Rebuild the Ruins
August 24, 2014 Series: The Old Testament
Passage: Ezra 1:1-5
When have you ever been asked to rebuild what had been ruined? What was that like?
GOD TURNS THE HEART
So God calls us into the work of rebuilding what is ruined. If we believe that the LORD can overcome our spiritual deadness how can this help us make sense of God’s call when people are unwilling to obey and join into this work?
Read Ezra 1:1-5. What hints are there in this passage that God is sovereign in keeping His Word? Read Ephesians 1:3-5 & 11, & 2:1-5. How is God’s work to redeem sinners a work of turning the hearts of people toward His will? How is that a work of rebuilding what was ruined? How have you lived more defined by your weakness or disobedience than by Jesus’ love and grace? Confess your unbelief and lack of vision to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and to open your eyes to His purposes for His world.
HE PROVIDES FOR HIS CALL
How can we understand God’s call to rebuild what is ruined when we have so little? He has all power and resources! Read Ezra 1:4, Exodus 12:33-36 & Proverbs 21:1. How deeply do you believe that God can move people to give what they possess to fund His work?
Being accountable but not resourced is exasperating! And our condition in the Fall is that we’re cut off by our own doing. But read 2 Corinthians 9:8 & 1 Thessalonians 5:24. If God provides all that is necessary for all of His work, then how does that make sense of God’s call that we rebuild what is ruined?
DO WHAT IS AUDACIOUS
Read Genesis 1:28 & Matthew 28:18-20. Clearly God calls us to a great work from the Creation Mandate to the Great Commission. So what kinds of barriers keep us from taking up a work that is so daunting? Read Ezekiel 36:33-36. God’s call for His people to go back to Jerusalem was to rebuild ruins. (Imagine God calling all Cubans now living in Miami – most of whom were born there – to return to Havana now in order to rebuild it! How do you think they would feel or respond?)
If it is anything, Jesus’ work to redeem IS a work of rebuilding what is ruined. What’s amazing is He did it by being ruined and restored Himself! Read John 2:19. How does Jesus’ power over the ultimate form of ruin – death itself – make sense of God’s call for His people to rebuild what is ruined? Where have you excused yourself from God’s call to a great work – from subduing the earth? From the Great Commission? Or from loving the unlovely? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you envision the greatness of what God intends to do in His mission to redeem sinners like us. Pray that the Spirit would give you hope in His work wherever or however sinners are broken.
- Worship the LORD for His commitment to establish all that is good and conquer all that is evil. Praise Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that He is the sovereign God – King of all existence.
- How have you lived more defined by your weakness or disobedience than by Jesus’ love and grace? Confess your unbelief and lack of vision to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and to open your eyes to His purposes for His world.
- Give thanks to Jesus for His victory over evil. Thank Him for the beauty of His work to rebuild what is ruined in us by being ruined (His death on the Cross) and being restored Himself (His resurrection).
- Who do you know that takes no risks or attempts nothing of any worth? Pray for them, asking the Lord to open their eyes to the great work God has done in recovering ruined sinners like us and His heart to use even us to recover still others.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you envision the greatness of what God intends to do in His mission to redeem sinners like us. Pray that the Spirit would give you hope in His work wherever or however sinners are broken.