Nehemiah heard about the state of the beloved city - the walls were broken down and the gates destroyed by fire.
Do we see our current state of affairs? The walls are crumbling and fire is devouring our gates. Darkness is beginning to cover our land, our cities, our communities and our nation. Thick darkness.
We ought to be completely reconciled to God through the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We ought to be ambassadors of reconciliation to a world that is growing in hostility toward God, the Good News of Jesus Christ and His righteousness.
We ought to be making skilled followers who can reproduce other skilled followers. We ought to be making disciples at home and extending to all nations... baptizing them and teaching them all things that Christ has commanded. We ought to be seeing God's Kingdom advance - impacting every area of our lives, city, community and nation!
We are not.
Nehemiah heard about the state of the beloved city; he repented. He wept and fasted for days.
We ought to be repenting for all that separates us from God.
We ought to be mourning the state of many in the Kingdom: Self-satisfied. Complacent. Unrighteous. We ought to mourn over the the state of our city, our community and the state of our nation.
We ought to be weeping and fasting.
Nehemiah presented his grief to the King asking, in utter humility, if he could work to restore the walls of the beloved city.
We ought to be presenting our grief to the King. We ought to, in humility, offer to the King ourselves and our service for The Great Work of restoring our city and our nation.
We ought to be requesting from the King both resources and His support to rebuild.
Nehemiah received favor and help from the King.
Our King has likewise promised His favor and support to extend His Kingdom: the multiplying of people submitted to his Lordship and His tangible influence in our lives, our laws, our government, and the lives of all around us.
Nehemiah quietly examined the state of the walls. He understood what it would take to rebuild. He planned the work to build the walls and restore the gates.
The walls of truth are crumbling around us.
The gates that hold back immorality are being destroyed.
Ungodliness of all types is multiplying.
Social and family order are eroding.
Culture is changing before our very eyes, from familiar to foreign.
We ought to be missionaries learning to be effective in these strange and foreign cultures.
We ought to be able to respond to the new opportunities for service as society decays around us.
We ought to be lights set on a hill.
We ought to be salt in everything we touch.
We ought to be a real help in this time of growing need.
We ought to be providing both services to gather for worship AND service to the multiplying real needs around us.
Are we examining the walls? Are we understanding what it will take to rebuild?
Are we planning The Great Work of rebuilding the walls and restoring the gates of our community and nation?
Nehemiah called the people to labor. Each worked, according to his skill, on his section of the wall.
We ought to be calling each and every person under His Lordship to sanctify and prepare themselves for The Great Work.
We ought to call them to cease serving themselves and to labor for the King in The Great Work.
We ought to be placing people, according to their skill, to do their part in rebuilding.
And so, they joined for The Great Work of rebuilding the wall.
We ought to realize that some are building their own walls and gates without regard to the walls and gates of His Kingdom Too many labor to establish their own kingdoms.
We ought to realize that the body of Christ is not joined together for The Great Work. We ought to realize that we are not training and releasing workers to their tasks of rebuilding city, community and nation.
We ought to realize that the rebuilding cannot happen without skilled workers.
We ought to do whatever is necessary to build our skills.
We ought to join together and commit to The Great Work of rebuilding
We the undersigned commit to making disciples at home, extending to our nation and then to all nations... baptizing them and teaching them all things that Christ commanded. We commit to tangible service, in the name of Christ. We commit...
To see, in truth, the current state of affairs.
To weep and fast.
To create a plan for The Great Work of rebuilding the walls and restoring the gates.
To join together for The Great Work.
To engage all to apply their time and skills for The Great Work.
To work with skill and understanding, keeping fellowship in humility, guarding ourselves from opposers and keeping our camp holy.
We agree to join together for The Great Work of rebuilding our city, our community, extending the Kingdom of God throughout our nation and then to the world.