Summary: The 3rd in the Nehemiah series
This and the other Nehemiah sermons in this series I borrowed in large part from Ray Stedman...just so that proper credit gets attributed (thanks brother).
DON’T BE PARALYZED -- GET ORGANIZED!
I saw a cartoon recently of two men at a party. Each had a drink in his
hand, and they were sitting on the stairway talking while the party was
going on. (That is where party philosophers like to hold forth). One said
to the other, "My view is this: reality is something that you should
always treat with respect, but it should not be allowed to control your
Many people seem to feel that way today. They are fleeing from reality,
regarding it as unnecessary. But in the book of Nehemiah we are learning
how to return to reality after we have experienced the ruin that comes
from following illusion.
Chapter 3, to which we come today, is one of those chapters that appears
to consist largely of unpronounceable names and long forgotten people!
When you are reading through your Bible, it may be discouraging to come
to a chapter like this. But it tells the story of the work of repairing
the gates and walls of Jerusalem which Nehemiah had been sent there by
King Artaxerxes of Persia to do. He first aroused the people to the
work, and this chapter tells how that work was actually accomplished.
One commentator has said, "God is a great believer in putting names
down." That is true. There are many chapters like this in the Scriptures.
But that should really encourage us. It means that God has not forgotten
our names either. He loves to record the names of obscure people. He may
be writing your name down in some great book right now that others will
read in times to come.
The central teaching of a chapter like this is that, in putting lives
back together, we need and must seek help from each other. We cannot do
it alone. This is a great chapter about cooperation. It illustrates the
New Testament truth concerning the body of Christ. First Corinthians 12,
Romans 12, and other chapters, teach that believers in Christ are part of
a worldwide body made up of many members. We belong to each other and so
we are to help one another and bear one another’s burdens. This is
portrayed in a very dramatic way throughout this chapter. The chapter is
too long for us to read in detail but if you will follow with me we will
discover four important principles for working together.
We learn from the New Testament that there are two things you cannot say
any longer when you be come a Christian. The first is, "You do not need
me." Everyone in the body of Christ needs everyone else. The second thing
is, "I do not need you." You do need others! It is the awareness of that
truth that makes a church a living, warm, vital, loving fellowship. I
hope we are finding this out more and more here.
In a moment we shall look at the importance of keeping in repair the
gates of our lives. Gates, in Scripture, are means of access and egress.
They represent ways of entering into other people’s lives and also
letting them into ours; of reaching out to others and allowing them to