Category Archives: Bible Study Community with Kendra Graham

Scripture, Bible study, God’s Word, Kendra Graham

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 2:13-20

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 2:13-20

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 13&14: There appeared with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising: “Glory to God in the highest, on earth PEACE among men w/ whom He is pleased”.

Verse 15: Shepherds: “Let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing the LORD has made known to us.”

Verse 16: They came in a hurry, found Mary, Joseph and the baby as He lay in the manger.

Verse 17: When they had seen, they made known which had been told them about the Child.

Verse 18: All who heard wondered at things told by the shepherds.

Verse 19: Mary treasured all, pondering in her heart.

Verse 20: The shepherds went back glorifying & praising God for all they had heard & seen just as had been told them.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 13&14: What more can God do to compel the shepherds to come to His bedside? It is not a fluke! He wants you, He loves you! Come! Don’t miss Christmas! Already within hours of Immanuel, God with us, Jesus, born, heaven is exclaiming what His death will accomplish: Peace! Jesus will bring PEACE between God and his handmade creation…. you and I! Those who come to Jesus please God.

Verse 15: Everyone MUST make a choice about Jesus! Each shepherd was invited. Steve couldn’t go for Emil and Phillip couldn’t go for Pete, each one had to choose. From the shepherds long ago, to us today, the same decision is at hand. The same God who made known to the shepherds about His arrival is the same God making Himself known to you today.

Verse 16: Gods Word is True. God was not 1/2 true or mostly true, but completely true. God was not found in a logical place, or how I think He should show up, but He was found where He said He would be. The same is true today. God is found in His Word and His Word is always found to be True.

Verse 17: When I see God is true to me, I can’t help but tell people.   He will be true to you! Seek Him! You will find Him, it’s a promise from God.

Verse 18&19: Your personal testimony of what God has done for you is a powerful thing. God turns your mess into His redemption. How God does this, truly is a miracle that only God can do and leaves others speechless.

Verse 20: The shepherds went back to their same job, with their same sheep, on the same night, with their same crew, completely changed. Each shepherd knew that God saw them personally. Each shepherd knew that God saw & loved them so much that He was compelled to come with skin on to bring peace between Him and man. This peace we are all created to know. God’s love for you is relentless; proven by this Christmas story in Luke 2. Truly a compelling compassion.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 13&14: Do you have peace with God? Years ago did you come to Jesus, only to walk away these months or years later? Will you come back this Christmas?

Verse 15: What have you decided about Jesus? (Not deciding is deciding)

Verse 16: Are you in God’s Word? Do you know what God’s Word says to you?

Verse 17: How has (is) God transforming your life with the Truth of His Word?

Verse 18&19: What is your story? How has the story you have wanted to run from and trade in, become your personal story of God’s glory and your redemption?

Verse 20: How has God shown you His relentless love? Changing you internally regardless of the external circumstances you live in? If you do not know how God has revealed Himself to you will you ask Him to reveal it? How did it even come about that you are reading this story of Christmas today? Could it be that God needed you to personally know how much you mean to Him? Will you miss Christmas or go back to work after Christmas Day praising and glorifying God? How has God’s compelling compassion changed you?

LIVE IT OUT!

LORD, show me who You are this season. As I read Your Word, transform my life as only You can do. Still the madness, stress and frustration, and fill that space with You.

Homework: Matthew 5:1-10

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!.

 

Women’s Bible Studies at The Cove

Ladies, it’s time to sign up for the free women’s Bible study at The Cove!

Both Jane and Kendra have been working diligently throughout the year to prepare their lessons and are looking forward to seeing each of you.

Take a look  at their videos below to get an idea of what to expect in January.

Jane Derrick — Is Peace Possible?
Tuesday mornings: January 6 – March 3, 2015
9:45am - 11:45 a.m.
11:45 – 1 p.m. (optional)
Jane’s study will have an optional $10 lunch available, but you must sign up the week prior to each meal by calling 1-800-950-2092.
Note: Class will not meet on February 24th

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to register for Jane’s morning Bible study.

Click here if you do not see Jane’s video in your browser.

________________________________________________________________

Kendra Graham — Compelled: Christ’s Relentless Love For You
Tuesday evenings: January 6 – February 17, 2015
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to register for Kendra’s evening Bible study.

Click here if you do not see Kendra’s video in your browser.

