He was cupbearer to the Persian king, Artaxerxes I (465-424 bc). This was a privileged position. On receiving news of the desolate state of Jerusalem (probably the result of the events of Ezr. 4:7-23), he obtained permission to go to his own country, and was appointed governor. In spite of intense opposition (*Sanballat, *Tobiah), he and the Jews rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days. He and the other Jews then called on Ezra to read the Law, and pledged themselves to observe its commands. During his absence in Persia, some of the abuses that he had put down reappeared, and on his return he had to carry out fresh reforms.
From Nehemiah’s example we learn balancing spirituality with down-to-earth action. His personal memoirs occupy a large part of the book of Nehemiah, and they reveal him as a man of prayer, action and devotion to duty.
In Ezra we find…
A scribe and priest who led the returned captives in Jerusalem to make a new commitment to God’s Law. Ezra was trained in the knowledge of the Law while living in captivity in Babylon with other citizens of the nation of Judah. Ezra gained favor during the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia. This king commissioned him to return to Jerusalem about 458 b.c. to bring order among the people of the new community. Artaxerxes even gave Ezra a royal letter (Ezra 7:11–16), granting him civil as well as religious authority, along with the finances to furnish the Temple, which had been rebuilt by the returned captives.
What is it? The Nehemiah Project is a series of sermons based on the lives of Nehemiah & Ezra.
Through God’s pure word, we will be reminded and encouraged by God’s timeless truths. After studying the word together, we will apply the principles through 10 specific goals to make this local church healthy and effective for God. Together, we will repair what is broken and build what needs to be built even though it is challenging, tiring, and costly.
Let’s begin…First Building Principle
Good things happen when God’s people pray.
James 5:16 NIV 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 NIV Matthew 21:13 NIV
1. Our 1st goal or target is to make this a place of prayer.
This is a place where I meet with God. He speaks to me and I speak to Him. (fellowship)
This is a place where I publicly demonstrate that I am completely dependent on Jesus. (worship)
This is a place where I join with others to touch God for others. (Intercession)
Pastor Jim Cymbala video clip
Prayer and God’s Word go hand in hand.
1. Starting today, renew your commitment to reading the Bible daily. Start with Nehemiah. Read all 13 chapters before next Sunday.
2. Starting today renew your commitment to daily, personal prayer.
Next Building Principle
Your personal testimony is powerful.
Acts 1:8 NIV, Mark 16:15 NIV
Our 2nd goal or target is to develop your personal testimony.
For example, how God saved you, healed you, delivered you….provided for you
Craig Holloday video clip
Rehearse and write down times when God has done something special in your life.
Youngblood, R. F. (1997, c1995). Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary : An authoritative one-volume reference work on the Bible with full color illustrations (F. Bruce, Ed.) (electronic ed. of the revised ed. of Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.