Summary: The Word of God directs us to be consecrated to the Lord.
Intro. This morning we introduced our theme for the year, The Church in Unity. Today’s focus is for us to be Unified in our Consecration. - Unity is a choice. Many will seem to just let it be preached, I am asking you to make a decision that your life will count for and be surrendered to Christ. I want to continue our days theme tonight. The Nation of Israel had been dispersed, many were still in Babylon, while some had come back to Jerusalem. Chapters 1-7 - The work of building the wall - Faithful to the Work. Organized to work - Nothing wrong with organization. We understand that there must be a UNITY with our lives and the ways of God.
I. The Catalyst of their Consecration - The Word of God
It is interesting that this meeting in our text occurred at the Water Gate which is a picture of the Word of God. It was through this gate that supply was brought to the Temple. We are now the Temple of the Holy Ghost. If we are going to have the Supply from God we need, it will come from the Word of God - Eph 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
A. They Desired the Word - vs. 1-2
1. Their Request - vs. 1 - Bring God's Word - They asked for it!
2. The Response -vs. 2-3 - The preacher preached the Word. vs. 2
3. The Readiness - The Leadership was ready for the Word too - vs. 4
- 13 men stood on the platform with him, not merely in honour to him, but as approvers and supporters of the truth of what he read, and to relieve him when weary. Leadership in unity. If you are in Leadership, you have an absolute obligation to be in unity, or you should not be in Leadership.
- vs. 7-8, More men begin to help teach the Word, it was read “distinctly”
4. Their Reverence vs. 5
5. Their Reaction - vs 6
- AMEN - victorious shout of agreement
- Lifted hands - Surrendered
- Bowed their heads - Convicted
- Faces to the ground (PROSTRATE BEFORE GOD) - Helpless
B. They Discerned the Word - vs. 2 - more than merely listening, they heard with understanding!
1. The Word of God is our Offensive Weapon (Ephesians 6:17)
2. The Word of God reveals who we really are ( Heb 4:12)
3. The Word of God is Our Source of Learning (Romans 15:4)
4. The Word of God is our Supply for Living. (Matthew 4:4)
5. The Word of God is our Resource for Growing (1 Peter 2:2)
II. The Conviction after Realization - vs. vs. 7-9
A. Presentation Clear - The Word of God expounded by the Leadership - Faithful teachers vs. 7-8 (Must have been fall, text was Trumpets, Atonement, and then the feast of Tabernacles - disobedience for 1000 years)
B. People Crying - Realization of sin - vs 9 - They understood the reasons for their bondage in Babylon. They understood why the walls had been broken down. They understood why the Temple was destroyed. They understood that for many years they had forgotten God and His ways. Conviction came - And it should have - they realized their sin. Israel had been in captivity, bondage had been their life - AND THEY NOW REALIZED IT WAS BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN!
C. Proper Confession - Broken heart will cause surrender to God - They began to weep! The people realized they were not what they were supposed to be.
III. The Compliance to the Message - vs. 10-18
A. Their Spirits - Stop the crying now that you have repented! They had to weep before they would have Joy, but now that they had wept - GET UP AND DO WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO.
1. Rejoicing in the Joy of the Lord is a matter of Dependence
2. Rejoicing in the Joy of the Lord is a matter of Duty - He is worthy
B. Their Stewardship - vs. 10-12 “send portions” Someone right with God will have no problem giving to God's work as well as to others to keep God’s work going. When we share what God has given us, God's bounty will make us bountiful.
C. Their Steadfastness - vs. 13 - came back for more!- Faithful to God first
D. Their Surrender - vs. 14-17 - They obeyed God's Word for the first Time in almost 1000 years.