A Mind to Work

Date written: 1/1/06

SUBJECT: Christian Work

TITLE: A Mind to Work

PROPOSITION: Having a mind to work is having a mind that 1) Recognizes a need to work, 2) Desires to work regardless of personal interests, and 3) Will work even under adverse circumstances.

OBJECTIVE: That each would resolve to do more work for the Lord in this New Year and have “a mind to work.”

Aim: To encourage all to have a mind to work for this New Year.


1. Read: Nehemiah 4:6

2. About the Text:

1) Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem.

2) It was there that they began to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

3) The Samaritans opposed the work of rebuilding the walls.

4) Yet the Jewish people had a mind to work and the criticisms did not stop them.

5) So we read that the work progressed and they built the walls.

3. About the Sermon

1) When we think about work, we usually think about our jobs.

2) Work isn’t necessarily something that many enjoy doing. Some do, but many don’t.

3) Work is man’s punishment for Adam’s sin according to Genesis 3:17-19.

4) But in contrast to the “physical” work that we do, God has a spiritual work for his people.

5) This work is a labor of love, not a labor of necessity.

6) We do this work because of our love for God and His kingdom.

4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: “A mind to work” is a mind that . . .

I.   Recognizes a need to work.

1. There is always a need to work.

1) The Lord has given us his commission. Matthew 28:18-20

2) We have mission work to be done.

3) But we have work to do in our own back yard as well.

4) All nations includes OUR nation!

5) The church here exists and will continue to exist ONLY if we do the work.

6) The eldership here has a program of work for this year.

a. We have work to do with our youth.

b. We have work to do to with the elderly.

c. We have the work of benevolence to do.

d. We have the work of evangelism to do.

2. We need to do the work before us.

1) There are those who recognize what needs to be done and do it.

2) If we only do things when we are told to do them, we don’t have a mind to work.

3) We need to work regardless of whether someone tells us to or not.

4) Ecclesiastes 9:10a states, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;”

5) Don’t wait around for someone to tell you; just get busy and do the work!

6) Leaders need to encourage folks to work in the areas they desire to work in.

3. We need to encourage our leaders to do their work as well.

1) The greatest encouragement that a leader can have is for those who follow to work!

2) We need to ask our leaders how we can be involved.

3) And then we need to get involved!

a. Volunteer to host a youth devotional.

b. Volunteer to teach a Bible class.

c. Volunteer to work on a major congregational project.

4) The leaders need the members to be keenly interested in the work!

II.  Desires to work regardless of personal interests.

1. We each have a personal life.

1) It is often convenient to excuse ourselves from the Lord’s work to attend to our own personal work or desires.

2) When it comes to the Lord’s work, we need to avoid this kind of attitude.

3) Matthew 6:33.

2. We each need to make some sacrifices in our personal life.

1) Consider the sacrifices that Jesus made to come to the earth. Philippians 2:5ff.

2) Consider the sacrifices that Paul and others made to preach the gospel–Phil.3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

3) Consider Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:1-2.

3. What can we sacrifice?

1) We need to make time to do spiritual things.

2) Perhaps we can reconsider going out to attend a church function.

3) Perhaps we can reconsider how we use some of our holiday time.

4) Perhaps we can reconsider how we use some of our weekend time.

III. Will work even under adverse circumstances.

1. Adversity defines our character.

1) The story of the egg, carrot and coffee.

2) How do we respond to adversity?

3) Look at the example of the early Christians. Acts 8:4 “They therefore that were scattered abroad, went about preaching the word.”

4) They used adversity to grow.

5) Are we going to let adversity wilt us?

6) Are we going to let adversity harden us?

7) Are we going to let adversity transform us to something useful?

8) Consider 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient[a] for these things?” (ESV)

2. We cannot afford to let criticism stop us from doing the Lord’s work.

1) In our text in Nehemiah 4, the Samaritans were fiercely critical.

2) The Jews did not let that criticism stop them.

3) They did the work anyway and accomplished something.

4) There are going to be those who criticize us.

5) We must continue to do the work.

3. We cannot afford to stop working because we can’t see any visible results.

1) Consider Noah.

2) For over 100 years he preached without any results at all.

3) Yet, when the flood came, he and his family were saved.

4) If we do nothing more than save our own families, we will have accomplished something.

5) God’s work must go forward regardless of visible results.


1. We have a work to do in 2015!

2. Do we have a mind to work? Do we . . .

1) Recognize the need to work?

2) Desire to work regardless of personal interests.

3) Work in spite of adverse circumstances?

3. Invitation