Category Archives: Bible Study Community with Kendra Graham

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

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!

Kendra’s Bible Study… Nehemiah 5:2-5

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 5:2-5

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 2: “We, sons and daughters and many, let us get grain to eat and live.

Verse 3: “We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, houses, to to get grain because of the famine.

Verse 4: “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.

Verse 5: “Our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. We are forcing our sons/ daughters to be slaves. We are helpless, our fields and vineyards belong to others.

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 2:  I love that Nehemiah does not leave out the tough stuff.  The book of Nehemiah is so much deeper than just building a wall.  God cares so much more about us than just getting stuff done…. everything is personal, and God works in personal ways throughout the process.  God is working here on the hearts of His people toward one another.  To do the wall project, people had to work, and work hard, all day, and keep watch at night…. so who was maintaining the fields? For awhile, the fields would need to wait, there was a famine anyway, so the fields were not lush and productive…. this meant, there were hungry people.  Were they hungry because they were lazy? No.  There was a famine and a wall to build.  At times like this, is when you come together and help one another get through.  The problem was…. there was no “helping” one another.  There were needy, hungry people working on the wall, trying to do what they could to survive.

Verse 3-5:  Since the fields were not producing, and the work on the wall needed to get done, the people were mortgaging their fields just to try to stay afloat, because regardless of food production the people would be taxed on the land and the food they should have grown. In order to pay the debt, the people had no other choice but to send their children into slavery to pay the debt that is owed.  paying off debt and being good stewards of our money God has entrusted is one thing, but in this case, the land owners (their own people) were exacting the money and placing impossible taxes on things, knowing there was a famine, and knowing about the wall project, and doing this to their own people.  The wealthy within the walls of Jerusalem were looking at the situation with greed in their heart, seeing there was money to be made in the crisis, who cares that they will be required to destroy their own people and friends, it was an opportunity for them to make money. (verse 11)  The people have worked so hard, and come so far, and beat off enemy attacks yet prevailed against it all, yet here, among themselves, without one “shot” fired from an enemy, there is potential for the whole thing to come tumbling down from within.  Is this not the story of so many churches and ministries out there?  We destroy ourselves, no need for an enemy at all.  Jesus tells us:

John 13:35, “By THIS everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you LOVE one another.” Ephesians 4:3 “Make EVERY effort to keep the unity of the Spirit though the bond of peace.”

Unity takes effort.  Do not take advantage of your brother or sisters poor state, instead, fight for them.

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 2: At work, at school, at church, there are people I interact with every day that are needy, how has God enabled me to bless their lives? (Not forgetting the needy ones may be the little hands and feet you tuck into bed each night…. we get so busy sometimes we overlook those under our nose).

Verse 3-5:  Do I take advantage of people or invest in people?  Do I try to exact things from people because they are a Christian? (This is a Christian dentist, mechanic, doctor… so he should give me this or that for free or at a discounted price?…. this is taking advantage)  Am I quick to turn my back on someone if it is to my advantage? How am I working to keep unity in my home, school, job, church?

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, give me the eyes to see the need and the heart to love Your people in the unity of the Spirit.

What are your thoughts on this verse?  Please leave your remarks in the comments section below.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:6-9

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:11-12

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 4:11-12 

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. 

11a: Our enemies said…..

11b: They will not know or see until we come, kill them, and stop the work.

12: The Jews who live near them came and told us 10 times.  They will come against us from every place.  

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? 

11a: The enemies of God will always have a voice it seems…. and a loud voice at that.  Notice that it has only been “voices” though.  Until this point there has only been mockery trying to get God’s people to stop…. often that is all it takes. 

11b:  The enemy…. “A roaring lion?”….. a lion only roars after it catches it’s prey, to signal to others, the kill is his, and to signal to the prey, there is no escape now.  A lion seeking for prey; however, is very stealth, quiet and patient, waiting for just the right moment to pounce and capture.  The lion does not announce how or when it is coming in, it just does, in a moment.  The prey must always be on guard, watching.  Here in 11b, those seeking to destroy God’s people are making a plan, a “sneak attack”, but as so often with the enemy, they cannot keep their plans to themselves, and in their pride it gets out just what they are planning.  The plans are daunting though…. just the plans without proof of implementation again are often enough to stop the work of God’s people.  The people of God do not know if it is rhetoric or real, but judging from the past, they believe it to be real.  If work continues on the wall, the people could possibly be killed for it.  Is the wall something they are willing to lay their lives, and their families’ lives down for?  The enemy’s plan is always to stop the work of God’s people no matter what they have to say or do.  Again… the enemy has no problem being single-minded vs. all things God’s people.  BE ON GUARD!!!! 

