Monday, June 25, 2012

Holiness [Nehemiah 13:23-31]

Sermon Discussion Questions
  • Why is Nehemiah so angry in this passage?  
  • During the sermon, we heard that 'the strongest catalyst towards holiness, if married, is your spouse.'  Discuss this statement as a group.  If you're married, how do you see this playing out?  If you aren't, what does this say about the way you approach marriage and finding a spouse?
  • In the passage, where do we see results of 'disillusioned children' and 'diluted service to others' from the mixed faith marriages?  Why would these be glaring potential problems, even today?
  • Ryan used the creating of Michaelangelo's David to describe the way we should view engaging our spouses.  What struck you most about this illustration?  What challenges come with engaging in this way?  What privileges come with engaging in this way?  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rest [Nehemiah 13:15-22]

Sermon Discussion Questions
  • 'The greatest enemy to rest is us.'  As a group, evaluate and discuss this statement using personal stories and examples.  
  • Ryan took the time to list several different kinds of internal pressures that we feel causing our restlessness and contributing to our reluctance to rest on the Sabbath (wanting to get ahead, feeling the need to provide, etc.).  Which one(s) do you resonate with the most?  Why is that?
  • What sorts of external pressures do you see contributing to the lack of Sabbath rest in your life?  What would it look like to push against these external pressures (and the 'external pace')?
  • Do you really believe that God wants us to have the freedom to rest?  
  • Per Ryan's suggestion, what's one thing that you need to change in order to truly rest on the Sabbath, whether something you need to START or STOP.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

In Need of Reminding [Nehemiah 13:1-14]

Sermon Discussion Questions
  • Can you relate to the experience Penny had coming home after Sunday worship, determining to experience joy but then waking up from a nap and struggling to live out that determination?  Describe a similar experience if you have one.  
  • What is "spiritual amnesia"?  What are some examples of "spiritual amnesia" that we see the people of God experience in Scripture?  What has "spiritual amnesia" looked like for you?  Why do you suppose we experience this?
  • In this passage, what commitments does Nehemiah remind the people of?  Of these, which one might you need being reminded of?
  • In Nehemiah's request for remembrance on behalf of the people, he takes the time to use a word ("steadfast love") that ultimately reminds them of who God is.  Why does Nehemiah do this?    Why is a reminder of God's "steadfast love" necessary for us?  How does it serve to propel a renewal of commitment?