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Nehemiah 3 Serving God Together

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Every person has a role to play in God's Kingdom.

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Intro

We are a month into studying the OT book of Nehemiah where we are focusing on how God is at work in our world to save sinners and how you and I are invited by God to participate in that work.
And in Nehemiah, the work that God invites his people to participate in is to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem that were destroyed.
Last week we looked at and saw that Nehemiah had come to Jerusalem and called the people of Israel to rebuild the walls so that God’s name would be glorified.
It is important that you remember when we talk about the wall in Nehemiah, it was something bigger than just a construction project.
Now this work is more than just a construction project.
The wall instead was a symbol for God redeeming his people from exile to again be his holy people and proclaim his glory to the nations.
In other words, the wall was a symbol that God desired to save sinners from their sin and idolatry and transform them into his holy sons and daughters to live for him.
And if the main point of the second half of was that God invites his people to join Him in his work, then as we continue , we are going to see how every individual has a role to play in God’s kingdom.
Being a part of God’s people through the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be a part of God’s family.
And being a part of a family means we are active members of it. Not passive participants.
It’s not like in God’s Kingdom you have some Christians who carry the load where the rest sit on the sideline as casual observers.
I think many Christians look at serving God and his kingdom on the principle of proximity.
What I mean by that is that some Christians will actively choose to hide on the fringes of God and his people.
They deceive themselves into thinking that as long as they are a part of a community that is following the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength then they are to because of their proximity to the people of God.
However, God calls every individual to be a faithful steward of the gifts he has given to serve his kingdom
And in , we are going to see what serving God truly is, and why it is so crucial for every one of us to play our part in God’s grand purposes for our church.
Now if you have read ahead for this week, you’ll know that chapter 3 progresses through a list of names of different people who worked on the wall of Jerusalem.
The chapter talks about 45 different sections of construction that was done by God’s people including 10 gates.
And the chapter works around Jerusalem in a counter clockwise progression starting at a gate named the Sheep Gate and notes the names of individuals who worked hard to rebuild the wall at each section.
At our church, we definitely affirm that every single word of Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for us in our Christian life.
However, in debating over how to handle these 32 verses, I think it is best to relieve you of listening to me mispronounce dozens of Hebrew names for 7 minutes, and instead jump into why this text is in the Bible in the first place and how it is profitable for us today.
I think as you are reading through God’s Word you should read through parts that appear initially mundane, because, as I hope to show you, every piece of Scripture is able to reveal to you who God is and how we are called to live in light of our salvation in Jesus Christ.
So what I want to do from today is to show you what serving God truly is and why it is so crucial for every one of us to play our part in the body of Christ.

What is Serving God?

But even here I have to define our terms. In our culture of vague Christian spirituality, people define serving God however they see fit. They assume they can do something vaguely Christian and call it worship.
However, I want to be specific so that we can see practically how serving God should look in our lives. In Nehemiah, they are rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was the city where God himself dwelled under the old covenant. It was ruled by him and Israel was meant to be a holy nation set apart to live under God’s rule and order.
Therefore, the work of the people in Nehemiah in building the wall is aimed at proclaiming and expanding the kingdom of God.
From this, we learn that to truly serve God is to serve is kingdom.
Now this can be done in a variety of ways.
We can love and serve our families friends and coworkers like Christ served us.
We can see to live in light of the kingdom in our own lives by living holy before the Lord.
But what I think is most helpful for us today is to see how participating and serving the ministries of the church is the clearest way we are able to proclaim and work to expand God’s kingdom to the lives of others through the proclamation of the gospel.
It is through the church that God is growing his kingdom on the earth and if we want to join God in his work, the clearest way we can do that is by joining a church and using our gifts to further the ministry of the word in that church.
So a lot of the examples you will hear today are about serving the Lord by serving the church, but this is not the only way we participate in God’s kingdom in our life. It is just the primary we are able to serve God together as a local body of believers.
So lets begin with what it truly means to serve God by looking at 4 points from this passage.

