Traveling Together to the Celestial City

Our life of faith can be likened to a journey or pilgrimage to the celestial city. Along the way we encounter trials and temptations as well as encouragement and assistance. We must, with diligence, press on to the goal set before us. The sermon from Ezra chapter 8 (below) is helpful in considering this truth. The main points are as follow:

  1. God gathers His pilgrims together
  2. They seek His protection for their journey
  3. God brings them to their desired destination

God works all things together for the good

In good times and in bad, God is in control and works all things according to His own purposes and for His glory and our good. Furthermore, He has called us to seek Him in prayer and to render praise no matter the circumstances. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  The sermon from Ezra chapter7 (below) is helpful in considering this truth. The main points are as follow:

  1. God works through unrighteous rulers
  2. God works all things together for the good for His beloved people
  3. Rejoice in our sovereign God

Be an Ezra

God raised up Ezra to teach His people by both word and deed. Ezra prepared his heart to fulfill God’s design on his life by seeking to know and to do God’s will as revealed in God’s holy Word. He became a helper to the people of God (his name means “help” in Hebrew). God continues to raise up Ezras (helpers) today. Are you one? Do you seek to know and do what He has revealed by His Word and Spirit? The sermon from Ezra chapter7 (below) is helpful in considering this truth. The main points are as follow:

  1. Prepare your heart to seek God’s Word
  2. Prepare your heart to do God’s Word
  3. Prepare your heart to teach God’s Word

The Lord Builds His House of Worship

God sovereignly rules over the hearts and minds of men and women to complete the work of building a house of worship. He continues to rule over all things for His glorious purposes today as He has in the past. Take heart, rise up and fulfill the task that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us, namely to proclaim His gospel and to disciple the nations until all His chosen race have been gathered together in His house of worship. The main points of a sermon from Ezra chapters 5 and 6 (below) are as follows:

  1. He is in control
  2. His house of worship is built
  3. His people worship their sovereign Lord

Facing Opposition To The Truth

Our sovereign God, for His own glory and according to the good pleasure of His will, brings about challenges to our faith in the form of adversity and opposition to the truth. These difficulties provide us with opportunities to walk by faith in Him and His all sufficient Word. Will you trust Him? The main points of a sermon from Ezra chapter 4 (below) are as follows:

  1. Opposition to the truth will come
  2. An example of opposition
  3. Opportunities that arise due to opposition

Freed to Worship

The greatest act of man is the worship of God. This is our primary reason for existence. He has freed us from the chains of sin that we might worship and serve only Him. Does your heart cry Amen? If not, why not? Turning to Ezra chapter 3 we learn about the work of the Holy Spirit on the lives of God’s people to enlarge their heart to praise His name. The main points of a sermon from Ezra chapter 3 (below) are as follows:

  1. Freed to prepare for the Lord’s worship
  2. The primacy of the worship of the Lord
  3. Laying the foundation for the Lord’s worship

 

Freed from captivity to rebuild God’s house

Though taken captive due to sin, we have been freed by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in order to rebuild God’s house, the church. Every person thus redeemed has a vital part to play in this great endeavor. Let’s get to work! Here are three main points of a sermon from Ezra chapter 2 that further expands upon this truth.

  1. Freed to rebuild (v. 1)
  2. No one is insignificant (v. 2-67)
  3. The purpose of our calling here on earth (v. 68-70)

God Sovereignly Builds His Church

God is zealous towards His church and sovereignly guides the affairs of men in such a way that she is guarded, corrected, strengthened, and built up. He calls us, His beloved people, to know, love, and trust Him as He executes His eternal decrees in our time. These include our being the vessels of mercy who are also His instruments of His grace and blessing. Here are three main points of a sermon from Ezra chapter 1 that further expands upon this truth.

  1. He keeps His promise (v. 1-4)
  2. He stirs up His people for action (v. 5-6)
  3. He provides all things necessary (v. 7-11)

Our God Speaks

Praise God that “He is there and He is not silent.” The almighty, transcendent Creator and Sustainer of all things delights in personal communication with His creation in general and His beloved people in particular. He shares his person, purposes, and blessings to those who don’t deserve it. How can we express our thankfulness for this grace? By hearing, receiving, believing, and doing what He has revealed to us by His Word and Spirit. Here are three main points of a sermon from Ephesians 6:19-24 that further expands upon this truth.

  1. The means of His communication
  2. The purposes of His communication
  3. The results of His communications

Watch and Pray

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And our victorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as the Captain of our salvation, commands us to not only stand our ground (won at the cross) equipped with God’s armor. He further commands us to wage a good warfare through watchful, persevering prayer.  Here are three main points of a sermon from Ephesians 6:18-20 that further expands upon this truth.

  1. Pray always
  2. Watch with perseverance
  3. The combatants at war