12:  I read this verse and one word comes to mind: FEAR.  The positive thing here: hey, they found out the plans of the enemy!  God revealed this information to them!  Great, now, the lion in wait will not be quite so invisible, they can formulate a plan and make a stand!  Often formulating a plan to combat the enemy is not what we do.  If you are me, I totally freak out and want to hide.  10 separate times the Jews who overheard the plans of the enemy told Nehemiah…. this shows me that there was some panic brewing in their hearts and minds.  If the enemy cannot mock us enough to stop the work, maybe the enemy can scare us to stay in bed and not continue… BUT “If God be for us, who then can be against us?” Romans 8:31

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? 

11a:  Do I give more credence to the voice of the enemy than the voice of God in my life?

11b:   Do I listen more intently to the plans of the enemy for me instead of the plans God has for me?  How has the enemy been able to distract/stop me from the work God has called me to?  Am I on guard for similar attacks from the enemy?  (Mockery and threats.) 

12:  Do I believe God and take Him at His Word?  Do I believe God will be faithful to me? Is it easier to believe God will be faithful to everyone else but me?  Can my life be described as a life of faith or fear?  Am I quick to panic or pray?  Do I know what God has called me to and believe that He will complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6)? 

LIVE IT OUT!
LORD, help me to see the plans of the enemy and then not to panic, but to pray, leaving them at Your feet as I continue that which You have set before me to do.  Help me to give more credence to Your Word than the word of the world.

Homework: Nehemiah 4:13-15 

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:10

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 4:10  

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 10a:  In Judah it was said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing. 

Verse 10b: Yet there is much rubbish. 

Verse 10c: We ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall. 

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? 

10a:  God’s people are being challenged from the inside here.  The people are exhausted.  Haven’t we all been there?  I am there right now.  Just when you think you are making real headway, and your excitement is high and energy is focused, in one second it can all be gone.  From the highest point in chapter 4:6, when everyone was on board and cruising with passion and anticipation, to just four verses down the page when we hit total discouragement.  The halfway point is a dangerous place… an easy place to stop.  It is not how you start, but how you finish. It’s exciting to start a bold new adventure; it is difficult to persevere when overwhelmed to the point of utter discouragement.  Press on.  “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the LORD has promised to those who love Him.”-I Peter 5:4 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for what God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14.  PRESS ON in the face of discouragement in the strength of the LORD.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Phil 4:13 

10b:  There is so much to do…. it seems like the little bit I can contribute is not even worth it.  It is easy to feel insignificant in the face of so much work.  You have a million reasons to quit and one reason to continue…. you have been called by God to keep on keeping on.  God does not call us to tasks to finish halfway.  Isaiah 40:31  But those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, we will run and not grow weary and walk and not faint. I love that verse.  But those who wait on the LORD.  A decision to go to the LORD and rest in His Word and His promises needs to be made. 

10c:  God calls us to things that only He can do.  There is always a gap when God calls His people between what they can do and what He must do…. this gap involves faith and obedience.  We were designed to need God.  God calls us to places where faith is a necessity for completion.  It never seems to be easy.

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? 

10a: Will I persevere with what God has called me to do? 

10b: How easy is it for me to sink into the hole of insignificance and believe the lie that what I am doing doesn’t matter and won’t make a difference?  How many reasons can I find to quit?  What is the one reason I have to continue?  What promises do I need to claim? 

10c:  Did I think it was a design flaw that I couldn’t do it myself?  Why is dependence on God such a hard thing to do?  Where has God called me to faith and obedience in my life today?  

LIVE IT OUT!
Show me where you have called me today and strengthen me to do work in the power of Your might.  Open my eyes today to see Your mighty hand in my life, whether it is clearing rubbish at the work site, cleaning hands and feet of wee ones in my home, or working in a place where I feel invisible day in and day out.  Give me that tenacity and perseverance today for You. 

Homework: Nehemiah 4:11-12

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:7-9

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 4:7-9  

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 7: When Sanballet, Tobiah, Arabs, Ammonites, Ashdodites, heard the repair went on, breaches closed, they were VERY ANGRY. 

Verse 8: ALL OF THEM conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem to cause disturbance. 

