Summary: The way God does things is that he does a work on the inside before He can work on the outside. That speaks to the church today folks, in order for God to do a work in our world He must first of all do a work in His church.
Somebody is listening and watching
Ezra 3 7/8/07
I am preaching through the little book of Ezra. Last Sunday we studied about a couple of principles found in this book that must be followed if we are to see a movement from God. We talked about two things that usually happen prior to a national revival. Number 1, there will be an increase in conversions, people being saved. I don’t see that happening in our nation. As a matter of fact, many of our churches do not baptize a single believer in a full year.
Number 2, there will be a change in the moral climate just prior to a revival. I don’t see that in our nation. The thing I do see in our nation is a decline in the moral standards. The way some want us to think is that there is no right or wrongs in the world, just do what feels good. People are doing what feels good to them without checking what the Word of God says about anything. No, I do not see revival coming to our nation but that doesn’t mean that we cannot experience revival in our church. If the majority of the church would not invite a revival, then that doesn’t mean that you as an individual cannot experience revival.
In way of introducing this message, I want to tell you there are three Old Testament books that deal with this part of the Jewish history; the book of Esther, the book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah. The book of Esther deals with the Jews that decided to remain in Babylon. The book of Nehemiah had to do with rebuilding the walls and setting the gates around the city of Jerusalem. The book of Ezra has to do with the rebuilding the temple of worship. The work on the inside had to be done before the work on the outside was started.
The way God does things is that he does a work on the inside before He can work on the outside. That speaks to the church today folks, in order for God to do a work in our world He must first of all do a work in His church. Now folks there are a world full of people out there listening and watching what the church is doing today. I believe we have in the 3rd chapter of Ezra what the true church of the living Lord Jesus is suppose to be doing. When you look at the first few verses you will notice there is WORSHIP.
One of the things that happen when a person truly gets saved is to worship God. I think there is a world out there that is listening and watching the church today and how dedicated the church is in worship. Unfortunately, the churches aren’t sending a good signal to the world about their dedication in their dedication to the church they are a member. Today a church is fortunate if half of the membership shows up on Sunday morning. Some are brought to the church when they are born for the parent baby dedication. Then of course they come to get married. Then at last they are brought to church when they die. So, they come when they are hatched, matched and dispatched.
I just have to believe that some that are on our church rolls aren’t saved. I just believe that when a person truly gets saved he will want to be with God’s people. You can be a member of the church and not be saved. You can be baptized and still not be saved.
I believe the Scriptures teach us here that when people get right with God they come back to the Word of God. It says in the latter part of verse 2 that what they did was “as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God.”
That tells us today church that all of their worship was guided by the Word of God. The first thing they did in worship was to rebuild the altar. I wonder how many here this morning need to rebuild the altar in your life. How long has it been since you have got alone with God and praised and worshiped Him?
I want you to notice not only worship but I want you to notice their WORK. Look at verses 8 & 9.
True worship will always lead to work. The work they were going to do was to lay the foundation for the temple. Foundations are very important when you are talking about building. The foundation has to do with the shape, the size and the strength of a building. Jesus told a parable after he finished His Sermon on the Mount. He was talking about the foundation you support your life on. He said if you build a life on nothing but sand when the storms come and the rain, the foundation will crumble. He then said if you build a life on the Rock, then when the storms come and the rain your life will stand firm.