Serving God Is Worshipful

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Nehemiah begins recounting the reconstruction effort with Eliashib the high priest and his brothers the priests.
This is significant because at every turn, Nehemiah wants us to see that the primary purpose for rebuilding the wall is not for Israel’s military protection or political advancement though those are outcomes of their work.
His primary purpose in leading God’s people to rebuild the wall as God had instructed was so that God would be worshiped.
If God was going to be worshiped and praised by the nations, they must see his love for his people Israel.
By rebuilding the wall, God’s people were doing a holy work because it was a symbolic representation that they were forsaking the idols of the surrounding nations and returning to the Lord to worship him alone.
This is why the priests get involved. They see the grunt work of manual labor as intimately tied to God’s worship and praise by his people.
Therefore, when we serve God by doing the things he has called us to in Christ, no matter how mundane we might think they are, we actually glorify his name because we show that following him is more valuable than anything else in our life.
Whether that is serving God by repenting of sin or practicing our Spiritual disciplines to help us grow in Christ
Serving other members of Christ’s body so that we love them like we love our selves and work to see them grow in Christ
Or we serve our neighbors in the world, those who are lost in their sins, in hopes that they would see the love that Christ has for them in the love we show them, we do it all to serve and worship God.
Regardless how we are serving God in that moment, it is an act of worship that says, “God you are worthy of my whole life. No matter what my preference is or what I want, to serve you is my delight.”
Even when we serve other people we are still serving God because we are serving them for God’s purposes.
Like in Ephesians when Paul tells us to serve our employers as if we are serving the Lord.
Whatever we do for God’s kingdom, no matter how many people it benefits, we are first and foremost serving God and worshiping him.
Also notice that the priests consecrated, or sanctified, their section of the wall along with it doors. In other words, they made their section of the wall holy as a work that was set apart for the Lord.
Now later in the book they will have a whole consecration festival to consecrate the whole wall, all the work accomplished by God’s people, once it is finished, but consecrating their section on the outset of the work is a way of emphasizing the purpose of the construction as a whole.
From beginning to end, this wasn’t just about rebuilding brick and mortar, it was about reconsecrating the people back to God as his holy people. A light to the nations proclaiming that salvation is in God alone.
Even the fact that they consecrated it as far as the tower of Hananel is significant.
Now the tower of Hananel (map from handbook of Ezra and Nehemiah) is right here next to the Fish Gate which means the priests consecrated this whole section right here.
This was significant for two reasons.
These two gates led to the Temple where God was worshiped on the earth.
Second, the Tower of Hananel is mentioned in only two places and . Both of which are talking about God restoring Jerusalem and once again saving his people.
In fact the word Hananel is derivative of the two Hebrew words meaning “favor” and “God.”
So when the priests consecrated this section of the wall, they were trying to say that the work of rebuilding the wall was proof that God was again having favor on his people and saving them.
Their work to rebuild the wall was an act of worship because God’s people were using their Time, Talent, and Treasure to work for God’s purposes and kingdom over their own.

Serving God Is Humble

The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord.
The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord.
Something strange has happened in American Christianity where we look at serving as degrading.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

