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 2:1-5
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
Verse 1a: In the month of Nisan
Verse 1b: I took up the wine and gave it to the king.
Verse 2a: The king said, “Why is your face sad?”
Verse 2b: I was very much afraid
Verse 3: Why should my face not be sad when the place of my fathers’ tombs lies desolate, consumed by fire?
Verse 4a: The kings said, “What would you request?”
Verse 4b: So I prayed
Verse 5: I said to the king….
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 1a: God brings things about in God’s timing. It is God’s impossible assignment and calling for Nehemiah from the start, so GOD must do it all and I must wait upon the LORD to move. NO need to manipulate the situation or try to push things through on my own wisdom, power and timing. Faith is continuing to pray and expect in spite of the time lapse.
Verse 1b: Here Nehemiah was just doing the job that God had placed before him to do. No more, no less. God knows where He has placed me, God knows where to find me, so instead of complaining where I am and that I am not “doing” what I want for God, trust that He has a plan and will bing it about in His time. In the meantime, work hard where I am for the glory of God.
Verse 2a: God opens eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to listen in His time. GOD OPENS the doors!!!! Don’t waste a bunch of time and energy trying to pry them open!! Faith waits with expectation!!
Verse 2b: Even GREAT men of faith are very afraid!!! Just the word “faith” indicated there will be opposition and courage needed.
Verse 3: Nehemiah laid down the Truth of the matter. He did not try to paint a softer picture of the Truth or a more “palatable” one. Faith speaks the Truth even where very afraid.
Verse 4a: HERE IT IS! The defining moment. A small hinge that opens a big door! The king speaks four words because it is God who moves the heart of the king. Nehemiah’s prayer of faith is becoming sight right before his eyes! What will he do? When God opens the door, it is open wide, the way is clear.
Verse 4b: Nehemiah STILL NEEDS God. I love that he doesn’t say, “Great God! I got it from here! Much thanks!” Even the fact that God is opening the door, still Nehemiah needs the strength to walk through it. Faith is required the whole way! There is always a GAP between what I can do and what God must do when God calls us to His impossible assignments. To realize our need is such a gift from God. Nehemiah knows, “Lord I need You, oh I need You! Every hour I need You!”
Verse 5: Faith walks. Faith is a verb. Faith is what I DO (chapter 2) because it rests upon what I believe (Chapter 1).
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 1a: What causes me to lose faith that God can and will do something? What has God placed in my heart to believe (A calling? A person who will come to the LORD? A certain situation to be resolved?) Has the time lapse made me question God, or will I continue to pray, believing, because God put it in my heart to believe?
Verse 1b: Is it easier to complain and question God in where He has placed me day after day? Or will I choose to seek and honor Him, where He has trusted me to be, as He molds me for His plan and not my own?
Verse 2a: Am I looking to see how God is going to open doors in my life or am I busy complaining about the fact that He is not opening the ones I want when I want?
Verse 2b: It is ok to be afraid, but in the end will I give the power in my life over to the fear I have of men or God? Will I allow God to stretch my faith in spite of my fear?
Verse 3: When do I hold back with the Truth because I don’t want it to hurt anyone? Will I trust God for the timing, tone and words lovingly giving the Truth when it is demanded of me without pride or fear of consequence?
Verse 4a: When God opens the door and the way IS clear, will I step-to or step-away? John 6:66 “As a result, many withdrew.” Will I press in? Have I pressed in? When? What was the result? Have I shrunk in fear?
Verse 4b: Am I quick to pray? Do I realize how desperately dependent I am on Jesus?
Verse 5: If my beliefs are evidenced by what I do then how do I prove my beliefs through my actions? What do I really believe? (If I REALLY believe cereal is the BEST breakfast food, then in my life there will be evidence of eating cereal at breakfast a lot…. does that make sense?)
LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.
Is there a main theme to them? Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??
Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.
LORD, help my unbelief! Give me the strength to wait when You say wait, to speak when You say speak and to walk when You say walk. Open my ears to hear, and my heart to listen and my set my feet to Your path today as I go out.
Homework: Do the three questions onNehemiah 2:10-20.
Bonus Challenge:Three questions on any or all of Nehemiah 3.
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!