Summary: Christians can display a sense of authenticity by working together on a mission bigger than themselves.

1. I am sure you have heard that President Trump intends to build a wall between the US and Mexico to cut down on illegal immigration

a. Great Wall of China

b. Berlin Wall

c. Bethlehem Wall

d. Wall to be in Heaven:

12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21.12-14 (no undocumented people in Heaven – Matthew 22.11-14)

2. There was a great work on the Jerusalem wall in Nehemiah 3

a. An Identity Issue for the People

b. A Security Issue for the People

c. A Matter of Restoring Glory to God

3. Once they got to work, they completed the task in 52 days (Nehemiah 6.15)

a. Big tasks require an intentional start.

“A journey of 10,000 leagues begins with the first step.”

“How do you eat an elephant?” – “One bite at a time.”

b. Big tasks require united cooperation.

4. Notice some People and their Places in this great work:

I. The Leader, Nehemiah

A. His Steps for Success:

1. Personal Preparation

a. A Prepared Heart – Touched by the News of Jerusalem

b. Personal Preparation, before God – Prayed/fasted

c. Seized the Opportunity

d. Planned and Delegated

e. Acted

2. Project Preparation

a. He Recognized Order in the Process of Building vv. 1, 2a, 4a, 5a, 7a, 8a, 9a... "and next unto him"

• 38 Individual workers were named in this chapter

• 42 Groups

• Anonymous Workers

b. The universe is orderly

• God is of shalom (order) not of chaos (confusion) – 1 Corinthians 14.33

• In churches – Elders/Deacons/order and structure

• In Families – Husband/Wife/Parents/Children

3. The Place of Priorities – Ultimate Glory of God

• Jesus and Sabbath

• Family more important than work (No one has said on their deathbed, “I wish I had spent more time at work.”)

When Chris Spielman played for the Buffalo Bills, he was everything a middle linebacker should be: tough, strong and smart, with passion, total commitment, and loyalty to the game. He played the entire 1995 season with a torn pectoral muscle that he sustained in the season opener. But the game took a distant second place in his thinking during the 1998 season. He chose to stay home. He cooked, took care of his kids, and cared for his wife—by choice. Stephanie, Chris’ wife, was struggling through the stark reality of breast cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy, and nausea were Stephanie’s opponents. During her fight, Chris was at her side. His actions supported his "family before job" credo. Asked by a reporter from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle if he’d consider a return to the Bills late in the season, Spielman said, "I’d play in a heartbeat, but what kind of man would I be if I backed out on my word to her? I wouldn’t be a man at all. "Football fans saw Spielman as a man because of his aggressive, leave-it-all-on-the-field style of play. But what really makes him a man? It’s his personal sacrifice and unending commitment and loyalty to his wife.

• God is more important than family, and everything else – Matthew 6.33;

B. His Plan in Action

1. “Built” – 6 times = “rebuilt” – not doing new, rebuilding the old, putting the pieces back together

2. “Repair” – 35 times = “making strong/firm”

a. Not a quick fix

b. Lasting

c. Our work with people is to be eternal/lasting – “Make DISCIPLES” (not converts; Restore – Galatians 6.1-2 (put back – as setting a bone; mending a net)

3. We are not looking for gimmicks to make a crowd but for the things of God that will grow people

II. The Workers Who Got It Done:

A. The Leaders Who Set the Example (v. 1) –

1. Priests normally did not do manual labor but jumped in to set the pace

2. Spurred on others – who were not professional craftsmen:

perfumers (v. 8), goldsmiths (v. 8, 31), temple servants (v26), merchants (v32),

B. The Faithful Workers – “Next to him” – Repeated about 15 times in this chapter (v. 1, 2a, 4a, 5a, 7a, 8a, 9a...) – In Sections Near Their Own Homes – Acts 1.8

1. The wall was for the security of the city and a breach would have been disastrous; by building together, the wall would be completed.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China has a main-line length of 2,150 miles. Completed during the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi (221-210 B.C.), it has a further 2,195 miles of branches and spurs. It is 15-39 feet high and up to 32 feet thick.—Guinness Book of World Records

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