Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Explore the Bible: Returning to the Restoring God (Nehemiah 9)

As believers, we never lose our relationship with Christ because of sin; yet everyone who sins loses something. While forgiveness is available, the scars of sin will continually remind us of what we lost by choosing to rebel against God. Even so, returning to the restoring God can and will restore the joy of our salvation and the peace which only the experience of His forgiveness can provide (Psalm 51). This is the focus of this week's Explore the Bible study of Nehemiah 9. I have made the following tweaks to help bring more focus on God's restorative process.
  • A tweaked TARGET for the study: For believers, the reality of God’s grace evokes confession, repentance, and a desire for complete restoration.
  • Additional primary text: Nehemiah 9:1-38
  • Identification and discussion activity for Nehemiah 9:5-31: The group is to read, individually, through the passages and identify: (1) Phrases that describe God and His acts of grace (2) Phrases that describe the people's response to His grace.
  • Ancillary text for additional discussion: Romans 6:1-2; Romans 6:15; 2 Timothy 2:13; and Psalm 51:1-3.
Humbling ourselves, acknowledging our sin, acknowledging God’s grace, and yes, even being distressed about the scars of sin: these actions position us to experience from God, grace that is unimaginable, even when the scars of sin run deep!

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