MAY GOD GIVE US ALL A MIND TO WORK
Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, August 1, 1999, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:
MAY GOD GIVE US ALL A MIND TO WORK
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 4:1-11
Text: Nehemiah 4:6
Nehemiah 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
Introduction: This is a verse often used when a church is in a building program. We aren’t actually putting up a building right now, but we are doing a lot of work on the one we bought. This last couple of years has almost been like starting a church from scratch. If it weren’t for some people in our church who had “a mind to work,” we couldn’t be where we are today. I thank God for our workers.
America is quickly becoming a land of lazy people. As a socialist republic in practice, our government is taking the money of the “producers” and distributing it among the “moochers.” This is ENCOURAGING laziness. Welfare is encouraging many people to believe that they are OWED a living simply because they occupy space in our country.
This has affected God’s people in America, as well. Too many Christians need an attitude adjustment. We have developed “a mind to shirk,” when we need “a mind to WORK.”
I. CONSIDER THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THIS ATTITUDE, “A MIND TO WORK”
John 4:34-35 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
A. The way is accessible – “look …”
B. The work is available – “already”
C. The workers are absent
* Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
II. CONSIDER THE ORIGIN OF THIS ATTITUDE, “A MIND TO WORK”
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
A. The Lord Himself within us
* Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
* Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
B. The leadership in the church
* 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
C. The love of Christ
* 2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
D. The laying up of treasure in heaven
* Matthew 6:20-21 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
III. CONSIDER THE OBSTACLES TO THIS ATTITUDE, “A MIND TO WORK”
Nehemiah 4:7-11 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. 9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
. Slanderous critics
* Nehemiah 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
B. Sinful conspirators
* Nehemiah 4:7-8 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
C. Slothful companions
* Nehemiah 4:9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
* When you can’t get Christians to spend a little more time praying, watching, and working, the right attitude is hard to build among God’s people. Attitudes are contagious.
D. Subdued Christians
* Nehemiah 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
* You are always going to have some people in a church who are overwhelmed by the garbage that they see or by the people that they have seen get tired in the work and quit. These Christians who are still there but who are unbelieving and unworking are actually an obstacle to the right kind of mentality among the people of God.
IV. CONSIDER THE OUTCOME OF THIS ATTITUDE, “A MIND TO WORK”
Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
A. People with a mind to work produce fruit
* Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
B. People with a mind to work possess fulfillment
* Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
C. People with a mind to work please the Father
* 1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
D. People with a mind to work plan for the future
* 1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
* 1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.