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Summary: 3 of 4 messages on Nehemiah. We are in a building campaign and we need to build together.

Building the Right Way

Building Together

March 4, 2007

We’ve been talking about Nehemiah and his wall building effort the last couple of weeks. The first week I spoke of the reasons that Nehemiah was moved to go to Jerusalem and build the wall.

Last week I spoke about the importance of having the gracious hand of God upon us… and we prayed together for this to be so.

Today we speak of how Nehemiah actually built the wall with the people of Israel

The Goal: Build a wall around the City of Jerusalem

Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate.

They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.

2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.

Nehemiah 3:1-1

I’m not going to read the whole chapter here. For one thing there are a lot of unfamiliar names. For another thing it becomes pretty repetitious as you go through the chapter. Still it worthy of a quick read.

You see, Nehemiah had a goal and chapter 3 reveals the logistics of how he completed the task. His objective was to build a wall around the city of Jerusalem. And with the approval of the king, careful planning and engineering of the land, and the people rallied to the work – the task was accomplished in 52 days. This is an incredible feat, especially when you consider that they had none of the tools available to us for building today.

There were no hydraulically boosted cranes. There were no back hoes, bull dozers, or dump trucks. All they had was a lot of rocks and a lot of people who were willing to work hard – and that was enough.

Let’s look at how they accomplished this huge task and let’s apply it to the task that is before us.

Before we jump into this – let’s make sure we define again the mission and goal for Meridian Christian Church.

It is not to build a building. While this is what we are preparing to do this is simply a tool.

The mission is to help people find the way home. The method is helping people. The means is through Jesus Christ – he is the way. The goal is for all who come (and all are welcome) to become part of the family of God and to come home – on earth in the gathering of God’s people called the church and in heaven the gather of God’s people in his eternal kingdom.

That is the goal and that is the task. We are building God’s church.

So now, Let’s look at Nehemiah, chapter 3 and some things will quickly begin to be very clear.

What does it take?

It takes people who know that God is with them.

Nehemiah had prayed and worked to prepare the ground and the gracious hand of God was upon them. When he told them the king had given his approval and the governors were supporting the work they were all amazed.

This came because God’s hand was on Nehemiah. Now let’s not take anything away from Nehemiah. He worked hard on this. He met with the king. He put together his paperwork and made sure that all the planning was complete.

What we see here is the best of Nehemiah and the mighty hand of God – an unbeatable combination.

I am here to tell you to day that the gracious hand of God is on us! Last Monday evening we met for the second session with the Meridian Township Planning Commission and they approved our request for a Special Use Permit.

This was done in the shortest amount of time possible. You can’t do it any faster. They also reduced the burden on us that the initial conditions which had been proposed by the staff. While this isn’t unheard of – in Meridian Township – it’s pretty rare.

Now let me tell you there have been plenty of meetings. Hours and hours of work has been poured into this effort by the architect, our building team, our team leader, by our staff and many of our people. There has been hundreds, if not thousands of man-hours spent in prayer too.

Our best efforts and God’s gracious hand is an unbeatable combination!

Because the people who surrounded Nehemiah understood that they stepped up to the task. We must do the same.

What does it take?

It takes people who are not afraid of work

This is a big job. Building a wall around a city is not an easy task.

RESEARCH the size of the city.

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