Nehemiah Online Bible Study Week 3

By July 16, 2012Nehemiah

Jaffa Gate Window

Welcome back to online bible study, as we discuss week three (session three) from Nehemiah, a Heart That Can Break by Kelly Minter.  This week we read about Nehemiah filling the city with people. We learned how the people were living in disgrace and then reconciled to their city and families. Kelly Minter shared personal stories of her ministry to the poor and connected this to our Bible study. She also asked us to connect with our own personal stories of oppression and restoration. Some of the themes she shared this week include enemy attacks and entitlement at the expense of others. Nehemiah was a man of character, not just a leader. The entire time he rebuilt the wall, faced the obstacles and returned the people…his heart was focused on God. With this vision he was able to serve in love and bring glory to God, not to himself.

As we look back on the first three chapters of this Bible study, we see the impact one person might have for the Lord.  A seed was planted when Nehemiah’s heart was broken for God’s people. He prayed and waited for direction from God, and found strength in his prayers. When he was threatened by enemies or when they tried to deceive him, Nehemiah again turned to prayer. When he was tempted to profit and stand in a position of pride, he made the decision to take the focus off himself and keep his heart on God’s will. What a beautiful story…as it parallel’s the story of Jesus.

We’re half-way through the book and I’ve really enjoyed this study and the live chats on Facebook. I’m going to change the format for future Bible studies and will NOT have small groups at the Womens Bible Cafe. Instead, women will  be invited to join live chats via Facebook or TweetChat. I’ve noticed other online ministries are doing this and it’s worked well for them. We’ve outgrown our ability to manage small groups as we’ve had 600-700 women participate in the last two studies. We’re also global and I want to expand in connecting women to a larger community of fellowship. There’s a definite advantage of being able to communicate in “real time” instead of the small group email communications we’re presently using! If you are joining us in the Choose Joy study by Kay Warren, then be sure to get your books and sign-up here,  since it’s just a few weeks away.

Prayer Requests

When you visit our Prayer Wall and post a prayer request, know that we have a team of 33 women who are praying for you. Some pray privately and some post a reply to your prayer. In order to receive the blessing of these prayer warriors, you need to submit your prayer request. if you have a private prayer and do not want to post it on the website, please email wbcprayers@gmail.com

Assignment For Next Week

  • Watch  Video Session Four (optional due to cost)
  • Complete Session Four  in your book.
  • Check in with your small group
  • Join a live chat discussion (optional) for schedule –click here

Group Discussion– Answer one question or as many as you like.

  1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
  2. Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72 )
  3. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )
  4. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 )
  5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

May you continue to grow in love and faith through your daily Bible study.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 64 Comments

  • Corrina says:

    1. Have your priorities ever gotten out of alignment? If so explain what happened. (page 94)
    Definitely. I’ve been selfish and thought that my needs were more important than others. I let selfishness and the bitterness that comes along with the “it’s all about me” attitude consume my thoughts, rob me of anything positive, and produce negative behaviors/attitudes. I finally realized how ugly my life was becoming, but God reminded me of some basic truths of who He is. And I kept reminding myself that if I truly believe that God is who He says He is then I need to LET GO of my own feelings/desires and TRUST that God loves me, hears me, and knows what is best for me.
    2. Knowing eternity is your true home…how does this make you feel about your temporary home here on earth?
    I always need to remind myself that people/relationships are more important than anything else. That I need to take time to invest in the Kingdom of God. For example, helping, counseling, mentoring, and loving others is more important than having possessions or prestige

  • Emily says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    I definitely put my guard up. I forgive them but I am weary to trust them completely.

    2. Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72). I can’t think of anything specific right now but I do know that I need to listen to the God’s voice so I don’t miss or pass up opportunity He wants me to take. I loved the quote from Kelly, “God stands to accomplish the impossible through us while too often we’re content to settle for the explainable” (pg. 80).

    3. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 ) I don’t think so at this time.

    4. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 ) As a “people pleaser”, at times this can be very challenging for me. I am learning that I need to fear God more and do what He wants me to do rather then what others want me to do.

    • Christine Smith says:

      It’s hard not to be a people pleaser in a society that demands it and preaches “have it your way.” 🙂

  • Carin says:

    Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up?