Serving God Is Sacrificial

Unless we are in charge and getting the credit, we don’t have much interest in serving the Lord.
We seek to earn our rewards here and now instead of laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven.
And in verse 5 when all the rest of God’s people are laboring together to serve the Lord, the nobles from Tekoa would not stoop to serve their Lord.
In Hebrew, Nehemiah is giving the picture of these nobles being stiff necked.
Thus their refusal to join in the work is a picture of their petty pride.
The assumed that doing manual labor was beneath their position of status and position in society.
Christians can do this same thing today. If they believe that some act of service is “beneath them” they will argue “that’s not my gifting” all they while harboring pride in their heart.
No task done for God’s kingdom is below any Christian because every task for the eternal kingdom holds eternal value.
Saying, I don’t need to live for God’s kingdom and serve him with my whole life might not actually be an indicator of a lazy heart, but a proud one.
What you are effectively saying when the Lord is asking you to humble yourself and live for his purposes in your life and you refuse because you see it as embarrassing or beneath your talent or status is “God I’m better than that. You should assign that job to someone else.”
Serving God’s kingdom is not about accolades. It is about doing whatever is necessary so that God would be glorified in our life and the lives of others.
Speaking to the Apostles Jesus said You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The nobles reaction and Jesus words are a challenge to every Christian and leaders in particular to not see the role or status in this life a right but as a gift to steward.
No one is above serving another because Jesus himself, the God we worship, served us by dying for us on the cross.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
True godly leadership is having the heart of a servant.
Whether you are leading your family, or children, a team at work or an entire church, the heart you must have towards those you lead must always be that of Christ. To serve them for their good knowing that this glorifies God.
And Nehemiah gives us a picture of what this looks like in verses 9 and 12. Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired... Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.
Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.
Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
These were leaders who saw their contribution as necessary for the glory of God and the good of God’s people so they join in the work despite that together they were influential leaders of the entire city.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The goal is not to serve the Lord so that we are well known and lifted up. It is so that Jesus will be well known and exalted.
Even Nehemiah gives us this example because he doesn’t emphasize how he organized all these teams to build the walls. Instead he doesn’t even mention himself opting to point out the efforts of others instead.
Serving the Lord must be just that. When we begin to mix in our selfish desires and our ambition into the ministry the Lord has assigned to us, we begin to assume that others should glorify us on their way to glorify Jesus.
However when we humbly look at ourselves and see just what kind of privilege it is to join God in his work, no task becomes to menial for us to do if called upon because it is all for the Lord.

Serving God Is Sacrificial

Relating to humbly serving God, serving God is also sacrificial.
Serving God can be sacrificial in two ways. First, we might not serve in our preference all the time, and second, we should strive to not give the Lord our bare minimum effort.

1. Not Serving In Our Preference

; Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. 32 And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.
Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. 32 And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.
Notice how Nehemiah intentionally points out the occupations of those who were working.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
There are goldsmiths, perfumers, and merchants or business men.
These are not jobs commonly associated with the manual labor required to build the walls.
And yet what did these people do? They worked. They didn’t say well thats not really my job or my gifts or my skill set.
No they saw the need, how that need would bring glory to God, and they put it on themselves to be a part of that work.
Christians who refuse to serve in certain areas of the church because it doesn’t fit their gifting are missing out on being a part of the body in a sacrificial, only loving others kind of way.
Trust me, I’m the first person to say that you should try to be a good steward of the spiritual gifts God has given you by using them for the benefit of the church. However, to limit your service to the body to only your gifts is selfish and unloving.
For example, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “Well I don’t want to serve in children’s ministry because that’s not were my gifts are.” Or “I can’t serve on First Impressions and meet the guests and non Christians God brings us because I’m an introvert.”
Let me make a clear distinction between gifts and opportunities. I don’t know if you’ve never noticed, but there is no spiritual gift of children’s ministry or coffee making or sound booth operating in the bible. Those are different opportunities we have to serve in the church.
Spiritual gifts are things like hospitality, administration, teaching, acts of service. And the opportunities we have with our various serve teams are just that. Opportunities for you to use your specific spiritual gifts in those ministries to benefit others.
For example, do you have the gift of hospitality? What would it look like for you to welcome children every Sunday and make them feel at home when on the inside they are freaking out cause mom and dad aren’t around?
Or if you have the gift of teaching. Could you serve as a Community Group Leader or Bible Room teacher in Little Metro?
You see, our serve teams are areas of ministry that our church has said, these are things the Lord has called us to do so that more people would hear the gospel.
How spiritual gifts are supposed to work are you find areas of ministry that you can use your gifts to serve others even if its not your area of preference.
And one objection that you might be raising up right now is that those ministries, things like FIT, Little Metro, Security, and Sound Booth, those aren’t in the Bible. I don’t have to serve on those to serve the Lord.
Might I submit to you that the whole point of Nehemiah is to join God in his work to glorify his name. We have been saying time and time again that this happens in local churches like ours. The Ministries we have are not arbitrary, they are the things God has led us to do to accomplish his work of making disciples in this place.
So no. I can’t show you where the Bible specifically says, and “Thou shall have this serve team and serve once a month on it.” But I can tell you that if you call this place home, you should be a part of the mission of God in this place by contributing to the ministries our church has.
And I’ll let you in on another secret. At some point you are going to have to serve in ways that are not your preference so that you will be able to be trusted in areas that are.
What I mean by that is that Paul told Timothy that those who are called as deacons of the church must be tested to prove themselves faithful.
What that tells me as a pastor, is to not allow people to take opportunities in the church simply because they have a desire to do the work. They must also have the follow through to carry it out.
Failure to do this sets them up for failure because they have not built up the discipline to serve faithfully after all the appeal wears off,
And sets the church up for failure because new ministries and initiatives fall flat on their face which discourages people from joining in the next thing the Lord calls us to.
Here’s the point. It’s great that you know your gifts and want to serve the church in a way that only you can. And I promise you, the Elders and Deacons of Metro are constantly looking for someone to use their gifts to fulfill ministries the Lord leads us to, and we will find you.
Until then, serve faithfully even if its not your preference so that when the time comes, we can affirm, “oh yes. they’d be perfect and they have proven themselves faithful.
Not only does serving the Lord sacrificially mean not always serving gin our preference, it also means that we labor with more than bare minimum effort.

