Fear God, Not Man

What do you fear? Spiders? The dark? Thunderstorms? How about not being accepted? Not fitting in? Or maybe, not being loved?

Those fears don’t go away; they follow us through our entire lives. But as believers, those who have been accepted by God because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can have confidence in our sovereign and holy God. We fear God, not man.

As we continued in our Faithful series, on Monday we came to Nehemiah chapter 6, where we find Nehemiah faced with situations that could have made him afraid. In fact, we discover that he is told to be afraid five times. But Nehemiah’s decisions are driven by his love and fear of the Lord, not by fear of man. Like Nehemiah, when the lies of the enemy cause us to fear, we need to replace them with the truth of God’s Word.

We find application for our lives through four key points in Nehemiah 6:1-19.

  1. Peace Summit (1-4) – There are times we have to have the resolve to say no to something we shouldn’t do. Can we say no to temptation? To something not wise?
  2. Rumors of Rebellion (5-9) If we take care of our character, living the way we should, God will take care of our reputation.
  3. Treachery in the Temple (10-14) God’s will never contradicts God’s Word.
  4. Spies in Your Midst (1-19) Who are our friends? We should not be close friends with anyone who would try to lead us away from walking with the Lord.

God is faithful; you can trust Him. Fear God, not man. Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 6 together.

 

Dr white speaking in chapel

Servant Leadership

What do you think of when you hear the term “leader”? What does our society think? From a secular perspective, a leader typically is focused on popularity and possessions, seeking to be served rather than serving others. They might be prideful, arrogant. We will encounter people like that. We may even be tempted to be people like that; after all, because of our sin nature, it comes naturally. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we must fight against that kind of self-centered leadership. The fear of the Lord motivates us to serve God and others.

As we come to Nehemiah 5 in our Faithful series, we find Nehemiah modeling what a servant leader looks like. He points us to Jesus, the greatest servant leader there ever was.

We find three characteristics in Nehemiah that we should mimic:

  1. He listened compassionately (1-6) – Do we listen or do we prejudge? Do we give grace to others?
  2. He led courageously (7-13) – Are we willing to do the hard things and have the hard conversations?
  3. He lived charitably (14-19) – Are we generous to others, as God is generous to us?

You may not feel like a leader, but we all have influence. We must be good stewards of the gifts God has given us by using them to serve others. We live for the approval of the master, not the applause of man.

Watch as we learn from Nehemiah what it means to be a servant leader.

Dr. White preaching on the chapel stage

International Prize Awarded to Senior Engineering Team

Hydrofoil boat

Cedarville University’s mechanical engineering 2019 senior design team recently won first place in the 2019 Mandles Prize for Hydrofoil Excellence from the International Hydrofoil Society. This competition recognizes outstanding hydrofoil engineering, design, and construction. Previous winners of the Mandles Prize include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Naval Academy.

New Buildings Taking Shape All Over Campus

Metal beams for all of our new construction were recently delivered, and you can begin to see the form of the new buildings on campus. The metal frame for the new Chick-fil-A went up, and the third floor of the 282-bed residence hall is nearly complete. The framing for the new civil engineering building has also been raised. Enjoy this October 30 video update on our current 10-year master plan building projects.

video screen shot of construction

1,000 Days: The Story of a Cedarville Undergraduate Education

Stinger mascot in front of 1,000 day rockIn the 2015 State of the University address, we introduced the concept of the 1,000 days that an undergraduate student spends at Cedarville University and how we as faculty and staff have been given a stewardship over this very pivotal time. Because of the way this phrase has resonated with Cedarville friends and family, we are now using “1,000 Days” as the main theme in all of our recruitment materials. We are excited to share the story of transforming lives through excellent academics and intentional discipleship in submission to biblical authority.

Homecoming Weekend Was a Reminder of God’s Faithfulness

Students standing by rock painted with homecoming 2019

Earlier this month, we experienced Homecoming and Parents Weekend at Cedarville. Alumni came from all over the United States and the world to renew friendships and remember their life-transforming Cedarville experience. From the 26th annual cardboard canoe race on a beautiful Friday afternoon, to the Legacy Banquet where we honored outstanding alumni and friends of the University, to the homecoming parade and Saturday evening’s finale, Living Water: A Worship Experience, it was a weekend of thanksgiving as we recalled all the Lord has done and continues to do through His people at Cedarville. Watch a video to see Homecoming and Parents Weekend highlights.

Trustees Name Future Business Center, Approve New Faculty, and Increase Scholarships for New Students

Students walking on sidewalk

At its October 3 meeting, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees approved the naming of the new Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center, reviewed and updated new student scholarships, and added three new members to the Board. They also approved 10 faculty hires and authorized construction of a storage warehouse. We are grateful for the service of our Trustees and their commitment and investment in the future of the University. Read the full report…

The Sword and the Trowel

Continuing in our Faithful sermon series, Monday we came to Nehemiah chapter four, where we discovered ridicule, contempt, criticism, hostility, adversity, and fear. Has anyone else ever felt those? Have you ever had someone question your abilities to accomplish a task? Have you ever been overwhelmed with self-doubt? We’ve all been there, just as Nehemiah was. Perhaps no other Old Testament passage is more applicable to our lives than this one.

