- Summer Women’s Study - Ladies, we are excited to let you know that this summer we’re going to be studying 4 women from the Bible. How their lives, stories and struggles still impact us today. Join us on Wednesday nights at 7pm throughout the month of July for the study “Women of the Bible”. We appreciate you!
- Student Summer Camp, "UNLEASHED." Our Unleashed Summer Mission Camp is for you! From June 20-24 our middle and high school students will be out making a difference all over South Florida. For more information and to register today, go to, www.unleashed.camp. Early bird rate is $249.00.
Sermon Title: In The Room, Part 1: Do I Belong?
Main Text: Nehemiah 7:5-10, 61-62
TOPICS: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group ... this is for the leader's review and recollection)
- The wall is built and Nehemiah is tasked with rebuilding the community of God. One of the first things he does is to check the genealogies. He’s essentially asking: who’s in?
- Nehemiah put together a master list of everyone who had returned from exile and used the archives to verify their ancestral link to Israel. He categorized them as 1) Family of Israel, 2) Priest, 3) Levite, 4) Temple Servants, 5) Solomon’s Servants.
- Israel was an inclusive community. Anyone was welcome to join in. However, at this time certain rights were reserved for those who were descended from Israel.
- It is recorded that some could not prove that they belonged.
- This is an interesting picture. It is fundamental to all of us that we want to prove that we belong. Acceptance might be our most primary and primal need. So much of our self-esteem and drive in our lives is based on that need.
- We have a need to be accepted by our parents, by our friends, by our spouses, by our society. We look to find this acceptance through what we wear, what we do, our successes, our positions and our accomplishments. We find our identity through the ways we are accepted.
- But what if all of that is fundamentally because we are asking a question of God? What if this primal question that we all ask is because in the deepest recesses of our souls we need to be accepted by God?
- Maybe the question lingering in every single room all the time, that’s almost never asked out loud is: Do I Belong? And even though it’s lurking silently through our lives, it is there.
- We spend our lives asking family, friends, romantic relationships, and society itself to answer this question. But what we really need to hear is God’s answer.
- Here is His answer:
- “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” - 1 John 3:1a
- “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” - Isaiah 49:15
SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...
(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)
HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and the low point?
Pastor Robey's opening illustration about "Motherly Love" displays a love of "acceptance." How does that help you belong?
How do you think our need for acceptance shows up in various aspects of our lives?
How can the need for acceptance damage relationships?
When have you been in a situation or with a group when you questioned "Do I belong?" Are you asking that today?
How does God say, "I accept you?" How is the depth of His love proved powerfully for you?
How does the idea that God accepts us just as we are radically affect someone’s life?
YOU are loved by God, therefore YOU are accepted by God! Interact with that statement.
How is God’s acceptance, this love, going to change your thinking this week?
There’s a question that is hovering in virtually every single room that is occupied by at least one human. It is palpable in school lunchrooms everyday. It causes tension at family reunions. It can be the instigation and the disintegration of a romance. It’s what makes isolation unbearable and unnatural. But it’s what sometimes makes friendships even harder. It may be the single deepest question we have. It emanates from the most primal recesses of our souls. And we may not even know that this question is storming through our lives every day. The question is: Do I Belong? But what if the reason virtually all of us spend our lives seeking the answer to this question is because we first and foremost need God to answer it...