Bare Minimum Effort

Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at the buttress. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib.
What I want you to notice here is that Nehemiah mentions that some of God’s people repaired, “another” section of the wall.
If your goal in serving God or others is to put in the bare effort required, is it really an act of worship of God’s grace or is it a harsh task master of the Law.
In other words, the heart with which we serve matters as much as the action itself. Remember, our service is to glorify God.
If we are working for God’s purposes together in this church with a heart that says, I’m doing this cause I have to or because the Membership Covenant says so, then we have missed the privilege of God inviting us to join in his work in the church.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
What Paul is saying is that in everything we do, everything, whether that is our marriage, our parenting, or jobs, our friendships, our service to the church, no matter what it is, we are to work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
When we serve others, it actually serves God because it is done with his purposes in mind.
And if we are serving the Lord, why would we desire to give him our least amount of effort when he is worthy of our best?

Serving God Is Beneficial

; After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, repaired. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house... Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house.
After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, repaired. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house... Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house.
Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house.
In Nehemiah, some people were able to labor on areas by their houses. Thus, building the wall would have been of primary importance for them because it wasn’t just bring the property value down, they were the first people vulnerable to attacks from God’s enemies.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
In Nehemiah, some people were able to labor on areas by their houses. Thus, building the wall would have been of primary importance for them because it wasn’t just bring the property value down, they were the first people vulnerable to attacks from God’s enemies.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Practically this means serving the Lord and the purposes of the kingdom, while done for the good of others, also has benefits that we receive.
Serving the body allows us opportunities to grow that we wouldn’t otherwise have. When we wake up on a Sunday and we are hating that we are scheduled to serve, it gives us the opportunity to trust on the Spirit to empower us for the ministry he has given us.
Instead of grumbling, we can pray to God and say, Lord, let me remember that today is for you.” And in doing so we are able to die to ourselves to obey Jesus which is the very definition of discipleship.
By the definition of their name, a deacon is a servant and Paul says in For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Another benefit is that it shows our children that God’s work is more valuable than our selfish desires. If your kids are constantly seeing you complain about having to serve, or worst yet, never see you serving at all, what impression does that leave them of the church and the importance it should have in our life?
For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
In other words, when deacons, and based on an argument from the greater to the lesser, serve God and his church well, they gain confidence in the faith.
It says that loving and serving God by serving his church doesn’t really matter that much. There are more important things than God’s kingdom like sports or weekend getaways or lazy mornings.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying those things are bad. They are good and can be used to the glory of God. But when they take a primary role in our lives over gathering with the saints on Sunday and serving when needed, who are we really worshiping?
Finally, this means that you will sometimes get to use your spiritual gifts that fit right in your wheel house.
Listen, I love to preach. I love that God has called me to serve you by teaching you the Bible every week. But if I waited to serve the church until I could do it exactly my way, who am I actually loving? Myself or the Lord.
What that means is that you should look for opportunities and places of need
Most importantly, joining God in his work to save sinners through the church benefits us because it .
So far we have seen in that serving God means that we join his work to glorify his name on earth.
In Nehemiah’s day it meant building the wall as a symbol that Israel was forsaking the idols of the nations and were set apart for the Lord alone.
For us today, that means we join his work by joining God’s people the church to grow in Christ and contribute to the ministries of our church.
Because when we serve the church we are serving the work of God’s kingdom, and we can do this with joyful hearts because...