Newcomers always welcome!  Bring a friend or two.

What’s Happening at The Cove – January 2015

Coming to the cove January

We look to the new year with anticipation.  As the temperatures drop, we welcome you to join us for warm fellowship and Godly teaching.

Check out our schedule for the month of January 2015 below.  Click one that interests you for more details and to register.

WBS January

Ladies, come share the faithfulness of God from the Scriptures and make lasting friendships at the Women’s Bible Studies at The Cove. Both studies are free and newcomers are always welcome!
Registration is required for both studies.

Women’s Bible Study (Morning): Is Peace Possible?
 with Jane Derrick, January 6- March 3, 2015
*Please note there will be no bible study on February 24, 2015*
There is a $10 optional lunch, but you must register for the meal the week prior.

Women’s Bible Study (Evening): Compelled:
Christ’s Relentless Love For You

with Kendra Graham, January 6-February 17, 2015

 

Practicum-Headline

Leadership Training: The Great Commission Practicum
January 15-16, 2015

The Great Commission Practicum is a contemporary, kingdom-centered disciple-making initiative designed to partner with mission-minded churches. Small Group leaders from participating churches will leave prepared to equip successive spiritual generations of effective Christian disciple-makers.
Early Bird Special: If pre-registered before January 3, 2015 each conference attendee will receive a $30 discount.
To register call 1-800-950-2092.

Looking for a place to host your own event at The Cove?
It’s a great destination for your group.
Click here for more information.

To visit our website, click here.

BGTC_CoveMountain_Fall_high_res

Mist rising over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 2:8-12

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 2:8-12

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 8a: In the same region.
Verse 8b: There were shepherds.
Verse 8c: Staying out, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Verse 9a: An angel of the LORD suddenly stood before them.
Verse 9b: The glory of the LORD around them, they were frightened.

Verse 10: I bring you good news of great joy for all people.

Verse 11: Today in the city of David, born for you, a Savior, Christ the Lord.

Verse 12: This will be a sign: the baby wrapped in cloths in a manger.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 8a: God intentionally comes to where you are. He knows where to find you.

Verse 8b: The shepherds were dirty, lowly homeless, outcasts…. invisible in “society”, lonely, not accepted. Jesus comes for messy people.

Verse 8c: Working the night shift…the shift no one wanted…doing something important? Watching sheep who didn’t care about them. Easy to be overwhelmed with the feeling of unimportance. Easy to feel “overlooked”and even smaller than usual. Watching sheep was not glorious…but what was worse than that? Watching sheep at night…risking life and limb for these dumb animals that don’t even care, living among people who may seem not to care either.  Away from family.

Verse 9a: Suddenly Heaven opens up in their life and they are faced with a messenger from God. God will not overlook you, forget you or lose you. God will show up when you least expect it, in a way that only God can. God knows you and what will get your attention.

Verse 9b: When we are surrounded by the glory of God…God’s holiness and perfection, we realize very quickly how we are so not holy and perfect. Easy to think… just when you think you have it bad, God probably shows up to yell at you… right? After all, the “shepherd type”was usually a thief, unsavory…“God knows what I did, and now I will get it for sure” BUT…. that was not the case!

Verse 10: I (God) bring YOU. The message is for youpersonal. God didn’t make a mistake! God wasn’t looking to demand something out of the shepherds…. God wanted them to know they are personal to Him, and matter. That same message is for all people…for you and me today! God making sure you heard the message…. personally! God didn’t come to tell the shepherds or us that we are rotten and have made a mess of everything good… God came, with skin on this night, and wants you and me to know He sees us, and loves us, even in our mess. God is RELENTLESS for His handmade creation…you and me!

Verse 11: A Savior was born… HOPE was born for you and me! Not a committee, not a new set of laws with promises for all, not an adviser, not a reformer, not an adjuster, but a SAVIOR, for you and for me! It’s personal. This Savior is not meant to fix the external problems of the world, but the internal struggles of the heart…something no man or woman could bring! The real problem was not taxes, unemployment, oppression and debt… the real problem was sin. Sin keeps us from God. We need a Savior to bridge that gap. The Christ, the Messiah, God with skin on came to do just that! Hope has come for the shepherds, for you and for me! For all people!

