Reflection Guide - Nehemiah 7:4-5

Key points from the sermon:

  • In verse 4, we see that without people, all the work is for naught.  It is the people (not the walls, not the programs or structures) that declare and display God’s Kingdom.  This verse is reminiscent of Jesus’s own words in Matthew 9:37… “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”  This should spur us on towards God’s mission. He has a heart for those who don’t yet know Him. He cares about the growth of His Church.  As His Body, we are a living organism. A stagnant church is a dying church. He has invited all of us into His mission, not just the “Christian elite.”

  • While verse 4 presented a problem (lack of people), we see God offer a solution to the problem in verse 5.  Nehemiah was sensitive to God’s leading. Instead of feeling crushed by the overwhelming needs around him, God gave Nehemiah eyes to see that He has already provided!  These aren’t new needs to God. In fact, God has been working to meet these needs long before Nehemiah, bringing people to Jerusalem before Nehemiah was even born. Indeed, God cares about His mission (namely, His people) far more than we do!  And He has been working for His mission since the beginning of time.

  • Together, these two verses exemplify a Hudson Taylor quote that we’ve seen displayed throughout the book of Nehemiah:  “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” Let’s allow that understanding to guide our missional communities as we seek to saturate Central Texas with the good news of Jesus Christ!

Scripture to meditate on this week:

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”  -Matthew 9:37-38

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you notice when you read Nehemiah 7:4-5?

  2. Why is it a problem that “the people within it were few”?  What does this say about God’s mission?

  3. Verse 5 says that “God put it into (Nehemiah’s) heart”... that is, God literally guided Nehemiah step-by-step.  What do you think about that? Do you feel guided by God or do you often feel lost? Why? What can you glean from all of this?

  4. How does Neh. 7:4-5 apply specifically to your Missional Community?  How is your MC participating in God’s mission and how are you watching God supply for the needs around you?

Practice:

Take this week to remember how God first pursued you.  Write out your testimony and recall how you came to know Him.  How is He still actively pursuing you today? We are a sent people because God first sent Jesus to save us.  We cannot pursue others well if we’re not resting in that fact.  God cares more about our lost neighbors and our lost family members than we ever could, and He’s been pursuing them long before us.  Let that truth sink in and ultimately impact the way we “do” missions.