    After completing Financial Peace University my husband & I want to clean up our finances to be debt free to give to others. We really never learned how to “extra” give and Dave Ramsey’s methods are spot on! We have been giving up several things so we can be in line for this.

    Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what?

    We have been giving up a lot of things to be debt free. Ever since we made this commitment the enemy has spiritually attacked our finances. We have been in a “slow crawl” ever since.

    What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people?
    I always had questions of this “fearing God” phrase. Just recently it clicked to me. Fearing God is wanting so badly to please him. Following his word and doing things that look odd to the world. If I feared people I would be trying to please them even if it was biblically wrong. I have learned more than ever that we have to know God’s word to know what we need to do.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    Don’t stop believing God!! I want to hold on so that I can BUST open like an April tulip!!!

  • Linda says:

    Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    It hurts more because it is someone you trust. It is so unexpected and it can shatter the trust, maybe not forever, but it can take a while before I am able to trust in the same way.

    Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72 ) I don’t know that I have. Other than giving of financial resources, with which I feel I have been blessed and not to the point where it “hurt” me.

    Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 ) I don’t know of anything right now, but some time ago I thought about getting more involved in another ministry, After thinking about it and prayer, I felt that I should not because I needed to focus on one ministry at a time and it was not yet time to move from the current ministry I have been involved in

    What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 ) We want to be accepted by others, but sometimes to do what God wants of us, we won’t be accepted because the world doesn’t understand. To fear God means we want to please Him rather than be accepted by the world (to fear people)

  • Jessica says:

    1) They have caused me to not trust certain people. I tend to avoid them as much as possible and hold grudges about what happened on the past, instead of forgetting and starting new.

  • Lisa H says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    Twice in my adult life I have 2 different people come up to me and tell me, to my face, they no longer wanted to be my friend. They couldn’t believe they were even my friend to begin with, and they never wanted to see me again. I have no idea why and neither one would say (neither of these people knew each other).

    3. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )
    Not sure about this one yet. There has been so much transition in my life recently, I’m still trying to figure this one out.

    4. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 )
    What can people do to me? God can send me to the lake of fire! I really don’t like the idea of being dead for eternity!

  • Andi B says:

    1. A few years ago, I created a book with photographs and a story I’d written, to celebrate someone I love. She accused me of writing it out of anger and in order to hurt her. Sadly, that reaction has tainted the nature of the relationship and has hindered me from doing something like that for anyone again.

    2. I have not been called to give up any “entitlement.” This may be because I have never done “good works” with the intention of getting payment or repayment. Maybe this call is waiting until I am in a line of work other than “mommy.” All sacrifice in my current position is a joy!

    3. I’ve recently had to say no to hasty decisions about my marriage and concentration on my writing. I believe I need to say yes to a change in career and furthering my education to be of better service and to my daughter!

    4. I fear God more than people when I don’t care what people might say or do, as long as I’m following God’s will. After all, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

    5. Loved going over the lies I tell myself about God and about my self… and identifying them as lies. Very empowering and mind-changing.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Your book sounds like a beautiful and creative expression of love, I hope you will not let one woman keep you from expressing yourself this way. 🙂

  • Corrina says:

    I just wanted to respond to two questions:

    1. A family member took personal information and twisted it in order to hurt other family members. It’s sad, but now that the trust has been broken, I have to remind myself to be careful with what I tell this person.

    2. Yes, there have been many times at work and at home that I have had some “righteous anger,” but chose to let it go and let God deal with it/them. It gave me peace of mind to remind myself about who God is and how He is big enough and loving enough to take care of it. Spending time being bitter and angry just eats away at the joy and opportunity that God gives us to love and serve others. I have spent WAY too much time in the past being bitter, and I (prayerfully) have learned my lesson.

  • roxie says:

