Sunday, August 26, 2007

“So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6 NKJV)
While reading through the exciting story of Nehemiah recently, I was reminded again of this principle. You remember Nehemiah, the Jewish leader whose passion for Jerusalem drove him to leave the security of his home and job in Persia to superintend the building of a protective wall around Zion. What a project! And what obstacles stood against him! But the job got done in record time. Why? Nehemiah stated the reason in his journal entry: “So we built the wall . . . for the people had a mind to work” (Neh. 4:6).Check the margin of your Bible. The term translated “mind” is the Hebrew word for “heart.” Another word for it might be “courage.” In fact, they are related.

“The people were enthusiastic in their work” is how the NET Bible puts it. The New Living Translation reads, “For the people had worked very hard”. As I have spent time working to assist the church staff lately in cleaning and rearranging things to be a little more organized, I have been overwhelmed and frankly embarrassed with this one thought:
The main qualification to serve God and build His Kingdom, whether it’s spiritually or physically, is a heart’s desire to serve.

God desires for all His servants to be faithful above all things. Faithful to do what……? Serve with a willing heart has to be one thing that pleases our DADDY. Can the Pastor count on you and me to say yes and then show up when there is a need? Can the church secretary count upon helpers to assist her with a large mailing? Can the janitorial and maintenance staff count on a few good members (not necessarily but ideally men) to assist with clean-up, moving, or projects such as painting, mopping, and moving heavy loads?

We offer so many excuses:
• The church has a paid staff.
• That’s not my job.
• I am not qualified.
• Someone else will volunteer.
• They have enough help.
• I don’t have time.

Are any of these excuses your excuses? I won’t tell you how many I have used, if not all of them at one time or another. But the bottom line is this: We are not doing it to please the church body, the Pastor, or anyone else. We’re doing it unto the Lord. He doesn’t need our help, but He would enjoy our participation! We don’t need specific skills all the time, just a mind a heart and the courage to say “Yes”. As a prophet of old exclaimed when God searched for a willing servant, “Here I am Lord, send me! Send me to do what we may ask; to do the mopping, cleaning, vacuuming, painting, washing, typing, sorting, copying, greeting, teaching, baby sitting, cooking!

More often than not, WHEN I AM WILLING, GOD MAKES ME ABLE! Let’s try it!

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