“Also the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, made repairs. Next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. Next to them Zadok the son of Baana made repairs. Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.”
Nehemiah 3:3-5 NKJV
God has given those of us who are disciples, a huge mission. We are to take the Gospel to the whole world, to share love and salvation of Jesus in every corner of the planet. We are building up messengers to go and take the message of salvation in Christ.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
In these late days, there is great opposition to the Lord and those who come in His name. The harvest field is large, but the number of those doing the work are few.
I am reading in Nehemiah chapter three this morning, and studying the account of the building of the wall. Those who have returned are working shoulder to shoulder with each other to do the work. It is a picture of how it should be for the modern day believer, setting about doing the work of spreading the Gospel and equipping the saints.
As I read, I came to the simple sentence that seemed to stand out in the whole passage.
“Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.”
The word deadbeats came to mind.
I used to serve a lot at what I consider my sending church. I say sending, because I am a missionary dedicated to praying for the saints.
In my serving, I noticed all the usual suspects, maybe two or three hundred, who would show up to do the serving, the cleaning, the cooking, the teaching, and whatever was needed. They were the core of the church. I often wondered where the other thousand or so people who occupy the pews were.
I couldn’t help but wonder how effective we would be if more people came and served the Lord.
The wall that was being build was for everyone’s security, both commoner and noble. The Lord had shown them favor, and all would benefit. The more people serve in the ministries of the local church, the greater the benefit for all, and the greater the testimony to the world around them.
When I consider the early believers, huddled together in one accord in Jerusalem, I can see the mutual support they provided each other, and the great testimony they had before those who did not yet believe.
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”
Acts 4:32-35 NKJV
That church grew and grew, as all worked together, met each other’s needs, and loved each other. there were no deadbeats, enjoying the benefits, but not contributing. And God added to their number daily.
Brothers and sisters, serving the Lord is a wonderful thing. I remember my first ministry in the singles class. I sat at a table inside the door of the room and wrote name tags. Each person arriving was met by my smile, and an encouraging word. After a week of battling demons, it should be refreshing to come into the house of the Lord.
You might be one who is hesitant, feeling like you have nothing to offer. Many churches have greeters, people who simply stand at the door and greet those who come in. If you can smile and shake a hand, or bump elbows in these times of COVID, you too can serve the Lord.
You never know, the next hand you shake and the face you smile at may be that person closest hell, who comes to know Jesus that very day. When I attended Grace for the first time, I was one of those people.
Just as Nehemiah and the children of Israel rebuilt the wall, we have a job in front of us. It is harvest time. Not a time for deadbeats!
“Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.””
John 4:34-38 NKJV
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