Read Nehemiah Chapters 11 and 12 and Mal 3:16-18.
Summary: Extraordinary people don’t live a life of self-interest, rather they live for the glory of God.
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
- Recall from Nehemiah 7:4 that few people lived in Jerusalem. Name the two ways in which the Jews made sure that “the holy city” was repopulated with believers (11:1).
- What was the point of all the names listed in Nehemiah 11:4-12:26? How does this connect with the names on the scroll in Malachi 3:16-18?
- What does God promise to those whose names are on the scroll of remembrance? What about those whose names are not found there?
What did it mean?
- The fact that they had to essentially “draft” one of every ten families to live in Jerusalem indicates that most people didn’t want to live there. What does that tell us about the Israelites coming out of captivity? Why do you think they didn’t want to go to the Holy city?
- Some however volunteered to return. What was their motivation for doing so and what does that tell us about them?
- When we consider Mal. 3:16-18, what is the message that God is trying to covey?
What does it mean for us?
- In what ways have you experienced God’s “calling” (job, relocation, role, ministry, etc…)?
- What is the correlation between being extraordinary and being faithful to God’s call?
- Do you think it’s possible to be saved and miss one’s calling?
- Mary (the mother of Jesus), was declared by the Angel Gabriel to be “highly favored”. Daniel was similarly declared by Gabriel to be “highly regarded”. Apparently these two were “famous” in heaven. What does it look like to be famous in heaven vs. famous on earth? What about your life would make you famous in heaven?
- If you’ve participated in this study since the beginning, you may remember Keith asking whether or not you wanted to be extraordinary. If so, it’s likely that you responded with a resounding yes. Seven weeks have passed since then. Can you identify any substantive changes that you’ve made?
- Being extraordinary requires intentionality. Will you abandon it all for the sake of the call? If so, what would that look like?