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Be equipped for the ministry

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 1, 2023 | Nehemiah 3:3-5


KEY VERSE:

Also the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, made repairs. Nehemiah 3:3.


MESSAGE:

The Fish Gate was mentioned next. It was called the fish gate because the fishermen of Galilee would bring their catch through it to be sold. The sons of Hassenaah did the work of rebuilding the fish gate while others helped. They laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars and made the necessary repairs. These two words “Made repairs” are used not less than four times in today’s passage and about 35 times in chapter 3 alone. It has the idea of strengthening, encouraging, or making something strong. These are principles that have application to far more than material gates and walls. The Bible says that we must be built up and repaired. In Ephesians 4:12, God says the purpose of the church is for the equipping of the saints, and the idea behind equipping is to prepare, strengthen, and make something able to be used. We come together as Christians to strengthen one another, to make us strong and able to live for Jesus and serve Him outside the gatherings of the church. In Nehemiah, we are pointed to Jesus, who is building His people into a beautiful building to God (1 Cor. 3:9; Eph. 2:20-22, 1 Pet. 2:5).


The Fish Gate was so named because Galilean fishermen would bring their catch through it for sale. For us, it speaks of evangelism as we have been called to be 'fishers of men' (Matt. 4:19). It is a natural progression in our Christian life that after seeing that Jesus died for our sins, we would then want to tell others about it. Their simple testimony of what Jesus has done in their lives qualifies them to be great 'fishers of men.' So, this is the next step in the Christian life. This gate speaks of the church where believers are expected to be built up and repaired to be on fire for God to go out and turn the world upside down with the message of Jesus Christ.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

_When we give our lives to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He prepares us for the work of ministry through the church. How seriously do you make yourself available for this preparation, strengthening and encouraging to become an effective fisher of men? Position yourself properly in order to play your role in fulfilling the purpose of your calling._


PRAYER:

Thank you, dear Lord, for your saving grace and the opportunity to rebuild and strengthen the spiritual gateways in my life. Please guide me and help me to avail myself for your divine agenda for my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen! THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS. SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: GATE The Word in Hebrew"שַֽׁעַר" (sha'ar) broadly refers to a gate, entrance, or opening. In the context of city walls, it signifies a crucial point for entry and exit.


In scripture, it is used to:

  • Symbol of Authority: Gates in biblical times served not only as physical barriers but also as symbols of authority and governance. Important decisions and transactions often took place at city gates.

  • Meeting Place: The gate was a central location for various activities, including commerce, legal proceedings, and social interactions. It was a hub for community life.

  • Defensive Structure: Gates played a vital role in the defense of a city. Fortifying gates with beams, doors, bolts, and bars was crucial for the security of the city.


In the context of our devotional passage, the word indicates:

  1. Symbolic Significance: The rebuilding of the Fish Gate goes beyond physical reconstruction; it symbolizes the restoration of a vital community hub where people gather, transact, and engage in communal life.

  2. Collaborative Effort: The involvement of the sons of Hassenaah in building the gate reflects a collaborative effort within the community. Rebuilding is not an individual endeavour but a collective commitment.

  3. Security and Governance: The attention to the gate's structural elements highlights the significance of ensuring both the security and orderly governance of the city. A well-maintained gate is essential for the well-being of the community.

Reflections:

How can we, like the builders of the Fish Gate, actively contribute to the restoration and well-being of our community, recognizing the importance of both physical and symbolic elements in fostering a thriving communal life?


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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