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Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 15:11-32

Online(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 Luke 15:11-32

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.

Verses 11 & 12: A man had two sons; the younger said, “Father give me the share that falls to me.” He divided his wealth between them.

 Verse 13: The younger gathered everything, went into a distant country, and squandered his estate with loose living.

 Verse 14: When he spent everything, a severe famine hit and he began to be in need.

 Verse 15: He attached himself to a citizen of that country, he sent him to feed swine.

 Verse 16: He was longing to fill his stomach; no one was giving anything to him.

 Verses 17-19: He came to his senses and he said, “My father’s men have more than enough; I will get up, go to my father and say, ‘I have sinned; I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me as one of your hired men.’ ”

 Verse 20: He came to his father. While he was a long way off, his father saw him, felt compassion for him, ran, embraced him, and kissed him,

Verse 21: The son said, “I have sinned, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

Verses 22 & 23: The father said, “Bring out the best robe, put it on him, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf, let us eat and be merry.”

Verse 24: “This son of MINE was dead, and has come to life AGAIN. He was LOST and has been found.”

Verses 25 & 26: His older son came, approached the house, heard music and dancing, summoned a servant and began inquiring.

Verse 27 & 28a: Your brother has come, your father has killed the fattened calf, and he has received him back safe and sound. He became angry, not willing to go in.

Verse 28b: His father came out and began entreating him.

Verses 29 & 30: He answered, “LOOK! For years I have been serving YOU, I NEVER neglected a command, YET YOU NEVER GAVE ME…. BUT WHEN this son of YOURS came…. YOU…. for HIM!

Verse 31: He said, “My child, you have always been with Me, all that is mine is yours.”

Verse 32: We had to rejoice this brother of YOURS was dead and has begun to live, was lost and has been found.”

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?

Verses 11 & 12: This story is for church people, given by Jesus. Jesus uses words and stories that we as church people can understand and relate to. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) “The words of the reckless pierce like swords.” Proverbs 12:18. It matters to God what my heart proclaims to Him in His presence.

Verse13: The younger son grew up in His presence; having head knowledge of His Father’s Word, and His character. The son desired all the presents of the Father, but none of His presence. The son was intentional about leaving; thus despising and hurting the Father on purpose.

Verse 14: Often God allows you to have exactly what you beg and manipulate for.

Verse 15: We will never come to God so long as we are trying to fix the situation or clean ourselves up first. We will end up dirtier in the end.

Verse 16: People will always fail you, even people from a far country. You will always fail you. You were not created with the ability to save yourself. You are created to need your Heavenly Father. The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23).

Verses 17-19: You never come to Jesus until all other options are off the table; even then, the personal schemes to be accepted back continue (He came to HIS senses, still depending on himself! Don’t miss that). You cannot earn forgiveness, even with self-deprecation for the rest of your life. It will never be enough.

Verse 20: You come to God in humility, only to look up and see the reckless love of a compassionate God running full force towards you already, embracing you, not because of what you have done, where you have been, or what you are going to promise to do in return to make up for all of it…The Father embraces you because of who you are, and you are His handmade creation and you mean everything to Him! (While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8) At this point you realize you know that YOU know His arms stretch further than your soul could ever fall. #compellingcompassion

Verse 21: BECAUSE of the reckless love of the Father… your great plan to redeem yourself through self-imposed slavery, falls off, realizing your great plan fell so short, that all you can do is repent at His feet…. satisfied, complete, and overwhelmed in His arms which never let you go in the first place. #compellingcompassion #recklesslove

Verses 22 & 23: The Father FREELY gives you: His forgiveness, His robe, His ring, His shoes, His food, His personal status in society at the EXPENSE of His life. His compassion cost me nothing, but took everything from Him, and He did it without regret or hesitation.

Verse 24: You are claimed by God! He knows you better than you know yourself, and still He purchases you AND CLAIMS you with pride and joy!

Verses 25 & 26: We are intrigued by what brings joy to the Father.

 Verses 27 & 28a: It is easy to get mad when underserving people receive forgiveness and renewed status. If you live a good life, you deserve a good life, right? If you live a bad life, you deserve punishment, or at the very least a penance to work off. Often it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking… GOD owes me. EVEN All of our good works, cannot pay off the debt we owe. (ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23) Even the SUPER GOOD rule followers who have never messed up!

Verse 28b: The Father pleads for the soul of the self-righteous. Challenges force choices… even for a saint of saints.

