3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: Here I Am

HERE I AM (EZRA 7)

“Why am I not happy?” inquired a wealthy lady as she stood beside the missionary, Dr. Goforth of China, in her home. “Have you surrendered all?” enquired the man of God, quietly.

“Yes, as far as I know, I have surrendered all,” responded the woman. “Are you sure?” insisted Dr. Goforth, “that your all is on the altar?”

“My all is on the altar, I believe,” answered the woman again. “And you are willing for God to take your little girl here and send her to China?” asked the missionary, placing his hand on her head.

“God take my daughter and make her a missionary in China! I should say not. I want her with me,” exclaimed the mother. “And yet you tell me you have yielded all, and you haven't even given your own child to God. How can you expect God's blessing and peace and joy? You stand as it were between God and His will for your daughter, and you say to Him, ‘Thus far shalt Thou come and no farther. You can have my home; You can have my money; You can have me, but—don't touch my daughter.’ Madam do you call that surrender?”

In the seventh year of King Artaxerxes, supposedly the step-son of Queen Esther, Ezra the scribe led a contingent to return to Jerusalem to look into the spiritual revival of the Jews. Ezra returned to Jerusalem (458 B.C.) about six decades after Zerubabbel (538-515 B.C.) had successfully led the Israelites to complete building the Second Temple in Jerusalem, but thirteen years before Nehemiah’s emergence to build the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 2:1).

What kind of person does God use for His ministry and mission today? How can you make yourself available to serve the Lord? Why is serving the Lord a blessing and not a burden?

God Serving the Lord is a Priority – Be Willing

– Be Wise

Be Devoted

Be the Best that You Can Be

Be Prepared Before

Be Done Finally

Complete the Job

Fulfill Your Calling

Be Wholehearted Well-regarded

Be Passionate Excellent Enthusiastic Positive Privileged to Serve not Pressured Patient Not Pushy

Do all to the glory of God

Do all in the might of your strength

Do in mercy

For His majesty

Serving the Lord is a Priority

1After these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— 6 this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him. 7 Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.8 Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. 9 He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.

Several years ago a reader of the British Weekly wrote a letter to the editor as follows:

“Dear Sir! I notice that ministers seem to set a great deal of importance on their sermons and spend a great deal of time in preparing them. I have been attending services quite regularly for the past thirty years and during that time, if I estimate correctly. I have listened to no less than three thousand sermons. But, to my consternation, I discover I cannot remember a single one of them. I wonder if a minister’s time might be more profitably spent on something else? Sincerely...”

The letter kicked up quite an editorial storm of angry responses for weeks. The pros and cons of sermons were tossed back and forth until, finally, one letter ended the debate. This letter said: “My dear Sir: I have been married for thirty years. During that time I have eaten 32,850 meals - mostly of my mom’s cooking. Suddenly I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet, I received nourishment from every one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death a long time ago.

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