Summary: To live our lives within the context of the eternal purposes of God and understand that we are called to be Kingdom Builders.
Fourth part in a series about the Kingdom of God.
Again- work from the book of Ezra- Chap 4-10.
Building God’s Kingdom requires faith.
Today- faith means I believe Jesus died for my sins and I am going to heaven.
The faith Christ inspires not only gets us to heaven when we die, but is capable of bringing heaven to where we live. Francis Frangipane
As God’s people, we are were saved to bring a God-reality into every day life.
Speaking of the men/women of faith in Heb 11.
People with faith were not just “believers”; they were world changers! Francis Frangipane
We want to change the world by bringing- principles of God’s Kingdom into the earthly realm.
When we are serious about building God’s Kingdom, there will be hindrances and resistance.
Here the enemy came looking like an ally, but for the purpose of distracting, hindering, God’s purposes.
Satan wants to destroy people- by messing up lives and distracting them from their God-given destiny.
Jn 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. NASU
We must help people experience Kingdom life.
Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. NASU
We must understand we are in a war/we are warriors.
Eph 3:10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. NLT
What can we learn …
There is a real spiritual enemy that wants to distract us from being Kingdom builders.
Ez 5:1-2, 6:14
If we are going to be successful in building the Kingdom of God we need to hear the voice of God
We cannot accomplish it in our own wisdom/strength.
God raises up prophetic voices to encourage,
He raises up leaders to lead the way.
But- God is looking for a people who hear His voice and recognize what He is doing.
Jn 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; NASU
Every sheep is capable of hearing the voice of God.
Jn 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. NASU
We must hear/know what God is doing to join w/Him.
What can we learn …
Every believer can hear the voice of God and is called to go where God is and serve Him.
To be successful Kingdom Builders we must be a people in pursuit of personal/corporate holiness.
The people had set themselves apart from ungodly activities and influence to build God’s Kingdom.
1 Pet 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
Holiness is separating ourselves from anything that would distract or hinder our walk with God.
We separate ourselves from sin/join ourselves to God.
Looking later in Ezra …
Ez 9:1-7, Ez 10:9-12
When the people were reminded of God’s Word, and realized they had disobeyed it, they trembled.
Sin is a serious matter to God.
Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair. (Martin Luther)
The Call- was all about examining our hearts and repenting of our sins- individually/as a nation.
Do we have quick delight in the fear of the Lord? (Pastor Larry Booth)
Today we treat sin and compromise very lightly.
Sin can affect every area of our lives.
Speaking about spiritual roots that hinder healing …
Lack of holiness produces lack of wholeness. The more we walk in holiness, the more we will experience wholeness. (Dr. Henry Wright)
Not saying every sickness is sin, but sin can affect every area of our lives, including the physical.
What can we learn …
Separating ourselves from sin and pursuing God, makes room for God’s presence and favor.
Ez 7:6, 10
Why was God’s hand on Ezra?
He set his heart in pursuit of God.
Ez 7:10 Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of God, to living it, and to teaching Israel to live its truths and ways. MSG
It is very important that we study God’s Word, practice it, and teach others to live it as well.
The Word points us to our personal sin and reveals to us the greater purposes of God in the earth today.
It shows us who we are/what we have been given.
It points to the path before us and guides us in living our lives so as to glorify God.