WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 27, 2022
TOPIC: TEAMWORK IS IMPORTANT
BY T. O. BANSO
“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days” (Nehemiah 6:15 New King James Version).
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (New King James Version). This scripture shows the importance of teamwork.
Teamwork breaks the job down into manageable and simpler sizes, attracts diverse abilities, skills, and innovative ideas, builds morale, and increases productivity. Teamwork leads to greater effectiveness and efficiency. These are just some of the benefits. “Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you” (Joshua 23:10 New King James Version). Compare five chasing a hundred with a hundred putting ten thousand to flight.
One chapter in the Bible that shows the power of teamwork is the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days under Nehemiah’s leadership. The Jews who took part in this project were from all walks of life and worked as a team.
Nehemiah 3 highlights the specific parts of the wall built by different people starting with the High Priest and the other priests. They built the Sheep Gate, consecrated it, and hung its doors apparently because it was relevant to their work as priests (verse 1). The Sheep Gate was the gate through which sheep were brought into the city for sacrifice. The High Priest and the priests got involved in the physical labour of repairing the wall because the project demanded that everyone participate and get the job done.
Just like the High Priest and the priests, the leaders of the people led by example. They participated in the repairs of the wall. Verse 9 says the leader of half the district of Jerusalem made repairs. Also, verse 12 says the leader of half the district of Jerusalem and his daughters made repairs. Did you see that even women were not left out? It was teamwork. Other leaders such as the leader of the district of Beth Haccerem (verse 14), the leader of the district of Mizpah (verse 15), the leader of half the district of Beth Zur (verse 16), the leader of half the district of Keilah (verse 17), the leader of the other half of the district of Keilah (verse 18), and the leader of Mizpah (verse 19) also participated in the repairs of the wall.
Another significant feature of the project was that the people repaired the sections of the wall near their houses. Thus, they took care of their individual interest within the national interest. With such an arrangement, the people would have shown more commitment. Verse 23 says Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs opposite their house and Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs by his house. Also, beyond the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his house (verse 28). Zadok the son of Immer made repairs in front of his house and Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs in front of his dwelling (verses 29-30).
Everybody worked as a team, taking specific sections of the wall to ensure all the sections were covered. The proximity of where they worked to their houses must also have aided the speedy completion of the project.
The job was not left to the professional builders. Everyone, male and female, leaders and followers worked. Verse 32 says, “And between the upper room at the corner, as far as the Sheep Gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “the goldsmiths and the merchants.” The goldsmiths and the merchants also built. They were in a ‘state of emergency’ and all hands were on deck. No wonder, the project was completed in time despite opposition from Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab.
Families, churches, organizations, and nations should learn from Nehemiah and the Jews in Jerusalem. It is not surprising that not every Jew participated in this project. Verse 5 says that the Tekoites made repairs but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord. Please note the phrase “their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.” It wasn’t Nehemiah’s work or the Jew’s work but the work of their Lord. The nobles of Tekoa did not show good leadership. Don’t be like these nobles. Put your shoulders to the work of your God.
In different settings, there exist people like the nobles of Tekoa. Thank God that the Tekoites, the ordinary people, didn’t allow their nobles to influence them negatively. They committed themselves to the project. Verse 27 adds that the Tekoites repaired another section, next to the great projecting tower, and as far as the wall of Ophel.
Anywhere you are, beware of the “nobles of Tekoa.” They may be nobles but they don’t cooperate with the rest to achieve noble goals! Those in leadership must know how to deal with such people. Sometimes it is a waste of time trying to convince or persuade them. The wisest thing sometimes is to work with those who are willing and ready and ignore “the nobles of Tekoa.”
In the days of Deborah, the tribes of Reuben, Gilead, Dan, and Asher didn’t join in the war against Jabin the King of Canaan (Judges 5:15-17). Also, Meroz did not come to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty. Meroz was cursed (verse 23). Nevertheless, Deborah led the rest to the battle and God subdued the Canaanite king. Don’t let those who are like the nobles of Tekoa hinder teamwork. The Jews worked as a team. Nehemiah 4:6 says the people built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for they had a mind to work. “So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days” (Nehemiah 6:15 New King James Version).
Teamwork is very important. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him’” (New King James Version). Work with the right people to achieve your goals. And as a part of a group, cooperate with others to achieve organizational goals. Have team spirit. This applies to the church, too. 1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (New King James Version).
The chapter continues: “For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?” (Verses 14-17 New King James Version).
The church must operate as a team. Members should have each other’s back. You could see this in how Nehemiah organized the people to defend the project against the enemy’s attack without allowing work to cease. “So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, ‘The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us’” (Nehemiah 4:16-20 New King James Version).
Team members should be there for each other, especially in the church. “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:26-27 New King James Version).
Conflicts that break team spirit and hinder teamwork must be resolved quickly. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1). Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10 New King James Version).
Teamwork is important. It should be encouraged.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to work in harmony with others to achieve personal and corporate goals. I come against everything that hinders teamwork in our lives, families, churches, and societies. I pray that the conflicts that often occur among team members shall be resolved quickly and that achieving the goals of our teams shall be possible.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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