Nehemiah 3 “All of us are better than one of us”

 God never intended there to be lone ranger Christians but He expects everyone to do their part so accomplish the Kingdom work that is supposed to be done. Alone we cannot make a big impact in this world but when we all do our part amazing things get done. I first heard the phrase, “All of us are better than one of us” from Dr. Jay Strack. It is the constant reminder that no matter how successful you are there is more success to be gained by the joining together of individuals that have a common vision and passion for change.

Read Nehemiah 3:1-2

1)   Together they did their part

God did not create us to be on our own and even early in the  garden of Eden  God knew that it was not good for Adam to be alone. (Genesis 2:18)  God has created us all to be in a relationship with Him and with others. No one is supposed to accomplish things on their own because that is not the way God designed it.

Nehemiah knew if anything of the magnitude of rebuilding the was  going to be accomplished that it would take Gods people working together. In the same way, the church will only make a difference in this world and bring Glory to God as we each do our part in what God has called us to do. When we join together to accomplish God’s will the world takes notice because the accomplishment of God’s people working in harmony has a big impact on those around us.  We bring honor and Glory to God when we come from different backgrounds, skill sets and races in order to build Gods Kingdom and the world takes notice of the unity that can only happen through the power and work of God.

Eliahib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priest, and rebuilt the sheep gate.

It is significant that Nehemiah begins and ends this section about the sheep gate. The sheep gate was were the sheep that were grown for the sacrifice were brought in from the fields.  The priest had a special interest in this section of the wall because they knew this was not only the place where they worked but it would bring security from enemies in their area.

Not everyone is passionate about everything that goes on in God’s kingdom and God did not create us all to have the same passions. It is our responsibility to be a part of the kingdom building that God has put on our hearts to do. Homeless ministry, women’s pregnancy centers, children’s and youth ministries, are not for everyone but God has gifted you and has given you a broken heart for some area of our world. This does not mean that you will always love what you are doing but God has put that passion on your heart for a reason. In the wall building process there are times they wanted to quit so be careful to not go off of your feelings when you serve or you will quit every time.

Read 3:5

2)   Together does not mean everyone

But their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord

There was a group that refused to serve and there will always be people who refuse to serve.  Many times those who serve focus on those who are not serving instead of the task that is at hand or the others that are serving. We get distracted, angry and discouraged because some people refuse to help with the work that needs to be done. We must always remember that we are not serving for our own credit or for anyone else but only for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

If you have done any type of ministry there will be times that you feel as though you have worked hard and tirelessly without seeing any growth from your ministry but even though you cannot see the growth God is always working to use the very task He has assigned you to do.  For all of eternity you will be rewarded for what you did for the kingdom so stay eternally focused and not on the current situation you may find yourself in. Remember that Noah preached 120 years without one convert, except his family, but he will be rewarded for his faithfulness to what God called him to do.

Read 3:27

3)   Together means some did more than others

There was a group that went above and beyond

Now we see those same tekoits that did serve in verse 5, whose rulers refused to serve,  have now seen another need and so they went and helped with that as well. These are people that lived eleven miles outside of Jerusalem so a good three to four hours of walking time. These are people that sacrificed their own level of comfort and safety to serve God. These are people that did not say that it is not their job or that they have already served, but decided that their work was for the Lord.

Read 3:28 -29

4)   Together starts at home

Repaired opposite of his own house

You do not have to go far to be a part of the kingdom building of God. Some did travel to serve but some were able to cross the street to begin the work of God.  Some houses were next to the walls and so they literally would step outside their house and begin rebuilding the wall.

If you could imagine building a wall outside of your house you would probably be interested in it being the strong so that the enemy would not attack so close to your home.  One of the mistakes many Christians make is to go and do ministry elsewhere while denying their own family which is right in front of them. The enemy (Satan) attacks the home because so many people have not focused on building it up first. Your ministry begins in the home with family devotions, and then the school, sports team or other functions that your family is involved in.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Never underestimate how you can change the world through the raising of your children.

“Change is not going to come from the White House, it’s going to come from your house.” Dr. Bob Barnes

5)   Together they built the wall.

Thirty eight individual people are named in this chapter as well as forty two different groups.  Nehemiah did not mention his own name in Nehemiah chapter three only to say WE because he knew as a leader that his own efforts without the efforts of the people would not accomplish all that needed to be done.  This chapter is dedicated to the followers because every leader knows that without the hard work of those who buy into the vision of the mission there would be no building. Many things can be accomplished as a group when a group of people come together for a common purpose and a common goal.

“A great many people have got a false idea about the church. They have got an idea that the church is a place to rest in, to get to a nicely cushioned pew, and contribute to the charities, listen to the minster, and do their share to keep the church out of bankruptcy, is all they want. The idea of work for them –actual work in the church- never enters their mind.” D.L. Moody

Every person matters no matter no matter what they can offer because we all have a place to serve, if not in the local church, then definitely in the kingdom of God.When we get to Heaven we will still be working although our labor will be enjoyable and restful at the same time. In Matthew 25 we see the master reward the hard work of the good servants with putting them over even more than they originally had. “You have been faithful with a little I will set you over much”

Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

A pastors job is to equip the saints to do their part and Nehemiah led the people and he equipped them to be wall builders. Just like Nehemiah, many of them probably did not know much about wall building but there they were building a wall for the Glory of God.Remember  many of them, if not the majority, were not wall builders. They were Priest, perfumers, and rulers.  Sometimes ministry is about what needs to be done and not what you are best at. When you trust God to do things that are outside of your comfort and your ability then He does amazing things through you. Moses was not a good speaker but God still called him to speak in front of pharaoh. Noah never built a boat but God used him to build one. What is God calling you to do? What is your excuse for not doing it?

There is a lot of hurt in this world and just like Nehemiah we need to be heartbroken for the people, be ready to be used by God, then come together as the body of Christ to accomplish His will.

God has strategically placed you to reach out to those around you who are broken and hurting. It will take all of us working together in order to rebuild our nation and our world. No matter how bad the destruction looks or how evil the world seems we are called to reach out and help others know Christ and help them rebuild their lives. Start where you are and do what you can and see how God uses you to make a bigger impact than you could ever imagine.

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