Sunday, December 18, 2011

nehemiah walk-through

We finished teaching our adult elective on Sunday, "Rebuilding Jerusalem: Leadership and Community in Nehemiah."  


Did a walk-through and discussion to highlight key lessons and applications by chapter, as follows:


1.  Prayer:  important from first to last.  We need to ask, as we live and/or lead in community, have I prayed about each decision?  Do I see the big picture of God's work of redemption in history?  Do I feel his concerns on my heart?  Do I really believe in God's providential guidance? Am I living in dependence upon him?


2.  Planning:  results in informed and timely action.  Am I adequately informed before I take action, or even before I speak of intended action?  Am I thoughtful, and do I know the task that lies before us?  Have I taken the trouble to get first-hand knowledge of the situation?  Am I bringing others into this information -- and my intentions -- at the right time?


3.  Labor:  the work is divided, and everyone has a part.   Do we know our assignment?  Do we see the big picture of what God is doing and how our labors fit in?  Are we actually working side-by-side with others?  Are we using our talents, or lack of talents, to avoid doing the work set before us?


4.  Opposition:  is ever-present; courage and wisdom needed.  Do I know who my enemies are?  Am I prepared to work and to defend the work at the same time?  Am I alert and vigilant toward the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy? Do I shy away from conflict when I should face it squarely?  Am I seeking God for the wisdom and courage needed to face intimidation and deception? 


5.  Authority:  brings justice and order to the community. Do we have a true understanding and respect for authority within God's plan?  If we have authority, are we acting in a timely way to bring about justice and peace within the community?  Are we holding others accountable to God's standards, especially when their actions hurt others?  As a parent, am I acting with proper authority within my family?  If we are under authority, are we appreciative  and submissive for the greater good?


6.  Success:  despite all opposition God grants success.  Do I understand God's definition of success as found in the Bible? Am I seeing some aspects of his work in and through me actually coming to completion?  Am I sticking with the work until God gives success?  Will I be able to say to God, the work you gave me to do I accomplished?  Am we aware of his supernatural work in and around his people?  Do I fully understand that it is God who wills and works in me to bring about his purposes? 


7.  People:  make up the community of God.  Just a list of names, but that's who makes up the community!  Am I letting tasks get in the way of relating to people?  Am I remembering that the work is ultimately not about a wall, but about people coming into and enjoying God's kingdom?  Am I building relationships in the midst of the work? Do I know others by name and appreciate their being in God's family?


8.  Word:  renewal and rebuilding comes from hearing Truth.  Am I reading and using God's Word in ministering to others?  Do I realize that it is the hearing of the Word that brings about faith and life?  Am I involved in a smaller group where together we can seek a real understanding and application of Scripture?  Do I realize that, when God brings fresh power to his people, it is usually through the proclamation of his Word in a life-changing way?


9.  Confession:  dealing with and repenting from sin.  Am I honest about sin in my own life?  Am I humbled by the evil still in my heart?  Am I willing to deal with this openly among God's people?  Am I turning from sin and trusting Christ for the forgiveness he purchased with his death?  Do I see that God delights to give us forgiveness, joy and refreshment when there is no denial in our hearts?


10.  Covenant:  commitment to preserve community, support worship.  Am I committed to support the life and work of God's people?  Am I a faithful member of a church?  Am I giving to support its ministry?  Do we think about God's new  covenant with us through Jesus Christ, and how he is faithful to us in all things?  Are we energized by this? 


11.  Organization:  leaders make a difference.  If I am a leader, am I bringing order and peace to the life of our community?  If I am not currently in leadership, am I supporting those who lead and giving thanks for the blessing of an organization that brings order to our lives? Is our organizational structure conducive to our spiritual life and community? 


12.  Celebration:  the importance of worship and music.  Are we celebrating and giving thanks for all that God has done?  Are we a people happy in the Lord?  Do we sing with our hearts?  Do we take sufficient time to stop and reflect upon God's works?  Are we pursuing the purity that is fitting for the worship of God?


13.  Purification:  an ongoing need until the Kingdom comes.  Do we realize that problems will persist and that Christ's Kingdom is not consummated yet?  Do we get overly discouraged at problems which continue to crop up?  Are we continuing to turn to God in prayer for all the challenges we face?  Are we continuing to pursue purity and growth, or do we get disheartened or bitter?  Do we leave our cause and our work and our reputation in the hands of the Lord? 

2 comments:

Mark said...

Those are really good questions--sounds like a great class. Thanks for posting these.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Mark!