Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

13. Teaming Together – Part 5

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Nehemiah 3:5-27

Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors.The Old City Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid the beams, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars.Next to them were Melatiah from Gibeon, Jadon from Meronoth, people from Gibeon, and people from Mizpah, the headquarters of the governor of the province west of the Euphrates River. Next was Uzziel son of Harhaiah, a goldsmith by trade, who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah, a manufacturer of perfumes. They left out a section of Jerusalem as they built the Broad Wall. Rephaiah son of Hur, the leader of half the district of Jerusalem, was next to them on the wall. 10 Next Jedaiah son of Harumaph repaired the wall across from his own house, and next to him was Hattush son of Hashabneiah. 11 Then came Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab, who repaired another section of the wall and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Shallum son of Hallohesh and his daughters repaired the next section. He was the leader of the other half of the district of Jerusalem.13 The Valley Gate was repaired by the people from Zanoah, led by Hanun. They set up its doors and installed its bolts and bars. They also repaired the 1,500 feet of wall to the Dung Gate.14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, the leader of the Beth-hakkerem district. He rebuilt it, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars.15 The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallum son of Col-hozeh, the leader of the Mizpah district. He rebuilt it, roofed it, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars. Then he repaired the wall of the pool of Siloam near the king’s garden, and he rebuilt the wall as far as the stairs that descend from the City of David.16 Next to him was Nehemiah son of Azbuk, the leader of half the district of Beth-zur. He rebuilt the wall from a place across from the tombs of David’s family as far as the water reservoir and the House of the Warriors.17 Next to him, repairs were made by a group of Levites working under the supervision of Rehum son of Bani. Then came Hashabiah, the leader of half the district of Keilah, who supervised the building of the wall on behalf of his own district. 18 Next down the line were his countrymen led by Binnui son of Henadad, the leader of the other half of the district of Keilah.19 Next to them, Ezer son of Jeshua, the leader of Mizpah, repaired another section of wall across from the ascent to the armory near the angle in the wall.20 Next to him was Baruch son of Zabbai, who zealously repaired an additional section from the angle to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.21 Meremoth son of Uriah and grandson of Hakkoz rebuilt another section of the wall extending from the door of Eliashib’s house to the end of the house.22 The next repairs were made by the priests from the surrounding region. 23 After them, Benjamin and Hasshub repaired the section across from their house, and Azariah son of Maaseiah and grandson of Ananiah repaired the section across from his house. 24 Next was Binnui son of Henadad, who rebuilt another section of the wall from Azariah’s house to the angle and the corner. 25 Palal son of Uzai carried on the work from a point opposite the angle and the tower that projects up from the king’s upper house beside the court of the guard. Next to him were Pedaiah son of Parosh, 26 with the Temple servants living on the hill of Ophel, who repaired the wall as far as a point across from the Water Gate to the east and the projecting tower. 27 Then came the people of Tekoa, who repaired another section across from the great projecting tower and over to the wall of Ophel.

The fifth principle we see is that we need to:

  1. Be faithful Even when others Fail – Vs 5, 27

Don’t let the slacking of others cause you to stop serving. In every church there will always be those who do more than their fair share. While there will always be spectators in the church there will also be servants. The question is which are you, are you a slacker or a servant? Remember the men from Tekoa? Not only did they finished their section of the wall, even though their rulers refused to help, but verse 27 tells us: “Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section…”Not only did they refuse to follow the lazy example of their leaders, but they chose to go the extra mile. There are several others in the passage that not only completed the work assigned to them but then lent a helping hand to others. There’s a tendency within most of us to finish the work we volunteered for and then stop, and stretch out our arms and say, “It was great to do the Lord’s work, but I’m finished now” instead of looking around and seeing who else needs help. There are those who are selfish and never start, those who serve and work on their wall and then there are those who sacrifice, they don’t just work on their wall they are willing to lend a helping hand to others. Often, we let the failures of those who refuse to follow through not just affect but infect our serving. This leads to frustration and either serving with a bitter heart or bailing ourselves. Don’t focus on the failure of others focus on the faithfulness of the Father.

  1. Some service stinks – Vs 14

Some worked on the Dung gate, this was where the refuse left the city. This is what we could call the poop deck of the ship. This is the gate we all need but no one wants to work on. Everyone wants to repair the Tower of the Ovens (v. 11) where the bread of Jerusalem was baked. It’s easy to find workers for the Fountain Gate or when work on the wall next to the King’s garden needs done. But who’s going to fix the Dung Gate. Look Ministry can be messy, but someone has to repair the Dung Gate! There are still dung gates in ministry today, who is going to serve in the nursery and dealing with dirty diapers. Who picks up the drunk and brings them home? Who goes to share Jesus in the jail? Look sometimes ministry is messy, I don’t like having to deal with the dung gate but if no one does we end up with a city full of filth. But there is also a second reason to work on the dung gate, not only to remove the refuge but also to provide protection. If we don’t build and bar the gate, we leave ourselves wide open to attack. Some of you need to work on your dung gate because if you don’t your life is going to start to stink.

  1. Pursue God’s Purpose with Passion – Vs 20

In this entire chapter, there is only one guy mentioned who worked zealously. Look at verse 20: “Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section…”The Hebrew word means “to burn or glow.” He didn’t just serve; he was on fire for the Father. This is amazing because in 4:6 we read that “the people worked with all their heart.” Everyone was working hard, but in a crowd of committed construction workers, Baruch stood out from the rest. We need people who will say, “I don’t care what others are doing, I’m going to do my very best.” He didn’t just make the Glory of God his purpose he made it his passion. It’s not just about hard work it’s about heart work. Some of you are hardworking servants but you are serving out of servility not servanthood.

Servility servers out of Obligation, it’s a I have to serve, where servanthood serves out of obedience, I want to serve.

Servility is motivated by what others see and say if I serve, servanthood is motivated by what God sees and says

Servility serves with an attitude of me first, servanthood serves with an attitude of God first

Servility serves out of a spirit of pride, Servanthood serves out of a spirit of Humility

The results of servility are self-seeking, where servanthood is God glorifying.

Each person was given personal responsibility for their part of the wall. That forced them to do a good job because if they just did a half job on their part of the wall and had a weak wall then that would be where the attack would come and it would cost them their families as well as the lives of others. When we don’t work on our wall, we don’t just end up with a weak wall we put the whole family in jeopardy.

 

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