Verse 29: Extreme “goodness” can keep me from the presence of God just as much as extreme “badness.” (All our righteous acts are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6)

Verse 30: The older brother is just as resentful of the Father’s presence as the younger son was. OFTEN saints “stay close” and “Follow ALL the rules,” careful to never disobey (or if they do, blame another for it), NOT for the joy of God’s presence, but to prove they are more deserving than anyone of God’s presents. To prove we deserve the position of honor, the high commanding status, the robe, the ring and the sandals of the King. All the while this way of thinking proves the wickedness of their hearts. (The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9)

Verse 31: Often we miss what we have right in front of our face. Don’t miss the fact that joy, fullness and contentment are found in the Presence of God, not in His presents.

Verse 32: Don’t miss everything you were created for! You were created to know God and walk with God because you were created to need God. Life begins when you realize this and thus walk accordingly. Jesus, compelled by a relentless love for you.

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?

Verses 11 & 12: What are you looking for out of God? (Might as well be honest here… God already knows.)

Verse 13: Did you grow up in the church, know better, but you still left God anyway, for no other reason but that you wanted to and there were things you felt you deserved to experience and have, with or without Him? Have you been satisfied knowing all about God (Oh God) but never really wanting to know Him on a personal level (My God)?

Verse 14: When has God allowed you to have exactly what you wanted only to end up wishing He hadn’t in the end?

Verse 15: What are you desperately trying to fix or clean up before coming to God?

Verse 16: Has there ever been a time when you tried everything in your power to change and yet you ended up worse in the end, but still refused to go back to God? (A marriage, an addiction, anger…)

Verses 17-19: How have you tried to earn forgiveness? By making yourself feel bad for the rest of your life? By carrying around guilt for everyone to see? By beating yourself up at every opportunity to make yourself feel better? When will you give up the notion that you can feel bad enough or hate yourself enough to deserve the acceptance of the Father?

Verse 20: Will you allow the arms of a relentlessly compassionate Father to love you in spite of you?

Verse 21: Will you accept the gift of undeserved, unearned grace and let your notion of paying your own debt go? What can you do to make yourself worthy of it anyway?

Verses 22 & 23: Will you allow the Father to extend to you the forgiveness which He has rightfully purchased on your behalf with His blood and lavish all that is His on you, or will you choose to grip your guilt, rejecting all the Father died to give you?

Verse 24: Are you constantly allowing yourself to be defined by your sin, or by your Savior? Will you allow your Savior to take His joy in claiming you?

Verses 25 & 26: Are you intrigued or frustrated by what brings joy and a festive spirit to God?

Verses 27 & 28a: Have you ever been perturbed by the fact that the returning sinner, an irresponsible saint, gets all the attention and credit, when you have rightfully earned and worked for recognition your entire life? Have you never been recognized for your faithfulness to the church, to Bible studies, to the rules, to your job, and that really angers you? (Again, might as well be honest here… God already knows.)

Verse 28b: When have you been lost as lost can be in your own self-righteousness? Have you missed the fact that the Father is pleading even for the “good” ones to put down their good morals and good works, to “Come, Follow Me.”? Did you ever realize that even the best saint of saints is in desperate need of a Savior?

Verse 29: Have you been separated from God trying to prove your worth by your perfection?

Verse 30: Did you realize your good works are soiled with false, self-serving motives just as much as the one who has committed nothing but bad works?

Verse 31: Have you been satisfied knowing all about God (Oh God), being right next to Him, His Word, His church, your entire life, but never really wanting to know Him on a personal level (My God)? Have you been struggling to live up to a theoretical concept of God instead of enjoying the reality of a relationship with God?

Verse 32: What will you choose? Don’t you want to know this God you were created to walk with and need?

LIVE IT OUT!

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.

Whether good or bad, I am in need of a Savior full of Grace and love. Look for the love of a relentless God on my behalf today. Identify if and when I have been the younger brother, and if and when I have been the older brother. Then, bask in the grace of a loving God. Oh that He will strengthen my grip on His grace and mercy to me.

Homework: Matthew 14:13-21

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…John 4:3-10

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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 John 4:3-10

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.

Verses 3 & 4: He left Judea, and HE HAD to pass through Samaria.

Verse 5: He came to a city in Samaria, Sychar.

Verse 6: Jacob’s well was there, Jesus was wearied & sitting, it was about the 6th hour.

Verse 7: There came a woman of Samaria to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink”.

