Summary: This series focuses on three key steps in the book of Nehemiah that will help us to "Rebuild Faith". It moves from recognizing our failures to defending our resolution - all using the letters R.E.B.U.I.L.D. Each message is set up as a leader guide for a
As we begin this new series together entitled, “Rebuilding Faith”, I want to invite you to share with the group something that you’ve had to REBUILD in your lifetime. Maybe it was a room in your house, a school project gone wrong, or even a relationship. What comes to mind when you think about the idea of rebuilding?
Intro: Today we are beginning a brand new series that focuses on the BIG PICTURE of experiencing renewal in our faith. The guide for this journey is going to be someone in the Old Testament named Nehemiah. His ministry comes at the end of the chronology of the Old Testament just before Malachi. Most of you know the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Well the ministry of Nehemiah comes at the end of that Persian reign that led to Daniel’s bad day in the den! So God has paved the way for His children to now return to the Promised Land and Nehemiah is just one of the characters that God used in that section of His story. So we are going to lean on Nehemiah as our guide through this journey.
But as we begin the journey together, we are not only going to use Nehemiah but we are also going to use a visual guide for this process. It’s the diagram that will appear on your notes each week – the stairway that wraps around the logo for this series.
It’s a diagram similar to what you might find in an “Experiencing God” book…hopefully a clear visual that will bring these points to mind…all built up on the word “REBUILD”.
And so as we go through this series…we are going to refer to this diagram again and again as the stepping stones for each incremental move in this series. Everything in week two is built upon week one…and so on. And as we study the life of Nehemiah and the culmination of the Old Testament story…I hope that we will gain a pattern for revival…for rebuilding our faith.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE STUDY
But as we start this study…I want us to consider…
Why this Material? To answer that I want you to imagine that you have just purchased a new DVD player or other really cool electronics item! You begin unpacking it…laying out all of the pieces…and you set the manual off to the side. You plug it in, you put in a DVD, and it works perfectly. But there’s just one problem. There’s a little flashing clock on the front, and try as you might to watch the DVD without being distracted by that little flashing 12:00…it continually catches your eye. Finally, you decide you’ll figure it out and get it set to the correct time, but you simply cannot figure out how that option shows up on the screen! So in a moment of desperation you do what every man despises…you reach for the manual and within minutes you’re back to your movie with a perfectly set clock.
Now what made the difference? Well the manual is what made all the difference! And in the same way, we often set out in our spiritual journeys without considering the fact that we have a Road Map for the adventure. So after trying and trying to do it all on our own…we realize that we need God’s help. Well, this material is intended to be just one component of that Road Map. Our hope is that you will be led to study the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament and then long for more information. And as a result, you’ll become convinced that God has a plan and a map for you how YOU can not only rebuild your faith but live it out daily according to His plan!
Goal: And so as we set out in this study…my real intention is that we would have the stepping stones for rebuilding our faith to that place where we truly say, “In Christ I find the answer to my every longing!”
The first section that we come to in our material might be summed up with this question…
I. Recognizing Problems: “So How’s it Going?” - Read Nehemiah 1:1-3
As the story of Nehemiah begins, how does he find out that the walls are still broken in Jerusalem?
Answer: He seeks out Hanani…who had just returned from Jersualem. Nehemiah wanted to know an update on the situation and sought out someone with the information.
And there are times when we seek out how someone is doing…and other times when we just kind of stumble upon the opportunity to minister to someone.
Point: Well Nehemiah didn’t take a passive role hoping that something would come his way. Instead, he sought out the opportunity to find out what the situation was in Jerusalem.