Reflection Guide - Nehemiah 2:1-3

Key points from the sermon:

  • God has providentially placed Nehemiah in the the palace as the king’s cupbearer, just as He has sovereignly placed each of us in our workplaces.  Our workplaces aren’t simply a means of financial provision; they are a means of Godly mission! As Believers, we are all called to live as everyday missionaries, whether God sends us across the street, across the town, across the nation, or across the world.

  • In verse 1, Nehemiah says he “had not been sad in (the king’s) presence.”  This implies that Nehemiah was known for joy in his workplace! As Christians, we have hope in Jesus and no one can take away our joy - not even a tyrant king/boss (John 16:22).  Our joy is a critical component that sets us apart in our workplaces; it’s a light that shines before others, so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father (Matt. 5:16).

  • In verse 2, just before Nehemiah answers the king, he says that he “was very much afraid.”  Sometimes God calls us to do scary things and have hard conversations, even at work. As Elisabeth Elliot said, “Sometimes fear does not subside and one must choose to do it afraid.”

Scripture to meditate on this week:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ.” -Colossians 3:23-24

Discussion Questions:

  1. What stands out to you when you read Neh. 2:1-3?  Why or how so?

  2. R.C. Sproul said, “Most Christians salute the sovereignty of God but believe in the sovereignty of man.”  Do you believe God has sovereignly placed you in your job or school or neighborhood? Do you work as if He is sovereign or as if man is sovereign?  Why does this matter?

  3. Are you known for joy in your workplace?  As Christians, where does our joy come from?  How is our joy a distinctly missional element (i.e. how are joy and missions related)?

  4. Have you ever been “very much afraid” to follow where God was leading?  Describe your experience.

Practice:

Spend time this week thinking about the specific skills God has given you.  Think about your workplace or your school. Why has God placed you there? Do you see yourself as an everyday missionary?  Think about your attitude at work or school. Read this article from The Gospel Coalition and when you’re tempted to complain, remember that you are born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3).  Set your minds on things above, not on things that are on earth (Col. 3:2). Ask God to give you joy in your workplace!

Lastly, think about global missions.  Pastor Josh mentioned on Sunday that we “labor locally, impact globally.”  How does your current position allow you to impact the world? Do you travel?  Can you raise up people to send? Can you financially support people who go? Did you know that “business as mission” is often how missionaries enter closed countries?  God wants to use your skills and your workplace for His glory! Let’s let Him use us as He sees fit, Church.