    1)this will be the only question I will answer for it may be long. Sorry. 🙂 My hurt from a loved one has gone very deep. But it also has made me walk closer with God and LEAN on Him more and more. The hurt has made me question what kind of mother I was. It has made me sit down and go back and try to remember(at 51 it’s a long ways to look back too, grin ). Although my 3 boys, husband, friends and family members have told me that I was a great mom. That it’s not me that has the problem. You still question yourself when all it takes is 1 person to bring you down. Although I can say I have come a long way I still have my moments. Especially when that person is and always will be in my life and a constant reminder of what she has said. it’s hard. I DO trust in the Lord, but sometimes my flesh just wants to take over or should I say the enemy tries to whisper in my ear. So it is a struggle at times. In fact as I type this it brings a burden on my shoulder as I even think about it. I have tried and tried many times to help her, but it seems never enough. I have tried to to be kind, forgiving, generous it seems something in that category fails. People tell me tough love, the more you give the more they take, etc . But, I may have been slow in learning this but , have come to listen to what God has to say not others. Sounds so easy when I type this but it has not been. I have read many books on forgiveness etc. and come to realize I have forgiven it’s just the wound that has to heal and is a slow process. Maybe this don’t make sense when you don’t understand the situation. But, this is my story of hurting and honestly at times still hurts. 🙂 But, God is awesome and I know He has my back and I just need to listen to Him more.
    Not to long ago she had told me some things that were hurtful and It bothered me that I was angry that I felt it opened the door to a demonic attack. I never ever had anything like this happen to me and that night I did have a attack on me. Let me tell you it scared me, but I thank God that he gave me strength to fight back. I was so scared and I told God what ever you want me to read in the Bible I will read. So I just opened up to the Bible and I opened up right to Matthew 4: Jesus tempted by Satan. What a passage to open to. So I do know that Jesus is there and He will never ever leave me. I have never had one since and believe me I hope I never do.. Once was enough for me. *grin* But, through this all I know God has a plan and though He doesn’t give me the troubles He will bring good to all this.
    Okay I’m done now. Sorry to bore you to tears. 🙂 Have a Great Day….. Your sister in Christ, Roxie.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Never let the enemy convince you that your comments are too long…they are just right in God’s eyes. 🙂 Many of us have had similar seasons rooted in bitterness, where our thoughts are on the person who injured us most. It becomes a consuming fire of the wrong spirit….and a tool of the enemy. Pray constantly for a pure heart and you will walk through this season with a new perspective on the hurt. Read the book Invisible War by Chip Ingram re spiritual warfare…it will show you how to deal with a “full frontal attack” from the enemy as well as the hidden attacks in your relationships and people attempt to breech your trust.

  • Nancy says:

    Thank you Christine for sharing your experience. Yes, I will pray for clarity and conviction.

  • Raquel Arbogast says:

    Hi Ladies:

    1.Made me truly mad and very guarded. Because of it I left my job and was very sad for a long time. Still to this day I will never know why that person did that but time heals and forgets… Actually, I haven’t thought about it until this question.
    2.I looked up the word entitlement and it says that is to a: the state or condition of being entitled: right a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract. Well I can say that I just gave up my rights to retired from Florida with a great career in a school that I had work really hard for, I had a great church, great friends and I think that we are entitled to all those things. Now in North Carolina, I have no job, no friends, and a new church. I can say that I have nothing but the trust and desire to follow God with all my heart, mind and strength. I love the path that he has led before me and I can honestly say that my relationship with Him is much closer than it ever was my marriage is better than ever.
    3.I Currently he is working on my health and by me saying no to the foods that I crave I am saying YES to improve my health and prepare for what God’s new path in my life. I know he is working in my life with all my conditions. First was my addiction to work. I had to say NO to my next school year contract and say YES to North Carolina. I had to say NO to divorce and my pride, Say YES to leave humbly, change my trendy friends and stay married.
    4. Is to show respect for HIS will and not to seek others advise, paths or recommendations before you have seek God’s will. I think about my dog as he walks without a leach. He feels me there looks for me and even tries to keep my walking pace. That is how God wants us to act, in obedience to his Word in faith.
    5. I will sound silly but the recipe this week seems very easy, a delight!

  • Nancy says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 ) It’s caused me to be less trusting of people…to put maybe put up walls and to distance myself from them on any kind of intimate level.

    2. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 ) I believe so, but I don’t have clarity as yet. I think possibly the reason I haven’t found employment is because He wants me to sell my home and belongings so I can dedicate my life and my resources to the plans He has for me…whatever they may be.

    3. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 ) I believe it means that the consequences of NOT obeying God… i.e. 40 years of wondering in the wilderness…are far more horrific than what people will think of us or do to us if we obey Him completely and totally, with no regard for convention, personal comfort, status or even self preservation (‘if I perish, I perish”-the Esther mentality).

