Monday, October 13, 2008

Harvest Sunday 08

We just participated in "Harvest Sunday" last night. At the invitation of my friend Jim and Central Baptist Church, I was able to bring the Biblical challenge from the book of Ezra. It was a great joy to see people respond to the truth of God's Word and to be responsive to the call of God on their lives. Many of the people that came forward last night are simply saying I am here and available. This decision is a huge step in the process. To be willing to do "whatever" for the glory of God is incredibly freeing!

Here is the outline of the message that I shared last night:

Any great spiritual awakening results from God’s initiative:
1. He is revealing His character
trustworthiness (1:1)
sovereignty (1:2)
presence/immanence (1:3)
patience, longsuffering (1:4)
2. He is building our character (the backdrop of the exile)
3. He is equipping us to do His will (1:4-7)
4. He is stirring our spirit, inviting us to respond (1:1, 5)

All great spiritual harvests are the result of a response to God’s initiative:
1. Discover and delight in His character
a. worshiping Him
i. re-establishing the sacrificial system (3:1-7) and festivals (6:19)
ii. rejoicing over successes (3:11; 6:22)
b. proclaiming that knowledge to others –
i. Ezra made it his “job” to tell others about God (7:10)
ii. How does Cyrus know what he does about God? Perhaps by Ezra’s ministry to him? (7:27-28)
2. Appreciate His ongoing, intentional work in our lives
a. acknowledging His righteousness and justice (9:5-15)
b. growing through it (6:19-22; 10:1-3)
3. Move forward in His revealed will (both general and specific)
what He has shown us and equipped us to do (2:1; 3:8; 6:15; 7:21, 23)
4. Invite others to do the same (7:28)

So ....
  1. Is God stirring your spirit today?
  2. Are you awake now? How will you stay spiritually awake?
  3. Will you respond to His gracious initiatives?
  4. What has God uniquely outfitted and called you to do today?
  5. Will you go make a difference in His field?

I am ready, here I am,


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