A few weeks ago, I wrote on the idea of being “useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (II Tim. 2:21). That concept of being useful is still rattling around in my mind. The term means to be serviceable, easy to put to good use, even profitable. It is the idea of being at the right place, at the right time and ready to be put to work for the right reason or cause.
So many Bible stories highlight the usefulness of God’s people. Through unusual circumstances, frequently poorly trained and often armed only with a willing spirit, these men and women accomplished a great deal for the Lord.
Consider the folks that Nehemiah used to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. In chapter three of his book, Nehemiah begins to outline the folks who assembled to get the job done.
Near the Old Gate, a bunch of goldsmiths repaired their section. And right next to them, a group of perfume-makers gathered to work on the wall. I can’t imagine that either group had any practical experience with construction, much less masonry work. But there they were, working hard to get the job done.
On a section nearby, a government official put his daughters to work. Above the Horse Gate, the priests made their repairs. And in the corner by the Sheep Gate a group of merchants hauled the stones up. Young girls, priests and shop keepers all had their place on the wall.
What did they all have in common? They were useful! They were not specifically trained for this task. Crushing flowers to make perfume does not qualify men or women as masonry workers. They were just available.
The scripture specifically states that they quickly got it halfway done “for the people worked with all their heart” (Neh. 4:6).
As we start this new year, this is an excellent opportunity to check on our own “usefulness.”
Are we available for service? Do we readily respond to needs as they present themselves? Or are we filled with excuses about how unfit we are for the task?
Truth is, God has equipped each of us with exactly the right gifts (spiritual and practical) to do His work (whatever that job might be). He is just waiting for us to clammer on the wall and get to work.
Ready to be useful?