Verse 12: The Messiah came, not to hide, but to be found. Since we would never look in the right place, God tells us: I AM here…wrapped in a manger. The manger is a messy place, but God came for messy people! A manger is approachable by all, no credentials needed, no long list to get your name on and schedule a meeting, and NO PRETENSE of cleanliness needed to come here. God came, compelled for His people, compelled to be reachable by all. What would be the purpose for the Messiah to come, then be out of reach of the very people He came to save? Jesus came for you and me to be found.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 8a: Did I know that God personally cares about me and desperately wants me to know His story on my behalf?

Verse 8b: Have I ever felt like everything I touch falls apart? Have I ever felt like a mess and been thrilled with that because the mess is why Jesus came?

Verse 8c: When have I felt overlooked, ignored, unimportant to all society? Do I know that I know, that I matter to God and that He sees me as precious, noticed, and loved? Have I ever thought of myself as God’s handmade creation who He loves more than anything? Do I realize that today, in God’s Word from Luke 2, God wants me to hear of His personal love for me?

Verse 9a: How has God gone out of His way to get my attention now and previously? When has God or His messengers shown up in my life? How did (do) I feel about that? Will I listen to what He has to say to me, or walk away fist raised in pride, bitterness and anger?

Verse 9b: Do I think that God hates me and just wants to yell at me and tell me how bad I am? Will I listen to what He really has to say to me?

Verse 10: Did I realize that this message in Luke 2 is inclusive for me? Or have I just thought it an ancient story exclusive about shepherds?

Verse 11: Do I realize my personal desperate need for a Savior? When have I craved peace to the inner turmoil, needed saving from my past, and desired personal hope for the future? Did I know that God came with skin on (Jesus) to provide that for His handmade creation (me)?

Verse 12: Did I realize that a manger is approachable for someone like me in my current condition? How long have I tried to straighten and clean myself up before I went to God? Did I realize that the manger is the perfect place to bring myself just as I am? Do I now see that God wanted to be reachable, so He came to a lowly place so I would not be the one out of place?

LIVE IT OUT!

Today, I will praise You LORD, for coming, not only to the messy shepherds that night, but to me! Thank You for coming to a messy place that I can come to without credentials, and without having to get cleaned up first. When I see the mess and the shame of my choices, You see the very reason You came. Lift my eyes, that I may see You, strengthen my legs that I may come to You.

Homework: LUKE 2:13-20

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Womens christmas luncheon

Ladies don’t miss out…December 7, 2014
Come and enjoy a festive afternoon with music, a message from Kendra Graham, and a delicious meal.
Open to area women ages 15 and above. Space is limited.
Click here for more information and to register!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 6:5-9

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 6:5-9

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 5: Sanballet sent his servant to me in the same manner a 5th time. Open letter in hand.

Verse 6: “It is reported among nations, you & the Jews are planning to rebel, therefore rebuilding the wall. You are to be king according to reports.”

Verse 7: You appointed prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem, “A king is in Judah”. It will be reported to the king. So let us counsel together.

Verse 8: Then I sent a message to him, “Such things have not been done, you are inventing them in your mind.”

Verse 9: All of them were trying to frighten us. “They will become discouraged with work and it will not be done.” Oh God, strengthen my hands.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 5: The enemy is persistent. We could take a page out of the enemies book like Nehemiah has and be just as persistent to finish what God has laid out before us.

Verses 6 and 7: False narratives and false motives WILL be placed upon us as we do what God has asked of us. The enemy here is escalating. In earlier chapters, they just mocked, now things have escalated to the point that they are trying to get Nehemiah killed by the king. The bigger the threat, the more desperate the enemy. The enemy knows what will really “get”to us…. the enemy WILL throw everything he can in our face to get us to stop…. surely, one of these lies Nehemiah will believe, right?! “Be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10

8: Nehemiah points out that he received the letter, but does not validate it’s contents. No long speech. No long “I’m offended”email or Facebook post, he refused to waste his time on an audience that didn’t care about the Truth. Facts are stubborn things, and we don’t need to respond to each and every accusation we receive. We need to stay close to the Truth and hold on tight to it.

9: Nehemiah is able to cut to the root cause of why the accusations and threats were flying….. they did not want the wall finished. Nehemiah knew the wall started because God called him to it, and will be finished again, only by the hand and strength of God. Nehemiah refused to be controlled by fear. God places us in impossible situations to build our faith…. challenges force choices. Nehemiah’s choice is to continue with God and see God finish what He started.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER.” II Timothy 1:7   “Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God!” Zechariah 4:6

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 5: What has God called me to finish? Am I persistent or am I quick to give up?

