Reflection Guide - Nehemiah 2:4-8

Key points from the sermon:

  • God provides for His work and His people!  As Hudson Taylor said, “God’s work done God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”

  • In verse 4, Nehemiah shows evidence of praying continually, living in intimacy with God.

  • In verse 5, Nehemiah has found favor in the king’s sight.  We can get hung up here, trying to earn favor and feeling unworthy.  But that’s the thing about grace - it’s God’s unmerited favor!  We have found favor with our God through Jesus Christ.  We can approach God (and others) and make our requests known with confidence, not in ourselves but in Jesus.

  • Verses 6 and 7 show that Nehemiah had been deliberately praying and planning.  He had a clear vision and he knew the costs. He courageously continues asking for big things.

  • In asking for big things, is Nehemiah relying on a false prosperity gospel?  Paul Tripp says, “When God prospers people who are no longer living for their own selfish desires but are living for His will, the result is the furtherance of His kingdom purposes on earth, which results in His glory.”  As Christians, we are relying on a  prosperity Gospel, but it’s not an earthly prosperity.  The difference is whose kingdom is prospering!

  • Finally, in verse 8, Nehemiah gives all credit to the good hand of God upon him.  With the promises of Christ, we have something more precious than that:  the gracious Spirit of God within us!

Scripture to meditate on this week:

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”  -Matthew 21:22

Discussion Questions:

  1. What stands out to you when you read Neh. 2:4-8?  Why or how so?

  2. Pastor Josh mentioned on Sunday that the most dangerous phrase he utters to himself is, “I need to pray about that.”  Why is that a dangerous phrase? Can you relate?

  3. Nehemiah is asking for big things in this passage.  Have you ever asked God for big things? What prevents you from asking for big things?  Whose favor are you trusting in?

  4. How do we ask for big things without getting caught up in a false prosperity “gospel”?  Examine your prayer life. Are you typically asking for things that will prosper your kingdom or God’s kingdom?

Practice:

Work this week on developing a clear vision for your life and your family.  Don’t be afraid to dream big. Seek to develop a clear vision with your Missional Community.  Discuss these hopes and dreams. Are they prospering your kingdom or God’s kingdom? Consider all the costs and then boldly ask God to provide!  Pray in unity for God’s provision, trusting in our unmerited favor through Jesus Christ. Church, when God answers our prayers to further His kingdom, let’s be found hoping in the Lord and give credit to His gracious Spirit within us!