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    Pp 69-70 God’s response to Kelly’s question, “Why not me?” She wrote in her journal what she sensed God’s answer to be: “It is not for you to know why, but because you weren’t (born into horrendous circumstances), over your whole life you have a responsibility to care for the poor.”
    This is what I believe my calling is for the rest of my life…my heart was broken after seeing Mississippi and New Orleans TWO YEARS POST Katrina…unbelievable suffering…I felt a great deal of shame considering we live in such a wealthy country…my heart was and remains very burdened for hurting people in America and around the world. I believe we are to “Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.” Galations 6:2

    • Christine Smith says:

      It’s possible He wants you to MOVE in a physical and spiritual sense. Each time I’ve sold my home and moved, I have found a new business or calling as a result of the move. Let God lead…pray for clarity and conviction.

  • D'Nea says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? I’ve had hurts starting very young that should have totally wiped out any ability for me to ever trust anyone. Starting with my mothers attempted suicide when I was 7 (I found the paperwork she’d left out from the hospital) and again later with 2 more failed attempts. And in addition other family problems and betrayals that are too many to list here. Family wounds are more painful than words can often convey, but what feels even worse to me sometimes is having friends that know what you’ve gone through and yet have no problem adding to your list of painful memories. One thing I’ve learned though, is that God is so very amazing and He has held my hand through some experiences that without Him would’ve been impossible to endure, but with Him – I’ve come out stronger and better for it all. One of the things that my hurts and pain have taught me is how to be someone that doesn’t take people, especially family and those I call a friend, for granted and to always treat them with love, loyalty, respect and to always always always be someone that they can truly trust. I’ve also taken away from the experience that the saying “hurting people hurt people” is more true than many realize and that there is a huge amount of hurting going on in this world. Oh and yes… through it all, I’ve gotten really good at working through forgiveness – thanking always my Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Penny says:

    Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you?
    Within our family, members have made false accusations and hurtful comments that have hurt both me and my husband. We are praying for God’s truth to be revealed and healing forgivemess to restore our relationship!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Praying for the generational strongholds of bitterness and revenge to be broken, and for a new generation to rise forth in you and your husband. Praying for restoration…just as Nehemiah restored the wall and then the people.

  • Sue Alice says:

    1. By still not trusting and believing in me. Thinking I will never change.

    4. By doing everything right for the Lord, and to please Him more than people in our life. As we owe Him who we are, and daughters of a King.

    5. Realtionships.

  • denise key says:

    i have been hurt recentley by someone very close to me, I am having a hard time with resuming the relationship, everytime we are together she is very critical and dishonest, with herslf as much as me. have you ever spent time with some one when they are with other people they deny themselves to be liked or to avoid conflict. I am having a hard time when we got out with others i do not know who is going to show up. i am the same every where, any suggestions

  • Cindy H says:

    4. As a “people” pleaser, I have learned over the years to try and really, really listen to what God wants and not what “people” want. This sometimes takes years of spiritual maturity, but fearing God and not people is definitely are ultimate goal.
    5. I enjoyed that this Session 3 was about relationships…….we as the Body of Christ must understand that this is what God ultimately wants us to do–connect and bond together to make us stronger and more effective for Him.

  • Ginger says:

    1. It definitely puts me on guard for the future. I tend to be more weary. I forgive, but I’m not totally exposed to a repeat offense.
    2. I have certainly given up what I used to think I was entitled to. I realize now that I am doing what God wants me to do, not what I want me to do. The purpose is to do God’s will and not my own. I finally have peace with this as soon as I understood my purpose.

    3. I’ve talked about his before, but I’ll say it again because it is on my heart. My husband and I are saying no to DoD school for our kids this year. There is just too much change happening in the military community where we live and I this strong impulse to “run” away from the danger that my oldest son may be placed into.

    4. Sure people can harm you, people can kill you, but only God has control over eternity.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Wonderful comments Ginger..filter everything through God’s will and let the Holy Spirit lead…as you are doing.