Verses 6 and 7: What lies has the enemy told me or you that we hold on to as cold hard fact, when it is anything but? Am I quick to believe a lie, or do I have the perseverance and belief in the Living God that I will stand and face it?

Verse 8: Do I allow God to define who and what I am, or am I quick to believe the lies the enemy wields to others? Am I holding on to the Truth or grasping for lies?

Verse 9: What challenges has God placed in my life currently to force me to choose to believe His Word over how I feel about it?

LIVE IT OUT!

LORD, strengthen my hands to continue what You have called me to do this day. Give me strength to pray and do the same thing tomorrow…. and the day after…. and the day after that….

Homework: Luke 2:8-11

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Womens christmas luncheon

Ladies don’t miss out…
Come and enjoy a festive afternoon with music, a message from Kendra Graham, and a delicious meal.
Open to area women ages 15 and above. Space is limited.
Click here for more information and to register!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 6:1-4

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 6:1-4

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 1: It was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, Gesham, and the rest of our enemies that I rebuilt the wall, no breaches in it; I had not set up doors in the gates

Verse 2: Sanballet and Gesham sent a message to me, “Come, let us meet in the plain of Ono”  they were planning to harm me.

Verse 3: I sent messengers, “I am doing a great work & cannot come. Why should work stop, I leave, and come to you?”

Verse 4: They sent messages 4 times. I answered them the same.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 1: When the opposition hears of the work that God is doing, it will raise eyebrows and tempers. Be prepared for opposition when you start doing what God has called you to do.

Verse 2: Come! You are working so hard, you need a vacay! Let me fly you to the Bahamas for a week or so! I am just so impressed with your hard dedicated work, and I will pay for everything! What an offer! Nehemiah receives an offer to take a little break from his labors, but Nehemiah knew his labors were not yet completed. Tempting maybe, but these people were not trustworthy and Nehemiah knew it. We can rationalize why we deserve it, but as so often is the case, there was another motive behind the generous offer. Nehemiah was able to see through the offer of a break. Sometimes, the ones most flattering to your face can be the very ones planning your downfall. No need to be paranoid though, discernment comes from God; seek Him in all things. You will be protected.

Verse 3: Nehemiah knew it was a distraction to leave what he was called to do, to try to soothe people who would not ever be soothed. Don’t get distracted dealing with people who are against you. Discernment is being able to see motives when everything looks perfect on the surface. Stay focused. Stay on course. Know what you have been called to do. Outward appearances can fool you. Be strong enough to say, No! Stay in the Word of God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct YOUR path.”

Verse 4: The persistence of the enemy can be overwhelming, persist in discernment. Stand strong. When you do work for God, ill meaning people, but also many well meaning people and noble causes may try to steal your attention. These are not bad things, but are not the things God has called you to. Be on guard. Know what God has called you to and have confidence in that.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 1: When have I experienced and expected opposition when I was just trying to do that which God called me to? What did I do with that opposition? Push through with the strength and power of God or succumb? See Ephesians 6:11-16

Verse 2: When have I needed God’s discernment in dealing with people? Did I look to God and His Word to lead me, or did I trust in my own knowledge? What situation now needs God’s discerning hand? Will I commit that to prayer before I move on it?
See Proverbs 3:5-6

Verse 3: Do I know what God has called me to, but have gotten distracted? If I do not know what God has called me to do, am I willing to seek that out in God’s Word on a daily basis?
See Psalm 32:8

Verse 4: Will I, or am I staying strong in spite of continuous, persevering opposition? See Ephesians 6:11-16

LIVE IT OUT!

Lord, help me today to do that which you have asked me to do. Give me focus and discernment as this world and the busyness of it serves as constant distraction. Place the armor of God on my frame and teach me how to use it.

Homework: Nehemiah 6:5-9

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 5:17-19

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:17-19  

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 17: At my table: 150 Jews, officials, besides those from nations around us.

Verse 18: Prepared each day: 1 Ox, 6 choice sheep, birds, once in 10 days all sorts of wine in abundance.  For all this I DID NOT demand the governor’s food allowance, because servitude was heavy on the people.

