Learning from Nehemiah

Nehemiah was able to bring together and encourage hundreds of regular everyday Joe's to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days. Goldsmiths, Priests, Women, Perfume makers, Bakers, Servants. People from outside of Jerusalem, people from Jerusalem, people of different occupations and backgrounds came together to accomplish something. Did you know that the word "next" appears 14 times in the 3rd chapter of Nehemiah? All of these people from different origins, different experiences, different walks of life came together and worked next to each other. Not below the more important people, not above the servants and women, but next to each other with a common goal. This unity is something we can learn from.

When Nehemiah set out to rebuild the wall, he didn't look for stone masons, or construction workers. He looked for God's people, willing to lend a hand and do their part. Nehemiah trusted that God would provide the right people - people with gifts of encourgement and compassion. But what is most important is not the part we play, but doing our part. God doesn't favour the ministers over the ladies that make the coffee for Sunday morning. He doesn't favour Youth Pastors over those booking speakers, music, and events. All of our gifts are important, but the part we play is not as important as doing our part.

So many times, we are unwilling to take on a role in our churches, or even outside our churches, because we won't get recognition, or we think, "it's not important enough for me to do." Sometimes we think we're above certain tasks. But when we think that way, other's have to pick up the slack. Nehemiah 3:5 says, "The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors." Even back then, some people were unwilling to do their part. The men of Tekoa had to pick up the slack - they did extra work in order to finish the wall!

Still, it's not enough just to do the task that needs to be done, but to do it in good spirits. Nehemiah 3:20 says, "Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section." This guy worked zealously! Not only was he doing his part, he was doing it with a smile on his face. God not only wants us to do our part, He wants us to love doing our part. Do you really think we're bringing glory to God if we're serving food at the Saturday youth event with a scowl on our faces? Or if we're arguing with the others in the kitchen? Nehemiah and his crew are a tremendous example to us. Not only should we be doing our part in (and out!) of our churches, we should be happy to do it because we're glorifying God through the work we're accomplishing.


bex said...

so true. unity is such a beautiful thing.

Kayls said...

i can't believe i haven't been here yet! i love the way you write katie. thanks for the encouraging word.

Abbacus said...

These words of wisdom come at the perfect moment for me.