Nehemiah led a group of people on a much-needed project—rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It was an important undertaking to get something accomplished for the Lord. There are many principles we can learn from the book of Nehemiah as we try to build the kingdom of God.
First, start with prayer. Before he began the huge task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah “prayed before the God of heaven.” (1:4). If the job is big, you need all the help you can get! Why not ask God to help you?
Second, inspire other people to work together to help you. In chapter 2 we see the phrase “next to him” or “next to them” several times as the text describes how the people worked together to get the job done. What we can do alone pales in comparison to what we can do together.
Then we see that we can expect opposition (Ch.4). Satan never likes for anything to be accomplished for God, so he raises up people to oppose those who work for the Lord. Nehemiah experienced it, and we will also. Let’s be ready to stand against the enemies of the Lord.
Then we see that Nehemiah took time to alleviate the suffering of the poor among God’s people (Ch.5). He understood that you can’t really get anything done if you are neglecting your own people who are in need. The same principle is true in the church today. We can’t answer every request from the community for aid, but we certainly should try to take care of the needs of our own church members.
Next we see that they gave their attention to the Word of God. Nehemiah 8:8 is one of the most important verses in the Bible about preaching—“They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” No group of God’s people will succeed without paying close attention to the Word of God.
Then the people spent significant time confessing their sins to God (9:3). Those who humbly admit their faults go much farther in life than those whose pride will not allow them to say that they have done anything wrong.
Chapter 10 says that the people brought substantial offerings to the Lord. It takes money to spread the Word of God so that his kingdom can grow. Our thoughts should be the same as those in Nehemiah’s day, who said—“…We will not neglect the house of our God.” (10:39b)
Finally, the people celebrated joyfully when the job was finished (12:27). We need to celebrate accomplishments in the church, such as: building projects, baptisms, victories on the mission field, backsliders who have been restored and other such joyful events.
These are just a few principles of building something for God. Let’s make sure that we try to keep these in mind as we work together to build God’s kingdom!