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Summary: God calls you to serve within His church. He wants you to put your hands to work for Him, to invest your time in a work that lasts.

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9-4-11

God’s Task, Our Task

Labor Day

NEHEMIAH 3:1-32

Nehemiah had noticed, and was troubled that the wall had fallen into disrepair.

He had defined the purpose, communicated his discontent, and motivated the people to accept the task.

Now the work began.

The walls of Jerusalem had been in sad shape for about 150 years, and Nehemiah was determined to rebuild them and to end the shame brought upon the Jews in Jerusalem.

It was a work that could not be undertaken or carried out by one person.

It would take many people with a common purpose and desire.

I read about another man who had a job he wanted to do, and he also had help.

This man, a Grandfather was moving his books out of the attic down to his study on the ground floor. His little Grandson wanted to help, and this Grandfather let his Grandson help...even though he was more in the way than he was a real help.

Nehemiah was wise enough to allow a variety of people, some more skillful than others,

to pitch in to help build the wall.

There is a good lesson for us. Some of us have more skill than others. Some have more experience than others. Some have more wisdom than others. But there is a place for all who are willing to work.

GOD USES ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE:

• In Nehemiah Chapter 3...notice that there are:

• Priests and Levites and other temple servants.

• Goldsmiths, Perfumers and merchants.

• Officials.

• Men and women.

• What are they doing?

WORKING!

Nobody is too young, too old, too poor, too rich.

Think about the kind of men Jesus chose to be His apostles: There were fishermen with very little education.

• One was a hot-head who regularly spoke without thinking.

• There was a tax-collector, considered a traitor cooperating with Rome.

• There was a radical zealot who hated people who worked with Rome.

• There was a dishonest scoundrel who would betray Jesus for money.

• There was a cynic who thought nothing good came from Nazareth.

• There was a skeptic who demanded proof before he’d believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

• Later on, Jesus hand-picked a man who was a persecutor of the church and whose aim in life was to destroy Christians.

And, of course, there is you and me.

Who would want to use a guy like me?

Who would want to use somebody like you?

But we’re God’s chosen hands and feet.

Let’s not fail Him.

Nehemiah was not able to do the job God put before him alone, he needed the unified efforts of all the people.

Each did his own job which was a part of the whole project, no one person was responsible for the whole task. If any group refused, or failed, to build their portion of the wall, the rest would have had to take up the slack. If they didn’t the wall would not have been built.

Someone might say, "But I have such a small part, if I don’t show up, it won’t make much difference.” Someone might say, I’m to weak, I don’t have the skills. We must be reminded that God provides the strength, He alone provides the skill, He alone provides the wisdom.

I heard a story some time ago, I don’t know whether or not it is true. The story goes that:

During a battle many years ago, a soldier was sent to deliver a message to the king.

The soldier’s horse lost a nail in one of the shoes with that 1 nail gone, the others came out, and the shoe eventually fell off, and he horse eventually went lame. The soldier was forced to walk which made him vulnerable to attack from the enemy, who came along. Because the soldier couldn’t fight or get away he was killed by the enemy, and an important message was lost. The enemy eventually attacked the castle, leading to the loss of his kingdom. All because one horseshoe nail was lost!

Even though you feel that your little contribution is as insignificant as one horseshoe nail, everyone counts, every effort counts in God’s kingdom work.

There was a big job to be done in Jerusalem, and it took the faithfulness of every worker to get it done.

Sometimes we become discouraged at the size of our task.

The workers at Jerusalem got discouraged, too! They faced opposition from the urrounding people, and the job became an enormous work.

They said, "The strength of the burden bearers is failing, yet there is much rubbish; And we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall." Nehemiah 4:10.

But they refused to stop trying! They kept at their work, and with God’s empowerment, in 52 days the job was completed.

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