Verse 19:  Remember me, Oh God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 17:  Nehemiah, the governor, fed at least 150 people a day from his own abundance,, that he brought with him.  Even though Nehemiah was the governor, and had the right to hoard those things that were “his”, he freely shared them with his own people as well as strangers.  These “officials” which were beating payment out of the people were probably some of the ones enjoying the gracious table at Nehemiah’s quarters!  I should show grace, because I have received grace.  So often we are quick to take for ourselves then demand more from others. Oh that I can be gracious and not hold on to things so tightly!  Give of my things because someone else needs it more.  Don’t hoard the blessings of God.  True blessing is often in the giving out of our poverty than anything else.  Hard to do….. but a tremendous blessing.

Verse 18:  Nehemiah had every right to demand more for himself.  Nehemiah was the governor!  The people were required to house him, feed him and take care of him!  Nehemiah represented the King and the people were to treat him likewise with the honor and things due him.  Nehemiah took none of it. Instead of demanding food, which was his “right” he gave food.  The people could hardly take care of themselves, let alone a Governor with all his entourage.  A true leader considers the people before himself.

Verse 19:  Nehemiah writes all this in his journal…. not thinking we would all see, thank goodness we are! Nehemiah doesn’t flaunt his rights in front of anyone, but can go to God with all genuineness and say, “Remember me for good”.  How easy is it to flip and take all the power that he had a right to… but instead, Nehemiah fights that urge, and can go before God with a clean heart: He fought for God’s people.  He didn’t take advantage of them, he loved them and lead them to his best for God’s glory.  Nehemiah was serving for the eyes of One to see.  Not worried about what anyone else thought of him, but God who placed him there.  Whatever our hands find to do, may we do it as to the glory of God.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 17:  How is God challenging me to be that blessing of His grace to others in my life today?  Give forgiveness to someone when it’s not even asked for?  Give a dinner or a lunch to hurting friend? Give time to someone who needs to talk?

Verse 18: Where and in what aspect am I a leader?  As a leader, what “rights” have you earned that you demand from your people (family, church (Sunday School teacher, VBS worker, nursery worker are leaders too), committee, work, coach)?  What kind of leader am I?  Do others thrive under my leadership or do I get a lot of call outs when I am in charge?  How am I serving those under me?  Am I leading by example, or by the rights I have well earned and deserve?

Verse 19: At the end of the day yesterday and today, can I honestly go before God and say, “Remember me for this day, for good, for all I have done for Your people?”

LIVE IT OUT!

LORD, help me start a new trend, that I look to You to give me the strength to love those You have called me to love and work hard for an audience of One.  Help me to say at the end of this day, “Remember me this day for good, for all I have done for Your people.”  Give me eyes to see, a heart to listen and the feet to do.

Homework: Nehemiah 6:1-4

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 5:14-16

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:14-16

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 14: From the day I was appointed governor, for 12 years, neither I nor my kinsman have eaten the governor’s allowance

Verse 15: Former governors laid burdens on the people, even their servants domineered. I did not because of the fear of God.

Verse 16: I applied myself to the work on this wall; we did not buy land, all my servants gathered for work

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 14: Nehemiah, upset with the nobles for excising an unjust tax on the poor of the city in the middle of the famine shows true leadership. Nehemiah as a leader put forth an example of what it looks like to be a godly leader. Nehemiah had every right to make the people pay for his food and the food of his servants, but seeing the poor state of the people, Nehemiah does not take what is due him, and instead gives and shares what he has. Sometimes, the greatest example of a leader is someone willing to care about his people, understand the hardships they are facing and meet their needs; instead of constantly demanding his/her ego is stroked and that they get their just due all the time. Discernment and compassion are two qualities the leaders were lacking back then, as well as today.

Verse 15: Just because everyone who has gone before you in your position acted a certain way, and just because all those who went before you in your position demanded and deserved certain perks, does not mean that God called you to your position to demand the same things, even if they are due you. A godly leader is a high calling, and God has trusted you with that position, to represent Him, not a company or organization. We need to be careful to remember who we serve and represent….. My mom would always remind me, “Just because someone else does it or did it that way, does not mean God has called you to do the same!” Perhaps you were called by God because you could be trusted to serve Him above all.

