May 1, Sunday 

UPDATED Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on October 31, 2015.  Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Playing Well Together as a Team”

Nehemiah 3:3-27

The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. [4] And next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired.

Whenever October comes around, I get excited?  Why? It’s the beginning of the NBA season. Despite aging all stars and inexperience, hope springs eternal in every fan’s heart right about now. Several years ago, as I was watching the Los Angeles Lakers play their first game, I noticed something about the play of the modern NBA players: everyone is so selfish. It’s now so rare to see players play for their teammates or sacrificially pass the ball so that someone else will stand out and get the recognition that comes with it. From the star player on the team to the new rookie who needs to prove himself, it just feels like everyone is out to embellish their statistics, perhaps in the hopes of gaining more fame and maybe a bigger contract. 

Our passage today is basically a list of people’s names. It reads much like the book of 1 Chronicles with its long lists of names that are difficult to pronounce, information that seems unneeded, and a chronology that seems insignificant. But here’s the important point, unlike our NBA players today, these are individuals who did their part in building the temple of God by playing well together as a team. 

Don’t underestimate the power of working together. While one talented individual can do great things, a group of dedicated people can do greater things. Sure, Nehemiah showed exceptional ability to organize and mobilize the various people to rebuild the walls, but what’s of note in this passage is how he’s name is not even mentioned. At least for this passage, it’s the men who serve and gave themselves to do their part to accomplish the greater task of rebuilding the wall, God chose to put their names in the Word. 

This chronology of names serves to remind us the New Testament principle that every person is to be involved in ministry because everyone has a job to do. God has given each of us a gift for the purpose of building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). Consider today whether you are a contributor or a consumer when it comes to your local church. If you are contributing, praise God! Continue to do so it with joy and fervor, and without complaining. If you find yourself more of a consumer, pray and ask God to help you find a ministry that is going to strengthen your church. Do it with joy and love. God will be honored in your service to Him. 

Prayer: Father, you have given me so much. Help me take the resources and opportunities you have blessed me with to bless others. May I demonstrate my love for you by honoring the church you died for. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 22

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