Episode 78 - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Mission: Lessons from Nehemiah 3
In this episode, Jen and AJ bring to you Nehemiah chapter three, which is a list of Hebrew names. What does that mean for you? A lot! They talk about their findings as they studied it, and how God uses ordinary people just like you and me to do His kingdom work.
Jen and AJ start the episode today with a hilarious story about a time Jen thought she was significantly underdressed for a wedding. A lot of us can relate to the feeling of being underdressed for something, and you’ll likely relate to the people that we are gonna be talking about in the book of Nehemiah today.
This month, we are talking about the fascinating book of Nehemiah and today especially, Nehemiah chapter 3.
This chapter is pretty much a list of all of these different people with different roles and different socioeconomic statuses. They have different jobs, different titles, and yet they're all working together for one common mission.
We see this beautiful picture of our differences not mattering when we have the commonality of a goal in mind.
We see this in the New Testament as well in the body of Christ. We're different members, but we're all part of the same body, and that means that no one of us is any better than anybody else.
This is a good example of how the entire word of God is important for our lives because even a chapter like Nehemiah 3 with just a list of names can speak to us in such a powerful way if we allow the Holy Spirit to do that.
If you go into it with an attitude of prayer and an attitude of “Yes, all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching”, then this scripture is something you can get something out of because God will speak to us.
Jerusalem’s wall, as we mentioned in our last episode, was being rebuilt. Rebuilding this wall was significant, not just for the people, but to represent the God that they served. (Go back to Episode 77 if you haven't had a chance to listen yet!)
They knew this wasn't just a rebuilding of a wall. This wasn’t just them getting back to their city. This wasn't just about their identity as Jews.
This was about restoring the reputation that they had as the people of God. And ultimately to reflect His glory to the nations.
The mission was not just to build a wall, but to proclaim God to the nations.
We're not building an actual wall, but we are living lives in a community with others that are different from us in many ways, but yet together we are building the kingdom of God.
Our mission is to glorify God and to point men and women to the gospel.
Recognizing what our mission is to help us to walk side by side with those people who we may not necessarily even get along with.
This chapter also shows us that sometimes we must do things that are not glamorous.
Not glamorous, but necessary.
We need to understand as servants of Jesus Christ, no matter what capacity we are serving in, it can be easy to think and to believe that we have to have a big platform or a following, or a big ministry or something significant to be influential.
But that is not true. We've just read this here, but all over scripture, God teaches us that the one who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.
And we need to be proven that we can be trusted with little, that we can be trusted in those undesirable tasks.
We especially see it in the life of David. God's path was to cultivate that character in those small things, in the details and in proving that he had the character, that he had the humility, that he have the discipline, that he was willing to sacrifice in those small things. It then opened the door for bigger things. Same for us.
Maybe you're on the other side of the spectrum, maybe you feel like your life has been just a series of small things.
Listen to this: being faithful is just as important. So you may never see a great, huge impact. You may never see the impact that you play. Maybe you never grow to be a great big old church, but you are being faithful in what God has given you. And in doing that, you are still making an eternal deposit in the lives of people, and you don't know what the end result of that is gonna be.
We only see the seed that we plant. So, we just wanna encourage you that no matter where you are on this spectrum, If you are doing it faithfully and you are trying your very best to obey God you are making an eternal impact.
1 Corinthians 4:2, says, “it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” This verse does not tell us it's required of stewards to be successful or to produce at a certain level. The one thing required from us is to be faithful.
We really do not believe that God allows us to see most of the fruit of our faithfulness. He is doing things with your obedience that you do not have privy to. You don't know what he's doing, and we have to trust that our faithfulness is creating spiritual fruitfulness in the lives of others.
Moral of the story: Stay on mission, stay on task. When we're giving those little glimpses into what the work He does through using us, that's a beautiful thing, but regardless of whether you're in a moment where you recognize that or not, right now, stay on mission.
The most important thing about you if you are trusting in Christ is that you are a daughter of the king. And that is the most important thing about every believer. And you can walk side by side knowing that you are sisters in Christ, brothers and sisters in Christ, working together for the mission, doing whatever is required of you faithfully and with the knowledge that God is going to be with you in it.
He is going to be glorified and He will do a mighty work through your faithfulness.
We encourage you to read Nehemiah chapter 3 today. And If you want to dig a little deeper, we're studying it in Sojo Academy: sojoacademy.com/nehemiah-study.
But remember that your work is important! God uses you to build the wall. He uses you for the mission. Sometimes he does things miraculously, sometimes he just does it because his people just plot along. And that's important to keep in mind.
We'll see you next week.
If you wanna study Nehemiah with us, this is the perfect time to jump on board Sojo Academy. Let’s do it together! sojoacademy.com
Study the Book of Nehemiah in more depth with a 4-week Bible Study Bundle with a full Bible Study, a printable Bible journaling kit, Scripture reading and writing plan, and BONUS videos FIND IT HERE.
- Become a Sojo Academy member: a community for Christian women that encourages Bible Study, fellowship, and creative worship. CHECK IT OUT HERE.
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