A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Throughout Nehemiah 3, we note the phrases “next to him” and “next to them” (see Nehemiah 3:2-10, 3:17-24, 3:27-31). This chapter is a list, a documentation of the work that was done by everyone—side by side—around the entire perimeter of Jerusalem as they labored to rebuild the walls. Nehemiah had divided the people into groups, and he stationed those groups at the different gates around the city. Where one group of builders left off, another began.

This is the principle of consolidation. Nehemiah brought together many separate parts into a single unified whole—a unified force for rebuilding the city. The people worked side by side, hand by hand, leaving no gap between them.

Similarly, when we do God’s work, when we build together as Christians, we must stand side by side and hand by hand, leaving no gaps. This does not mean that we necessarily agree with each other on every issue, but it does mean that we love each other, accept each other, and cooperate with each other. We must never forget that we are co-laborers with Christ, and we are working as a consolidated force, building together under the direction and leadership of God.

Under Nehemiah’s leadership, there was an amazing diversity of groups working to rebuild the gates; the high priest was doing gritty, strenuous manual labor right alongside the lowly temple servants. There were powerful politicians working alongside merchants and craftspeople. However, there were some noblemen that would not join the work.

We see this dichotomy in the church today—hardworking, good-hearted Christians who are eager to serve the Lord and serve others in any way they can, plus a number who prefer to sit and watch others work. But Jesus did not build His church to be an arena for spectators. He has consolidated us into a single unified force for change. And we need everyone!

Our job is nothing less than rebuilding the walls of our culture, the walls of our church, and the walls of broken lives around us. We have the message of eternal life and the privilege and responsibility of sharing the Good News with those who are lost. We cannot sit this out. The stakes are too high. The task too urgent. Let us leave no gaps between us as we labor for the lost.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the amazing privilege of bringing Your Gospel to those suffering in the rubble of the world. Help me to serve You diligently alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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