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Summary: FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS WE ARE GOING TO STUDY THE BOOK OF EZRA AND PULL OUT 17 PRINCIPLES THAT WILL AID US IN BUILDING THE LORD’S HOUSE... (part one)

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"IT’S TIME TO BUILD"

INTRODUCTION

HAVE YOU EVER GOT INTO YOUR CAR AND JUST HEADED OUT ON A JOURNEY, NOT REALLY KNOWING WHERE YOU WERE GOING -- W/O A DESTINATION IN MIND , EXCEPT THAT IT WOULD PROBABLY BE A GOOD TIME. (NY JOGGING).

ON JANUARY THE 18TH OF THIS YEAR I MADE THE FOLLOWING ENTRY INTO MY DAILY SPIRITUAL JOURNAL;

"LORD I HAVE DECIDED (OR YOU HAVE LEAD ME TO DECIDE) TO STAY IN LUKE AND TALK ABOUT JESUS UNTIL EASTER SUNDAY... TO TALK ABOUT THE LORD, THE ROCK/ AND THEN TO TALK ABOUT BUILDING HIS CHURCH...."

WE WERE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM -- THE FINAL ACTS AND WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST, A MAN WHO HAD SET HIS FACE TOWARDS JERUSALEM - A MAN WHO WAS MARCHING DOWN THE ROAD TO THE CROSS AND HIS DEATH.... AND MY WHAT A JOURNEY IT WAS WE TOOK WITH THE LORD.

AND HERE WE ARE TODAY, NEARLY 4 MONTHS LATER -- WE HAVE SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME IN LUKE -- BECAUSE I WANTED US TO REALLY UNDERSTAND WHO JESUS IS/ TO SEE WHAT HE DID/ TO BE CHALLENGED BY WHAT HE SAID... -- AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR US TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT PHASE OF OUR JOURNEY.... AND FROM TODAY UNTIL WE ARE DONE -- WE WILL BE STUDYING FROM THE BOOKS OF EZRA, NEHEMIAH AND ESTHER...

AND JUST AS BACK IN JANUARY WHEN I HAD NO IDEA WHERE OUR STUDY IN LUKE WOULD REALLY LEAD, (MAN WAS I BLESSED AND CHALLENGED BY LUKE’S GOSPEL) -- IN LIKE MANNER TODAY, I WITH MUCH ANTICIPATION LOOK FORWARD TO A NEW ADVENTURE AND JOURNEY INTO GOD’S HOLY WORD.... NOT KNOWING WHERE IT WILL LEAD -- BUT KNOWING THAT I WILL BE BLESSED WHEN I ARRIVE... AND THOSE WHO JOURNEY WITH ME WILL BE BLESSED AS WELL....

BUT BEFORE WE BEGAN THIS NEW JOURNEY TOGETHER, A JOURNEY THAT WILL START IN THE BOOK OF EZRA; A BOOK THAT BEGINS AT A TIME WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE ARE RETURNING FROM EXILE TO REBUILD THE HOUSE OF GOD...

BUT BEFORE WE BEGIN, I THINK IT WILL BE BENEFICIAL FOR US TO RECAP THE JOURNEY GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN (AND THAT WE HAVE TAKEN IN GOD’S WORD GEN-II KINGS), THAT HAS BROUGHT THEM TO THIS POINT... RETURNING FROM A 70 YEAR CAPTIVITY IN BABYLON -- READY TO BEGIN BUILDING THE HOUSE OF GOD....

THEIR JOURNEY BEGAN WITH A CALL, IN THE YEAR 2057BC A MAN NAMED ABRAHAM LIVING IN MESOPOTAMIA -- RECEIVED A CALL FROM GOD, WE READ ABOUT THAT CALL IN GENESIS CHAPTER 12.... AND GOD SAID TO ABRAHAM, "LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR PEOPLE AND YOUR FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD AND GO TO THE LAND I WILL SHOW YOU. I WILL MAKE YOU INTO A GREAT NATION AND I WILL BLESS YOU; I WILL MAKE YOUR NAME GREAT .... AND ALL PEOPLES ON EARTH WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU."

AND ABRAHAM OBEYED THAT CALL AND WENT EVEN THOUGH HE DID NOT KNOW WHERE HE WAS GOING, EVEN THOUGH HE WAS ASKED TO LEAVE THE FAMILIAR AND JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN. AND BY FAITH ABRAHAM SETTLED IN THE PROMISE LAND, BUT HE NEVER DID (NOR DID HIS CHILDREN FOR THAT MATTER) HAVE A REAL HOME -- THEY LIVED AS NOMADS

IN TENTS IN THE DESERT... AND ABRAHAM ABLE TO DO THIS BECAUSE HE HAD FAITH AND HE WAS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT WHERE HE LIVED ON THIS EARTH -- BECAUSE HE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO LIVING IN THAT HEAVENLY CITY WHOSE BUILDER AND DESIGNER IS GOD.... HE ENDURED IN THIS LIFE BECAUSE HE WAS CONVINCED OF HIS FUTURE.


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