When The People Have A Mind To Work

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Sept. 9, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 4:1-23

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: On Sunday, Oct. 7, we are having a special day called “Miracle Sunday.” Preparation and participation in that day will symbolize what we are trying to do here as a church. If the Lord allows us to really build a great work here for His glory, it will be through people who are willing to believe God, trust God, and WORK for God.

People are not saved BY their works, but people ARE saved to DO good works (Ephesians 2:10).

If we are going to work, we have got to get the right mindset. We need to have “a mind to work.” I want to encourage you to get this kind of mind in preparation for Miracle Sunday. I want to encourage you to KEEP this attitude throughout our ministry and throughout your lives.

In this message I want to point out three things that take place when the people have a mind to work.



Nehemiah 4:1-3 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 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.

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.

Many saints are just sitting on the premises while singing about standing on the promises. Many of them are going “to the store, to the store, we are servants of credit,” while singing, “to the work, to the work, we are servants of God.” Many of God’s people are singing “I Surrender All” in the invitation, but they are thinking, “I Shall Not Be MOVED.

However, when God’s people make up their minds to DO something for the Lord, they are going to find many things will come up in the way to stop them.

Some of the obstacles will be:

A. The devil

  • He hates God and everything that God is doing.

B. The devil’s crowd

  • Their father is the devil (John 8:44), and they follow his wishes.

C. Deniers

  • People will tell us that we can’t do what we are trying to do for the Lord.

D. Distracters

  • People will try to get us to quit doing our main business — Gospel Light Baptist Church Exists Solely to Exalt the Savior as we Evangelize the Sinner and Edify the Saint — and get involved in something else.

E. Doubters

  • Doubt is just another word for UNBELIEF.
  • Unbelief is a great sin.
  • Unbelief is a great hindrance to the work of God.

F. Deserters

  • All of Jesus’ disciples forsook Him at Calvary.
  • John Mark quit on Paul.
  • Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world (2 Timothy 4:10).

G. Difficulties

  • Many times the winds will be contrary as we sail with the Savior.

H. Discouragements and disappointments

  • We will not achieve every goal.
  • Not every convert will be baptized and live for God.
  • Not every worker will stay in the work.

However, in spite of the obstacles …



Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

Nehemiah 6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

Blessed is the man who turns his stumbling blocks into stepping stones!

The Israelites thought that the giant, Goliath, was too big to fight! David thought that he was too big to MISS (with his sling and stones)!

When the people get a mind to work, there are opportunities to:

A. Believe God together

  • If one person would believe God, God will do great things for HIM.
  • If two people will believe God, God will do great things for THEM.
  • If a CHURCH will believe God, God will do great things for the CHURCH.

B. Beg God together

  • Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

C. Build together

  • God lets us labor WITH Him! (1 Corinthians 3:9)

D. Bind together

  • Don’t let the work divide us!
  • Don’t let the struggles and sweat split us!
  • What an opportunity to UNITE and see God bless!

E. Bring glory to God together

  • John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.



Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

A. If we will send forth the word, the Spirit will do the work

  • It is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesian 6:17).
  • The word of God will do the WORK of God!

B. If we will supply the witness, souls will be won

  • Psalms 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

C. If we will submit our wills, success will be wonderful

  • It will surpass earthly success.
  • Heavenly success is finding the will of God and doing it.

Let’s ask God to help us to have “a mind to work!”

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