And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that
the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Nehemiah 2:18
I am really enjoying going through Nehemiah. I try to think about how the people must have felt when they thought about the task of rebuilding and repairing the walls around Jerusalem. There was so much work to be done with all the destruction of the previous wall and years of the stones lying in ruins. Can you imagine how their thinking began to change when Nehemiah told them about how God had been working in all the circumstances that allowed him to come to Jerusalem and the supplies that were going to be made available to him. I bet there were a few key leaders who caught the vision and began to think…“with God’s help, we might be able to do this.”
I believe God delights in doing things that we often assume is impossible or highly unlikely. It was unlikely that a little shepherd boy named David could defeat a nine-foot giant called Goliath. It was unlikely that Daniel would survive a night in the lion’s den or for Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego to survive a fiery furnace. It was unlikely that a bunch of uneducated fishermen would turn the world upside down with the gospel. I loved what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” The folks in Jerusalem caught Nehemiah’s vision and realized that “with God’s help, we might be able to do this.”
What I love about the rebuilding of the wall in Nehemiah is that the people had a mind to work and they rolled up their sleeves (maybe robes) and got it done. So, the past couple of weeks I have asked some people, “Who is your one?” Some have looked at me with the deer in the headlight look. I don’t mean to shame anybody with that question. However, I really think we should all have somebody we are praying for to be saved. If you don’t know a lost person, you need to get out of your comfort zone a little and realize the fields are ripe unto harvest. I’m not asking you to be a full-time evangelist (which would be cool) but simply to pray for one person around you and seek to talk to them about the gospel. We have about 150 names we are praying for. We had 582 at church on Sunday. That means that less than a third are participating in “Who’s Your One?”
Imagine if Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and they only rebuilt a portion of the wall. We would conclude that Nehemiah had some leadership deficiencies. A partial wall would have been useless in providing security for Jerusalem. If we don’t meet our goal of 52 baptisms this year, I won’t be nearly as disheartened as I will be if I can’t get a majority of Burlington Baptist members to at least be praying for a lost friend, relative, associate or neighbor. I’m not sure you can be a follower of Jesus and not have a heart for what Jesus had a heart for. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” We don’t have to guess about Jesus’ desire to save the lost.
So, “Who’s Your One?” Go ahead and pick somebody whom you think God is unlikely to save. He loves to do what we think might be almost impossible. Pick your one and start praying (really praying). Ask God to give you an opportunity to speak to them about Jesus (or at least invite them to church). I believe that you will likely be surprised as to how God might begin to work in his/her life and how He might begin to stir your heart for the lost. Yes, I’m praying for 52 and “with God’s help, we might be able to do this.” We will baptize number 4 this week. “Who’s Your One?”