ARCIVES - EZRA-ESTHER
October 28, 2021, 7:32 PM

SERMON SEEDS ARCHIVES

EZRA – ESTHER

Through no fault of our own, about 5 years of Sermon Seeds was deleted from the Website of the First Baptist Church.

We decided that it was time to begin archiving them in a different way.

Please be patient as we gradually archive these outlines.

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EZRA 3 – REVIVAL

For about seventy years the temple in Jerusalem laid in ruins.

A group of people came out of exile back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1-2).

In Chapter 3, the rebuilding of the temple is started.

I believe that this chapter shows us a procedure for revival.

REESTABLISH WORSHIP - Vss. 1-6

Before an effort was made to rebuild the temple, worship was reestablished.

A good way to start revival is through sincere worship of God. Psalm 89:7

Sincere worship will lead to true repentance.

REBUILD THE FOUNDATION - Vss. 7-10a

The foundation needed to be rebuilt.

When we are revived we reaffirm that our life is built on Christ alone.  1 Corinthians 3:11

We repent and return to our "first love". Revelation 2:4-5

RESPOND APPROPRIATELY - Vss. 10b-13

  1. The Response of Sorrow - Vss. 12-13

Some people were sorrowful because of the smaller size of the rebuilt temple.

We should sorrow over sin when God is reviving us. 2 Corinthians 7:10

  1. The Response of Joy - Vss. 10b-11

There was joy when the foundation for the temple was relayed.

God was in the center of the praise and joy.

When we experience revival in our lives, we too will praise God and experience His joy.             Psalm 85:6

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NEHEMIAH 1:1-11 – NEHEMIAH, PATRIOT

We as Christians need to be strong patriots if this country is going to survive. It does not mean we agree with everything our country stands for, or with everything our leaders do, but we need to be committed to our country as patriots in a God- honoring way.

There are patriots mentioned in the Bible. Samson and David were loyal to Israel. After Israel split in two, Jeremiah was loyal to his country, Judah. However, each one of these men was more loyal to God than they were to their countries. It should be the same for us today. Loyalty to country should be secondary to loyalty to God through our loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Nehemiah was zealous for his nation, even while living in a foreign country.  We can learn to be good patriots if we learn from Nehemiah.

BACKGROUND

Because of sin, Israel (The Northern Kingdom) and Judah (The Southern Kingdom) were carried into captivity. After 70 years of captivity for Judah, permission was given by Cyrus, King of Persia, for some to go back to the land and rebuild the temple.  As we enter into the story of Nehemiah, the people had gone back, and after a number of years rebuilt the temple.  But, as we will learn, the walls of Jerusalem were down, making them susceptible to the enemies of Israel.

HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS NATION - Vss. 1-4

  • Vss. 1-3 - Nehemiah's brother returned from a trip to Jerusalem.
  • Patriot that he was, Nehemiah asked about the conditions of the hometown. This was not a casual question, like some of us would ask concerning the well -being of another and not really care. For Nehemiah this was an important, significant question, because he did care!
  • The answer he got to his question was not a pretty one, nor was it the one he wanted to hear. The city was in great reproach. The walls were down. To us that doesn't mean much, but please remember that cities in those days had to have walls for protection.
  • Also note that the gates were down because they had been burned with fire. Without gates, the walls would not be of much use.
  • Vs. 4 - We see Nehemiah's true concern

He sat down.

He wept.

He mourned.

He fasted.

He prayed.

  • We see that America is going downhill morally, but do we care?

Do we care enough to pray?

Do we care enough to weep?

Do we care enough to fast?

Do we care enough to mourn?

NEHEMIAH CRIED TO GOD

  • Where did Nehemiah go with his burden for his nation? He went right to God of course!
  • Vs. 5 - Notice Nehemiah's approach to God.
  • He was distressed. He was concerned. He was burdened.
  • But he did not forget to whom he was talking.
  • He worshiped God, pointing out God's covenant keeping and mercy.
  • Worship should be an important part of our prayer lives!
  • So often we rush into God's presence without adoring Him,
  • and without considering to whom we are talking. Psalm 113:3-5, Hebrews 13:14
  • Vs. 6 - Nehemiah asked God to hear his prayer.
  • Vss. 8-9 - Please notice that Nehemiah's prayer was based on the promises of God. There are many, many, promises in God's Word that we can claim in prayer. And there are many things that are God's will mentioned in Scripture. We can ask God to keep His promises. We can ask God for His will to be done. 1 John 5:14-15
  • Vs. 10 - Here is an important point.
    • Nehemiah was praying for the people of God.
    • We are to pray for the unsaved.
    • We are to pray for our nation.
    • But we must pray for God's people, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
    • When God's people are living as they should, the nation will become more righteous.
  • Ephesians 6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

