Faithlife Sermons

Thank You God for Homecoming

Thank You God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Each year we come together on this third Sunday in May to celebrate homecoming. Today we gather to celebrate a different type of homecoming. One day we will celebrate yet another, The Homecoming! In our situation today what can we learn about our homecoming from Ezra and Nehemiah that will help us to show our thanks fully to God.

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Thank You God for Homecoming

They Returned to Fulfill what had been Spoken by the Lord

What they did (Ezra 1:1-5)

The return was partial
Not everyone returned at once
They returned in waves
The return was planned
They returned to fulfill the words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah
They returned heeding the instruction of their leaders
They returned with a purpose
Their purpose was to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord
Their purpose was to work for the Lord

What we do

We return partial
Not everyone is healthy to return but this does not mean less faithful
We will return in waves
We return with a plan
We return to do what the Lord has spoken
We are excited and eager, but we return heeding the instruction of our leaders
We return with a purpose
We return with a primary purpose to fulfill the will of the Lord
We return with the purpose to get back to and continue the work of the Lord

They Rebuilt the Altar and Re-laid the Foundation of the Temple of the Lord

What they did (Ezra 3:1-13)

They rebuilt to sacrifice
Most important act of worship was to sacrifice and give back to the Lord
They rebuilt to serve
Each person from each family did their part to serve in praising the Lord
They rebuilt to shout (for joy)
Praise & Thanksgiving
Shouts for Joy challenged by Weeping with a Loud Voice
The priests, Levites, and heads of the fathers’ houses witnessed the first temple dedication cry out because they feared God was not with them since the glory of God did not fill the temple in the same way. Also, the temple building was not as immaculate as that of the first.
The glory is not in the structure but in the soul
They rebuilt to surrender
In Ezra 6:13-22 the temple was completed and the people dedicated it to the Lord

What we do

We rebuild to sacrifice
We must remember that we become living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2)
We rebuild to serve
We are commanded to serve using our special talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
We rebuild to shout (for joy)
Tonight we will talk about joy. Nehemiah later says the joy of the Lord will be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). When we rebuild we need to give praise and thanksgiving to God!
We rebuild to surrender
Each day we must surrender and dedicate the temple to the Lord
We are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) and must give our lives to Him

They Repaired the Walls around the Temple and City of the Lord

What they did (Ezra 4:1-6; Nehemiah 3-4)

The repaired to protect
The people
The temple
The dwelling place of God
So they would not be separated from God again
They repaired next to their homes
They repaired close to their living places before going to other places (Nehemiah 3:28-29)
After making sure their homes are in order they branch out
They repaired in the midst of opposition
They paused until it was safe! (Nehemiah 4:1-15)
They prepare themselves to build and defend (Nehemiah 4:15-23)

What we do

We repair to protect
Once we have our heart right (our temple) we make sure to protect it by building walls of morality around it
We build walls to protect our people
We build walls of love to make sure that we are not separated from God (Romans 8:37-39)
We repair next to our homes
We address our homes first
Then we address outside
We repair in the midst of oppostiion
We pause, much like we just did, at danger
When it is safe we will resume our normal schedule
We prepare to build and defend

They Renewed their Covenant with the Lord

What they did (Nehemiah 8-10)

They read the Law (Nehemiah 8)
The king send Ezra back to teach the law of God to the people (Ezra 7)
Nehemiah calls Ezra, a man knew the law (Ezra 7:10), to read the law to the people
They revered the Lord
They worshiped God after hearing His law
They responded with Love
They confess their sins publicly (Nehemiah 9)
They devote themselves to the service of the Lord
They separated themselves from the people of the lands (Nehemiah 10:28)
They observed the commandments of the Lord (Nehemiah 10:29)
They give to the Lord (Nehemiah 10:30-38)
They committed not to neglect the house of God (Nehemiah 10:39)

What we do

We read the Law
We study the word of God and store it in our hearts
We revere the Lord
We worship God with praise and thanksgiving
We respond with Love
We confess our sins
We devote ourselves to the service of the Lord
We separate ourselves from this world
We observe the commandments of the Lord
We give to the Lord
We commit to never neglect the house of God
We can learn a great deal from these passages of Scripture. We can especially learn a lot about our homecoming, our return to the building and resuming our normal service to God. However, we learn more when we discuss our Homecoming to heaven. We must renew our covenant with God now in order to have that Homecoming.
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