  • Andrea G. says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    Wounds from a friend tend to go deeper and hurt more because it’s by people I trusted and had made myself vulnerable to. It often makes me feel betrayed and foolish. It causes me to doubt everything I’ve experienced with them and everything they’ve shared.
    2. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )
    I can’t think of anything specific right now, but I know that I always need to be listening to God’s voice, so that I don’t miss or pass up an opportunity that He is giving me or telling me to take or not take. Kelly’s quote that convicted me a bit is, “God stands to accomplish the impossible through us while too often we’re content to settle for the explainable” (pg. 80).
    3. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 )
    Fear doesn’t just me to “be afraid of”. It also means, “to have reverential awe of”. To fear people means that we are overly concerned with what they will say and think about us. We focus on their perceptions of us, and we strive to please them. We find our worth and meaning in them. But as Christians, it’s God who we should be striving to serve, please and emulate. It’s His opinion that should be most important to us. It is through Him that we have our true identity. To fear God more than people means that we have our priorities in order, and seeking our strength, approval and worth from the correct source. When we fear God, it puts everything else in order. He is the only One that should have our reverential awe.
    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    It was very meaningful to again see how Nehemiah’s mission was really all about the people. Sure, he had to DO and ACCOMPLISH a lot, but it was really his love for the people that fueled his ministry. I think sometimes we get so busy doing and accomplishing that we can forget why we are doing and accomplishing. It becomes just another item to tick off our list, instead of a way to love and serve others.
    Another meaningful part was the Scripture passage in Isaiah 43:2 & 4. It is just so precious, an expression of God’s love and concern for me. It truly just makes me feel so loved and happy inside to know that He loves me that much.: Vs. 2- When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Vs 4- Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Satan is the one making you feel betrayed and foolish. You might want to read Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and see how the enemy makes us feel condemned.

      “it was really his love for the people that fueled his ministry.” I think it was his love for the Lord that encouraged him to endure enemies, give up entitlements and focus on rebuilding a city for the Lord. Love motivates.

  • Elizabeth says:

    1.Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    by being dishonest and mean to me, it was very hurtful and I still struggle with forgiveness although this was almost 20 years ago.
    2.Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72 ) I struggle to give this up in my marraige and fight anger that I feel when I feel like I have to do ‘everything’ for our family and our children, rather than praying and focusing on the ‘wall’ I am building.
    3.Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 ) No to anger and wasted energy,,,, no to the computer and wasted time…….

    Thanks for the online studies, they have been most helpful to me!

    • Christine Smith says:

      20 years is too long to carry a stronghold of bitterness…pray through this and see if it might be generational. Look at family parents and grandparents in your life and see if you can find a root of unforgiveness. Once you find it, break it with prayer. The Breaking Free study by Beth Moore really helped me in this area of my own life.

      • denise key says:

        i agree with goingback into your childhood with jesus and finding the root of theese problems, this can be a very painful process and a willingness to trust the Lord, make sure you have plenty of loving people around you to help feel loved. and safe and to pray with you and for you, you are in my prayers

  • Rhoda Zavala says:

    1. Hurtful words from family members have hurt me the most but after clarifying I am able to forgive and forget and continue loving them unconditionally.
    2. and 3. These two questions kind of go hand in hand for me right now. We are in the process of downsizing from a big house on our property to a smaller one. Making this choice will serve a greater purpose for our family and more opportunities for my husband and I as he retires and we fulfill God’s plan for our lives.
    4. To fear God more than to fear people is to choose what matters to God one what matters to people. He will definitely take care of us when we do.
    5. A favorite moment this week was catching up on this weeks Bible Study flying to Hawaii. After a hectic week preparing for a large family reunion we flew on Sunday and I was able to complete this weeks study on the plane. It was wonderful and I now am emailing response from a beautiful resort in Maui. God is good and his Word is a part of my day wherever I am!!

  • Lauren says:

    I think being wounded by a loved one hurts so much worse because they are part of our safety net. We expect to be hurt by those who don’t like us or who we don’t know… but it is much more personal. Once you breach trust, it is hard to get it back.
    I don’t see myself as feeling entitled, yet I struggle with sacrfiice. I think it is more that I am afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I’m trying, though =)
    I have loved the fellowship on the facebook page! It’s great to see there are others who have similiar viewpoints and problems. I also enjoyed the lesson about bringing people into the city. I am an introvert, and not much on being around lots of people. I often get focused on my to do list and forget that people may be involved. I’ve tried this summer to be very deliberate in ways I can reach out to others.

    • Christine Smith says:

      I’ve learned that when we step out of our comfort zones..either in humility or in a calling…we are blessed.