Verse 8: The disciples had gone to buy food.

Verse 9: The Samaritan woman said, “How is it that you being a Jew ask me for a drink, I am Samaritan woman.”

Verse 10: Jesus: “If you knew the Gift who says, “Give Me drink” you would ask, you would ask Him & He would give living water.

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?

Verses 3 & 4: God with skin on, Jesus, who had eternity to plan out His steps, stops everything that He had to do, and specifically, on purpose, is compelled to go to a scandalous place with one person in mind. Jesus goes to extremes personally for me and for you.   Grace is personal. God meets us where we are.

Verse 5: “Sychar”means purchased. This place was purchased by Jacob, re-purchased by blood through Joshua’s conquest, and now, personally purchased by the scandalous grace of a Savior. Jesus- compelled to purchase YOU, His handmade creation with His own blood. (Romans 5:8-9)

Verses 6, 7a: Jacob’s well was there: A place can “look”religious, it is not by association that we gain eternal life, but by a personal relationship with Jesus. A personal decision must be made. Wearied & sitting, it was the 6th hour: It was noon. Not a time for anyone to be coming to meet any need, yet, there came a woman. There was something very wrong with this picture. Only a shunned woman would come at noon to the well. Someone avoiding all others at all costs. This would be a clue to anyone else…stay away from this one, yet Jesus, came specifically for this shunned woman, compelled for her to the point of His bone weariness. Jesus goes to all lengths to chase us and meet us right in the middle of it all. We can avoid others, but not Jesus. AMEN!

Verse 7b: To draw water: This woman came with an empty water bucket. This woman was a picture of a scarred, empty person. Coming in the cloak of daylight, to avoid being seen, avoid being reminded of who she is. Often it’s when we are completely empty and needy that we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who thirst …

Verse 7c: Jesus said to her, “give Me…”: It’s not about what you do, have done, or where you have been…it’s about who you are.  You are God’s handmade creation and you mean everything to Him. Your messy life, bad choices, and even your self righteousness cannot keep Jesus from coming, calling and pleading with you to trust Him with your wounded story. Jesus is not afraid of the baggage we bring to the table. He came for it, oh that you and I would give Him that which He came to take!

Verse 8: Jesus will go to any lengths to get us alone with Him, without distraction.

Verse 9: We are often surprised by the grace of a loving God toward us. Other people, we expect to receive God’s grace and favor…just not me.

Verse 10: One shunned, scarred, shamed, solitary, scandalous person is not too small a multitude for Jesus to be compelled to seek out. We are bid to ask Jesus for His gift just as we are. No cleaning up, no changing life first. Often we are more comfortable holding on to our guilt than His grace. Jesus bidding us to ask Him to change everything! God wants to meet your needs. He died to do it!

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?

Verses 3 & 4: Have you thought that you are too incidental a person to grab the attention of God? When has God extended personal grace to you? Are you in need of personal grace at this moment?

Verse 5: Do you realize how dear a personal price God Himself paid for your soul? Have you forgotten that you are precious enough to have been personally purchased by God?

Verses 6 & 7: Have you been religious in your faith, but not personal? Have you been content with knowing about God, “Oh God”, yet haven’t spent the time to know “My God?” Who do you say Jesus is?

Verse 7b: What is in your water pot? Is it full of the world? Empty and wanting? Full of Jesus? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Jesus… what/who are you thirsty for? Where has your emptiness led you?

Verse 7c: What baggage do you bring to the well? What baggage are you not quite ready to trust a relentless, compassionate, compelled Savior with?

Verse 8: When has Jesus gone out of His way to get you alone with Him? Why do we tend to avoid being alone with God? Is it is easier to go to church or Bible study with others than it is to be alone, just you and God?

Verse 9: When have you been surprised by the personal gift of God’s grace to you? How is He stirring your heart even now? Have you forgotten the depths of God’s grace that you have received?

Verse 10: Are you willing to ask God for the gift of grace that He extends to you, personally, in the state you are in? Do you realize there is nothing you can ever do to make your scars, wounds and shame more pretty or clean? Are you so thankful for your bruised story and personal scars, because it shows your desperate need for a Savior? Will you hold on to personal guilt or God’s exceptional grace?

LIVE IT OUT!

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.

Allow the Word of God to fill you. Allow God’s exceptional grace to cover you today. Give that piece of baggage that you have kept hidden in the closet for years, if He wants it.

