Summary: Here’s a message for the Labor Day weekend. The story of how a Dad helps his son illustrates how God helps us with our tasks.

"LESSONS FOR LABOR DAY!"

NEHEMIAH 3:1-32

[1]Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

[2] And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.

[3] But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

[4] And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.

[5] And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

[6] Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

[7] And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.

[8] Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.

[9] And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.

[10] And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.

[11] Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.

[12] And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.

[13] The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.

[14] But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem; he build it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

[15] But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.

[16] After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.

[17] After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.

[18] After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.

[19] And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall.

[20] After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

[21] After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.

[22] And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.

[23] After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.

[24] After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.

[25] Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.

[26] Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.

[27] After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.

[28] From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.

[29] After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.

[30] After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.

[31] After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.

[32] And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.

Nehemiah had looked over the problem.

He had defined the purpose and motivated the people.

Now the work began.

It was a big job.

The walls of Jerusalem had been in sad shape for about 150 years.

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.

Transition:

I read about another man who had a job he wanted to do.

And he also had help.

George Works was moving his books out of the attic

down to his study on the ground floor.

His little boy...Steven..wanted to help.

George let Steven help...

even though he was more in the way

than he was a real help.

Steven had a wise father.

He was more interested in helping his son

learn to how to work

than he was in getting the books moved quickly.

Transition:

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.

What is the first Labor Day Lesson here?

Lesson #1

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.

· Civic officials.

· Men and women.

· What are they doing?

· WORKING!

· For service in _____ Church, 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, a traitor 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 doubter

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 all He has here at _____ Church!

· Let’s not fail Him.

Transition:

Little Steven faithfully toted armload after armload of books

down the stairs from the attic

to the study of his father.

What George Works could have accomplished alone

was done with the help of his little boy.

Nehemiah, however, was not able to do the job alone.

He needed the unified efforts of all the people.

And that suggests to us the 2nd Labor Day Lesson:

Lesson #2

TEAMWORK IS ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS:

· Different jobs were assigned to different groups.

· Each did his own job

which was a part of the whole project.

Nobody 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 have had one big gap.

· For whatever reason,

the nobles of Tekoa were unwilling to participate.

They weren’t part of the team.

And that put more work on the shoulders of the others.

· LIKEWISE...

If anybody in ____ Church refuses to participate,

their part of the load falls on the shoulders of others.

If someone quits a job because they are burned out,

what do you think that does to the ones

who have to pick up the slack?

· Someone might say,

"But I have such a small part.”

“If I don’t show up, it won’t make much difference.”

Let me tell you a story.

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 shoe eventually fell off.

The horse eventually went lame.

The soldier was forced to walk.

The enemy came along

and the soldier couldn’t get away.

He was killed by the enemy.

The important message was lost.

The enemy eventually attacked the castle.

And the king lost his kingdom.

All because one horseshoe nail was lost!"

Folks...you never know what effect you might cause

when you fall out of formation here.

There was a big job to be done in Jerusalem.

It would take the faithfulness of every worker to get it done.

Transition:

George Works had a big job to do, too.

He had a lot of books.

Some of them, little Steven could carry.

But there were some that were just too big.

On one trip down the stairs...

Steven over estimated his abilities

and dropped his pile of books.

He sat down on the steps and cried.

It frustrated him

that he was not able to do the work for his dad.

He wasn’t about to quit, though!

He wanted to be faithful to the task.

Transition:

The workers at Jerusalem got discouraged, too!

They faced opposition from the surrounding 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 quit the job!

And within 52 days the job was completed.

Transition:

George Works noticed how hard his little boy was working.

And God saw the efforts of His people.

In fact, He found the laborers worthy

to be mentioned in the Bible

for many future generations to read about.

God’s awareness of the work of His people

becomes the last Labor Day Lesson.

Lesson #3

THE LORD DOESN’T FORGET FAITHFUL WORKERS:

· These folk didn’t realize that their names

would be preserved in Scripture for eternity.

They didn’t know that I would use them as examples

for you folks at ____ Church on Labor Day Weekend

in the year _____!

We won’t find many of these names anywhere else !

If they were not recorded here,

we’d have no knowledge of them --

but God still would!

· When you labor and it seems that nobody notices,

who cares if they notice or not?

We must remember two things:

#1 What we do for the eyes of men and approval

brings only a temporary recognition and reward.

#2 What we do for the Lord’s eyes and His approval

will never be forgotten!

I may forget or overlook your works,

but you can remember what Hebrews 6:10 says:

"For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.".

God doesn’t require that we be successful.

But He does require that we be faithful:

· Stick to the job when quitting would be easier.

· Do the work even if nobody notices

or praises or thanks you.

· Keep serving even if you think

you’re doing more than your fair share.

· Refuse to allow any other attraction

to shift you from loyalty to Jesus Christ.

Transition:

Little Stevie Works had done all he could do.

And when he could do no more,

he dropped the heavy armload of books.

Without a word,

his Dad picked up the load of books,

put them into Stevie’s arms

and scooped up both Stevie and the books into his arms.

They continued that way load after load,

until the last book had been put in its place in the study.

When we are faithful,

and when the job is just too much for us to accomplish,

and even when we fail in doing our work

God remembers our work,

and recognizes our weakness.

That’s when He takes us up into His arms

to complete the job with and through us.

Not in our own strength, but in His.

Today, whoever you are,

whatever you’ve done,

however you may have failed in the past,

Jesus calls you to His service.

He 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.

And all who hear, and who believe,

will humbly, faithfully, diligently put Him first

and follow Him.

Would you be one who would put your hands to work?

Would you be one who,

believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,

would follow Him?

Then step out and let us all know that

as we sing our hymn of invitation.