  • Stephanie says:

    *Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what?
    At the present time of my life I am a SAHM, I have my 3 year old daughter and my father that I take care of. I’m finding myself wrestless and would like to go back to work as a teacher, parttime. When I look the schedule I need isn’t available. However I’ve been asked to lead a Bible Study for a small group at our church. The Lord is askingme not to work, but to use my talents of teaching to teach His word. I’m also planning on starting to homeschool my preschooler, so this should keep my pretty busy.

    • Christine Smith says:

      See if there might be opportunities for teaching in a Christian school where you usually get a tuition discount! You’ll be teaching His word to the next generation of people. Do you have a MOPS group in your area? I really enjoyed this when my kids were younger.

  • Jennifer Orkin says:

    1.Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    Knowing that this person hurt me has caused a lot of pain over the years. I used to blame myself for what she did. Yet, now, I know that it was never my fault. She did what she had to do for herself at that time. Knowing this now, I don’t allow the enemy to come at me with those lies because I know that I am a BEAUTIFUL child of God, and that he loves me no matter what!

    3.Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )
    I feel that the Lord is asking me to say no to a lot of things. The only drawback is that I don’t know how to say no. I have so much on my plate that it isn’t funny. I could feed an Army with everything that I have on my plate and there would still be plenty left over. I am trying to juggle too much and it is hindering my relationship with God. I know I need to give up some things, but find it difficult to trust others to do those things for me.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Try not to be a people-pleaser by keeping your focus on God. “Busyness in itself, breed distraction” says Joanna Weaver and when we are distracted we take our minds off the things of God.

  • Christina Shubert says:

    I believe an emotional wound from family has been used by the enemy for many years. The enemy has taken hurtful incidents and made them seem as evidence that I am not good enough. For a long time, I just believed that I was unloved. Fortunately, I now see this as the lie it truly is.

    • Christine Smith says:

      What a blessing to realize you are a Daughter of the King and stand loved by Him.

    • Jennifer Orkin says:

      I understand exactly where you are coming from. I hope and pray that you, as well as others who are reading this, know that you are loved more than you could ever imagine. (I am talking to myself too!)

      God Bless!

  • Laverne (Missy) says:

    Before I respond I want to say this, it is my prayer that I can be more like Nehemiah when it comes to seeing God first, and no matter what others are saying keep moving forward in what I know God has told me.
    As Christine states “He prayed and waited for direction from God, and found strength in his prayers” Lord help me to be more like Nehemiah, allow me to pray and REALLY wait for your response. Not get antsy and move w/out you…Amen.

    This study has opened my eyes and heart and changed me from when we started on June 26th to now..

    Discussion Questions:
    Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you?
    The hurt has left residue on my heart that I didn’t realize until July 2010, since then I have been working on turning that hurt over to God becuase I was not created to carry burden such as that one (according to Max Lucado “Traveling Light”)

    Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )
    During lent 2012 I believe the Lord spoke to me about spending more time with Him. I began by studying the Word more, but I didn’t know where to start outside of my devotion time and bible study. Do I just sit open the bible and read? Do I read it chronologically? Do I pick a book I have never read before? So many questions, so I decided that my devotional ALWAYS has a scripture attached to it, instead of reading just the recommended chapter and verse I will read the whole chapter. So today the scripture was Joshua 7:1-13 I read all of chapter 7 and what a blessing.

    This chapter was about confessing my sins which ensure God’s forgiveness. this is where my YES comes in ……………Yes to God’s forgiveness and a closer walk with thee…
    OH YESSSSSSSSSSS

    • Christine Smith says:

      You are wise to spend more time with the LORD and I like how you’ve decided to jump start your day with devotionals. 🙂

      • Laverne (Missy) says:

        Thanks Christine I am never sure where to begin but I knew I had to start. I wish more of my friends would reach out for a relationship with our Father. My life has forever changed the Psalmist says “I looked at my hands, my hands looked new; I looked at my feet and they did too”
        I want my friends who don’t know to know….but in His time…

        • Christine Smith says:

          They will see Christ in you…and want that for themselves. Plant seeds…then wait for the harvest.

