Series: Let’s Rebuild
Title: Part 3 - Preventing Future Disasters
Date: July 15/16, 2017
Speaker: Steve Garcia
Rebuilding something in our lives is great, but how do we make it last? The story of Israel as recorded in Nehemiah shows us that challenges and temptations will always seek to unravel the hard work we have done.
Passage: Nehemiah 13
1. Are you diligent about preventive maintenance on your car or home, or do you tend to wait until something breaks altogether before you fix it?
2. Read Nehemiah 13:4-12. In what specific ways had the temple been neglected? Why was the association with Tobiah problematic? What behaviors and attitudes today might be analogous to the temple neglect of ancient Israel?
3. In response to the neglect of the temple, Nehemiah set things right by re-prioritizing worship in Israel. In what way(s) might you need to better prioritize worship in your own life (ie., church attendance, generosity, spiritual disciplines, service, etc.)?
4. Read Nehemiah 13:15-21. Nehemiah found the people conducting business on the Sabbath day (in the Old Testament times, the people of Israel were supposed to refrain from work on the Sabbath in order to rest and worship), so he locked the city gates in order to prevent commerce. What measures might you need to take in your own life to keep temptation “shut out of the gates?” Who could help you?
5. Read Nehemiah 13:23-30. Nehemiah also found that the people were marrying spouses from outside Israel (which was also forbidden at the time because of the inevitable influence of pagan gods that such marriages would bring), and he responded quite forcefully. While we should never engage in violence, it’s possible that rebuilding in our own lives will require some dramatic changes in the people we associate with. Have you ever removed yourself from a destructive relationship? How can you prioritize godly relationships in your life?
6. Read Psalm 40:1-3. In his message this past weekend, Steve pointed out that Jesus doesn’t just want to rescue us from the consequences of sin; he wants to replace the brokenness in our lives with something beautiful… a “new song.” If you are in a rebuilding process of some kind, what beautiful story do you hope to one day be able to tell? If God has already led you through a rebuilding process, what newfound blessings have you experienced as a result?
● What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?
● What will help you remember it?
● Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?