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Sunday 9 May Brad Carr

Happily Ever After

Brad walks us through Nehemiah chapter 13. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem after spending some time back in Susa. He expected and hoped to find the people living as they had promised God they would. Instead he finds that they have broken all the promises they had made to God: they had compromised the temple, they had neglected giving, they were materialistic and trading on the sabbath, and they we intermarrying with people of other faiths. We can relate to this - so often we do the very things we have intended not to.

The big idea of Brad's talk is that:
Our best behaviour falls woefully short of our best intentions which is why
we need Jesus.

Reflection Points that fit in with the Big Picture - that God's love for us is based 100% on Jesus' perfection.
1. Be realistic
2. Be thankful
3. Be trusting
4. Be dependent
5. Be excited

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Life Group Questions

Sunday 9 May

Read Nehemiah 13

To focus on keeping focused on what God has said to you:

Despite their good intentions and vows, after a period of time the people have slipped back into neglect of the temple and the Sabbath, and some have chosen to marry foreign women who worship foreign gods. They have forgotten their promises and commitments.

  • What was the most memorable message or discussion from this series?
  • What things have you decided or committed to do as a result of this series?
  • Are there any important things that have just slipped your mind than you want to re-connect with?

One of the key practises of Jewish faith and of the Christian church over the centuries has been a focus on reminding and remembering, because our time, energy and attention is limited.

  • What are some of the reminders of what God has done that are scheduled into our year? How might you engage with them more to remember the things that are most significant to you?
  • What things do you need to remind yourself of every day? How do these answer your everyday struggles? How does this speak to our place in our city, and the hope we can bring?

To focus on living out our faith in community:

One of the key functions of the prophets was to remind people of the covenant which God established, and call them back to it when they strayed.

  • Jesus brought a new covenant (agreement) which we have been welcomed into – but what is that agreement? What does it look like to live it that agreement from day to day? (Ephesians 1:3-10 and 2:1-10 gives a good summary of the relationship we have been brought into)
  • Who knows you well enough to know when you are struggling? Who do you talk to about your fears, anxieties and doubts? Who has permission to call you out when you are misbehaving?
  • What hope can we offer when we are the ones supporting a friend (family member or workmate…) through struggles, or calling them out?