PILOT KNOB LUTHERAN COMMUNIQUÉ
(Official communication to the public)
Ezra 1:5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.
Last week we saw that God can and will use anyone to carry out his purposes. He used King Cyrus who was not a follower of the God of the Jews to change world history and prepare a people for the coming Messiah.
God also moved in the hearts and minds of leaders, family heads, priests and Levites giving them a great desire to return and rebuild the temple. Were there reasons not to return? Yes! Travel would take 2-3 months over dangerous territory. It was expensive, inconvenient and no ‘home’ to move into when they arrived in Jerusalem. The people there were not friendly but openly hostile to the Jews. What made the decision to return more difficult was that many families in Babylon had successful jobs and businesses and were able to acquire a good income, a nice home, a ‘modern camel to drive’ and possessions. Why leave all that just to rebuild the temple and worship?
God planted the desire in their mind to return to Jerusalem, but like you and I we have the freedom to resist, play it safe and remain in our comfort zone.
Where does God’s work begin? He works through our desires, attitudes and beliefs because inner changes lead to faithful actions. It wasn’t until the people’s attitudes and desires changed did God end their punishment.
Philippians 2:13 It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Obedience begins with our desires. Are we willing to be humble, to look for and be open to opportunities to obey? Ask God to give you the desire to know and follow him more closely this year.
By the Way:
Wednesday 16, 3:00 Confirmation.
Sunday 20, 9:00 Morning worship. Sermon: Free At Last. Ezra 1:1-11
Annual meeting February 3, 10:15. Reports due January 27
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