Verse 9a: We prayed to our God.  

Verse 9b: We set a guard against them day and night. 

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 7-8:  The world gets ANGRY and unites when God’s people come together.  When we put down our own pride, selfishness, desire to see things done our way in our time and let God work, the world notices and tries everything within its power to destroy the people of God.  When the power and grip of the oppressors becomes less and less in the lives of God’s people, the world and it’s oppressors will fight tooth and nail to get it back.  There is such freedom in dependance upon God.  This is a difficult thing to sink into our hearts, even the hearts of God’s own people.  John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”   

Verse 9a:  We are NOT defenseless in the midst of persecution.  We have the God of the universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End that we can go to who cares and loves us more than anything!  “Cast your cares upon Him for HE CARES FOR YOU!” I Peter 5:7.  We have a direct line to the throne room of God Almighty.  It is not what we can do that matters, but where we go to LEAVE our matters.  There were no complaints, no committees, no “self-defense for dummies” course.  They went to God first not last. 

Verse 9b:  It is easy to compromise, hard to stand.  God’s people didn’t shirk or shrink back from the threat.  The people were not warriors or Army Rangers by any means, they were just people unwilling to allow the culture of the time to dictate who they would be and what they could do.  They were the people of God and they would stand, together…. day and night.  I love how they were not ignorant of the problem, they were not living in denial (if I ignore it, it will go away), they peacefully with self-defense ready, stood guard.  Prepared for the worst, hoping for the best.

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 7-8:  Am I surprised when the world, the media, culture of the day, popular thought, want to destroy all things having to do with Jesus?  How have my beliefs been challenged by those around me?  

Verse 9a: Am I quick to go to prayer or is prayer my last resort?  Do I spend more time complaining and worrying about a situation or praying about a situation? 

Verse 9b: Do I have the courage to be bold for Christ and stand unashamed for what God has called me to do?  Do I have a pattern of fear, shrinking back when confronted or a pattern of standing firm even when my knees are shaking? 

LIVE IT OUT!
It is always easier to just fade into the woodwork, to go along with popular thought and just stand down instead of standing up, to be silent instead of speaking.  Today, LORD, give me the boldness I need to stand. 

“Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.  Not to speak, is to speak.  Not to act is to act.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Homework: Nehemiah 4:10

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:6

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 4:6  

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 6a: We built the wall, the whole wall was joined together to half its height,  
Verse 6b: the people had a mind to 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 6a:  The greatest verse in the chapter!  The people chose not to be swayed, distracted or discouraged, they decided to be determined in this verse.  The impossible was happening…. 1/2 the wall was brought up in no time!!! Sometimes it is easy to miss what God is doing because the opposition takes up so much of the view in our eyes and thoughts in our heads.  Don’t miss what God IS doing because it is so easy to get caught focusing on what He is not.
Verse 6b: God did answer the prayer of Nehemiah from verses 4-5, just not in the way Nehemiah asked.  Nehemiah asked that his enemies be shut down, defeated, demoralized and silenced….. instead, God raised up His people to be unified and brought together in the face of the opposition.  The opposition continued, yet so did God’s people.  The power is not in the hand of the opposition, but all power in and over the situation belongs to 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 6a: Am I so focused on what God is not doing, that I am missing what God is doing?  What has God called me to today?  Will I become distracted and demoralized because God has not allowed things to be easy?  When have I kept my eyes on God in such a way that I didn’t realize all God was doing in such a short time?
Verse 6b: Do I get upset that God doesn’t answer my prayer when and how I have asked? DO I miss how God is strengthening me right in the middle of my trial? How much do I stress and freak out and worry over people and circumstances that I have no power over?  Why is it so hard to leave things in the hand of God for whom nothing is impossible and wait for His deliverance, His way? 

LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.  

Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason?? 

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life. 

LORD, strengthen me today to focus on what you have put in front of me to do, and not to become distracted or defeated by what is out of my power but to leave it all at the foot of Your throne.  #nothingisimpossible #Godofwonders 

Homework:
Nehemiah 4:7-9

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:3-5

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 4:3-5 

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 3:  Tobiah was near and said: “What they are building-  if a fox should jump on it, he would break their wall down.” 

Verse 4:  “Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads, give them up for plunder in a land of captivity.”

Verse 5: “Do not forgive and let not their sin be blotted out before You, they have demoralized the builders.” 