Verse 16: Nehemiah did what no other governor did before him, Nehemiah came to work on the wall…. and work he did. His hands were just as dirty, as were his servants. Nehemiah led by example. Nehemiah did not get distracted in the calling to which God had given. Nehemiah did not take advantage of a perk just because it was there and he was expected to. Nehemiah had a higher calling, to serve the Lord God Almighty. Leaders need to show the compassion of Christ. Often, once we “arrive” at our higher position we say, “Whew, glad I don’t have to do that menial work anymore! Someone else can!” Maybe that should not be the attitude at all. Maybe in leadership, we should not forget, there is no work “beneath” us. Let’s not get lazy in our positions of leadership…. let’s get dirty for God!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

14: Where has God entrusted me to leadership? In the home, church, school, a company, organization, work, a committee, neighborhood watch… etc? How am I showing discernment and compassion? Am I leading so that my voice will drown out the others, or has God entrusted me in this position to listen and care for the concerns of others? How am I showing godly discernment in leadership, no matter how big or how small?

15: How am I representing the character of God in my position of leadership? Has God called me to give up a “right” or “perk” that I justly deserve? Do I lead to stroke my own ego, or am I leading to serve a living and risen Savior? Is it obvious to others that I have a higher calling? If Jesus came to give me a review, how would he rate my godly compassion and discernment? Does it even matter to me what God thinks of how I lead?

16: Have I stopped work because I think it’s beneath me? What if I helped and aided in the labor, not because I had to, but because I could? What example of leadership am I putting forth to those under me? Tyrannical or Compassionate? Do I dare ask those in my home, committee, work, organization, school, prayer group, Bible study group??? If I was led by someone like me would I say it’s reflecting God’s character or the world’s expectation?

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, help me lead in the areas You have called me to with grace, compassion and discernment. Strengthen my hands to work, my mouth to encourage and my heart to love those You have entrusted me with.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:17-19

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 5:11-13

Nehemiah

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:11-13

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 11: Please give them back this day their fields, vineyards, olive groves, houses, 1/100 part of the money, grain, new wine and oil you are exacting from them.

Verse 12: We will give it back, require nothing from them. (b) I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to their promise.

Verse 13: I shook out my garment, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and possessions who does not fulfill this promise, he be shaken and emptied.” The assembly said “Amen”. (b)They praised the LORD. Then the people did.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 11: Nehemiah used the Word of God to speak and convict the people of God in the previous verses. Nehemiah was angry and instead of chewing the people out with some choice words, he consulted with himself, he calmed down and He read the law of the LORD in regards to extracting extra high taxes from the people…. it was against God’s Law. Who cares about what I think and you think, what does God say? God’s Word doesn’t change. Sin is a BIG DEAL in God’s eyes…. so BIG that He was compelled to come and take the penalty for it Himself on the cross. Sin must be dealt with. When the Word of God was read, and the nobles realized their sin in front of a Holy God…. they were broken over it. In this case, conviction doesn’t just lead to saying “I’m Sorry” and all is done and over with, Nehemiah laid it out there, the nobles and rulers must make restitution in this case, and give back what they had unjustly taken from the people, give back what they stole. This reminds me of Zaccheaus in the New Testament, a very similar situation with a tax collector. When He was confronted with his sin in the presence of Jesus, Zaccheaus couldn’t wait to make restitution, 10 fold. The conviction of the Spirit of God, hurts, but is sweet when fellowship is restored. Our actions show the evidence of God’s grace and mercy we received.

Verse 12a: As evidence of a true repentant heart, the nobles and rulers had no arguments about giving back what they had extracted and stolen. A true repentant heart does not need to justify their sinful actions. I love that. To admit you are a sinner, takes tremendous humility.

Verse 12 b &13a: Words vs action. It is one thing to say in front of Nehemiah and the people, yes, yes, we were wrong and to agree to fix it, so the attention will go away, but it is another thing to actually make restitution. I believe here, the nobles and rulers were truly broken over their sin, but it’s one thing about money and things, they are sure hard to give up when the rubber hits the road… truly! We HATE accountability, but personal accountability, no matter how much we hate that people will doubt our word, is so needed. George Washington said “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” All of us are bent to that sin nature, admit it or not. We need accountability, even the most noble of the noble can fall!

