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A United Effort

Today’s Scripture: Nehemiah 3-4
Read it online at the Bible Gateway: (NIV) (NASB) (KJV) (The Message)

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes, establish the work of our hands”. – Psalm 90:17

I was sitting aboard a 747 preparing to take off for Seoul, Korea. Out the window I could see mechanics making last-minute inspections. The officers in the cockpit were going through their checklist. The flight attendants were helping everyone get settled. The baggage handlers were getting our suitcases on board. The people in the tower were busy preparing our take-off clearance. It was a huge, unified effort.

That’s what we see in Nehemiah, chapters 3 and 4. It took each man doing his own part to build the wall of Jerusalem. But it also took the vision and motivation of leaders throughout the project to stir up the people and help them jump into the job with enthusiasm.

Nehemiah 3:1 says that “the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate.” Imagine that! Holy priests doing common labor! But verse 5 mentions a section of the wall repaired by the men of Tekoa, whose nobles “would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.”

My wife and I were having dinner with some long-time friends of ours, along with two young men. Just before dessert, one young man excused himself and went to the kitchen to help clean up. The other young man just sat there. He was a graduate of one of our service academies, but he had flunked the test of true leadership.

Even the King of kings, Jesus Christ, did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Service takes many forms, some highly visible and some behind the scenes. But each type is essential for the work of God.


Lord, keep me from thinking I’m above the lowly tasks that come my way. Amen.

To Ponder

There is multiplicity in Christ’s kingdom; to promote someone else’s welfare is to be a good leader.