Homework: Luke 15:11-32

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 5:27-32

Online(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 Luke 5:27-32

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 27a: He went out, noticed a tax-gatherer named Matthew and said…

Verse 27b:Follow Me.

Verse 28:He left everything behind, rose & began to follow him.

Verse 29: Matthew gave a reception for Him (Jesus) in his house there were tax-gatherers, sinners, reclining at table with them.

Verse 30:Pharisees grumbling at disciples, “Why eat & drink with sinners?”

Verse 31:Jesus answered: “It is not those well who need physician, but those sick.”

Verse 32:“I have not come to call righteous but sinners to repentance.”

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 27a: Jesus comes for you on purpose. Jesus knows where you are, where to find you and comes to speak to you. You are not overlooked, it is not a mistake you are reading this now.

 Verse 27b: Jesus is compelled to come because you were created to walk with Him, know Him and need Him. The call of Jesus to you is always the same, “Come and follow Me.” The choice is left up to you. All through the Bible are choices that must be made.

 Verse 28: Jesus changes the direction of your life. You can’t follow Jesus and stay where you are.

Verse 29: (tax-collectors & sinners) You only come to Jesus when you know you can’t help yourself. Jesus is not ashamed to be associated with messy people.

Verse 30: There will be things and people in your life constantly trying to divide your loyalty and keep you from walking with and knowing Jesus. It is the realization of desperate need in your life that drives you to Jesus.

Verse 31: Blessed are the poor in spirit! The power of hope rests in the presence of Jesus.

 Verse 32: The Gospel! Jesus came for this: To fix the gap sin created that is keeping Him from His handmade creation. So of course Jesus goes to the destitute, the desperate, and the needy; those who are not denying the current status their souls are in. To follow Jesus demands your personal 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 27a: Have you realized how many times God has gone out of the way to show you that you matter, yet you have missed it? Do you realize just being here now, studying God’s Word in this particular spot is not an accident?

Verse 27b: If Jesus came to fix that gap between you and a loving God who wants to walk with you and know you, are you walking with Him? What choice have you made regarding Jesus in your life?

 Verse 28: Do you just want Jesus to bless you here and now in the way you want and in the place you want or are you willing to follow Him to where He wants you to go? Do you realize that the blessing is being in His presence not His presence fixing everything the way you want?

Verse 29: Have you ever been so desperate, that you had everything else taken off the table and your only option was to go to Jesus? Have you realized the blessing of that neediness?

 Verse 30: Is the opinion of someone or the words of someone else keeping you from running to or staying with Jesus?

Verse 31: Have you ever worshipped and praised God in a state of desperation and neediness? Did you realize that maybe God has allowed this period of struggle and darkness to allow you to see how much in need of Him you really are?

Verse 32: Are you willing to turn from the pit you are in, let go of the rights you have to be there and follow Jesus?

LIVE IT OUT!

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.

Desperation and neediness is a blessing. Remember those times and thank God for them. Determine to listen and then follow where God leads me today.

Homework:  JOHN 4:7-15 EXTRA CREDIT: JOHN 4:1-42

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Matthew 5:1-10

Kendra Online bible study picture

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 Matthew 5:1-10 

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.

(1)   Seeing the multitudes, He went on a mountain, when seated, disciples came to Him.

(2)   He opened His mouth and taught them

(3)   Blessed are poor in spirit, theirs: kingdom of heaven

(4)   Blessed are those mourn, they SHALL be comforted

(5)   Blessed are meek, they SHALL inherit the earth

(6)   Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, they SHALL be filled

(7)   Blessed are merciful, they SHALL obtain mercy

(8)   Blessed are pure in heart: they see God

(9)   Blessed are peacemakers: called sons of God

(10)           Blessed are persecuted for righteousness; theirs is kingdom of Heaven

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?

(1)   Jesus has things to say to us. He wants us to go where He is. It will take time & effort.

(2)   Jesus is not silent. Jesus, because of compassion speaks the Truth & teaches those willing to listen & follow Him.

(3)   Desperation is a blessing, it drives us to Jesus

(4)    Brokenness drives us to Jesus. Jesus will comfort the broken hearted. The world gives the illusion of peace, able to bring outward peace for a period of time, but no relief for the inward peace we strive to obtain.

(5)   Meek: Strength under control. It’s not about our “rights” to a status, position or power; our inheritance is sure. (Jesus, compelled by compassion for us, is the picture of strength under control from His start in the manger to the Garden of Gethsemane through to His death on the cross.)

(6)   The hunger and thirst of the world is always for more: money, status, power and stuff which never satisfies, it leaves us empty in the end. Our hunger and thirst is actually designed in us by God to drive us to Jesus who came to satisfy what we were created to need: To know God, walk with God and need God. Contentment is only found in Jesus.

(7)   Mercy: undeserved favor of kindness. Mercy and forgiveness which is so easy for us to accept cost the agony of the cross for Jesus. Mercy becomes essential for us to extend to others in the light of the cross.

(8)   Pure heart: a heart “free from foreign elements”. A pure heart, one that is undivided, wholly devoted to Jesus, walks with Jesus, has a personal relationship with Jesus, therefore has the ability to see Jesus in everything…. whether joyful or mournful, good or bad, easy or hard pressed. How cool is that? That is obviously an ability given by God. Jesus is compelled for one pure focus: being the Righteous Sacrifice our sin demands.

(9)   Jesus came as the Son of God to bring PEACE between God and man. Blessed are those who introduce others to the gospel of peace through Jesus.

(10)           We will be hung out to dry because we follow Jesus, doing and standing for the right thing. Don’t be surprised, expect it. It will be ok. We serve a God who knows what is happening. Hold on.

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?

(1)    Are you spending time with God on a regular basis? Who or what is keeping you from God’s Word?

(2)    Are you listening to what God has to say to you? Where is God leading you? Are you willing to follow?

(3)    When has desperation driven you to Jesus? Have you ever looked at desperation in life as a blessing from a compassionate God who desires nothing more than for you to run to Him and need Him?

(4)    Where and to whom have you sought peace only to be let down? Are you broken by the turmoil of life and in need of a Prince of Peace?

(5)    Have you thought meekness = weakness? Have you thought that if you don’t “work” the system, climb the ladder, throw others under the bus, toot your own horn, you will never achieve what you were meant to achieve? Will you allow God to promote you or demote you knowing regardless, your inheritance at the top is sure? When have you shown godly “Strength under control”?

(6)    What are you looking for? Can your life be summed up by the old U-2 song, “I still haven’t found, what I’m looking for”? Will you allow your search to lead you to the one True God who you were created to walk with, know and need? What do you really hunger and thirst for? A status? A job? A spouse? A child? A bank account? Power? A technological gadget? When have you received exactly what you wanted only to be let down afterwards? Do you really want to be satisfied? Will you come to Jesus?

(7)   Once you and I truly realize what it cost, how can we not extend mercy to others? Are you quick to be merciful or dole out justice?

(8)   When was your heart so wholly focused on Jesus and undivided, that even when things were coming down around you, you had peace, confidence and the ability to see God? Have you thanked Jesus for having that pure undivided heart for you?

(9)   Are you introducing others to the Prince of Peace who died to make peace attainable?

(10)           When have you seen or experienced someone doing the right thing, only to be mocked and penalized for it? Has anyone ever assigned evil motives to something that was meant only to show the compassion of Christ? Were you surprised by it or did you expect it? Who better to understand the injustice of life than Jesus who experienced this to a level you will never have to?

LIVE IT OUT!
The Christian life begins at a very needy desperate point because it drives home OUR NEED for a Savior. When everything falls and we lose it all, we realize that beneath the rubble of all this world has to offer, when Jesus is all we have, we realize Jesus is all we need.   Satisfaction is found in a personal relationship with the God who created us to walk with Him, know Him and need Him.

COMPASSION. Jesus has a pleading compassion for His creation. we should have the same.

SPEND MORE TIME LISTENING TO WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY TO ME.

Homework: LUKE 5:27-32

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 2:13-20

Nehemiah

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 2:13-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE IT OUT!

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

Homework: Matthew 5:1-10

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 2:8-12

Nehemiah

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 2:8-12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE IT OUT!

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

Homework: LUKE 2:13-20

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

Womens christmas luncheon

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 6:5-9

Nehemiah

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 6:5-9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE IT OUT!

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

Homework: Luke 2:8-11

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

 

Womens christmas luncheon

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 6:1-4

Nehemiah

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 6:1-4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE IT OUT!

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

Homework: Nehemiah 6:5-9

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 5:17-19

Nehemiah

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

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:17-19  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE IT OUT!

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

Homework: Nehemiah 6:1-4

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 5:14-16

Nehemiah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homework: Nehemiah 5:17-19

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