Friday, February 3, 2012

What does it take to turn VISION TO VICTORY? Part V

It Takes a Person of Prayer.  Nehemiah 1:4-11

It Takes A Burden. Nehemiah 2:1-8

It Takes A Vision   Nehemiah 2:11-20

It Takes a Cooperative Labor. Nehemiah 3:1-2
Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel. Next to him the men of Jericho built, and next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built. Nehemiah 3:1-2

The selected verses above are merely a sample of the record of those who joined hands and hearts to rebuild the wall.  People of all classes joined hands to work. Knowing it together is not like Doing it together.  

·      There is fellowship with one another in labor.  Some of the most joyful experiences many believers have had are when they gathered to raise the walls on a new church or just scrub the floors of an old one. When people unite for a task they share the burden and experience many wonderful things.
·      There is expectation of and appreciation for one another in labor.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I wouldn't have your job for anything.”  The passage goes on to say they were diligent in their task.  "They took off their clothes only to wash."  This is a picture of the church at its best in service and fellowship turning vision to victory.

·      So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6"  The greatest asset of any organization or effort is a willingness on the part of people to work.

It takes a Commitment to Sacrifice. Nehemiah 5

·      Unequal sacrifice created problems. v.1-11
To work on the wall, some had to work their fields less.  The result was a food shortage in some of the families.  Many remained faithful to their part of the commitment but were taken advantage of by their Jewish brothers. 

It’s no secret that 20% of the people give 80% of the money in churches.  The labor force is often the same.  It’s easy to get discouraged when others don’t carry their share of the load. 

·      Leadership sets the example. v.12-14
Then they said, "We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say." So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. I also shook out the front of my garment and said, "Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And all the assembly said, "Amen!" And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise. Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, for twelve years, neither I nor my kinsmen have eaten the governor's food allowance. 
The people know who leaders are by example - not position.  People learn best through example.  “Do as I do” is the true method of leadership.  The example of Nehemiah encouraged the people.

The lessons of the building of the wall are important lessons for any church.  As God gives you a burden and a task, remember the work of Nehemiah.

Scripture to Claim: I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5

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