Summary: This series focuses on seven steps to rebuilding faith using the story of Nehemiah. Each week builds upon the previous week as we walk through the letters R.E.B.U.I.L.D.
REBUILDING FAITH – SESSION ONE by Rev. Michael R. Hodge ©2012
MICHAEL R. HODGE REBUILDING FAITH – SESSION ONE by Rev. Michael R. Hodge ©2012
Seven Steps to Experiencing a Renewal of Faith
by Rev. Michael R. Hodge
Session Two: “Rise and Build: Examining our Brokenness”
Focal Text: Nehemiah 2
Message to Group Leaders
It is my prayer that your first session facilitated the opening of hearts to consider where we as believers often miss the mark in our relationship with the Lord. We are going to move deeper into the Rebuilding Faith diagram in this second session as we consider the word “Examine”. The focus of this second session is to reinforce the goals of the first session as we draw the lens in closer on the process of examining our brokenness. I encourage you to adapt this material to your group so that it speaks specifically to your situation.
Introduction to Second Session
February and March of 2012 proved to be a disastrous period throughout the middle portions of the United States as one tornado after another ripped through the area. In the weeks and months that followed, one Disaster Relief team after another moved into the area to assist in the task of rebuilding. After days of working with chain saws, pulling debris, and reconstructing…some of the most difficult words to hear in the early hours of the morning from the team leaders can be, “Let’s rise and build!”
Well just as those can be challenging words to a weary relief team, so these were challenging words to a weary nation. As the children of Israel have now returned to the land, our guide Nehemiah is going to issue a challenge. Rather than sit in their defeat, he is going to issue that very call, “Rise and Build!”
In preparation for the writing of this material, I was reading through the text and my mind went to a recent trip to an oil changing station. While I was there at the Oil Changing shop waiting, I was standing just outside of the bay while they were working. As I waited, I was looking at all of the different tools that they had in the shop. One of the things that I thought was fascinating was not just the fact that there are tools all over the shop – a tool for everything. But what stood out to me that day was the fact that every tool had a picture behind it to make sure that it made it back to the right place. So no matter who was working, everybody knew what tools were available and where to find them!
As we begin our second session, our goal is not just to figure out the tools that we’ll need for “Rebuilding Faith”. Beyond that, we want to be like those oil change mechanics as we know just where to put those tools in our journey of faith.
As a reminder, each of our weekly sessions will build upon the previous week’s material. It’s great that the group has gathered for this second session and I hope you’ll remain committed throughout the series. But just to make sure we are keeping all of the tools in the right place, let’s begin with a brief review of what was covered in session one.
Review: In our first session, the theme was “Recognizing our Failures”. The context for that first session was Nehemiah having just learned about the situation in post-captivity Jerusalem. The people were not doing as they were commanded but were instead relaxing in the comfort of their own homes (Haggai 1:4). When this word came to Nehemiah that they had arrived and lost their passion and focus, his heart was broken. They were in the land but they were in despair and discouraged. And yet Nehemiah arose as a leader in a time when faith needed to rebuilt.
So the beginning point last week was essentially concerning our AWARENESS of brokenness. But to stop there would be rather disheartening. Because the goal of this material is not just to agree that we’re a mess, what I want us to do this week is to go a step further and focus even more on the ACTION STEPS that result from our brokenness. Recognizing is step one, but examining is step two when it comes to us rebuilding our faith and experiencing spiritual renewal.
REFER to DIAGRAM: You will notice in your outline the diagram that we referred to in Session One. That diagram is guiding our progression through this study. We began with “Recognize”…and now we move to step two… “Examine”.
So as we walk through what it means to “Examine our Brokenness”, our journey begins in Nehemiah 2 with the first point in 2nd session: