Nehemiah 8

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God’s Word Forms God’s People

Nehemiah 8

INTRODUCTION
– Community

WHAT IS GOD’S WORD SAYING
I. Ezra reads the law (8:1-12)
II. The Festival of Booths (8:13-18)

WHAT IS GOD’S WORD TEACHING US
I. God’s Word forms God’s people, and God’s joy is their strength.
II. How should we come to church each Sunday morning?
A. We should come anticipating the reading of God’s Word with reverent
expectation. (v.5-6)
B. We should come ready to listen attentively throughout the long morning as
God’s Word is read and explained (v.3).
C. We should come ready to leave responsive both to the reading itself and to
its interpretation.

HOW DOES IT POINT US TO JESUS
– In our passage today we see that they celebrated the Festival of Booths in
order to remember that God has sustained them through a sojourn back to the
land of promise and through their efforts to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
– Likewise we celebrate on Sunday morning to remember what Jesus Christ did
on a Sunday morning more than 2000 years ago.
– Jesus too went through the wilderness for us.

WHAT CHANGES MONDAY?
– When you get free time, do you view it as an opportunity to drink the
living water of the Word? Do you relish the chance to taste what is
sweeter than honey from the comb? God’s people love God’s Word.

CONCLUSION
– God’s Word makes known God’s Good pleasure, and God’s mighty acts on
behalf of His people show them that He loves them. This mighty acts are then
celebrated in the memorials that God gives His people so that they remember
what He has done for them and how He loves them.
– Have you felt the joy of the Lord? Do you believe His Word? Do you see
what He has done for you? Will you be one who receives the Lord’s Word,
feels His Joy, and has that as your stronghold?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

– What benefits do children gain from attending a worship service of their own? What benefits from attending with their parents?
– Should the congregation stand when the Word of God is read out loud? How do we show reverence for God’s Word without worshiping a book?
– Have you known anyone whose joy was contagious, whose enthusiasm was infectious? Describe that person’s personality.
– What evidence do you see that God feels that kind of joy for you? Is the joy of the Lord your stronghold?
– What can you do to increase or decrease the joy that God feels for you? What can you do to increase your experience or appreciation of God’s joy?
– What keeps you from believing that the death of Christ of the cross is sufficient to pay the penalty for all your sin?
– How do you celebrate God’s provision for you as you sojourn toward the new and better promised land, the new heaven and earth?
– In what way are you metaphorically sojourning toward the new Jerusalem?
– Do you have a tendency to interpret your life through the lens of the Bible or the Bible through the lens of your life?
– What would change if you became convinced of the Lord’s joy in you— if the joy of the Lord became your stronghold?

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