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 3:  We like to say things like, “Sticks and stones break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” That is so far from the truth.  There are times I wished my bones were broken instead of my heart that ached from sour words.  Constant mockery and insults will wear us down.  Here, the people are being told that all their hard work is just a total waste of time.  They are not contractors, they have shoddy  materials, all this wall is going to do is incite anger from the surrounding people and then they will see how weak their wall is.  The enemy tells them they will fail…. just like they always fail…How the enemy loves to feed us lies, and how we love to feed on those lies for some reason.  What we do, when we are doing that which God has called us to, does indeed matter.  I love the verse I Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, BE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the LORD.  What God calls you to do, matters.  Even if you “feel” like what you are doing does not matter and is not putting a dent in the problem… and since you started doing that which God has called you to, the matter often seems to have gotten a lot worse…. don’t believe it.  Stay strong.  Immoveable.  Stop believing the lie that it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t do what God has laid on your heart. Rise up and be brave. 

Verses 4-5:  Nehemiah’s response?  Go to the source of the lies, and chew them out?  Put a status on FaceBook explaining his side of the story and get a “he said/ he said” battle raging in the community?  Speak out against the bullies to the workers?  The lies of the enemy want to divide God’s people into different camps, because if the enemy can accomplish that, then with that division among the people,  no work will get accomplished.  The enemy always seems to be able to unite on one premise: Destroy lovers of God.  The enemy will unify to divide families (husbands and wives who love the Lord).  The enemy loves to divide churches, committees, Christian schools,  Christians on a sport team, members on a mission trip that started out with one singular purpose, but shortly after arriving on site…. everything falls apart and there is no unity.  Nehemiah wisely sees this, so he goes to prayer.  The same M.O. that Nehemiah has had since the beginning.  Nehemiah knows that he knows that God has called him and the people to build the wall, so God must take care of the enemy for them.  This is God’s glory at stake, not Nehemiah’s.  Nehemiah asks God to do to the enemy what the enemy wants to do to God’s people.  Nehemiah brings the problem to God in prayer, and then leaves it at the throne of God to deal with.  God called Nehemiah and His people to this impossible task, God was not unaware of the opposition.  The enemies were against God, God’s people, and God’s plan, so Nehemiah left them in God’s hands, refusing to be distracted, demoralized or divided.

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 3:  When have I wanted to quit because I believed the lies of the enemy that what I was doing didn’t matter and would fall apart even though God had clearly called me to do it?  Am I “immovable and steadfast” when it comes to obedience to God or am I quick to give up and run the other way when adversity strikes and my motives and work are challenged? 

Verse 4-5:  When have I spoken out of turn when I should have been silent and brought the issue to the LORD and LEFT it there?  God has so many more resources, so much more wisdom and the power to correctly deal with the opposition, so why do I think it is my responsibility?  When should I have let God defend Himself, me and His people instead of getting in the middle of things and making a bigger mess? 

LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.  

Is there a main theme to them?
  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason?? 

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

LORD, help me to trust in you today: to stand where You say stand and to stay when You say stay (even when I want to RUN), and to bring the opposition to You on my knees before I say or do anything rash.  Help me to trust You.

Homework: Nehemiah 4:6

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:2

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 4:2  

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.

2a: He spoke in the presence of his brothers & the wealthy men of Samaria. 

2b: What are these “feeble” Jews doing? 

2c: Are they going to restore it for themselves?

2d:  Can they finish in a day?

2e: Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?

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? 

2a: Discouragement also is trying to be heaped upon God’s people here, by Sanballat going to the “powerful and influential.”  It’s all about power and money, right?  Sanballat is missing THE one HUGE key ingredient here…. God is NOT dependent upon power, money and influence found in our communities and world at large; WE are overly concerned with that for sure…. but not God.  I believe the wall was bought and paid for in its entirety in Ezra when God’s people confessed then repented of their sin….  if we as God’s people cared more about “Ezra projects” (the repentance of God’s people)  instead of “Nehemiah” (the “works” of God’s people) projects…. We would be amazed at the power of our God!  This wall (the wall Jesus would walk through personally) was too important to be built upon anything less than the repentance of God’s people.  This project in Nehemiah can’t be stopped because a few influential people who hold the money and political power in the region want it stopped…. it is so much bigger than that!  If only we as God’s people would believe that today!!!

2b: When we are weak, He is strong. 2 Corinthians 12 :9 “… My strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I BOAST in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest on me”.  There is always an element of Truth in mockery; however, weakness is not a bad trait to have, it sounds like it is God’s specialty.  That is good news for me!

