Summary: A call for "regular people" to respond to the challenge to be "builders of God’s kingdom." Principles are drawn from a chapter that most people preaching from Nehemiah will skip over.
Building God’s Kingdom: Doing the Work of Our Lord
Or How To Make a Name for Yourself, When Others Can¡¦t Even Pronounce It.
It¡¦s not about you.
KEY POINT: It Takes Special People to Do the Work of Our Lord (are you one of those?)
Eph 2:10 for we are his workmanship, created for good works in Christ
British humorist Jerome K. Jerome said, "I like work, it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.¨ When it comes to the work of the Lord, there is no place for spectators or self-appointed advisors and critics; but there is always room for workers
Is our church how we want it? Do we like the status quo. The Israelites may have lived in an unprotected state for some time. Did they not care? Or were some not worried because they had aligned themselves with the ungodly rulers of Sanballat and Tobiah? Are we witting or unwitting accomplices with the world or Satan?
1. It takes people who know God is behind them
Never will I leave you or forsake you
But you will receive power . . .
2. It takes people undaunted by the job
„ It doesn’t matter how BIG the job
Repair: Wiersbe, to make strong, fix. Not a quick fix. The people did their best, as they were building for the glory of God.
3. It takes people who see the big picture
„ It doesn’t matter how mundane the job
Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Gates, Wood, Hauling
Taking Katrina to Church. Who knew that she¡¦d get baptized and end up serving as a single missionary to Muslims in North Africa?
4. It takes people who put the Lord’s work first
People with good businesses tended to repairing the walls over their businesses. Making money was not as important as serving the Lord.
In fact, setting aside their businesses made the city more secure, which helps their businesses.
Seek ye the kingdom first, and all these things will be added to you as well.
5. It takes people from all walks of life
Priests/merchants/government/men/women/people in high positions/people on the lower end of the totem pole
No excuses, hang-ups,
6. It takes people working together
Next to him, next to him, etc
St. Louis Arch
7. It takes people who actually work for God
A great many people have got a false idea about the church,¨ said evangelist D.L. Moody. They have got an idea that the church is a place to rest in...to get into a nicely cushioned pew, and contribute to the charities, listen to the minister, and do their share to keep the church out of bankruptcy, is all they want. The idea of work for them actual work in the church never enters their minds.¨
White: Nehemiah’s work came before his personal comfort
Paul worked harder than all of them¨ 1 Cor 15 10
Yet we are not justified by works¨ John White (p. 59) says that that for some workaholics, it is a search for peace, to keep their consciences at rest workaholics cannot easily rest, they begin to look haunted when relaxing and turn every leisurely activity into something that must be worked at and mastered.¨
He goes on Nehemiah worked hard when hard work was needed because Gods hand was on him, not because he suffered a neurotic need to achieve.
We have before us a great opportunity to represent our Lord and let him work through us to build his kingdom. I know I am excited about what lays before us: we have a ton of children for a church our size, some awesome servants of many different abilities, 10.1 acres to develop as God sees fit. Let’s be praying and working and encouraging each other as we do great things for his kingdom. Not because any of us is great on our own, not because we have a famous name (although we can pronounce ours . . . unlike the people in our text today!), but we are working in the the Great Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for his purpose.