Trait of Leader: Reliance on the Word
Exposition of the Word
1- Read Scripture vv. 3-5
2- Honored the Scriptures v. 5b
3- Praised God for Scriptures v. 6
4- Insight into Scriptures vv. 7-8
1- Takes time v. 3,18
2- Takes learning from another person v. 13 (Why Ezra? See Ezra 7:10)
3- Takes learning from the right source, the Word of God, v. 14
4- Takes a right response, v. 14, 16
5- Takes a right obedience (to the Word), v. 15
6- Takes a right attitude vv. 16-17
Products of Insight:
1- Personal effort v. 16-17
2- Willingness to change v. 17
3- Great rejoicing v. 17c
No life is complete without a spiritual dimension.
No spiritual dimension is complete without Scriptural input.
No Scriptural input is complete without personal obedience.
No personal obedience is complete without great joy.
Longest Prayer in Bible
Preparation for Prayer
1- Confession v. 2
2- Word of God v. 3
3- Worship vv. 3, 5
· Prayer uttered in humility and purity.
· Fasting to show that knowledge of God is more important than any physical desire.
· Sackcloth (goats’ hair) profound mourning, humiliation for sin.
· Dust/ashes – symbolic identity with death, feeling of lowest depths.
Four Dimensional Prayer
· Adoration/praise vv. 5-6
· Thanksgiving vv. 7-31
· Request vv. 32-37
· Commitment & Looking ahead v. 38
Contract with God for priorities
1- Serious thought precedes significant change
2- Write your priorities down
3- Conform to the world, and you will lose your distinction
Contract of Separation
1- Obedience to Word of God v. 29
2- No relationships foreign to God v. 30. Be separate. None of same old mistakes and bad influences (2 Cor 6:14-18; Judges 3:5-8)
3- Obedience in the marketplace v. 31
4- Will not neglect worship vv. 32-39 (will take care of our Temple; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20)
Leadership trait – Volunteered to step into tough role, moving into dangerous Jerusalem and living there.
Picture of Missions: Back to Jerusalem
(Acts 1:8 – from Jerusalem to ends of earth)
Tithe (10%) of the people moved into city. Think about those who leave comfort to move to inner city or another city in the world to bring peace, the Prince of Peace.
Staffing for Worship
1. Temple workers (pastoral staff) (vv. 10-14)
2. Outside Temple workers (deacons, ministry leaders out in community) (vv. 15-16)
3. Prayer gatekeepers (intercessors called to ministry of prayer) (v. 17-19)
4. Singers (music ministry) (vv. 22-23)
DEDICATION OF WALL: Time to celebrate!
Planning a major worship service
1- Joy should surround God’s people when they are together (vv. 27, 43,
2- Joy invites generosity (vv. 44, 47). Cheerful giver! (2 Cor 9:7)
3- Music is one of the most expressive ways to show happiness.
4- A joyful spirit has far-reaching effects (v. 43)
5- Joy is not dependent on outside circumstances, but in focus on the LORD.
Trait of Leadership: Vigilance not just to address a problem but find solutions. Fault-finders are a dime a dozen, but solution-finder are a rare prize.
Problems emerge in:
· Handling money (vv. 1-14)
· Respecting the Sabbath (vv. 15-22)
· Maintaining holiness (vv. 23-31)