sat in the courtyard of God’s temple. They were trembling because of this matter and shivering because of the heavy rain. 10Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful by marrying foreign women, and now you have added to Israel’s guilt. 11Confess to the LORD God of your ancestors what you have done, and do what he wants. Separate yourselves from the people of this land and from your foreign wives.” 12Then the whole assembly shouted in reply, “Yes! We will do as you say.

# 1. The preparation for the sermon.

A. Here we see Ezra in sermon preparation mode.

a. Here is the man of God w/ a message from God stirring in his heart.

i. And its obviously a heavy message that God is dealing w/ him about preaching …..

Vs 1. 1While Ezra was praying, confessing these sins, crying, and throwing himself down in front of God’s temple, ….

*** 2 year old JL came running out of the nursery screaming this morning & fell on his face on the carpet continuing to scream. What ails him so? The big issue was that he had to go into nursery!!!
I have to admit it was hilarious!
But we all know that it’s a different thing when a grown man behaves like that!!!

ii. This is something like what we saw Ezra doing in our text. Wait troubles him so? …… What aileth thee Ezra? Man! What is it about Sunday’s sermon?

iii. Maybe he’s wrestling w/ some tough things he has to preach in Sunday service!!!

iv. But the truth is that is going to be what’s happening in the preacher b/4 Sunday service ….. in any gospel preaching church!

v. He’s wrestling w/ some things that aren’t going to be easy to preach / challenge the people w/.

b. But there’s something often missed here in the idea of sermon preparation, look at….

Vs 1. ….. a large crowd of Israelite men, women, and children gathered around him. They also began to cry bitterly

i. What we see here is that sermon preparation doesn’t just happen in the heart of the pastor – it also happens in the hearts of the people!

ii. Our text shows us that there was not only preparation going on in the pastor’s heart but it was also going on in the people’s hearts.

iii. This is what saves us from dead, boring, lifeless Sunday sermons ….. a preparation in your own heart!

*** I once got feedback from someone about one of my less than fantastic sermons. The guy in question told his wife that it was just a boring sermon!
Hmmm …… well he might have been right, others told me differently.
But the question I ask is this – how much sermon preparation was going on in his heart?
B/c when our hearts are prepared to hear from God He can use anything to speak to us!

Numbers 22:28 ( NKJV ) 28Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me