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Pastor's Column 4/21/2024

PASTOR’S COLUMN

 

“At last, the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people worked with enthusiasm.” Nehemiah 4:6, NLT

 

“Each One, Contributes Some!”

 

In his wonderful and classic book, Hand me Another Brick, Dr. Charles Swindoll examined the narrative of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Although Nehemiah was a cup bearer for the king, he became a great leader of the Jews who had returned to a devastated Jerusalem, from Babylonian exile. Swindoll says irrespective of Nehemiah’s title; the qualities of his character – and the gifts God gave him, motivated the people to complete the entire width of the wall in a relatively short time. For sure, more work had to be done; but that accomplishment was quite a feat. We can imagine, as Swindoll does, each person handing a brick off to the other, so that each brick could be strategically placed. Without a single brick, there would not have been a completed wall. As a sturdy wall stands because it is composed of intricately laid parts; so we stand and fulfill a great purpose within the body of Christ. As no brick is less important than the other; so is each person who is a part of what the Apostle calls, “God’s building.” Not a physical building of bricks and mortar; but the lives of redeemed and transformed people, who by faith in Jesus Christ represent His physical presence and mission in the world. Peter, perhaps thinking about Nehemiah’s narrative, referred to Christians as “living stones.” A great Christian witness is what we become; as we commit ourselves to fulfilling Christ’s mission on earth. A salient point in Nehemiah’s narrative, is that whatever we do in God’s work, also is an expression of our spiritual character. A major part of the task performed by the people in rebuilding the infrastructure in Jerusalem, was because “they worked with enthusiasm.” In the KJV translation the verse reads, “for the people had a mind to work.” Great tasks, do involve many hands. When we, as much as hand a brick to restore the wall, we become blessed as well. The wise king said: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25, KJV). We need each other. Christ needs all believers!

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