February 11, 2019
Ezra: The 15th book of the Old Testament.
Sometimes we tend to dismiss the Old Testament. But it is just as valid and important as the New Testament. We started our Sunday night study focusing on the importance of ALL of Gods word as we dive into Ezra and Nehemiah.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Acts 20:27 (NKJV) For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
We need the whole counsel of Gods word! God speaks LOUDLY through all of His word…Augustine said, “Where Scripture speaks, God speaks.” The overlying theme for the book of Ezra is; “The Power and reliability of Gods Word”.
1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:
2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
3 Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem.
4 Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’”
5 Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.
Besides the aspect of the importance of Gods word we need to look at the word “stirred” in verses 1 and 5. Vs 1; "Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” and "even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up”. Just as the Lord stirred the spirit of Cyrus, so He stirs the spirits of these who would return. Ezra is reminding us that it is God who stirs the hearts of man. Every man, believer or unbeliever…secular or religious, government leaders or common man/woman, God stirs their hearts. Are we fearful of what is going on in our government or society now? Then pray that God would stir their hearts. Are you concerned with the leadership in Washington? Again pray that the hearts on ALL men and women in Washington would be stirred.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
A Call to Prayer
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
But lets take it a step closer to home. When is the last time you asked God to stir your heart? Or the hearts of your family and friends. Are you feeling as if you have no purpose or direction? Ask God to stir your heart. Dig into Gods word and spend time meditating on it and praying over it. Remove any barriers, things that would stop or slow the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life. We can and must count on the Word of God in all circumstances, no matter how dire they may seem.
God is preparing you for all He has prepared for you! God please stir our hearts!
Prayed for you all this morning!
Much love and blessings!