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Throughout Nehemiah 3, we note the phrases "next to him" and "next to them" (see Nehemiah 3:2-10, 3:17-24, 3:27-31). This chapter is a list, a documentation of the work that was done by everyone—side by side—around the entire perimeter of Jerusalem as they labored to rebuild the walls. Nehemiah had divided the people into groups, and he stationed those groups at the different gates around the city. Where one group of builders left off, another began.
This is the principle of consolidation. Nehemiah brought together many separate parts into a single unified whole—a unified force for rebuilding the city. The people worked side by side, hand by hand, leaving no gap between them.
The people worked side by side, hand by hand, leaving no gap between them.
Similarly, when we do God's work, when we build together as Christians, we must stand side by side and hand by hand, leaving no gaps. This does not mean that we necessarily agree with each other on every issue, but it does mean that we love each other, accept each other, and cooperate with each other. We must never forget that we are co-laborers with Christ, and we are working as a consolidated force, building together under the direction and leadership of God.
Under Nehemiah's leadership, there was an amazing diversity of groups working to rebuild the gates; the high priest was doing gritty, strenuous manual labor right alongside the lowly temple servants. There were powerful politicians working alongside merchants and craftspeople. However, there were some noblemen that would not join the work.
We see this dichotomy in the church today—hardworking, good-hearted Christians who are eager to serve the Lord and serve others in any way they can, plus a number who prefer to sit and watch others work. But Jesus did not build His church to be an arena for spectators. He has consolidated us into a single unified force for change. And we need everyone!
Our job is nothing less than rebuilding the walls of our culture, the walls of our church, and the walls of broken lives around us. We have the message of eternal life and the privilege and responsibility of sharing the Good News with those who are lost. We cannot sit this out. The stakes are too high. The task too urgent. Let us leave no gaps between us as we labor for the lost.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the amazing privilege of bringing Your Gospel to those suffering in the rubble of the world. Help me to serve You diligently alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).