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The Man for the Hour – Nehemiah 1:1-11

1. In the introduction the speaker talks about Jack Sim, the Singaporean who has a concern for the poor without proper toilets. This leads him to found World Toilet Organization (WTO) and as a result of this he is improving the lives of millions of people. The speaker also asks this question: “Why does Jack Sim care for people without toilets while many Singaporeans do not have this concern?” Discuss your answers. What do you discover about yourself?

2. The speaker gives the background of Nehemiah who is living in Persia (today’s Iran) which is the home for 2 to 3 million exiled Jews. Although the remnant Jews have returned many years ago (over a span of 13 to 92 years) and Jerusalem is 1,600 km away, why do you think Nehemiah has so much concern for the people and place respectively? What makes Nehemiah so different from the many other exiled Jews?

3. The speaker discusses what goes into the making of the Man for the Hour. He mentions 10 characteristics from the life of Nehemiah. Pick any three from this list below and share what impact you the most and why/how.
A. He asks question about people and place (1:1-2).
B. He listens attentively to the answer (1:3).
C. He feels emotionally about the problem (1:4a).
D. He waits in silence before God (1:4b).
E. He holds a high view of God (1:5).
F. He humbles himself by depending on prayer (1:6a).
G. He admits to sinning against God (1:6b-7).
H. He remembers the warnings and promises in the Scriptures (1:8-10).
I. He implores God for success and favour (1:11a).
J. He uses his right position at the right place at the right period before the right person (1:11b).

4. We crave for success but we use different approaches to attain them. The speaker gives these statistics for Chances of Success:

I think

0% I won’t 60% I might
10% I can’t 70% I can
20% I don’t know how 80% I can
30% I wish I could 90% I am
40% I want to 100% I DID
50% I think I might

Discuss how much success is due to human’s effort and how much is given by God. The speaker gives his viewpoint: “Success is God’s gift of empowerment on the Man for the Hour so that he works hard to bring blessing to people for God’s Glory. Seen in this way, success is therefore a collaboration between God and man.” Do you agree or disagree?

5. The speaker concludes: “Today there are many broken people in many places. God needs the Man for the Hour to take up the challenge to be his Leader to rebuild and restore.” He also asks, “What are you concerned about?” Share in what way can you tie the two together – How can God develop you to be the Man for the Hour so that you become the solution for what you are concerned about.

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