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Finding Buried Treasures from Boring Lists of Names – Nehemiah 11:1-6

1. The speaker mentions God’s effort to assign names of returned Israelite from Exile to live in Jerusalem (11:1-3-4a) and also in villages in Judah and Benjamin (11:25-35). He points out that God is concerned that everyone has a home to settle in. What do you think is the significance of this? Now read John 14:1-6 and Revelation 21:1-27. Use your imagination and discuss what you think heaven is like. Do you believe your name has been assigned to a room in heaven? How you can make sure of this?

2. The speaker mentions how some Israelites offered freely to live in Jerusalem because they were responding to a need. He illustrates this treasure by telling the story of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-29). Read this passage and share why you think Epaphroditus offered his service freely to Apostle Paul. The speaker also shared about the story of Noriza Mansor who offered her service freely to an elderly man who soiled himself. If you were in her shoes, what would you have done? Tell a story of one occasion when you have offered your service freely to another needy person. When you next hear and see a need, share how will you volunteer your service?

3. The speaker explains that Jewish names show their relationship to God such as the first 6 names in verse 4b. A Jewish name can also be given based on his characteristic such as Perez. Now look at your name. What is special and unique about your name? The speaker plays the song “Everyone Is Special” and the lyrics are reproduced here.

You are special, you’re the only one
You’re the only one like you
There isn’t another in the whole wide world
Who can do the things you do

Oh, you are special, special, everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way
Oh, you are special, special, everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way

You’re important, oh, you really are
You’re the only one of you
The world is better just because you’re here
You should know that we love you

Oh, you are special, special, everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way
Oh, you are special, special, everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way
Everyone in his or her own way

Take some time and reflect on the lyrics. Please share in what way are you special and important to the extant God has chosen you to do what nobody else can do.

4. The speaker mentions that each person’s name is connected to a chain of other names based on the story of Perez (see 11:4b-5 and Genesis 38). Use the chart below and discuss who are you connected in the past and who is God bringing to your life right now to make new connection? By connecting dots, do you know how is God going to use your life for His Kingdom?

connectthedots

The most important person your dot must get connected to is Jesus’ dot. In what way will connecting to Jesus help you live more meaningfully today?

5. The speaker talks about knowing God through numbers. What numbers can help you know God better? Then the speaker mentions about God being very concerned about the exact number for Gentiles to know Christ (read Romans 11:25). Share your thoughts why God has this specific number. Do you believe you are part of this number? As you are part of a specific and larger number of believers, how will this knowledge help you in your service for God?
6. The speaker concludes his message by talking about our names in the Dedication List which was published on 31st January 2016 for our Dedication Sunday. Share whether your name is included in the Dedication List. How do you feel when you read your name is included in the Dedication List? How can you encourage a believer when his/her name is not found in the Dedication List?

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