Read Nehemiah 4:7-9

“Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them” (v. 9).

Dad and I were constructing a deck at our home in Overland Park, Kansas. In compliance with the strict building codes of the city, we had to have some rather significant post holes into which we were to pour concrete, so we rented a powered post hole digger. It really wasn't too difficult to operate in the rich, black soil of Overland Park. However, we once encountered a problem. I could not seem to get the post hole digger to go any deeper and asked Dad what seemed to be the problem. He said, “Deeper? I've been trying to pull up on this thing!” We simply weren't communicating. Thus we weren't working in unity. Working in unity is not only a mark of maturity, it is empowerment for progress. Of course, unity begins with a common focus or goals. A number of things are desirable in formulating a course for common ground: mutual encouragement, a desire to please Christ above all, a desire to touch the lives of others with the gospel, just to name a few. Another significant goal is guarding against the enemy's encroachment upon the work of God. We can do that by maintaining fervency of spirit and dogged desire to please God. (Lonnie Witt)

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;

Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.

We are not divided, all one body we,

One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,

With the cross of Jesus going on before. — Sabine Baring-Gould

This devotional is the Monday, June 26, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.