One of the best studies on Nehemiah can be viewed/listened to for free online. Called, A Prayer-Infused Journey to Joy based on the teachings of Nehemiah and Philippians, the study follows a similar format to that of the international Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) produced in San Antonio and to that of the Women in the Word series produced in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
This particular study is produced by the women’s ministry of Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Houston. The online study is free of charge and available to everyone. To attend a small group women’s study, participants are requested to register online, also free of charge.
The lecture and materials are beneficial to everyone however, and is by far one of the best and most accessible presentations on Nehemiah and Philippians I’ve found.
The presentation follows a similar pattern to that of BSF; the materials and handouts are similar to those of Women in the Word. Homework assignments encourage participants to focus on three things when studying the text:
- God’s Diety: what does the text communicate about God and how does it point to Jesus? For example, God is Holy, our father and the author of life; Jesus is our advocate who is faithful, obedient and sacrificial.
- God’s Doctrine: what is God teaching through his word that connects the passage to his greater story of redemption? These include what the Bible teaches about atonement, eternal security, human depravity, love, providence, reconciliation, repentance, sanctification, righteousness, among many others.
- God’s truth in our lives: how is what is being communicated something we can apply to ourselves? What doctrines and attributes of God are challenging for us to understand? Which are the most encouraging? How do they inform our understanding of who Jesus is?
In Nehemiah and Philippians, we learn what the foundation of joy is. In Nehemiah we learn what experiencing exile from joy is like; in Philippians we learn in whom saving grace and joy can be found.
In Nehemiah, we learn battles are won through prayer, confession, placing total confidence in God, and maintaining a proper fear of God through trials, oppression and injustice. An enemy of joy exists and is active. In Philippians, we learn that joy from saving grace turns our circumstances into opportunities to share the gospel, how to honor Christ in all situations, and how to pursue Christlike humility.
There is even joy in persecution because we know that God loves and protects us in all things. Our circumstances do not define who we are but present opportunities to point to Jesus in all things.
In the lesson below, in Nehemiah 5, we learn about a great injustice being committed not by outside forces but from within and how Nehemiah as a governor responds to bring restoration to the people.
The message is a reminder that righteous leaders are needed today– and that evil can and does often come from within our own communities. That we respond– and how– is critical. How do we as Christians deal with injustice in our communities, cities, and country?
The study may also provide encouragement to those having difficulty finding a local church, or for those who have never heard of Nehemiah and want to learn more and can do so through free resources available online.