Changing times have always been interesting but, more often, challenging for societies. The way Israel rediscovered who they were, as former exiles, could shed light on who we are now in the 21st Century. Our Judeo-Christian heritage may give encouraging insight to not just surviving but thriving in the looming Christian tsunami of 2021-2050. (I’ll share more about that later.) We can either continue to survive or we can look for new ways to grow and prosper!
April 22, Ezra 1-6 Setting the Scene (Stirred up by the Lord!)
God did a new thing and stirred up the Jews who were spread all over Babylon in exile. God brought them together to rebuild the Jerusalem and the Temple. What does it mean to be “stirred up” and how do we become stirred up to do a “new thing?” If we are stirred up for the Lord, does that mean life will be easier or that we will all be in agreement?
April 29 Nehemiah 1-3, 4-11a Transforming Prayer
Nehemiah gets a bad report about the folks back home. He also understands what happens to people who are unfaithful—they are scattered and disoriented. He prays for forgiveness and mercy. This is a wonderful example for people who have been scattered and forlorn. Restoration in repentance—grace abounds in turning back to the Lord.
May 6 Nehemiah 2:1-5 From Servant to a Leader
With the season of fresh flowers comes a new purpose. From wine server to building engineer. Don’t ever think you are beneath the purposes of God! If God wills it, it will happen
May 13 Nehemiah 2:11-16 The Inspector General
Visuals/handouts are a must! By the cloak of darkness Nehemiah creeps out with his buds to inspect the property. A secret mission! Assessments are important to understand the task at hand. Perhaps Nehemiah’s “yes” to God required more consideration. The job was mammoth, workers, material and direction needed more than a mere “yes.”
May 20 Music Makers’ Spring Production – “Treasure Island: Searching for Riches in the Kingdom of God” – this delightful musical will be performed twice on Sunday, May 20th at 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in the church Sanctuary.
May 27 Nehemiah 2:17-20 Commitment and Risk
See the trouble, plan to do something about it, evaluate the results of future action. But in everything, where is the hand of God? “I can do all things…” (Philippians 4:13). How do we deal with attacks on commitment?
June 3 Nehemiah 3:1-3 The Walls and Gates Go Up!
Beginning with the high priests as laborers, setting the example at the Sheep Gate. All but the nobles, take turns through chapter 3, each tribe making repairs and rebuilding every wall section and gate, ending with the goldsmiths and merchants finishing back at the Sheep Gate. In God’s kingdom, everyone has a part to play, but will we all play?
June 10 Nehemiah 4:1-6 Taunts of Unbelief
What are the Jews’ external and internal threats to rebuilding their ancient city. Leadership and faithfulness, calling upon the Lord is paramount.
June 17 Nehemiah 4:8-23 Prayer, Planning and Hard Work
Nehemiah calls upon the prayers of old to encourage and galvanize the people, which proves their fears and enemies wrong. Prayer does cover all. Be encouraged, never give up or give in!
June 24 Nehemiah 6:15-16 With God’s Help, Anything is Possible!
Words can be deceptive and harmful. Nehemiah builds both the wall and unity among the people and in the end reminded us that vengeance belongs to the Lord alone. Tribe by tribe the wall is built in just 52 days. Build it and they will come.
July 1 Ephesians 5:19-20 Singing a New Song
Bearing fruit in a changing world leads us to question everything except God. The world we knew changed powerfully in 1965 and again in this century. How do we adapt and prepare for the world of 2025 and beyond?
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