Sermon notes – Pastor Milton Vincent – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church
January 3, 2010
For more information or to download sermons, please visit Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church website at www.cornerstonebible.org.
A note from Terrie: These are my notes taken during our church service on Sunday mornings. I will do my best to represent each sermon faithfully and post by Wednesday evening. Please keep in mind that these notes are just that, notes, and are a condensed version of the sermon. My prayer is that not only will these posts help me to think about God’s Word and how to apply it to my life, but that each post will encourage others to do the same.
Three Resolutions that will put us in the position to experience, as Ezra did, the good hand of God upon our lives.
Ezra and 1700 of his fellow Jews were given the opportunity to return to Jerusalem in order to revive the practices of the Jewish people after being in Babylonian captivity for 70 years.
Ezra returned to Jerusalem to:
1. Teach the law
2. Appoint leaders
3. Reinstate the system of sacrifices
4. Beautify the Temple
Ezra asks the king for permission to go to Jerusalem and the king “granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him.” (Ezra 7:6b). Ezra’s journey was long and difficult. It took him four months to travel 900 miles. Ezra was successful in his journey and “he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of God upon him.” (Ezra 7:9).
Why was the good hand of God upon Ezra? The writer provides the explanation in verse 10:
1. Because Ezra resolved to study the Word of God.
Ezra determined to study, seek, consult, inquire, and investigate what God’s Word had to say about all areas of his life. Ezra made God’s word his authority. He was “a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses” (verse 6). Like Ezra, we should also be quick to go to God’s Word. We make many unexamined choices. Do we think through His Lordship in ALL areas of our lives?
2. Because Ezra resolved to practice the Word of God.
Ezra was not content just to fatten his brain, but he put God’s Word into practice. Ezra was willing to obey God even if he did not know exactly what the Lord might ask of him. Ezra surrendered his will to God’s will. He didn’t just study and then decide if he wanted to obey. He studied with obedience in mind.
Can we pray, “Lord, I don’t know what you will have for me in 2010, but whatever it is, I will obey!” (Also, see I Samuel 3:10 and John 7:17.) God speaks to those who will listen and obey. If you come to God’s Word with an obedient heart, God will speak to you.
3. Because Ezra resolved to teach the Word of God.
Ezra love people enough to teach them. He also loved God and desired to honor Him by teaching others. James 3:1 informs us that not many should become teachers, but the teachers in that instance are teachers with a “capital T”, or those who are called to teach in an official capacity. Not everyone is called to be a teacher with a “capital T”. But, we are all called to teach. Believers should be teaching one another (See Matt. 28:20; Eph. 6:4; Deut. 11:18-19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 5:12).
Think about this. Ezra had only a small portion of the Bible available to Him as God’s Word and yet, he studied and was skilled in what he did have. We have both the Old and New Testaments. The Messiah has been made known to us. Ezra would be amazed that we don’t take advantage of the revelation that God has given us in the Scripture.
Resolve to be an expert in God’s Word. Resolve to apply the principle of obedience to the study of God’s Word. Resolve to embrace the calling to teach.
IMPORTANT: We are not saying that if you do these things, you will earn God’s good hand upon your life. But, if you do these things, you will surely put yourself in the position to receive it.