Throughout these attacks, what does Nehemiah do? He doesn't change a thing.

He does exactly what he's been doing. Do these attacks sound anything like what we experience today? Ridicule, mocking us, telling us that we have no power, making threats of violence or any other kind of threat, calling us names. You're intolerant. You're a bigot. You hate people. You hate people because you're having church. You want people to die because you're having church during COVID. Spreading lies, making threats. Persecution shouldn't drive us from the Lord.

It should draw us closer to the Lord. The world wants to make you give in. The world wants to make you shut up. The world wants to make you hide in your church and not do anything and not be effective, but instead let it make you fight harder. When the world attacks you and says, give in, give in, say, oh, you think I was trying my hardest?

You ain't seen nothing yet. I was giving 10%. Wait till you see me give 100%. When the world tries to force you to give in, give it your all. Fight harder. Get louder. Get more involved.

Get in the streets. Let your voice be heard. Stand for what is right. Stand for what is true. Don't be bullied into hiding and pretending like what's true isn't true.

Christians play a valuable role in the world today. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that we are to be salt and light in the world. I want to let you know something. Salt stings. If you have an open wound and you pour salt in that wound, whoo, it's going to hurt. It stings. It hurts.

But it also preserves. Our presence in society should sting people's conscience. It should hurt them a little bit. It should wake them up.

It shouldn't feel comfortable. But when this happens, understand that it will bring persecution and it will require perseverance. So, you know, I kind of take it as a badge of honor when I see people who think their cat's telling me that I'm not inclusive enough or that I'm intolerant. I take it as a badge of honor when there's a cancel Calvary movement.

This actually happened during COVID, a petition to close down Calvary that was started by a group of people who support the Satanic Temple. I take that as a badge of honor because I'm like, well, we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. We're stinging their conscience. It hurts. It's waking them up to their sin.

The light is shining in the darkness. And as Christians, we need to try and stop the spread of corruption around us by our actions in the way that we vote, in what we support, in how we act, in what we say, in letting our opinions be made known, getting involved in every aspect of life. The world tells Christians, stay in your lane, hide in your churches, don't get involved in politics. That's why I think it's so important for Christians to get out in society.

Why? Because they don't want us to. And if they don't want us to, that means we probably should.

Wherever the devil doesn't want you to go, that's probably where you should be going. So stop giving into what they want. Give it your all. Get more involved. Get louder. Do more. Get in more places. Christians need to be in places of government, in places of entertainment, on school boards, on city councils.

Christians need to be in all these places so that we can, through our actions, be a preserving agent in society. But just know, when you start building, when you start working, you're going to get persecuted. But don't give in. Keep fighting. Keep fighting.

Keep preaching. Keep doing what is right. Keep standing for what is good. But do it in a Christ-like manner. Don't resort to the world's tactics when you fight this battle. Don't act like the world does when you're in the world. Act like Jesus. You're there on the front lines, showing the love of Christ to others. When you're at work as a Christian, you're doing it primarily to reflect Christ and give glory to Him. So don't sabotage. You're ultimate goal by the way in which you do it. Be about the Father's business.

Speak the truth, but do it in love. When Daniel was told to stop praying, or he'd be thrown into the lion's den, what did he do? Did he stop praying? Did he give up? Did he shut up?

Did he hide? No, he opened his windows wide and he prayed. He prayed loud, visibly. He didn't let the roars of the lion cause him to be feared. He roared louder.

He got louder than the lions. What would it take to make you give up? What would it take to make you give in? What would it take to make you shut up? How loud do the lions have to roar to stop you in your tracks? What would it take to persuade you to fall away from following God?

What would it take to convince you to stop trusting Jesus? Don't let the roars of the world scare you away from following the true lion. Hail, hail, lion of Judah. Let the lion roar. When the world roars, roar louder. When the world shows its teeth and gnashes its teeth at you and threatens to devour you, roar louder. Recognize you have more power than he who is in the world.

You have Jesus Christ who dwells within you. Get loud. Don't get scared. Don't run. Don't hide. Don't give in. Don't give up.

Give it your all. Roar louder. Preach louder. Work harder.

Go further. There is strength in the pack, and though it's scary hearing the roaring lions, don't let them trick you from straying away. As we close, people attack us as Christians. They call us Bible-thumping bigots because we believe that God created biological men and biological women, and that can't change no matter how bad you want it to. We're labeled as homophobic and intolerant because we believe the words of Jesus when he said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through me. We're narrow-minded because we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. We're simple-minded fools who believe in a dead religion.

Because we believe that life starts in the womb, we are anti-women and anti-women's rights. Don't let ridicule, threats, fabricated lies, false accusations, and intimidation shut you up. What should you do when those things are said about you? Don't change a thing. Don't change a thing. Keep roaring. Keep preaching. Keep standing. Keep working. Don't get distracted. Don't give in.

Give it your all. Keep living the Christian life. Don't try and be accepted by the world. Change the world. Don't fear being rejected by the world. Fear God. Don't blend in with the crowd.

Get loud and get to work. One Christian acting as true salt can make a huge difference. Like a thermostat, they can affect the entire moral climate around them. I asked you earlier, are you a thermostat or a thermometer? Thermometers just kind of stand in the crowd. Oh, it's pretty bad here.

Can't you tell? It's pretty bad. Thermostats say it's pretty bad here. Let's change the temperature. Let's adjust the culture around us. Let's change that.

Let's turn that temperature up. Let's make this place look more like a kingdom city. Let's make this place God's city. These are God's people. I'm going to fight for them.

I'm going to get my hands dirty. It doesn't take a lot of people to change a culture. It just takes the right people. I think we're the right people, do you? I think we're the right people for this task, do you? I think this is the right church to respond to the task, do you? I think God's called us for such a time as this. I think God's put us in this city, in this place, to stand up and make a difference. I think God wants to change the statistics and the stories in this city.

I think God wants to do a work. Just a few people. People who don't complain, but people who care.

People who don't watch, but work. People who refuse to give up, but are determined to give all that they are. I want to close with this verse. Psalm 24 says, the earth is the Lord's and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it.

You know what that verse means? This is God's city. This isn't Satan's city. This isn't his. He doesn't get to have it.

He doesn't get to have claim on it. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness of it, all who are in it. This is God's city. These are God's people.

This is a kingdom city. This is my city. This is our home. This is our place.

These are our people. It's worth fighting for. It's worth working for.

It's worth protecting. Let's get our hands dirty. Let's get to work. That's Nate Heitzen, encouraging you to stay strong and live for Jesus, to affect the world around you. It's a message from the series Kingdom City. The full message, as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's word with more people around the world. All believers are called to help others encounter the God who is seeking them out. And our goal is to come alongside friends like you to encourage you to help others connect with God through His word. That's why we share these messages with you and with others. And today, you can take action to ensure these teachings keep reaching you and so many others worldwide. This year, I'm praying for resources to grow the reach of these broadcasts into more major U.S. cities. And you can help make that possible with your generosity.

Can I count on your support? Here's how you can give a gift today. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Come back tomorrow for Skip's message about the coming kingdom of our Lord Jesus. Remember what Jesus said? He said, my kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would rise up and fight, but my kingdom is not of this world. However, one day His kingdom will be of this world. When He comes and sets it up, Revelation chapter 11, the angel declares, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-20 05:12:52 / 2024-05-20 05:24:00 / 11

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