NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: Nehemiah 10:28-39
Discussion Questions: What distractions cause a person to get derailed in their spiritual life? What steps should we take to avoid potential spiritual distractions?
Food for Thought:
While driving home from work, your mobile phone buzzes, beeps or sings to let you know you have a message. The temptation is too much, and you check to see who sent the message before reading it. In that very moment, the car in front of you slows down, and you tap them in the back. The police officer and the driver you tapped are not impressed by who texted you.
National campaigns emphasize the dangers of texting and driving. Apps are available that can send reply messages to help eliminate the distraction. Driving safely requires us to minimize the distractions.
Nehemiah was well aware of the dangers of distractions. The distractions that concerned him were far greater than texting and driving. The people of Israel had allowed themselves to get sidetracked in the past for allowing spiritual distractions. They married people who worshiped idols. They built business partnerships with people who did not honor God in their practices. Nehemiah called on the people who returned to Jerusalem to commit to avoiding the potential distractions that could compromise their loyalty to God (Nehemiah 10:29). They worshiped God through their obedience.
When we think about our spiritual lives today, we must also consider the potential distractions. We may get involved in some good things, but those good things may get in the way of our full loyalty to God. These distractions may be different for each one of us based on our weakness and the area in which we are most tempted. As God reveals these potential spiritual distractions, we must be willing to take the actions needed to minimize them. Just like silencing the phone when driving, we must silence anything that calls our attention away from the commitment we have made to God.
Nehemiah called on the people of his day to declare their commitment in a public way. We can share our commitment with others in our Bible study groups as a way to solidify our resolve to remain focused on Him.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at www.LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.