Sunday, February 17, 2008

Here's Ezra! Ezra 7

Big Point: God MUST have all the Glory—He will not share it with anyone!
Exodus 20:1-5 
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 "You shall have no other gods before me.
4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God..."

Here we have a man’s life that has the fingerprints of God all over him. Ezra was a Godly type of man with abilities given to him from the Lord. Connected with the teaching community as he is the son of a priest. He was a teacher.

Remember a teacher in your schooling days---what was special about that one? List items: 
1. interested in you. 
2. believed in the subject 
3. went beyond the subject to teach deeper 
4. believed in you 
5. made the subject fun!

Question for you today: Are you that kind of person to others?  Would people say these things of you?

We can see that Ezra had this greatness-- as well as openness to do what the Lord had for him…

[1/2 the battle of doing is within us—we doubt, we fearwe listen to the wrong voice (Satan)—we tend to repeat the same faults, errors, pain and sin and we get sidetracked.] 

Looking at Ezra’s life, we can see that he did not get set aside. Why? Can we follow his lead? What steps did he cover that we can follow?  

#1 Possess Wisdom from God
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. 

A. Commitment to the Lord
Ezra believed in his Faith
1. Believe on the Name of Jesus
To believe in Him is where it all starts and ends!  Salvation comes from only Him!  There is nothing I can do to get more of Him.  His Grace is given to me and I need to believe it.  Simply believe in Him--as a child! period!

2. Took courage from the Lord
(7:28) It may be no longer time to pray/ACT on what you have been praying for!  We pray about something and after a while all we do is pray about something we needed to act upon!  Step up and be counted!  Act on your prayers!

B. Quality that promotes success
1. Righteousness: Proverbs 21:21 He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity [righteousness] and honor. 
Built up in community.  Ezra brought men and women WITH him when he obeyed!  Not alone but with a community.  That is why it is so strong.  It shows unity!

2. Forsake Sin: bottom line-Hate it!
Call it out//weed it out//confess it and get clean before the Lord!

This really showed up later in the book when ‘push comes to shove’ and he did not give in! He was open to the Lord and he showed real Godly integrity. THIS IS NEEDED TODAY!

Pro 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

#2 Knows the Word of God
2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

We live in a world of mediocrity/ don't care/ don’t know. Only a few make it to the top! Why? Some give up—no need to give up. Christ has won!

From ICCS, one of our very own, David M.  ran in the marathon in Tokyo today. Don’t give up! Only 47 K! (Report after the race is over!  He did finish in just over FIVE hours!  Way to go David!  We are proud of you!  You did not give up but finished the race!)

Ezra was well versed in the Word of God/BUT so were the teachers of the Law in Jesus’ time! It just is not knowledge! Lifestyle counts. 

What you do does matter.

Letting the Word of God show us our walk… “Light unto my path.”
John 5: 39 You diligently study (or study diligently- imperative-absolutely necessary!) the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, 40 yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.

All this results in a Godly person and one who found favor in the eyes of the king! You could be that kind of a person: Possess Wisdom from God/believe in Jesus. Learn to take courage in Him. Pursue righteousness and forsake sin AND Know the Word of God. Your response is your responsibility!

God MUST have all the GloryHe will not share it with anyone!