Verse 13b: They praised and they did. True repentance brings such joy in restitution! They praised the LORD with their hearts, the sin being dealt with, then they went and they did what they promised. There is such sweetness in that reunion with the LORD. When the sin is removed we realize what we have been missing in the presence of the LORD. Praise God for personal forgiveness, grace and mercy! The JOY of repentance!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 11: When have I been convicted by God’s Word? Is there something today, here and now that has been between me and my Lord? With things right between God and I in the heavenly realm, has God laid on my heart something that needs to be done in the earthly realm? Speaking forgiveness to someone? Accepting forgiveness from someone? Returning something I have stolen whether it be money, things, a reputation…? What has God laid on my heart to do?

Verse 12a: Am I truly repentant, or am I still offering up reasons for justification to a Holy God about my sin and what He is convicting me of? When will I let go of my pride?

Verse 12b & 13a: Do I buck accountability? Who do I have holding me accountable? Do I think that person does that because they refuse to trust me, or has God allowed that person as a safeguard upon my heart?

Verse 13b: Have I been missing that closeness with the LORD because I refuse to make things right? When has that sweet restitution to the LORD brought such joy and thankfulness for the cross?

LIVE IT OUT!
Today, LORD, convict my heart over Your Word, and give me the strength to make things right, this is only possible through Your supernatural strength and guidance. Prick my heart with Your Word, and prod me to move on it. Thank you for your forgiveness of me, help me to forgive others, and seek that forgiveness and restitution when called for.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:14-16

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study… Nehemiah 5:6-9

Nehemiah
Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:6-9 

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 6: I was very angry when I heard their cry & these words.

Verse 7: a. I consulted with myself, b. contended with the nobles & rulers, held an assembly against them.

Verse 8: We have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold, now to sell your brothers to us?  They were silent.

Verse 9: The thing you are doing is not good.  Walk in the fear of God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 6: The fact that God’s people were hurting unjustly at the hands of each other, angered Nehemiah.  The hurt of God’s people mattered.  The disunity of God’s people mattered.  Nehemiah was just not in the “business” of building a wall; the actual people were personal to him, as shown by his emotional response.  It was more about the people within the wall, than the wall itself.  Oh that we could truly understand when Jesus said, “I desire compassion over sacrifice.” Matthew 12:7.  It is easier to do stuff in front of people than to actually love the people you are doing it for.

Verse 7a:  Before you go and freak out and rant and rave…. it is always best to consult yourself first.  Then you are not putting down other people, saying things you will regret or making more of a problem than solution.

Verse 7b:  Confrontation and accountability is never easy, but necessary.  Confront the problem head on using the Word of God, not my word.  Don’t let problems and disunity fester no matter who it is you have to confront.  Best to get it over with after the initial anger has subsided. Exodus 22:25 states the nobles and rulers were wrong in what they were doing.

Verse 8: The Truth is stated.  Let the Truth do the convicting, not accusations or finger pointing.  Simply stated the Truth will set you free, but make you miserable first. – James A Garfield
There was no defense or justification on the part of the nobles when confronted with the Truth.  You may not like the Truth, but that does not change the fact of the Truth.

Verse 9:  Confront the issue.  What you are doing is not good.  We already have enemies (basically the rest of the world as we know it) and now to add to that, we are enemies against ourselves?  The reason we don’t do what the rest of the world does and we do not take advantage of our fellow man and brother for our own personal gain, is not because we can’t but because we walk in more fear of God, than man.  We care about what God cares about more than our own selfish gain;  if we do not, then we need to take a hard look at the condition of our soul. God cares about people. The Word of God is delivered, then the choice rests with those who heard.  Matthew 6:24 “NO ONE can serve two masters; for either you will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 6: Do I have compassion for the people God has placed in my family? Church? Neighborhood? Daily Life?  Will I take time and ask God to give me compassion for those I run in to daily?

Verse 7a: Am I quick to speak in anger to everyone around, or do I wait until the anger has simmered down?

Verse7b: Do I base my arguments on the emotion of anger, or the fact of God’s Word?

Verse 8:  Do I let the Word of God to the talking, and let God do the convicting, or do I want to point my finger and justify my point of view?

Verse 9: Do I care more about being successful according the standard of the world, or do I care more about what God has set forth in His Word?  Where is my focus? Do I strive to (Leviticus 11:24)  “Be holy as God is holy?” Am I pursuing holiness? (Hebrews 12:14).

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, convict me according to Your Word.  Give me compassion for your people, and give me the ability to live it out.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:11-13

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!