Focal Passage: Nehemiah 7:1-8
My family generally travels around Christmas to visit our family in Alabama. Often, this will result in me missing a Sunday at our church. When this happens, I have one of our other pastors preach. This year was unique. I had asked our worship pastor to preach on the last Sunday of the year. What I did not know was that the back-up worship leader became ill. So, what we decided to do was switch roles for that Sunday. Our worship pastor still preached the sermon, and I led worship. The bottom line was this: there was a need. God had given us the gifts and abilities to meet those needs. So, we just allowed God to use us to serve Him and to meet the needs of our congregation.
Nehemiah had accomplished the primary task God had sent him back to Jerusalem to accomplish: rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.
While the threats of the naysayers and adversaries had not been realized during the rebuilding of the wall, Nehemiah knew there was the potential for ongoing difficulty from Israel’s enemies. The long-term health and security of the nation could not be accomplished by Nehemiah alone. Everyone would have to do their part. Nehemiah challenged the people and appointed them to different tasks. Some were given the task of oversight. Others were given specific responsibilities for securing the gates around the city. Yet, all of the people were serving according to their God-given assignments, in obedience to God’s direction and for the good of God’s community.
God has given gifts and abilities to all His people for the purpose of serving Him. We are simply stewards of those gifts. Every person who is a part of the family of God, the Body of Christ, does not have the same gifts or abilities. That is by God’s design. God’s church functions as He intends when each believer is doing his or her part.
Are you simply coasting along on the service of others? Or, are you actively serving God with the gifts and abilities He has entrusted to you – for the good of God’s people and for the sake of His glory.