  • Kelly Sylvia says:

    * Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72 )
    This question in the book was written in present tense, “Is God asking you…” my response there was “I need to pray about this.” I just wasn’t feeling spoken to at this time nor throughout the beginning of the week. However, thank you so much for asking this question in past tense. It is amazing how something so simple can help someone receive the message so immediately. As I visited the blog this morning and read this question I knew without a doubt what I gave up and another puzzle piece was revealed. As I have written about before, I agreed for my husband to have a vasectomy, even though my hearts desire was to have more children. I did it in peace to honor God by honoring my husband and I have grown so much more because of it. I am so eager to see God’s beautiful picture that comes of this puzzle, and thanks to Kelly Minter, WBC, Nehemiah, and the perfect timing of God I am learning how to pray and be patient in God’s plans.

    *Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    Now I have 2 favorite moments from this week: (see above) and (pg. 70, personal response). This response asks you to look back to week 1 day 5. I’ll start on pg 69 where I highlighted Isaiah 1:16-17. It gave me focus, understanding, and peace as to the direction God is moving me. It gave me a verse to repeat and adopt as my focus. I wrote “This is so concrete and gives me a verse to go to. Help the powerless.” Then I followed the directions and looked back to 31 not even remembering what the question was, never mind my response. On page 31, this is what I had written, ” To adopt- take care and give to a child. Although I can not quote scripture…this is on my heart.” Well now I can quote scripture 🙂 Praise God for His will, His timing, and His Unwavering, Unconditional Love!!!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Powerful comments with lasting imprints on our hearts Kelly! Thank you for sharing this and your journey to care for God’s children.

  • Linda Kight says:

    In the start of session three, author was talking about the poor, this area really it home. Once Nehemiah realized what the people were going through, he helped correct it. Lession asked, Do you know anyone that is poor by name. I stopped and counted the people that I knew and had come in contact with over the last several years. I prayed for them. You know some people may be poor because of unwise choice they have made but it doesnt give us the right to over look them or not to have compassion on them. I hope God reminds me that for the grace of God it coud be me. I try to show these people God’s love each week but now I wonder and pray are they really seeing Gods love thru me. I have saw the need in our home town for a homeless women shelter but we dont have one. What a minister. IS GOD SPEAKING TO ME.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Amen Linda! Praying the LORD will pen doors and equip you in this ministry…you can move mountains in His name.

  • bonnie says:

    Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )

    Today, with a sad and heavy heart, i begin the process for a legal separation from my husband.

    Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72 )

    Praise God! and i am so Thankful that the Maker of Galaxies desires to have intimacy with me. Each morning of this trial He has given me a message through these very Bible studies or a seemingly random (to me) devotion. The day i read this devotion was the very day i had an appointment with an accountant about our personal finances. Page 72 us underlined and star’d and written in the margin are my words “as we divide.” The printed words of “a higher goal is worth setting those material rewards aside” gave me the guidance in how to approach the division of our things in hopes that it all can one day be put back together.

    Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )

    We only see the brief moment of time in the split seconds of our present and past. God sees all eternity. What seems as a no or yes now in our miniscule understanding is nothing compared to the totality of what God sees for each individual and time and place and interactions. In my weakness the marriage for this brief second seems as no, but i cannot even begin to fathom the big yes God has planned for it.

    What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 )

    Our society has allowed from many interpretations of the word love, but not fear. As Americans the word fear usually strikes us as negative and undesirable, unpleasant. We have less an understanding to see it as beneficial. Fear of God is beneficial and desirable. Reverence.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    The compassion of God to guide me through studies.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Praying as the Lord continues to heal your heart and equip you for the ministry He has called you to lead.

  • Angie says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67)

    Knowing that the things the person said were true reflections of how they really felt about me and thought of me made my heart very heavy and sad.

    3. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75)

    I believe He is asking me to say no to my selfish desire of wanting to spend my free time on myself and as a recluse and say yes to spending that time in real live, active relationships with others.

    4. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82)

    If we feared God more than we feared people we would seek God and His ways rather than chasing after what the world has to offer; we would be less materialistic, greedy and selfish, and would be more compassionate, forgiving and selfless.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Angie, when we stay home isolated from others…the Light of Christ only reflects in the mirror. If the Lord has equipped you to reflect Christ to others, go out and serve His kingdom. Satan isolates, God equips. You can make an impact on the hearts of others in Jesus name.

