I’ve recently posted the study we just finished on Wednesday evenings, “Rise Up, Men of God – A Study of Leadership in Nehemiah”. We had some great discussion, and as I have every time I’ve spent time in Nehemiah, I came away with some great principles and pointers for leadership, and a deep appreciation for the man himself. You can click “Small Group Studies” above to download the pdfs.
You’ll also find there a new study of Ecclesiastes, “Finding True Depth in a Shallow World”. These are being posted as we progress, so a new one will pop up every week (ch. 1 & 2 now available).
For the month of June our message series at the Early Church of Christ was on generosity and giving. While this topic is one that I probably preach too little on (I’m a native West Texan, avoiding it is in our blood), I really enjoyed the study and challenges in this series. I hope that you find these encouraging; the lessons are meant to come at this important Christian value (Jesus spoke on it all the time) in a very positive way.
A Little is Enough (when God is in it) – Matthew 14:13-21
What to Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek, a tiny bird on its back, two dead fish and your wallet have in common?
Blessed to Be a Blessing – II Corinthians 8-9
“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, ‘He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.'” –II Corinthians 9:8-11, The Message
The Prodigal Father – Luke 15:11-32
It is said that charity begins in the home, and in the parable of the prodigal son, we see that charity began in the heart of a loving, generous-beyond-reason father.
You’ll never find these 10 attitudes attain these outcomes.
- Arrogance and Caring
- Self-Indulgence and Healing
- Navel-gazing and Progress
- Nit-picking and Unity
- Stubbornness and Growth
- Selfishness and Love
- Wallowing in self-pity and Joy
- Harshness and Peacemaking
- Grudges and Grace
- Isolation and Friendship
Grace. To a lot of people, this was a new concept introduced by Jesus. It wasn’t. As he said in John 5:19, his own acts of grace and mercy were rooted in what he’d watched the Father do from the beginning. This is actually one reason so many of the Jewish believers who followed Jesus knew he was from God. God was a source of grace, and Jesus was a source of grace, so Jesus’ claims to be from God rang true to them. (<–Hey…there might be a parenthetical message in there)
For an example of how Israel saw the grace of YHWH in the OT, just check out this excerpt from Nehemiah:
“You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.” – Nehemiah 9:17-21, ESV