Beyond Our Comfort
The cost of achieving great things usually requires sacrifice and focus. When the Jewish people were called upon to occupy Jerusalem, they found themselves at a crossroads. This next step of faith would require giving up their comfort. In fact, it would require they give up everything. Just as they were called by God to step out in faith, we are called by God to move Beyond Our Comfort to achieve great things.
Nehemiah was aligned with God’s heart for rebuilding Jerusalem. Read Jeremiah 25:1, 8, and 11. These verses tell the story of Jerusalem’s destruction. For what reasons would Nehemiah be interested in the condition of Jerusalem? For help read 2 Chronicles 36: 20-21.
God had given Nehemiah a vision to rebuild Jerusalem. What excuses could Nehemiah have used to avoid attempting to fulfill the vision? What excuses do we give that keep us from attempting great things for God?
Nehemiah sets out to rebuild the wall and restore the city. How long did it take Nehemiah to accomplish such a task? Read Nehemiah 6:15. What could we conclude about the rebuilding of the wall based on this verse? What was the outcome of finishing the wall? Read Nehemiah 6:16 for help.
The people thought finishing the wall was the end but it was only the beginning. Read Nehemiah 9:2. We see the Israelites confessing past and present sins. What is God doing new in your life? How can confession help make way for God to do new things in our lives?
Nehemiah 11:1-2 describes the response that the Israelites made after seeing God work through them to rebuild the wall. They were willing to make big sacrifices to accomplish God’s work. What does verse two say the willing people did? How can we become more willing to make such sacrifices to build God’s kingdom?
Maybe you see God working in your life, but you are unwilling to sacrifice for His kingdom. Starting in verse 3 of Nehemiah 11, we see the names of all those willing to go about God’s kingdom work restoring Jerusalem. Read Nehemiah 12:43 to see what the people experienced. How could this verse increase our willingness?
Beyond Our Plans
Life is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes our plans exceed our expectations and other times we fall short as we trip and stumble along the journey. We need to leave room for both successes and failures. Our plans must always create space for God to work in ways we...
Beyond Our Failure
We’ve all failed. From minor mistakes to persistent sins, failure has marked our lives. The best place to turn in times of failure is to God. But sometimes turning to God about our sins just seems to magnify our moral crisis. Thus, we’d prefer to keep our distance...
Beyond Our Assumptions
If you think about it, we make a lot of choices and decisions based on assumptions. We assume we know what someone meant; that we have all the information; that we know the outcome. The problem is that our assumptions often turn out to be completely wrong and this can...
Beyond Our Indifference
Some problems in life are so big they are overwhelming. At the beginning of the book of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The people living there had grown accustomed and indifferent to the ruin around them, but Nehemiah’s heart was broken by it. He was...
Beyond Our Doubt
It’s not unusual to find people paralyzed by doubt. But with God’s help we can go beyond where we are to where we could be. And that means our doubt can get replaced with confidence and faith. Nehemiah led the people of Jerusalem in a rebuilding project that was met...
Beyond Our Reach
It’s usually a good sign when we’re reaching for things that require God’s help. If we could make progress without God, then maybe we should reconsider the goal. The story of Nehemiah and the Jewish people is one of remarkable accomplishment. It all began with an...