The Sword & the Trowel

Dear Mosaic Family,

Have you ever noticed that often, when you resolve to live according to God's will, and work to fulfill God's purpose for your life, you almost immediately encounter opposition? Have you ever noticed how hard it often seems to do the right thing, and live according to God's Word? Of course you have. We all have noticed that apart from the Holy Spirit, we cannot live out the life God has called us to live. Jesus warned us, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." 

As we continue our journey through Nehemiah, we get to Nehemiah 4 tomorrow, one of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture. I love this text so much, because it gives us the perfect illustration of the Christian life. On the one hand, Nehemiah and the people of Israel are working hard to rebuild Jerusalem. On the other hand, they need to be ready to fight the enemy if they were to attack. 

The text says: "Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built" (Nehemiah 4:17-18). Each had a sword and a trowel, to battle and build. 

The image of the sword and the trowel perfectly captures the balance we must find in the Christian life. Christians are always fighting the good fight of faith, resisting the sinful patterns of this world, the flesh, and the devil, but we are also working hard to make disciples, build each other up in love, and being built up as a spiritual house. Build and battle. 

Join us tomorrow as we study Nehemiah 4 and talk about the practical implications of building and battling. 

Praying for you,
Pastor Jan


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