Day 17 - May 28, 2019

Doing Your Part
by Brian Plymell
Week 3: Leap Together

Read Nehemiah 3Read this richly detailed chapter slowly enough to notice the phrases describing the people who would tackle this project. Think about the circumstances and put yourself in their sandals. Their emotions...the exhaustion of an 800-mile journey...the intimidating size of the task (and the rocks) ...the summer heat…the lack of experience with wall-building…the opposition.

Think about the ‘protective walls’ in your life or the church that need to be repaired and restored. What unfinished goals, unmet needs, forces/habits, opportunities, unsaved friends or loved ones need your attention? Can you picture God sending you on a mission, like Nehemiah, to restore that wall?

Look at the people God chose to assist Nehemiah. They were not professional wall-builders. What were they?

Priests and Levites (vv. 1,17,18,20,22,28), Perfume-makers (8), Rulers (9,12,14,15,16), Temple servants (31), Goldsmiths (31,32), Merchants (31,32).

These people did not possess construction skills. This was probably a new experience for all of them; they had to learn how to rebuild a wall. However, God used the skills they learned in their professions- attention to detail, servant attitudes, craftsmanship, leadership, efficiency- to accomplish his purpose under Nehemiah’s leadership.

They used those skills to tackle clearing debris, stacking boulders, making repairs, installing beams, doors, bars and bolts, and installing a roof (15). One group even repaired 1,500 feet of wall (13)! This was no easy task. They probably made a lot of mistakes in the first few days. But, from what we can tell, they simply went to work. How do you feel about trying something new?

Unfortunately, some of the nobles would not put their shoulders to the work (5). Were they ‘too busy’ to work hard. Perhaps they didn’t want someone else telling them what to do. Somehow their humbler, hardworking peers found a way to do the hard work. One ruler was able to finish his work with the help of his daughters (12).

God has given all of us different gifts. He will use them as we put them to work, just like the people under Nehemiah’s leadership. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8


Your Leap:
Think about a big purpose God has in store for you...one that will help others and strengthen your faith as well. What gifts or skills do you possess (ask someone who knows you well) that God can use to help you accomplish his purpose?