“MISSIONAL REALIGNMENT” (Pt. 5 – Conclusion)
INTRO: Do you need a life reset to clear some clutter and realign your life around God’s purposes? The 1st group of exiles go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and restore worship (Ezra chapters 1-6). The 2nd group about 60 years later (Ezra chapters 7-10). In what condition would they find the first group?
I. FAVOR (chapter 7).
- Ezra’s genealogy (vv. 1-5).
- Ezra’s favor and journey to Jerusalem (vv. 6-10; Ex. 3:21).
- Ezra had prepared his heart to seek God’s law and do it and teach it (v. 10). We need a revival of the Word!
- The letter of Artaxerxes (king of Persia) to Ezra (7:11-26).
- The letter authorized them to go (13-14), to be resourced (15-23), to be tax exempt (24) and the authority to govern by God’s laws (25-26).
- Ezra blessed God and was encouraged (vv. 27-28).
II. FASTING (chapter 8).
- A list of those who returned (nearly 2,000) (vv. 1-20).
- They fasted and prayed for protection (vv. 21-23).
- Fasting is a means of humbling ourselves before God.
- Fasting is a means of seeking direction and protection.
- God answered their prayers (v. 23). It’s time to resurrect fasting and prayer!
- Leaders were appointed to steward the offerings (24-30).
- Ezra 8:31-36 records some of the details of their journey.
III. INTERCESSION (chapter 9).
- The first group hadn’t kept themselves separated (1-2).
- When Ezra heard this, he grieved (v. 3).
- Those who feared God assembled to Ezra (v. 4).
- Ezra prayed a prayer of repentance (vv. 5-15).
IV. REPENTANCE (chapter 10).
- Ezra and the people repented (vv. 1-17)
- They put away their pagan wives (vv. 18-44).
CONCLUSION: Let’s seek God’s favor. Let’s revive fasting, intercession and repentance (2Cron. 7:14; 2Cor. 6:14-18)!