Summary: When our work is done unto Christ it becomes worship. Our entire lives are worship so our lives should characterize God's glory with our excellence.
Intro: The world often disregards the church today. They do the same that Sanballat and Tobiah did here in Nehemiah they say if God loves you so much why are you such a mess. Our church answer is we are forgiven not perfect. The world often disregards us because we focus so much on what is wrong instead of putting our energy and effectiveness into what will make it possible for us to be intentional in service, relational in our missions, and effective in our ministry.
The church the people of God was never meant to be a place for perfect people to look down their noses at others. It is instead a place for us to experience God in a community of security, protection, faith and brotherhood. Nehemiah had a burden to this place for the people so that the disgrace upon God’s name would be removed. Nehemiah 2.17 (Read)
Sam Ewing, “Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”
Nehemiah 4.6 “So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” NIV
“So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” NKJV
I. Work for the Glory of God (Read Nehemiah 2.17)
The bedrock foundation of everything we do is the glory of God. We praise personally, give sacrificially, live missionally for the glory of God!!
1Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
A) Do everything you do with excellence (Church facility)
B) Do everything you do with energy (Psalm 150)
C) Do everything you do with enthusiasm
Not because everything is enjoyable but because your Heavenly Father is watching you.
The word glory comes to us from the Bible from a few different Hebrew and Greek words that mean weight, worth, value, brilliance. Paul’s prayer for His ministry was not that he could give glory to God but that people from all nations would realize the beauty, value, heavy worth of Jesus Christ and that His name would become known in all the earth. Those of you that have come to know Jesus personally know what I talk about. You wouldn’t take anything to give up the value of your prayer and communion with Jesus. He is worth sacrifices, He is worth struggles, He is worth being disliked, underappreciated, misunderstood and mistreated. We recognize God’s glory by loving someone who has no family, by helping single mothers and homeless. We recognize God’s glory by serving in the food pantry, by accepting His call to foster ministry, but giving gifts to prisoners families, by supporting ministries used of God to introduce people to Jesus. That is the worship of work!! You work becomes worship when it recognizes God’s greatness, His beauty and value. That is what Nehemiah was able to lead the people of Jerusalem to do recognize God’s value. They did it because Nehemiah encouraged them that God was with them.
II. Work there is a need for workers (If God placed a burden on you it is for you to work for Him)
John 4.35 "Don't you say, 'There are still four more months, then comes the harvest'? Listen [to what] I'm telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.”
Every day I deal with people with broken lives and burned dreams. God has us positioned in a city if we open our eyes there will be a great harvest.
A) Leaders set the example (Nehemiah 3.1)
B) Some people refuse to work (Nehemiah 3.5)
Some people are not willing to stoop to Jesus’ level of the servant. The nobles didn’t want to get up and help. They were above getting their fingers dirty. They were above putting messages on the sign. They were above picking up trash from around the city and off the pews.
Jesus came to serve to prove the devil wrong. We come and serve each other and the city of Carlisle to provide evidence that Jesus is real and true!!
C) Some people do more work than others (Nehemiah 3.11, 19, 24, 27, 30)
Jesus gave us all the example of going the second mile, doing more than we are asked. That will never come from the heart of the proud. Second milers go beyond what they are asked because they do their work as unto Jesus Christ.
D) Some people work harder (3.20)
Baruch is the only worker recorded as working earnestly. The Hebrew word means to glow or burn. Baruch burned some energy for the people and city of Jerusalem because He was doing it for a faithful God. God has given you the breath in your lungs and the mitochondria in your cells. Burn some energy for His kingdom. “I just don’t know where I belong.” Come ask me, ask Shane, James, Larry, Donnie we will downright tell you where we need help.