But like Nehemiah, from this passage we discover that in times of trial or opposition, we don’t have to be afraid. We must keep pursuing the Lord’s will while finding strength in our great and awesome God.

We find four key applications in this passage:

  • Agitation (1-6) – You don’t have to do something wrong to make enemies. When we stand for God’s Word, we will face opposition.
  • Intimidation (7-9) – Nehemiah was being attacked from all sides. His response: “We prayed to our God.”
  • Dejection (10-14) – External pressure magnifies internal problems. If we are pursuing God’s will, we should never be afraid or let the hard times derail us.
  • Determination (15-23) – How did Nehemiah respond to times of trials or opposition? He returned to work with the people around him. If we’re going to accomplish anything great for the Kingdom in our day, we need to do it together.

Like Nehemiah, we face opposition. We face criticism from the world around us. We face doubts from within ourselves. But also like Nehemiah, we can lean into God during those times of adversity. Read His Word, spend time with Him in prayer, and find your strength in Him.

Join us as we discover what it means to pursue God during adversity.

Cedarville University Receives Record Gift

Dr. Thomas White and Lorne and Mark Scharnberg in front of sign announing new business buildingCedarville University received the largest financial commitment in its 132-year history on Friday, October 4, when Mark Scharnberg, a 1997 graduate, on behalf of his family and Katecho and Surmasis Pharmaceuticals of Des Moines, Iowa, pledged $10 million in honor of his father, Lorne C. Scharnberg, a faithful dad, beloved grandparent, innovative business owner, and tireless advocate for Cedarville.

I was privileged to announce the gift as a surprise to Lorne Scharnberg during my annual State of the University chapel address in the Dixon Ministry Center on October 4. Lorne was in attendance to receive Cedarville’s prestigious Medal of Honor, celebrating his significant contributions to the institution and his 25 years of service on the Cedarville Board of Trustees. Lorne is just the 14th recipient of the medal, the last recipient being Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the late Billy Graham, in 2012.

Following the awarding of the Medal of Honor, I was able to reveal the $10 million gift and announce that the new business building — one of six major building projects in the University’s 10-year campus master plan — would be named in honor of Lorne Scharnberg.

Our new School of Business Administration building will be named the Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center. For years to come, there will be a stone of remembrance on this campus to celebrate all that Lorne and his family have done to further the mission and vision of Cedarville University. For years to come, future generations of business leaders will be trained to use their gifts for God’s glory, the good of mankind and for their joy.

“My father is passionate about Cedarville’s vision to transform lives for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” said Mark. “What an honor to be a part of providing a facility that will equip future business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals to use their career as a platform for ministry. This is how my father has lived his life, and we are thrilled to continue his legacy through this gift to Cedarville.”

Lorne served three terms as Chair of the Board and one year as Vice-Chair. He joined the board in 1994 and served until moving to emeritus status in 2018. In 2007, Lorne was recognized as the Honorary Alumnus of the Year for his faithful service to Cedarville. He has also served on the Business Advisory Council for the School of Business Administration (SBA) and was named the 2005-06 executive-in-residence of the SBA.

Lorne and his late wife, Kathi, founded Katecho, Inc., a medical manufacturing business and a world leader in the manufacturing of hydrogel, in 1984. They also started Surmasis Pharmaceuticals, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer. Kathi served the company as its Chief Financial Officer until her passing in February 2018. Lorne remains the Chief Executive Officer for Katecho.

That’s Not My Job

As we continued our walk through Nehemiah in our “Faithful” series in today’s chapel, we came to chapter 3, which, if we’re honest, is the kind of chapter we may typically choose to skip over. There are a lot of small details and a lot of big names that are hard to pronounce. We know every word of Scripture is inspired by God, but do you ever wonder why He included a passage like this?

In all those details and big names we learn that God’s people had a God-sized task to accomplish, restoring the wall that protected His chosen city. And, as we dive into the text, we discover a principle that is still very relevant to us today: God uses normal people to accomplish His purposes for His glory.

As we read through the passage, we find the text divided into three parts:

  • Repair the Wall – God used people from all walks of life to come together to accomplish a big task.
  • Refuse to Serve – There were some who refused to help, whether from pride, fear, laziness, apathy, or distraction.
  • Recognizing Others – When God uses us to accomplish His purposes, we should not brag but should share the praise with others and, ultimately, give the glory to God.

So how does this apply to us today? Just as the Israelites were called to build a wall to re-establish God’s glory, we are called to be engaged in furthering the Kingdom of God on this earth. What has God called you to do? Whatever it is, remember that He is faithful to use you to accomplish His purposes for His glory.

Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 3.

Dr. White preaching on the chapel stage

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