2c: It is not about me at all… or about the Jews here at all…. they are not going against the king, they have letters to prove that…(the enemy knows that, but they don’t care, it is what they can get others to believe about you that matters to them).  The enemy will discourage through the twisting of motives, and announce to the “world” your evil and selfish intentions.  Hold tight to the Word of God and what He has called you to.  Nehemiah 1:9 “… but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’

2d:  The enemy loves to oppose by stating the obvious: It is too much for you, it is an impossible assignment.  God calls us to impossible assignments, they are His specialty.  This shows our need and dependance for Him.  This is where we need to have those promises of God in our hearts, knowing that we know God has called us to it.  John Wesley told William Wilberforce, as Wilberforce was preparing to take on the world super power (England) to rid the country of the slave trade, that, “Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men.”  

2e: How the enemy LOVES to remind us of our past failures.  Remember the past??? The stones you have are not only rubble, that has been sitting around for years just disintegrating, but the ones that arent already falling to pieces, well, they are burned with fire…. and THAT is the material you are building this “wall” with???  THAT decision you made years ago… doesnt THAT disqualify you for being anything of substance for God? God cant use THAT! Once people see THAT they wont give you the time of day…. what a mockery to your God….  Oh how the lies the enemy tells… an element of truth wrapped in a lie… we tend to believe the lie, instead of the Truth.  The lie: My mistake and ruin is too much for God to redeem, fix and use…. (I dont want Him to use it anyway)  Our extreme and limited view of who God is mixed in with our own personal pride of what we have told God He can and cannot use, is a sadder commentary than that of Sanballet shoving it in their faces.  The RUIN IS THE REASON Jesus came!!! If there was no ruin, why would we need Him.  We need to be honest with God here.  The truth of the matter really comes down to this: We dont want Him to use the ruin in our lives.  We dont want to show the dusty rubble or the bricks that were burned by fire… then people will know….  I argue…. then people will be able to relate and the Hope which has evaded them for so long will be within grasp!  We are all in desperate need for a Savior, and maybe our dusty rubble will be the thing that brings others to Jesus!  In order to do that; however, we need to get over ourselves.  That is the challenge.  God rebuilds, redeems and restores the rubble for His glory.  LET HIM!


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? 

2a: Do I tend to believe that all the cards are held by influential and powerful people, or by the “LORD God of heaven, the Great and Awesome God” (Neh 1:5)??  Do I believe God needs all those in power to be on His side to accomplish that which He needs? Have I forgotten Isaiah 55:8-11 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than you ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.  For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth.. so shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”?  Why do I think I always need everyone on my side to accomplish that which God has set out to do?  

2b: Do I tend to think my weakness disqualifies me for being involved in the impossible things God is doing?  Will I allow God to use my GREATEST weakness for His glory, or is that off limits?  Would I rather God work from my list of strengths? 

2c: When have my motives been twisted by others?  Am I more worried about what others perceive about me, and their words, or what God says about me in His Word? Do I know that I know what I have been called to according to the unchanging Word and promises of God?  Will I hold fast in the day of adversity? 

2d: What has God called me to do that only He can do?  Do I believe He can and will see it through to completion?

2e: What shattered, dusty, broken down ruin in my life does God want to redeem for His glory?  Do I think it is even possible?  OR Do I know it is possible and I just don’t want God to use some of that stuff?  Is my pride keeping God’s glory at bay in my life? 

LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage. 

Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

LORD, help me to see the discouragement of the enemy today.  I pray You bring Your Word to mind and heart that I may combat that discouragement with the power of Your never changing Word and promises.

Homework: Nehemiah 4:3-5

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:1

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 4:1
(NOTE: We will post notes from 4:2 on Tuesday April 15 due to length.)

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. 

1a: When Sanballet heard we were rebuilding he became FURIOUS and ANGRY.

1b:  He mocked the Jews.

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?

1a:  People get angry when our priorities change from the things of this world controlling us, (people, circumstances, job or position) to being controlled by Jesus, our God and Savior who loves us. When we choose to follow Christ, there will be kickback.  Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this, the world hates you.”

1b: Often the chosen and effective form of opposition from the enemy to get God’s people to cease living lives of obedience, is found in simple, yet powerful mockery.  Mockery discourages us “people pleasers” for sure! The enemy would love to laugh me out of the work God has called me to.  Jesus was constantly mocked by the very people He loved enough to redeem through His death on the cross.