Jesus Showed Us What It Means to Serve God and His Kingdom

It is important that you don’t miss this. Our motivation for serving God and laboring for the kingdom is not because that is what we are supposed to do.
When we treat laboring for the kingdom as an obligation, we miss out on the worshipful sacrifice we give back tot he Lord as we steward the gifts he has given us.
The motivation for serving God is not because he said so, but because God himself served us.
This is how we have gospel centered service in our lives.
God became a man in Jesus Christ and came to this earth for the sole purpose of saving sinners.
Consider the wonder of the incarnation. God himself stooped down from his heavenly dwelling where he was worshiped by glorious angels that would make us want to die if we were to see them to come to earth and live life like us. Dealing with all the frustrations and brokenness in our world all so that he might show his love for us.
We remember what Jesus said in even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus served God worshipfully, humbly, sacrificially, and beneficially because he laid down his life for us on the cross. He took all our sin upon himself, suffered under the wrath of God so that when we put our faith in him and his resurrection we are forgiven of our sins, freed from living our own selfish, small, sinful lives, and are called to live in the Kingdom of God.
Not only to enjoy its benefits of eternal life, but to labor alongside God so that more people might be ushered into the kingdom.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
God gave us eternal life and reconciled us to himself and also gave us, that is the church, the ministry of reconciliation. Paul even goes so far to say that God entrusted it to us and that as we labor for God’s kingdom alongside other Christians in the church, God makes his appeal to lost sinners through us so that they might have eternal life.
Jesus showed us what it means to serve God in a way that glorifies him.
He saw it as an act of worship saying For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
He served God humbly like we say saying how he came not to be served but to serve.
He
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The reason we can serve God is because he served us
By Serving others we are serving God because we are serving them for his purposes
Because Jesus did this every Christian is called to Serve him the same way
Because God has given us such a high calling and responsibility, every single Christian must strive to use their gifts to serve the purposes of the kingdom seeing that...

