This week, Pastor John hands o
What Are You Doing?
Hello Church Family,
When was the last time you stopped to ask yourself, “What am I doing?” Okay, I’m not talking about when you go to another room to get something and over the course of seconds suddenly can’t remember why you even got out of your chair. I’m talking about asking ourselves the deeper question of how we are using and investing our lives for Christ.
If you are a believer, you are a part of the body of Christ. You have been gifted by God with abilities and strengths that are needed by the body. Everybody has a part to play and every part is important. These are truths that we learn throughout the New Testament in places like Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4.
We see this principle of doing God’s work together played out in real life in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. (This is where we are currently studying in Women of the Word.) Nehemiah led the people of Israel in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed when they were conquered and taken captive due to their sin and rebellion. But because of God’s steadfast love, he brought his people back and enabled them to rebuild.
In Nehemiah 3 we learned that:
God’s work requires the participation of all God’s people.
There is a saying about church life that unfortunately holds true much of the time: That 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. But that’s not God’s plan. His plan is for all of us to play a part in his work.
The rebuilding of the walls began with the high priest and priests beginning the work. But there was no way they could accomplish the task alone. Everyone was needed. So next to the priests the men of Jericho built. And next to them another clan built. And next to them another family. And the list goes on and on (complete with names I can never pronounce). Each man and his family is seen building a section of the wall side by side.
Listed by family, geography, or trade, many were called to serve in ways that didn’t line up with their experiences. I doubt those perfume makers had a lot of practice with a mortar and trawl. There are even women included in the list who stepped in to build where needed. Often God calls us to serve outside our comfort zones. But they gave themselves to doing God’s work.
God’s work requires we serve cooperatively and simultaneously:
Nehemiah 3 itemizes some 40 different sections of wall that needed to be rebuilt, each with its own construction challenges. Time was of the essence. There were breaches in the walls and enemies all around. Lives were at stake. They all had to work at the same time. There had to be a coordinated plan so that when they reached a certain designated point along the wall, the other team would be there to meet them.
We see this dynamic of serving cooperatively and simultaneously here at Northpoint. Our Student Ministry is working to build up our youth in their faith in Christ. The Choir devotes themselves to guiding us in worship. Small groups are meeting throughout the week living life-on-life together. We have missions teams traveling around the world. Our Children’s Ministry teaches the gospel while hearts are tender. We have so many new babies here!—and our nursery provides loving arms to hold them. We have individuals coordinating the many prayer requests of our church family. And there’s AWANA, GriefShare, ESL, the quilters in Pieces of Love, support for our widows, and the list goes on!
Together we each take our place around the wall as the body of Christ and we build. Because eternal lives are at stake.
As we each work in our individual areas of ministry, we need to be continually mindful of the big picture, vigilantly guarding against competing with one another. Our purpose together is to do God’s work, to be his light, and to share his love.
In the 17th century, Sir Christopher Wren was the architect and master of works in the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
There is an often-told story of a man who came to survey the work. He asked various artisans, “What are you doing?” One man answered, “I’m laying an ornate mosaic floor.” Another said, “I’m leading up the glass for the beautiful stained glass window. Still another answered, “I’m constructing the magnificent domed ceiling.” The man wandered into a remote, utilitarian area where few would ever enter and found a young man chiseling a simple stone. “What are you doing?” the man asked.
The worker answered, “I am helping Sir Christopher Wren build St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Northpoint doesn’t exist to have the biggest congregation, the most dynamic youth group, or the best women’s retreat. We are helping the Lord Jesus Christ to build his church. That’s what we should always be doing as believers.
So . . . what are you doing? If you need help finding a place to stand on the wall and build with us, let us know. It would be our privilege to help and encourage you to join in God’s work.
Serving him together,