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?

1a: Am I afraid to be “all in” to follow Jesus with complete abandon because of the kickback I will have to endure from family, friends, co-workers etc?  When have I made others angry because I chose to be defined by Jesus and not a person, job or title?

1b:  When and how did mockery keep me from that which God has called me to?  Do I give to much weight to what others think and say?  When I take a moment to observe, how much time does much of the media spend on the mockery of Christians and Jesus followers?  Is the mockery in the media bias enough to keep Jesus and obedience in my life at bay?  Simple words and opinion from people who don’t have any idea who God is? 

LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage. 
Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

LORD, today, help me to remember that You withstood mockery in the midst of redeeming mankind on the cross.  Give me the strength to cling to You in spite of “popular” opinion.

Homework: Nehemiah 4:2

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 3:1-5

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 3:1-5 

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.

1a:  Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers and built the Sheep Gate. 

1b: They consecrated it and hung it, they consecrated the wall to the Tower.

2: The men of Jericho built, and next to them Zaccur built.

3-4: The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate, next to him Meremoth made repairs, next to him Meshullam made repairs, next to him Zadok made repairs.

5: Moreover, the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not support the 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?

1a: Leadership looks like this.  The High Priest gets to work.  Hard work should not be beneath the leaders.  I LOVE that there is no delegation here, it is leading by example not by mere words.  I love how first it is the “Sheep Gate” mentioned here.  These walls that Nehemiah rebuilds are the walls that Jesus will enter.  The sheep gate, the gate of sacrifice, how fitting, that the Lamb of God will walk through these gates of this city and be that sacrifice for our sin.  God is always focused on the redemption of His creation that He loves. 

1b: By example, the leader consecrates the task to God.  We need to set the work apart that we do for God; then, when the work is finished remember who made it possible. The glory is going to God, not the leaders.

 2. Others who were not part of the city, but wanted to be a part of what God was doing were allowed to work.  No snobbishness here or exclusivity. 

3-4.  I see unity of God’s people here.  When my focus is on God and the task He has called me to, there is no time to worry if others are “doing it right”, nor the pettiness of who is beside me. 

5. Still others from surrounding cities, coming to help! I love it!  Their nobles did not love it.  When we do things for God, there will likely be pushback from those who don’t agree.  Kind of a sad commentary that these nobles have written down on their behalf forever.  The only thing I know about them, is they didn’t support the work God was doing in their zip code.  Often times those people who will not support what God is doing in your life will be those closest to you, that you know.  It is hard to persevere and continue on when your heart is hurting in the process.  Know what God has called you to and do it, even through the hurt. 

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? 

1a:  Am I quick to delegate out everything, or am I quick to roll up my sleeves with all the rest?  Do I need credit, do I NEED people to know where I fall in the chain of command or will I be ok getting dirty for God with all the rest?  Do I prefer to lead by directions and words or by action?  How thankful am I that Jesus led by action as He walked through that “Sheep Gate” on the Via Dolorosa and paid the penalty for my sin? 

1b: When have I consecrated the task up front to the LORD?  Is it easy to want to take partial credit for the work instead of all the credit and glory to God? 

2: When have I excluded people from the work?  Have I felt threatened, like someone was “edging” in on my “territory” so I quickly shun them back from wherever they came from, or do I welcome new comers to the work that God has laid out before US?   

3-4:  Am I adding to the unity of the body of Christ or disunity?  Am I focused on the task God has laid before me to do or am I consumed with how everyone else is not doing it right, and if I was in charge then things would be different?  DO I trust God with the assignments He has given others?  Do I trust God with the assignment that He has given me?  Am I more focused with who is working beside me than Who is working in me? 

5: Am I quick to scurry back when opposition rises?  Will I work for God anyway in spite of the personal opposition that is before me?  Am I the one constantly trying to put a wrench in everything God is doing, refusing to be a part and trying to discourage others in the process?  What would God write my description to be regarding His work among His people in His church?  Am I indifferent to the work God is doing in my community or an active part, whether on my knees or hammer in hand? 

LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.  Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??

Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Lord, change my heart to focus on those things You want me focus on.  Where are You working in my life and what is it that You have called me to do today?  Open my eyes to see, my heart to receive and my feet to move.  Calm the spirit of complaint that always seems to rise when others work differently than I would.  May my eyes stay focused on You not others.

Homework: Nehemiah 4: 1-2

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