Approximately a year has passed since the Israelites have come home. In that year they have continually offered sacrifices and made necessary preparations to begin building but the foundation for the temple still hadn’t been laid.
We oftentimes view revival by what is built, not burnt. Sacrifices are harder to see as progress in the Lord, even though they truly are. Sometimes even preparations get dismissed as true progress. But let me encourage you: don’t count this stage out!! You are in revival, even though the progress might not be seen by those looking in. Be persistent. Keep sacrificing. Keep preparing for what you want to see come to pass. You’re doing a good work!
Scripture taken from: Ezra 3:3-7
At what point did the change come about?
Answer: when Jesus passed by.
How do you react when you’re called out for Christ? Do you try to blend into the crowd? Or do you step out to become identified as one that wants to be for Christ, not against him?
He is for you. Be a friend to Him.
Originally posted March 31, 2015
Thousands of the Israelites had made it to Jerusalem to begin the building of the temple. The first thing they did was to build an altar to offer burnt sacrifices to the Lord.
Revival begins with sacrifice.
Revival comes when we make it a point to choose the things of God over the things of our world. We won’t be revived if we are making decisions of ourselves. It may mean losing fifteen minutes of sleep to read the Word. It could look like missing a favorite hobby to do the work of the Lord. It may be you raising your hand in praise when you’d rather stay in a place of anger.
Revival comes with sacrifice but the results are always worth it.
Scripture taken from: Ezra 3:1-2
Nebuchadnezzar had stolen the vessels from the house of the Lord and put them in the house of his gods. At this time of freedom and rebuilding the stolen vessels were being sent back to Jerusalem where they belonged.
Revival is a time to give God back what is his. It is a time to renew commitments that you have already made but for whatever reason let slip away. It’s a new beginning for prayer, bible study, church attendance, attitude, ministry…
Scripture taken from: Ezra 1:7-11
The leaders of the Israelite people were the first to head to Jerusalem. Imagine how difficult it would be if they weren’t on board with the idea of rebuilding the temple.
If you are looking to have a revival in your home, church, community or nation-pray for the leaders. Pray that they will desire a revival. Pray that they will be willing to leave places of bondage and move into freedom. Pray for them to have wisdom as situations change.
Leaders need prayer. We are the ones responsible to pray for them.
Scripture taken from Ezra 1:5-6
From the heaven God spoke “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
The people that heard it immediately wrote it off as something else. Some said it was thunder. Some said it was an angel.
None were willing to believe that the God of heaven would speak to them.
How often do we put ourselves in that same category? How much more are we willing to deem things coincidental as opposed to the moving of God’s hand in our life? How often do we choose doubt and lies over encouragement and truth?
God is working in your life. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to accept His love for you.
Originally posted a March 26, 2016
People were encouraged to go and be a part of the rebuilding of the temple. Not everyone had the opportunity to do so. This didn’t give them an out of participating in the revival. It just gave them a different avenue.
The people were told to support those that could go by sending money and help to get the job done.
Discouragement can set in if we aren’t able to be on the front lines participating in services, seeing the benefits of revival first hand. But it doesn’t need too. You can still be involved through prayer, through encouraging words, by giving what you have to help it keep going. And for the people that are able to witness God’s work up-close, be sure to relay back to the people supporting it what blessings are taking place.
Scripture taken from: Ezra 1:3-4
God used the Cyrus, king of Persia, to encourage the Israelites to seek revival for their nation. He encouraged the people to build the temple. They headed into their revival with that in mind: to make a place to worship their Lord.
Their revival now had a purpose.
What reasons do you seek revival in your life? Is it because you want to feel closer to God? Are you looking to learn different ways to honor him? Are you wanting to be revived so that you have more of an effect on the lost?
Determining our motivation may be the first step in helping us to reach our goals.
Scripture taken from: Ezra 1:1-3