Huddle/Week of 9-15
- Last week’s huddle was centered on the Old Testament book, Jeremiah. In 586 BC, the Babylonians defeat Israel and exile their people roughly 900 miles to Babylon. God speaks through the Prophet Jeremiah, telling the Israelites to see the peace and prosperity of Babylon while they are exiled there.
- Then, in 586 BC, the Persian Army, led by King Cyrus, overthrows Babylon. Cyrus was no longer worried about where the exiles lived as long as they paid taxes and followed the rules. The Persians would rule for the next 200 years until their defeat by Alexander the Great.
- The Old Testament book of Nehemiah (where our text comes from today) covers the time during the Persian reign. A number of Israelites are back in Jerusalem now. The temple has been rebuilt (book of Ezra), and now Nehemiah feels called to return to Jerusalem and reconstruct the walls around the city of Jerusalem for the protection of its people.
- The story of Nehemiah understanding his call or purpose leads us to ask questions about understanding our own purpose in life. Which is what today’s huddle is all about.
- What did you want to be when you were younger? Why?
- Bret shared a story about one of his group members asking about purpose. He wondered, “Do I have one? Does anyone have one? Or, is it just survival of the fittest?” How would you respond to this group member?
- For humans to have a true purpose, what has to be true? Or, to ask another way, can humans have purpose without God? Why or why not?
Read Nehemiah 1:1-4
Leader Note: This text tells us that one of Nehemiah’s brothers (maybe actual brother, maybe fellow Israelite) returns from Jerusalem and Nehemiah asks him the news from Jerusalem. He tells Nehemiah that there is no wall protecting the city. The rebuilding of the wall will become Nehemiah’s mission.
- What did Nehemiah’s brother tell him about the condition of Jerusalem? (vs 3)
- What was Nehemiah’s response? (vs. 4)
- After hearing of the news from Jerusalem, Nehemiah takes it as his mission and purpose to rebuild the walls. Quickly scan chapter 1-2, does God ever tell Nehemiah to go and rebuild the wall? Does God ever obviously affirm that the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls is to be Nehemiah mission/purpose?
- How does Nehemiah know that he is moving/acting in line with God’s purpose/mission? (1:4, 2:4-5)
Even though God never blatantly tells Nehemiah (at least not recorded in Scripture) that His purpose for Nehemiah is to go and rebuild the walls, we see Nehemiah fasting, praying, seeking God…and then acting. Then, we find him returning to prayer (2:4-5) at all moments within his mission.
- What insights can this give us into understanding our purpose/mission?
How Can We Seek Out Our Purpose?—Lessons From Nehemiah
- Do you believe that everyone has a clear and obvious purpose/mission from God? Or, do you believe people have a more general purpose from God? What makes you think this?
Leader Note: While not everyone has a laser-focused purpose mission from God, we all have a general mission. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and act.”
- What Grips You? From Nehemiah we find that one way we can seek out our purpose is to reflect on what makes us cry? Or, said another way…what grips you? How would you answer that question? What grips you?
- What am I willing to pray you? Another insight from Nehemiah on seeking out our purpose is to reflect on…what am I willing to pray about? Fast and pray about? One way to reflect on this question is to ask…if you knew that fasting and praying would truly move the needle forward on an issue, what would you fast and pray about?
- What am I willing to work for? One final insight on our purpose that we see from the story of Nehemiah is that he went to work. Bret said it this way, “If you want to dig out your purpose, ask what are you wiling to fast and pray about, but also, what are you willing to get up off your knees and get to work on?”
- Which of these three insights do you need to make a move in? Do you need to consider what grips you? Do you need to spend time fasting and praying over something you feel called to? Or…do you know your purpose but need to “Get up off your knees and get to work?”
If you don’t feel like you have (or have yet to have) a laser-focused mission from God, what are some ways you can still be a part of God’s mission? As a group, make a list of areas you feel God is moving in your city…in your church? Where could you join in?
Leader Note: A Couple of Examples
- Next Gen @ Church
- Join in action with someone who does sense a laser-focused mission from God.
- Community One
- Youth Sports—Volunteer in some way
- One morning this week, wake up 15 minutes early and prayerfully reflect on the question, what grips you? What makes you cry? Then, as you live out your day, pay attention to your heart as you drive through town and interact with people. Take notice of any time you feel a draw to deeper prayer or action.
Share this experience with your group next week.
- Look back at the list you created in the group activity. Choose one activity/organization off the list to prayer for. Then, as a group, pray the One Life could faithfully live out the mission and vision of the church.
Vision: A church planting organization devoted to changing the secular worldview of the Next Generation.
Mission: Helping people far from God trust and follow Jesus.