Family Bible Study lesson for July 18: Encouraged By Redemptive Usefulness : Friday, June 25, 2004
June 25 2004 by Phyllis Elvington

Family Bible Study lesson for July 18: Encouraged By Redemptive Usefulness : Friday, June 25, 2004
Friday, June 25, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for July 18: Encouraged By Redemptive Usefulness

By Phyllis Elvington
Focal Passage: Nehemiah 1:2-7,10-11; 2:4-8,17-18

As a ninth-grader, Calesio finished first in the 100-meter dash, second in the 200-meter dash, and third in the 110-meter hurdles at the State Track and Field Championship Meet. His future looked bright.

Everyone said the sky was the limit for Calesio. And then, he made some bad choices. He got into trouble at school and was sent to the district's alternative school for the remainder of his 10th grade year.

Not only did Calesio have to leave high school and his friends behind, but he could also no longer participate in any extracurricular activities - including track.

He was devastated. He was a state champion who was not able to defend his state title.

But that is not the end of the story. Calesio had an encounter with Jesus and his life was changed completely. He returned to high school as a junior and was committed to doing his best and giving God all the honor and glory for the change that had taken place in his life.

That is why the photograph in the newspaper of Calesio crossing the finish line in first place at the State Track Meet with his hand pointing to the sky was so precious. It was a picture of a redeemed teenager giving thanks to the One who deserved all the credit.

We can all be encouraged in knowing that God can use us regardless of our past or present circumstances.

Assess the situation

Nehemiah 1:2-3

President John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." That is precisely what Nehemiah did.

Although he had lived his entire life exiled from his homeland of Judah, he was concerned about his country and its capital city, Jerusalem. After inquiring about the situation, he discovered that his people were in great trouble and the walls of Jerusalem were in ruins.

What about you? Do you sit around and wait for a member of the nominating committee to ask you to serve your church, or do you take the initiative to look around and discover where your particular talents and gifts could be used?

Confess sin

Nehemiah 1:4-7

Nehemiah literally mourned over the sins that he and the people of Israel had committed against Holy God. He fasted and prayed for days that God would hear His prayer and cleanse His servants of their sins.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 reminds us of the importance of presenting ourselves as clean vessels to be used by God: "If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel of noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work."

Petition God

Nehemiah 1:10-11

Nehemiah knew what he needed to do. He also knew that he could never even attempt it with his own strength. Therefore, he came before God with a specific request: "... and give success to thy servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man" (v. 11b).

God never gives us an assignment without giving us the right equipment to get the job done.

Do you need help with a specific task? Go to the Lord in prayer and watch His power at work within you (see Eph. 3: 20-21).

Enlist support

Nehemiah 2:4-8

Nehemiah went to the king for help, but only after he had spent months in prayer asking God for guidance and support. The king of Persia could supply letters of safe-conduct, army officers and cavalry, but only God could supply the strength needed for the task (see Phil. 4:13).

Encourage others

Nehemiah 2:17-18

Nehemiah told the people that he was in this situation with them, and that with God's help they could work together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 1 Corinthians 3:9 shows us the best way to serve, "We are laborers together with God."

6/25/2004 12:00:00 AM by Phyllis Elvington | with 0 comments

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