Okay, thought I would defragment some more thoughts about our upcoming series in Nehemiah. This is the teaching series we will begin in January. I am excited about studying this book as a new church, because Nehemiah basically journals his adventure of rebuilding and renewing a city that had been destroyed by the enemy, and had been left in ruins with crime, poverty, corruption, oppression, and ignorance of God’s Word in control. It certainly reminds me of the Memphis metro area.
In light of that, I feel like God is giving us a vision for our city, and He will challenge our little band of misfits to rekindle a passion for God in Memphis! So here are some more thoughts so far:
- Nehemiah 1:1-11 – Wow to Nehemiah’s prayer! His confession, transparancy, and focus on God’s Word blows my mind.
- Nehemiah 2:1-10 – Nehemiah shows courage in confrontation. We also see how much he is trusting God’s direction in his life.
- Nehemiah 2:11-20 – Nehemiah begins to formulate his plan. He assesses the situation, and faces the brutal facts of what needs to be done. He waits to declare the vision until he understands the weight of the task before him.
- Nehemiah 3:1-32 – Nehemiah distibutes the workload. He exemplifies leadership and organizational skills. We begin to see the true essence of what community should be as each family begins repairing their section of the wall.
- Nehemiah 4:1-23 – I love how Nehemiah handled the criticism. Even the people in the city weren’t handling the criticism well, and began to complain. Nehemiah stepped up to the plate and implimented and secondary strategy. He was able to think on his feet and react wisely.
- Nehemiah 5:1-19 – This was a very bold social reform implimented by Nehemiah. We see the community taking advantage of the less fortunate, and Nehemiah steps up confronts the situation and resolves the problems. It kind of reminds me of Acts 6, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, and James 2:1-13.
- Nehemiah 6:1-14 – Now the criticism escalates into slander and more threats. Now Nehemiahs enemies were trying to drag his name through the mud. This feels and sounds all too familiar. But Nehemiah stays focused. Man that busts my chops!
- Nehemiah 6:15-7:73 – Yay!! The wall is completed. Everything comes to an end. The book is over. Oh, wait; it’s only halfway through the book of Nehemiah, the wall is finished, what now? Yep, it’s a whole new strategy. I love this. It’s like a new beginning point.
- Nehemiah 8:1-18 – Nehemiah has Ezra the priest read the Word of God to the people. This is a holy moment in the presence of God. The people wanted to cry, but the priests showed them how this was a time of celebration and joy, so they partied down for nearly a month!
- Nehemiah 9:1-37 – Now it was time to weep, confess, and pray. One leg of the journey was complete, and they celebrated. Now, it was time to beg God for direction, recalibrate, and focus on the future direction of regrowing the city and organizing it for God’s glory.
- Nehemiah 9:38-10:39 – This was their committment to God. All the leaders dedicated themselves to following God’s Word and maintaining accountibility with one another.
- Nehemiah 11:1-36 – I love this chapter! This is when the people who lived throughout Palestine, decided to make a commitment to the city by relocating inside the city and the surrounding suburbs. This is my prayer for CrossLife. I hope we will have people who will commit to relocating into Whitehaven, Lakeland, Bartlett, Downtown, Mud Island, Mid Town, Arlington, Oakville, Capleville, Germantown, Collierville, Cordova, Millington, Walls, Horn Lake, Hernando, Southaven, Olive Branch, and other areas to start new churches and build up the Kingdom of God throughout every pocket of people in the metro area.
- Nehemiah 12:1-47 – I am not sure what to do with this chapter yet. It is long and covers a few different thoughts that all revolve around the renewed duties of the priests, singers, and temple servants. This is basically a restructuring of the worship of God. It is to make sure that God has the preeminence in everything that has and will be happening.
- Nehemiah 13:1-31 – My kiddo’s love this chapter. They laugh, but it is really not funny. In just a short time, the people in the city had already begun straying from God’s Word and making stupid choices again. Nehemiah comes back for a visit and confronts the problems and makes some serious changes in leadership and structure. This lets us know that our work will never be done. We will always be adjusting, assessing, and envisioning God’s best for His Kingdom work through us.
Well, that’s what I have so far. Any additional thoughts would be great! Hope to hear some good things from my friends.
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