  • Allison says:

    Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )

    Accusations that occurred almost 40 years ago that were dismissed as untrue: believing that this person (deceased for over 20 years) never believed me and then finding out that this person not only believed the accusations were true, but had discussed them with others…the realization that I thought this person died never believing me and the hurt of never getting to hear her apologize for calling me a liar as well as go so far as to openly defend the accused. Deep wounds…

    Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72)

    The only thing I can think of is my role as a wife of 31 years and mother of 4 now grown children. Being college educated as a teacher, we made the decision for my contribution to the family to be as a stay-at-home wife and mother (even though I tutored part time once our youngest was in school). I have moved 9 times following my husband as his company transferred him from city to city, state to state. While other women were “entitled” to a satisfying, fulfilling career, I was unable to put my degree to use. I will never know if I would have been a good public school teacher or not. I am now an empty-nest housewife wondering “what now?” Obviously, we are very blessed to have been in a position to make the decision for me to stay home with the kids. The greater purpose for this was the countless hours spent with my kids, the 25 years volunteering with cub scouts, girl scouts, PTA, church programs, VBS, Sports team Mom, Band Mom, etc. as well as the support I provided for my husband…just not financially.

    What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 )

    One dictionary describes fearing God as having “extreme reverance or awe, as toward a supreme being.” for God. Another dictionary gives this definition: to feel reverance for; to have a reverential awe of; to venerate (respect). Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 – “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him.

    Favorite moment of this week’s lesson: Bottom of page 76 and top of page 77 – Kelly’s prayer, “Lord, what I believe about You (or myself) right now is not true.” Kelly writes that this puts her in agreement with God allowing her to hear from Him aligning her with what is true. This is simple act of confession that would help me when I consider what I believe about God that is not true and what I believe about myself that is not true.

    • Christine Smith says:

      Jesus is the healer of deep wounds. Pray over the hurt and bitterness you feel and ask specifically to release any strongholds of resentment. Thank you for sharing your perspective as a stay-at-home mom and entitlement.

    • Allison says:

      I just saw this and thought it applies to us as we go through our Nehemiah Bible Study:

      THE CHRISTIAN’S PLEDGE

      I will do more than belong; I will participate.

      I will do more than care; I will help.

      I will do more than believe; I will practice.

      I will do more than be fair; I will be kind.

      I will do more than forgive; I will work.

      I will do more than earn; I will enrich.

      I will do more than teach; I will inspire.

      I will do more than give; I will serve.

      I will do more than live; I will grow.

      I will do more than be friendly; I will be a friend.

      author unknown

  • Sharon Lewis says:

    1. Without naming names, how has the wound from a loved one or trusted friend hurt you? (page 67 )
    I was judged and betrayed by someone very close to me. She falsely accused me and spread a very nasty untruth about me. It felt like my world came crashing down around me. I was devastated, and it took nearly three years to heal the relationship. God kept dealing with my heart to forgive her, but I kept hanging on to bitterness. Eventually, I did forgive her, and I am at total peace about it now. God has also restored our friendship!
    2. Have you ever given up an entitlement in order to serve God’s purpose for your life? What do you see as the greater purpose in giving this up? (page 72 )
    I gave up a personally fulfilling pursuit in order to minister to some people that God put in my path. He spoke to my heart that this was the path He had chosen for me, not the one I was running after. I felt like I had made a real sacrifice, but not really when I think of all He sacrificed for me. It has been worth it to see a positive difference in the lives of others, and to have had the experiences and training that has come with it as well.
    3. Is the Lord asking you to say no to something, in order to say yes to something else? If so, what? (page 75 )
    No to my career aspirations and yes to some new and exciting ministry opportunities.
    4. What does it mean to fear God more than to fear people? (page 82 )
    To fear means to honor, revere, attribute worth to someone, worship, etc. If I am more concerned about honoring God than I am people, my choices would focus more on things of eternal value rather than worldly, temporary values. Faithfulness, integrity, humility, love, compassion, diligence, etc. would be more prevalent in society if more people feared God more than they feared what others thought of them.
    5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    This was HUGE for me! I have underlines, stars, circles, notes, and dogged eared pages on pp. 86-87. It was so important for me to remember that ministry is about people more than it is about tasks. I have been so guilty of putting the ministry of people above the people themselves. I am so passionate about preparing a Bible study or a worship set, but I can be standoffish when it comes to touching people’s lives up close. No longer will I get this mixed up! God has really changed my perspective!

    • Christine Smith says:

      Thankful you said yes when the Lord called you to ministry! Like you, I have found this study to be HUGE. It has so many themes applicable to our modern lives.

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