Jesus died shouting the words 'It is finished,' He prayed, telling that Father that he had completed the work he had been given to do. Here in Nehemiah chapter 6 the wall is built. Nehemiah has completed the task he set out to do. That isn't the end of the story, but as far as the wall is concerned it is 'job done.'
Lots of people get enthusiastic about Jesus and about church, but meet them a while later and they are saying things like, 'I haven't lost my faith but ...' Too often we lack the staying power to complete the work God has given us.
Nehemiah is a great example of someone who will not give up until the job is completed. He says he is involved in a great project and he won't step down from it. If we want to complete anything it will help if we see it as a great project, as something that is worthy of our energy. I'm not talking here about a feeling that we 'ought' to do something; I am talking about a passion that works deeply within us. I hope you believe, as I do, that church is a great project.
I take my hat off to people who are prepared to train for months or years to run marathons, to become doctors or to master a musical instrument. But I also admire those who like Nehemiah believe in the big story of God and commit their lives to it.
Nehemiah shows at least three characteristics of people who get the job done.
1. He refuses to be distracted. He knows his mission and no one can deflect him from it.
2. He behaves properly, so that people who spread rumours about him will not have a leg to stand on.
3. When he succeeds he gives the glory to God. Because it was always about God.
More on Sunday …