Serving God Requires the Whole Body

Nehemiah names names as he is recounting who labored on the wall to build God’s kingdom on the earth and the fact that God remembers in his word individuals who are not heroes of the faith shows us that every single one of us has our part to play in this church.
The church is not a building or an organization, it is us together. We are all a part of this body and it is only by each of us playing our part that Paul says the body is able to build itself up in love.
In other words, it is only when every member sees their participation in the body as necessary and joyfully serves God by serving the church and other brothers and sisters that God’s kingdom grows in his church.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
We see a couple things here. First, Paul encourages the Corinthians to not withhold their gifts from the body simply because it isn’t necessarily their preference.
Just because you are not a hand or an eye, does not mean the church does not need your gifts to help the body as a whole grow in our discipleship.
Likewise, we must see that our local body is not by chance. God has sovereignly arranged our church to accomplish the purposes he has for us today.
But that will only happen if we all play our part in the kingdom.
It is crucial because without each one of us, the church doesn’t function and the gates of hell aren’t pushed back in the lives of those needing to be saved.
It is crucial that we all play our part in the church because without each one of us, the church doesn’t function as it should and the gates of hell aren’t pushed back in the lives of those needing to be saved.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
We labor together not just to have different ministries at this church. If that is what we are doing, then that is a foolish errand.
No we labor together to push back the gates of hell in our lives and the lives of others who need Jesus.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
When most people read this verse they assume that the church is on the defensive as if Hell is attacking the church and we are just trying to survive long enough for Jesus to return.
But Jesus says that it is Hell’s gates that are on the defensive. The church is to be laboring for the kingdom so that more might be saved. Not sitting content in these walls while a whole world perishes in their sin.
And how the church goes on the attack against satan’s kingdom is through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church can only do this effectively when every member plays their part.

Application: Where Is God Asking You to Join Him In His Work?

Let me ask it another way How are you serving the church to build God’s kingdom on earth?
2.
What is the part that God has given you to play? Are you a part of this body? How are serving the body so that more people may have their life changed by the gospel.
Most of our church serves the Lord faithfully. You are a hard laboring church which we as elders could not be more grateful for so if you are serving faithfully, let me ask you, do you see and live out your service for the kingdom in these ways?
Are you serving worshipfully, humbly, and sacrificially so that you and others may be benefitted by God’s gifts to you?
My encouragement to you is to not be content for your serving the church whether that is on a serve team, loving and serving another member of the body, or sharing your faith with a friend or coworker, to just be something you do, but to see it as an act of worship and one of the ways you are actively participating in the Great Commission.
And if you aren’t serving the church to further the work of God’s kingdom, I think you need to seriously consider who’s kingdom are you really living for?
Is it the Lord’s or have you shrunk your life down to the size of your preferences and desires?
I think repentance for you looks like signing up for a serve team to help our church bear witness to the truth of the gospel to a world that desperately needs Jesus.
if youre serving See your service as these things
If you aren’t serving See your call to serveice to join these things
This is how we serve God together as God’s people accomplishing the work he has called us to as a body. You can still serve others in your life

1. Serving God

2. Serving the Body

3. Serving Your Neighbor

Conclusion

The people of Israel saw it as their responsibility to serve God and his kingdom with their lives.
They didn’t leave it to just Nehemiah or the other leaders to do all the heavy lifting while they sat back and enjoyed the show and the benefits of living in a safe and established Jerusalem.
Each one saw that they had a crucial role to play in God’s kingdom and today God grows his kingdom in the world through the church.
The principle of shows us that every Christian must commit to a local church and steward their gifts in a way that promotes and advances the different ministries God has called the church to do.
And as we looked at different lessons from the people in , we shouldn’t just serve and live for God’s kingdom out of obligation or guilt, but because we see it as an act of worship when we humbly and sacrificially, “God, I want my life to matter. I want it to be used by you to save sinners. Will you help me to benefit others by serving your kingdom in your church, and God will you use our church to advance your kingdom in Northwest Arkansas and the world.”
Let’s pray.
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord.
Scripture reading:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Gate of Yeshanah. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, the seat of the governor of the province Beyond the River. Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah repaired. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.
13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall, as far as the Dung Gate.
Marks of the True Christian
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem, repaired the Dung Gate. He rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
15 And Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the city of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool, and as far as the house of the mighty men. 17 After him the Levites repaired: Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, repaired for his district. 18 After him their brothers repaired: Bavvai the son of Henadad, ruler of half the district of Keilah. 19 Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at the buttress. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22 After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, repaired. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the buttress and to the corner.25  Palal the son of Uzai repaired opposite the buttress and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh 26 and the temple servants living on Ophel repaired to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. 27 After him the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.
28 Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, repaired. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah repaired opposite his chamber. 31 After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. 32 And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
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