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 angst about the condition of a city and ended with white-hot-holy enthusiasm and effort. And still today, God looks for us to go Beyond Our Reach.
Nehemiah was so distressed about the condition of Jerusalem that he wept, fasted and prayed (Neh. 1:1-4). What moves you to respond like Nehemiah?
Read the content of Nehemiah’s prayer to God (Neh. 1:5-11). Highlight the parts of the prayer. What themes emerge? What do the words of Nehemiah’s prayer tell us about himself and about God? Try praying your own prayer including some of the themes you see in Nehemiah’s prayer.
Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. Read Nehemiah 2:1-3. Why would Nehemiah have been afraid? Why does faith sometimes require risk? What risks are you taking to fulfill a vision you believe God has given you?
What were the specifics of the bold request Nehemiah made of the king? (Read Neh. 2:4-10) Do you recall a time when you took big steps of faith in the face of what seemed like insurmountable odds? What are your biggest faith challenges right now?
In Nehemiah 2:11-16, Nehemiah surveys the damage to the city and assesses what it will take to do the repairs. How do faith and hard work combine for success?
Why is it not surprising to learn that some people will oppose the plans of God (Read Neh. 2:17-20)? How do you handle opposition?
Our church is moving Beyond Our Reach. What is your best contribution to the LifePoint movement?
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 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...
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...