NEHEMIAH CONFESSED SIN

  • I imagine that Nehemiah was familiar with Psalm 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
  • Vss. 6-7 - Nehemiah confessed sin.
    • Nehemiah confessed his own sin.
    • Nehemiah confessed the sin of his fathers, of his nation.
  • It is important that we as individuals confess our sins, naming them, seeking God's forgiveness. 1 John 1:9
  • When we confess the sins of our nation and family we are owning up to the fact that we have no right or merit that justifies us having our prayers answered. We are acknowledging our total failure. We are also acknowledging our need for God's mercy and grace.
  • Imagine what would happen if Christians around the country started confessing to God family sin and the nation's sin, as well their own sin. 2 Chronicles 7:14

NEHEMIAH CHOSE TO GET INVOLVED

  • Vs. 11 - He was ready to go before the king to see what he could do. He realized he needed God's help, but he also realized that there was personal responsibility.
  • As a result of his going before the king, Nehemiah ended up going back to Jerusalem and leading in the rebuilding of the walls. He served as governor of the area.
  • Nehemiah had a comfortable and responsible position, but set it aside to be used of God to solve the very problem about which he was concerned.
  • The result is summed up in Nehemiah 6:15 - So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
  • For Nehemiah, being concerned, crying to God, and confessing sin led to direct involvement.

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NEHEMIAH 2:1-9 – ON THE SPOT

There are times in our lives when we are suddenly placed in a precarious or difficult situation. If we have been walking with God, we can be confident that He will be there for us when we are placed “On The Spot”.  Nehemiah, the King’s cupbearer, had been burdened for the terrible conditions in Jerusalem. See Nehemiah 1

NEHEMIAH WAS DESPONDENT – Vs. 1

According to Nehemiah 1:4, Nehemiah had “mourned, wept, fasted, and prayed” concerning Jerusalem.  As much as he probably tried to hide it in front of the king, the sorrow finally showed itself.

NEHEMIAH WAS DISTRESSED – Vs. 2

The King noticed that Nehemiah was sorrowful but not sick.  It was thought that if servants were not joyful in front of their king, they were plotting to overthrow the king.  We can understand Nehemiah’s fear.

NEHEMIAH WAS DEPENDENT – Vss. 3-4

Nehemiah told the king exactly what was bothering him. When he told the king, the king asked what Nehemiah wanted.  So quickly Nehemiah gave an “emergency prayer”, asking God for help.  Emergency prayers work best when we are in the habit of obeying 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

NEHEMIAH WAS DEFINITE – Vss. 5-8

Nehemiah asked for all that he needed and didn’t hold back on his request for fear that he was asking too much.  We need to remember when we pray to God to ask for great things for His glory and according to His will.  John 14:13-14

NEHEMIAH WAS DISPATCHED – Vss. 6b, 8b

The king was pleased to send Nehemiah, granting his requests for what he had asked.

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Nehemiah 10:28-39 – COUNTING THE COST

Introduction - Luke 14:28-30

The people in Nehemiah's day considered what it would cost in order to please God.

1. THE COST OF SUBMISSION Vss. 28-29

They would "...walk in God's law..."

2. THE COST OF SEPARATION Vss. 28-30

They promised to separate themselves to walking in God's law and not marrying off their daughters to heathen husbands (2 Corinthians 6:14).

3. THE COST CONCERNING THE SABBATH Vs. 31

The Sabbath Day would not be a day of normal business.

The implication is that the Sabbath would be set apart for God.

Today we do not celebrate the Sabbath, but we do celebrate the Lord's Day (Sunday).

Our main responsibility on the Lord's Day is to worship, learn and fellowship with God's People. Hebrews 10:24-25

4. THE COST OF SHARING Vss. 32-39

The people committed themselves to supporting God's work and God's workers.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8-9

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