Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In our final lesson from Nehemiah, we see the desperate tactic of distraction used against God's work. Read carefully Nehemiah 6:10-14. The prophet Shemaiah informed Nehemiah that the enemies were plotting to kill him and that he should seek refuge in the temple. Nehemiah realized that "God had not sent him". How did Nehemiah realize this?

When someone gives us "advice", how do we discern if it is from God or if it is just something to distract us from our mission?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


When God has given us a goal, it is not always easy sailing. What stands in our way? Opposition. It can be internal (doubt, it is too difficult, etc) or external (such as riducle, threads, or physical violence).

In Nehemiah 2-4, the Jews faced opposition from Sanballat and other enemies by both ridicule and then physical threats. Nehemiah responds with prayer and action.

Has God called you to do something? What stands in your way? How does Nehemiah's response change yours?

In each of the three passages this week, notice there is:
1. An influence from the enemy
2. A response by Nehemiah or the Jews

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Praying and Preparing

Last week, in Nehemiah 1, we discovered that he mourned, wept, and prayed after learning of the state of Jerusalem. He continued praying to God for about four months, where Nehemiah 2 begins.

Nehemiah not only prayed, but prepared for God's call. This is shown by his requests to the king in Nehemiah 2:5-8. He made requests, knowing ahead of time what kind of authorization and supplies he would need.

Was planning a necessary step for Nehemiah or us today? What about just praying and "see what happens?"

We say quick prayers, as Nehemiah did when the king asked why he was sad. What is the basis for God honoring that quick prayer?