Summary: What principles did Nehemiah use when he was building the wall? We will learn about those principles that will help us to build and advance the Kingdom of God.
In 2002, Jim Collins & Jerry Porras wrote a book that rocked the corporate world, Built to Last. In it they laid out what makes truly exceptional companies different from comparison companies.
In Nehemiah 4, we meet a man who lived 2500 years ago and built a wall that still stands to this day. What principles did Nehemiah use? We will learn about those principles that will help us to build and advance the Kingdom of God.
1st A commitment to work in the church builds the church (vv. 15, 21)
Nehemiah 4:15, 21, When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out.
Notice verse 15, “all,” “each to his work” each of us has a job.
Romans 12:4-6a, For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us….
At the same time, if we only do what we are gifted to do, some things will go undone.
Sometimes you have to serve where it’s needed because it’s needed: Ch. 3 Priests, goldsmiths, perfumers (8), city councilman & daughters (12), Mayor of Mizpah (19), Levites (17)
2nd A commitment to defend the church builds the church (vv. 16-18)
Nehemiah 4:16-18, From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me.
C.H. Spurgeon: The Sword & The Trowel, “We would ply the Trowel with untiring hand for the building up of Jerusalem’s dilapidated walls, and wield the Sword with vigour and valour against the enemies of the Truth.”
There is something about our human nature that wants to believe the worst. If people are saying untrue things about the church – as members of this church it’s important that in love but with courage you tell them what is being said is not true. Adolf Hitler said, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” The devil still uses that strategy today. So when you love the church – you will stand up for the church – because you love the Lord of the church
Psalm 69:9, For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
3rd A commitment to unity in the church builds the church (vv. 19-20)
Nehemiah 4:19-20, And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”
Who is going to do the fighting? God will do the fighting but they still had to rally and unite!
Unity is critically important.
Ephesians 4:3, Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (NIV)
Psalm 133, Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
4th A commitment to invite people to serve in the church builds the church (vv. 21-22)
Nehemiah 4:21-22, So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.”
He invited people outside Jerusalem to live inside. In chapter 11, Nehemiah invites even more people. I hope you’re inviting people around you to come to church and to get involved.
Revelation 22:17a, The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come….