December 18, 2013
READ: Nehemiah 3:1-32
Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house (v.28).
You might be in one of those times in life where you’re not sure what to do. Do I go to school? Do I get a job or pursue another career? In his book The Way I Was Made, songwriter Chris Tomlin writes, “Right now, the God who made you knows your heart, knows your desires, your strengths, your limitations . . . and this God has only good in mind for your future.” Chris points to Jeremiah 29:11 which reveals that God has good plans for us.
You might not know the next step to take, but take some counsel from Nehemiah and the wall builders (sounds like a rock band!). Nehemiah had received permission from King Artaxerxes of Persia to return to Jerusalem to oversee the continued rebuilding of the city that Ezra had started decades before (Ezra 1:2-4; Nehemiah 2:1-6). He and other formerly exiled members of God’s people returned and tackled the rebuilding of the city walls first (vv.17-19).
I’m guessing this crew must have felt overwhelmed—not sure what to do upon arrival. They could have been paralysed by indecision and the unknown that lay ahead. But here’s what happened: regardless of their backgrounds or abilities, they simply joined in and served. They had the high priest and other priests (3:1,22,28), a city leader and his daughters (v.12), goldsmiths (vv.8,31-32), other merchants (v.32) and even a man who worked with perfumes (v.8), all hoisting rocks and digging in the debris. And, as they worked with all their heart, something amazing happened—the crew rebuilt the entire wall in just 52 days! (6:15).
Regardless of where you are in life, you’re part of Jesus’ kingdom-building work. Your next opportunity might be simply “across from [your] own house” or with that team at church. Serve God with all you have wherever you are today (Colossians 3:23). —Tom Felten
Note the differing people groups and the common bond that allowed them to build one another up in Colossians 3:11.
What can you do for Jesus today, even as you face questions about some big issues in life? How can questions and indecision keep us from serving Jesus with all our heart?