The beginning of a New Year makes many of us look to the future with hopes and dreams. With Christ we have the most incredible tomorrow which transforms our view of today. I want to share about a change of title of our building fund to reflect our hopes and what we build for today and tomorrow, picking up a theme from Nehemiah. I believe there are some deep truths that God wants to teach us about his kingdom.
Nehemiah was a cup bearer to the Persian king Artaxeres. When he received the sad news of the broken walls of Jerusalem he was first moved to tearful intercession. In turn God opened the way for Nehemiah to return to organise the rebuilding of the walls. His book outlines the challenges, opposition, personal attacks and cost of the task. Eventually with each family taking their responsibility to build sections, with a sword in one hand and trowel in the other, the wall was completed together securing Jerusalem for their todays and tomorrows.
This story has many lessons for us to follow. The one thing I want to highlight is how they built for their generation, their today, and also for their coming generations, their tomorrow.
We are changing the title of our building fund to capture something of the present and the future seen in Nehemiah. For many years, before we purchased Grace Centre, people were sacrificially giving to the Time To Build fund (TTB). This had been a prophetic statement from when we needed a bigger building to worship in. Over time this title has lost its connection with where we are now. Some who committed to giving to TTB have moved away if not to glory. Many have joined the Church since moving to Grace Centre, who haven't been part of the longer journey from when we met at Greenhead College. So it seems right to change the name to capture what God is saying to us today and looking ahead to tomorrow. So TTB is replaced by the 'Building Today, Building Tomorrow' fund.
The 'Building Today, Building Tomorrow' fund will be used primarily to repay the mortgage on the Grace Centre. You can see from the graph how far we have come and how far we have to go in repayments. Praise God for the sacrificial giving that has paid off almost two thirds off the purchase price. Our mortgage repayments are £5,000 per month. We will be providing an opportunity for people to commit and recommit to giving to this fund. So please be prayerfully considering what God is calling you to give. This captures the 'Building Today' aspects of this fund.
The other aspect is 'Building Tomorrow'. We need to be looking ahead about what God wants us to do in the future. There are improvements we'd love to make on our buildings. More welcoming front doors, offices for staff, improved catering and meeting facilities. There are even bigger dreams for a café, office facilities for businesses etc. As God builds his kingdom, we need to look beyond paying off Grace Centre's mortgage as well as being committed to finishing that task, hence the title 'Building Today, Building Tomorrow.'
What we are asking, is that like those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's day, that everyone of us takes a responsibility to doing their bit in building the section of the wall that God has called you to build. In Nehemiah's time they had to keep going through tough times to complete the task, being committed to building God's kingdom. Likewise in all we do with the giving of our time, energy and as well as offerings, let us be committed to building God's kingdom today and tomorrow.