Tag Archives: Online Bible Study

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!

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 4:13-15

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 4:13-15 

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.

13:  I stationed men in the lowest parts, exposed places, in families with their swords, spears, and bows. 

14:  When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, officials and people: Do not be afraid of them, remember the Lord who is great and awesome; fight for your brothers, sons, daughters, wives and houses. 

15: When our enemies heard God had frustrated their plan, all of us returned to the wall, to his 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? 

13:  Do not panic, don’t run, be courageous.  Be on guard. Don’t live in denial, know where the weakness lies and fortify!  Nehemiah’s people will not go out looking for a fight, but the people of God will be ready to make a stand if need be. STAND. 

14:  It is important to remember who we serve.  He that is in us (me!) is greater than he that is in the world…. easy to say, hard to believe.  It is important to remember what is at stake as well (our families’ present and future generations).  The STAND you make and the STAND I make TODAY matters! Courage now. 

15:  Often times when the enemy sees it will not be an easy victory, and we will just not hand over the keys to the city and rights to our lives, the enemy will back down and we can get back to work. 

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?

13:  Where has God placed me to make a stand?  What places in my life, in my church, in my family, on the job, need to be fortified?  Do I tend to respond in panic when attacks are imminent or do face them in the power and strength of God’s Word and promises?   

14:  Have I sidelined myself not thinking that what I may or may not do for God matters? When have I made a stand for Christ and when do I wish I had the courage to make a stand for Christ?

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, help me today, where I am to be able to make a stand for You.  Whether it is with my children as I break up an argument, or at work while my co-workers strike up  conversation, or anywhere I may be.  Give me confidence in Your Word and Your promises as I stand on them today.

Homework: Nehemiah 4:20-23

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!