“After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.”
In Nehemiah 3, Nehemiah goes through a list of people who employed themselves in rebuilding the wall. Twenty-eight times is says in this chapter that there were people who were “next unto” someone else, or they were “after” someone else. The people on this list were good people because they had a mind to rebuild what sin had torn down.
However, there is one person in this chapter who distinguished himself from the rest. It says about Baruch that he “earnestly repaired the other piece.” The zeal, effort and activity of this man set himself apart so that God would mention his effort. Baruch was a good man without this statement being made about him, but it was his earnestness and activity that distinguished him from everyone else.
It is easy to get lost in the sea of people in the LORD’s work. I often hear people who feel like they are never recognized for what they do, but I often ask them what they are doing to set themselves apart from everyone else. It is easy just to do what everyone else is doing because everyone else is doing it, but you will never make a difference where you are if you are just like everyone else.
Likewise, your church will be like every other church in town if it just does what every other church does. There must be something that sets your church apart from the rest in the eyes of those in your community. Face it; there are plenty of churches from which people can choose. Why should they choose your church over the others? I know, you think they should choose your church because of what you believe, but the world doesn’t look at our beliefs. If every church was as earnest in their activity as Baruch, they would distinguish themselves from the others.
Christian, you can be like everyone else, or you can let your earnestness and activity distinguish you from the others. If you are looking to other people to determine how involved you should be with your action and attitude, you will end up being just like everyone else. There ought to be an earnestness about your Christianity. People on the job should see that you are not like every other Christian because you are earnestly trying to do your best when you work, and you are earnestly doing your best to live a holy life for the LORD. Your earnestness will distinguish you from everyone else.
Moreover, your earnestness and activity will grab God’s attention. It is the fervent prayer that gets God’s attention. It was the earnest activity of Baruch that God pointed out to Nehemiah that caused his name to be distinguished from the rest. God always uses those who are earnest with their activity for Him. It is the second-mile saint who is considered the better Christian in God’s eyes.
Let me ask you; are you distinguishing yourself from the rest because of your earnest activity for the LORD? Many people have distinguished themselves through their attire and boisterous personality, but the one thing that will distinguish you from all others is if you are earnest about serving the LORD. Let me encourage you to be earnest in everything you do for the LORD. Don’t be guilty of just doing enough, but be earnest and give your whole effort in all you do for the LORD.