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Going to Extremes (Part 2)

Nehemiah 3:15-25 and James 5;7-11

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can also download our service at Baptist-Christian at iTunes. I found this outline as part of a series by a pastor, and it caught my heart! I have “borrowed” his outline and added my thoughts. Last week we learned that working for the Lord can be extreme to say the least. But as the commercials say “but wait, there’s more!” The next five gates offer more insight to working for the Lord.

    1. THE FOUNTAIN GATE (15-25) shows us extreme example! In 2:14 we learn this gate was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt from the foundation. The Nehemiah in this passage is not the author of the book. Also notice in verse 20 Eliashib rebuilt the Sheep Gate, which was some distance from his house. We don’t know why he was gone, but we do learn others covered for him while he was ministering elsewhere! There are always those who are anxious to see God’s servants fail at ministry. God knows who they are and keeps perfect records. It is also true that there are always those who are ready to take up the slack and help the work move forward. If you are an Eliashib, keep up the good work!
    2. THE WATER GATE (26, 27) is an example of extreme effort! Remember these men also rebuilt the Fish Gate. It was their leaders who thought they were too good to work. These people finished their part of the wall, then looked around to see who else they could help – even though their ungodly leaders wouldn’t! Often times God uses such people to pick up the slack when those in leadership positions fail. A “noble” wife often leads her family spiritually because her husband has abdicated his responsibilities. Every local church ought to be thankful for those people like the Tekoaites!
    3. THE HORSE GATE (28) is an example of extreme appreciation! There is no reason to believe that just because of this major building program worship and ministry ceased while the priests rebuilt their part of the wall. The point? In many local churches today the pastor, and his wife, are expected to be involved up to their necks in every little thing that happens with their church. If it can be dubbed ministry, they are expected to be doing it or be the driving force behind it. All this must happen with a smile on their faces while eking by on pocket change! I am so thankful as the pastor of this local church because that is nowhere near the way we are treated. My wife and I are richly blessed and our people are workers with us and care for us very well!
    4. THE EAST GATE (29-30) is an example of extreme faithfulness. The Jews had been captives living in rubble for so many years, they had lost sight of exactly who they were! They developed the attitude, “why worry about it, we are slaves and that’s just the way it is!” Sometimes in order to fix what is broken we must remove some “good” to repair the bad. We must have extreme faith in God as He leads us from brokenness to new life in Christ, even if it means touching some of what isn’t messed up.
    5. THE INSPECTION GATE (31-32) is an example of extreme humility. Many scholars believe this was the “high rent district.” The point here is that even these people got their hands dirty! No Christian should think “help” or “work” are bad four-letter words. Get it!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions call us at (574) 643-9419.

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