Presentation on theme: "Joining Nehemiah in Jerusalem ‘DOING A GREAT WORK’ BEGINNING & SHARING IN THE WORK."— Presentation transcript:
Joining Nehemiah in Jerusalem ‘DOING A GREAT WORK’ BEGINNING & SHARING IN THE WORK
BEGINNING THE WORK THE REALITY CHECK PAUL’S EXPERIENCE (1 Cor 16.9) ‘For a great door and effectual is opened up to me, AND THERE ARE MANY ADVERSARIES’ Sanballat, governor of Samaria Tobiah, governor of Ammon Geshem, an Arab chief used ridicule & scorn to oppose the work before it began
BEGINNING THE WORK THE RESPONSE Put the enemies in their place & give GOD His place. ‘Ye have no portion (past), nor right (present), nor memorial (future) in Jerusalem.’ ‘The God of heaven, he will prosper us.’ THE BALANCE OF POWER HAD SHIFTED IN THE CITY. HAS IT SHIFTED WHERE WE ARE?
MEET THE WORKERS (Chapter 3) it’s not just a list of boring names – nor are we! God keeps records - it does matter what we do here! heaven is interested in what each person is building ‘For we are labourers together with God… every man’s work shall be manifest: for the day shall declare it’, 1 Cor 3.
WHAT WAS THE SECRET OF THIS SUCCESSFUL WORKFORCE? You might read Chap 3 & say, ‘TEAMWORK & HARMONY’ ‘next unto him… next unto them… after him…after them’ BUT TEAMWORK doesn’t just happen, because someone says it will. It stems from: CLARITY STANDARDS REWARDS
CLARITY THREE KEY QUESTIONS 1.Do the leaders know where they are going? 2.Do the workers know where the leaders are going & whether they are included in the plans? 3.Are the workers aware of their part in the plan? There was CLARITY ABOUT THE VISION for Jerusalem ‘Come and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem that we be no more a reproach’
There was CLARITY AS TO WHO COULD BE INVOLVED all had responsibility – ‘we’, ‘us’ but the reality was it was only those who ‘had a mind (heart) to work’,4.6, who were committed. Are you one of these? seemingly ‘unsuitable’ & unlikely people were involved the high priest v.1 priests/Levites v.1 goldsmiths v.8,31 women v.12 merchants v.31 rulers vv.12,14 don’t make excuses! ‘outsiders’ were involved from 8 outlying areas e.g. Jericho v.2; Tekoa v.5; Gibeon v.7. some people may not have been happy about this we can allow prejudices to exclude others a restored backslider was involved Malchijah, v years before he had been guilty of taking a ‘strange wife’ (Ez – probably the same man) we often find it hard to forgive
There was CLARITY ABOUT EACH PERSON’S PART IN THE PLAN they knew precisely what they had to do when they turned up for work do we ‘turn up’ & do we know what to do ? do we ‘turn up to work’ or ‘to sit around and…’? there was great harmony, but they were not all doing the same thing, e.g. some built and some repaired TEAMWORK & HARMONY ON THE WALLS STEMMED FROM CLARITY!
STANDARDS TWO KEY QUESTIONS 1.Are the workers expected to give of their best? 2.Is mediocrity tolerated here? REMEMBER at the Judgment Seat, Christ will want to know: how much we have gained of what sort (how excellent) our work has been He will want quantity of the right quality
STANDARDS – How did Nehemiah get the best out of the workers? He set some to work on sections of the wall that were in close proximity to their own houses 3.10,23,28-30 – an incentive to give their best! ‘That is where every real work for God must begin – at home…a church is no stronger than its homes, for a church is made up of families’. A.Redpath Each local assembly must ‘build’ in its local area ‘In gospel work, the many are not called to ‘climb the steeps and cross the waves’, their duty lies in simply climbing the steps across the street’. S.Carson
He set others to work in areas that were of particular interest and relevance to them. Eliashib, the high priest & the priests worked on the Sheep Gate – animals for sacrifice came through here. the Nethenims (temple servants) worked near their dwellings that stood on the threshold of the temple mount Later on the enemies around ‘perceived that this work was wrought of our God’, 4.6 – there was a quality about it! What does the neighbourhood see from us – the best or mediocrity? ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ’, Col 3.23,24.
REWARDS TWO KEY QUESTIONS 1.Does anyone notice what the workers are doing? 2.Does anyone care? THE LORD KNOWS, CARES & REWARDS HIS WORKERS ‘we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God …every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour’, Rom 14.10,12, 1 Cor 3.8,13,14. We are all known in heaven !
REWARDS – Nehemiah’s judgment seat for the workers in Jerusalem He recorded & remembered their names identified those with the same names by their family backgrounds, e.g. v.16 knew where they lived, even Meshullam who lived in a one-room apartment, v.30 He noticed their work individual praise - not general – it is motivational noticed those who gave extra – another piece noticed a lone-worker – Malchiah – working on the Dung Gate – not glamorous, but vital, v.14 noticed those who did a complete job – fitted the locks & bars, e.g. v.14 noticed the exceptional worker – Baruch – ‘earnestly repaired’ – there will be positions in Christ’s kingdom, v.20
REWARDS – those who ‘lost out’ ‘And next unto them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord’, v.5. They ‘suffered loss’ for not sharing in the work. It is possible to suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ – a serious matter! The Tekoites lived 11 miles from Jerusalem, but they did not use poor leadership as an excuse to lower their own standards. Clarity of vision, high standards & those who felt valued & rewarded turned a disparate band of workers into a potent team for the furtherance of the Lord’s work. IT CAN BE ACHIEVED TODAY - USE YOUR GIFT(S)!