Importance of Purity – August 17, 2019

Nehemiah 12.27-13.31; 1 Corinthians 11.1-16; Psalm 35.1-16; Proverbs 21.17-18

It is interesting to me that after Jerusalem is rebuilt and after Nehemiah has gone back home, he gets word that the people not following the laws God had outlined for the people. So what does he do? Back to Jerusalem he goes to straighten up the people, helping them do what God asked them to do. Why was following these commands, as God had called for, so important, not only to Nehemiah, but more importantly, for the people of Israel?

Questions:

Why is it important for men, women, and children to be able to to celebrate and praise God for the restoration he provides?

How comfortable are you in asking others to imitate your life of faith? Why is this the case? How can you become more confident to do this?

How does the Lord fight against those who fight against you?

Why does the love of pleasure lead to poverty?

Be Concerned About Others – August 16, 2019

Nehemiah 11.1-12.26; 1 Corinthians 10.14-33; Psalm 34.11-22; Proverbs 21.14-16

What would happen if you committed today, and then again tomorrow, to live your entire day seeking to do good for others, not being primarily concerned about your own good?

Questions:

How do you think the people of Israel felt coming back to Jerusalem after having been in exile for so long?

What things did you do today? How did you do them for the glory of God?

How can we keep our tongue from speaking evil?

Why does justice terrify those who do evil?

Be Careful Not To Fall – August 15, 2019

Nehemiah 9.22-10.39; 1 Corinthians 9.19-10.13; Psalm 34.1-10; Proverbs 21.13

I think if Paul had written 1 Corinthians today, when he got to today’s passage, he would have written: Do you remember that sports team, the one that was undefeated? And do you remember that time they played the team that had not won a game all season? And do remember what happened? They lost! The train wreck that everyone assumed would happen didn’t. Oh, and by the way, if you think you stand firm … be careful. Don’t be like THAT team.

Questions:

Rehearse the things God has done for you in your life that have brought you to the point you are at today.

Who has served as a warning to you about what happens when you do not pay attention to remembering God?

How can we constantly speak the praises of God as go throughout our day?

How do we shut our ears to the cries of the poor? What can we do to hear them better?

Celebrate! – August 14, 2019

Nehemiah 7.73b-9.21; 1 Corinthians 9.1-18; Psalm 33.12-22; Proverbs 21.11-12

When we are faced with our sins, with the reality that we have fallen short of the manner in which we wish to live, we have a couple of options in response. The first is to beat ourselves up, to cry, to lament, to mourn how poorly we behaved. At times this is a good response, but for those who live in the grace of God, perhaps the response Nehemiah proposes is a better one: Celebrate. Rejoice because the joy of the Lord is your strength! How do you typically respond when you fall short of the lifestyle you desire?

Questions:

Why is the people standing for the reading of God’s laws significant? How does this impact our own reaction towards God’s word?

What reasons do you have to share the good news of Jesus Christ?

What do you count on in your life for “victory?”

According to the proverb writer, what is the benefit of instruction?

Intended For His Glory – July 28, 2019

2 Chronicles 21.1-23.21; Romans 11.13-36; Psalm 22.1-18; Proverbs 20.7

Think about everything you have or own. Have you ever considered why you have those things and the purpose they are to serve as you use them? Paul writes that everything comes from the Lord and intended for his glory. Does this match how you use the things you have? What needs to change for this to be the case?

Questions:

How would you like to live a life where your obituary read: “No one was sorry that he died?”

In what ways is God both kind and severe?

Have you ever felt like God abandoned you? What caused you to feel this way?

How can you work to walk in integrity?

Please God Not People – July 27, 2019

2 Chronicles 19.1-20.37; Romans 10.14-11.12; Psalm 21.1-13; Proverbs 20.4-6

It probably seems to be a foregone conclusion that our actions should seek to plea God, not the people around us. Yet all too often, what we actually do is the opposite. We give in to the pressure of others or at the very least, we take into consideration their response as we try to live our lives. How do we ensure we are living for God, not for others?

Questions:

How would you go about your life is you knew with certainty that the Lord was with you in everything you did? Why do you not have this certainty?

How are you being “beautiful feet” in taking the message of salvation to those who need to hear it most?

How does God “capture” our enemies today?

What is the difference between loyal and truly reliable?

Sent People To Teach – July 26, 2019

2 Chronicles 17.1-18.34; Romans 9.25-10.13; Psalm 20.1-9; Proverbs 20.2-3

One of the patterns we see repeated throughout the Old Testament story of God’s people is that they follow God, but soon forget him. It would seem that Jehoshaphat knows this to be the case because he sends his officials to teach the people from the book of the Law. How do you ensure you are being taught from God’s word?

Questions:

Whenever you face some challenging event, or perhaps even a moment that looks to offer great rewards, do you stop to inquire of the Lord if you should proceed? Why should you do so?

In what ways do you call upon the name of the Lord for salvation?

What are the desires of your heart? How has God met those desires?

“Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor.” If this is true, why do more people not try to avoid fights?