Love Does the Dirty Work Podcast Notes

Years ago before I started the church I worked at a camp called Forest Home.  It is one of the largest camps in the US and it opened up a lot of speaking opportunities for me.

When you are a traveling speaker, you only have maybe 5 messages.

When I gave that first message as the pastor of Canyon Springs church, Canyon Springs didn’t even technically exist yet.  We didn’t have any people not named Hawkins. 

First message was one I was asked to do at a neighboring church.  Gave me Nehemiah 3.  Nehemiah 3- “A bunch of sweaty Israelites with tool belts were working and spitting and scratching themselves, trying to reconstruct the gates around Jerusalem.”

Looked it up in Andy Stanley’s book on Nehmiah called “Visioneering.” Nehemiah 3 is the only chapter he doesn’t cover. This is the kind of chapter that makes you want to flip back to John 3:16 or Psalm 23 or just shut it all together.

Sometimes you have to hang in there in a marriage.  You started out saying “til death due us part” but didn’t realize how long that would seem.  You’re spouse seems checked out. There is more arguing that conversation.  The passion is gone.  Right now you are just hanging in there.  You’re doing the dirty work of love.

It can feel that way as a parent sometime.  When your kids are little you are literally doing the dirty work.  Wiping noses, cleaning wounds, changing diapers.

If you attempt to love, there will be dirty work involved.  But that is where true love is forged.

1) Love puts aside it’s position

It is not our natural tendancy to put aside our position. 

Official Politically Correct Handbook. 

If you work as an dog catcher, you are not called a dog catcher you are an animal welfare official. 

If you are a dishwasher you are a utensil sanitizer

If you are a Doorman you are an access controller

Maybe you don’t have a job.  If so, you aren’t unemployed you are involuntarily leisured

If you are a lazy bum, you certainly can’t be called a bum you are a non-goal oriented member of society

If you are homeless you are underhoused

If you are a junkie you are person with a pharmaceutical preference

If you an alcoholic you are sobriety deprived

And even if you find yourself in the worst possible scenario it doesn’t sound too bad because you aren’t dead, you are terminally inconvenienced

It is our natural tendency to make us sound better than we really are. 

 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. Nehemiah 3:14

You may make a million

Reach the top of your business

Get written up in a trade magazine for your success

But there is also the possibility that all that you have done may not make much of a difference.  It may make money, but not change people.  It may make you famous, but not really matter.  It may be important now, but forgotten later. 

You cannot wring enough life or meaning out of secular accomplishment to satisfy your soul.  The hole you are trying to fill has an eternal and spiritual dimension that only matters of eternity and spirituality can satisfy.  This is why it is imperative that you discover and participate in God’s vision for your life.  It is what you were made for.  Your homespun visions-as challenging and demanding as they may be- fall short. They will always leave you wondering. Andy Stanley

2) Love partners with people

The word next is used 32 times in this chapter.  “Next to him” “Next to them” “Next to that.”  The walls around Jerusalem had been down for 140 years but they got built back up in 52 days because these people worked together.

Who is God calling you to partner with. 

I know all of those things sound small and minor and worthless.  I guess Billy Grahams parents could have said the same thing.  All they did was to pay the bills, keep the family together, get food on the table and raise Billy Graham.