That famous footballing quote m 1966 has been used a few times for various reasons. This time because we have come to the end of our series of teaching talks from the book of Nehemiah.
But a teaching series would be worthless if we came to the end and did not think that we had learnt something.
So what have we learnt?
I cannot say! That is for each individual to consider for themselves and share with the group if they feel it is appropriate. But I do believe that all scripture is available to teach us and in studying this book I personally have learnt a lot from Nehemiah. I have not looked to learn about history or the events that happened in Jerusalem 2450 years ago. But there are some unchanging qualities that Nehemiah had that I think I want to build into my character and life.
He had the call of God for a task. I want to know and affirm that God has called me for the task of teaching this group of believers. Over the last six months there have been times when I have felt inadequate. He has equipped me for the moment and given me the right words for differing occasions.
He did not allow setbacks and opposition to deflect him from the task. “I am engaged in an important job here, I cannot come and meet you!” I have learned that there are times when one has to say “no”: when “yes” would be a heart response but a deflection form God's intentions for my life at this time.
I have learned that prayer is not an add-on. I need to be in an attitude of prayer and a conversation with the Holy Spirit all the time. I also need to have a heart to worship and praise and celebrate the goodness of God in all circumstances.
I have learnt that Nehemiah was not working to please men but to please God. He was not looking to be named in the Judah Times or on the King's birthday honours list for the re-building of the wall in 52days. He was looking to be remembered by God for bringing back holiness and restoration of the covenant and law. I need to help restore godly living in the 21st century. Restoration has hardly started!
There is a lot in the book of Nehemiah about people who tried to get on by pulling strings and making the most of family connections. I hope that the only connections that we try to make are within the family of God and that this series has encouraged and strengthened us as we look to continue to grow in covenant with the Lord and each other.
All series will end. Let us look forward to the net one: The parables of Jesus from Luke's gospel (that are not in any of the others!)