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STUDY No. 4     PROBLEMS IN SERVICE

Nehemiah 5/1-19  

 

INTRODUCTION.  

In Study No.3 we noted the reality of the opposition that will always confront those who give themselves to God’s work. However, our study so far relates to opposition from “outside” - from those sources that are supposed to oppose us! But there is a form of opposition that is usually unexpected and hard to handle because it comes from the “inside’ - from those we had anticipated would be supportive...our fellow Christians.  

1. As we have done is the previous studies, let’s begin by reading together - this time Nehemiah chapter 5. Stay alert for ideas, words and phrases that you think are significant.  

2. Read again verses 1, 5 and 7 and identify what you believe to be the nature and cause of tension within the Jewish community there in Jerusalem. 

3. Nehemiah’s reaction was one of anger (v.6). Many Christians believe that anger is always a sin. Others believe it is a sin sometimes! Still others say that there are times when it is a sin NOT to get angry! What do you think? 

4. On at least three occasions in the gospels Jesus got angry. What were the circumstances?

a. Mark 3/16

b. Mark 10/13-16

c. John 2/13-17 

What guidelines does the example of Jesus provide for us in regard to feeling & expressing anger?  

5. Nehemiah had a potentially explosive situation on his hands. It was critical that he handle it wisely and maturely. Ponder again vs.7-13 and write down any principles that you find in his example that will help us face that kind of situation and handle it as creatively as possible.

6. Nehemiah’s own attitude and example was also a key factor in the resolution of the tension. Read vs.14-16 and write down a sentence that summarises his example.

 

PERSONAL CONSIDERATION AND APPLICATION  

7. What are some of the situations that can cause tension and potential division among God’s people in a local Church?

 

8. Do I deal with tensions and differences openly and honestly like Nehemiah or do I bury my anger and pretend all is forgiven and forgotten when it remains unresolved?  

 

9. Am I currently angry and/or tense about some situation in my family...my workplace...my Church? What am I doing about it? What do I need to do about it?

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