Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra Graham NOTES from Ezra 10:1-5a
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
Verse 1a: Ezra was praying, making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before God.
1b. A large assembly gathered from Israel, weeping bitterly.
Verse 2: Shecaniah said, “We have been unfaithful to God & married foreign women
2b. Yet in spite of this there is hope.
Verse 3: Let us make a covenant with God to put away all according to the commandment of our God.
Verse 4: Arise! This is your responsibility, we will be with you; be courageous & act.
Verse 5a: Ezra arose.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?
Verse 1a: God entrusted Ezra not to condemn His people but to identify with His people and pray for them fervently. God loves His people (you and I!) desperately wanting them to return to Him.
Verse 1b: YOUR PRAYER for that unreachable person, group, or entire country matters. Ezra’s example of all out love for Israel before God and Ezra’s personal example of brokenness regarding sin influenced those around him. What you do strikes more of a cord toward the lost and those closest to you than what you say.
Verse 2a: The people were convicted of specific sin, and that specific sin was confessed to God. We like to deal in “generalizations” it doesn’t hurt as much and isn’t so personal. The enemy condemns you of “everything” God convicts you specifically. Don’t be in denial. Come to God, as the people did, then specifically confess to God.
Verse 2b: John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son Jesus into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” There is hope in the middle of the mess because Jesus is here with us in the middle of it, and He came to save us from it. You have not been left alone! This is what the people of Jerusalem have realized. Even in the midst of our sin, God is here, loving us, pleading with us to come back to Him. Romans 5:8, “BUT GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS love for US in this: While we were still sinners, Christ Jesus died for US.”
Verse 3: Acts 3:19 “ Repent, then, and TURN to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” We must confess, yes, but then repent. Turn FROM sin, that which is keeping me from God and then turn TOWARDS God. You can’t have your face in 2 directions at one time that are diametrically opposed to one another. You must choose. There is hope in repentance. Hope is found in Jesus. I Peter 1:3 It is one thing to confess (say) what is keeping me from God and another thing to walk away from and let go of that thing keeping me from God.
Verse 4: It will take amazing courage to make a stand for God, BOLD ACTION will be necessary. Following after God and His commands are not for the faint of heart.
Verse 5: Your personal choice must be made. No one can make it for you. God will not force you to come, stand and follow, you must personally choose. It’s not what I say I will do…. it’s what I actually do that matters.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?
Verse 1a: Are we quick to point our finger in disgust and judgement of others or quick to bend our knees in pleading prayer?
Verse 1b: Do we take prayer seriously, or do we daily brush it off as if what God has impressed on us to pray for doesn’t matter? Are we more concerned in getting our opinion heard by the masses, or our voices heard by the Almighty God?
Verse 2a: Is there a specific sin that is keeping me or you from the presence of God?
Verse 2b: Do you think there is no hope for you because you are too far gone? Will we hold on to the hope that is Jesus who came to forgive and save? Have we thanked God for not letting us go and being there, with us even in the middle of our mess?
Verse 3: Will we let go of that addiction, my personal pride, that thing, that desire, that action that has kept us from the presence of God? Or do we like the addiction, thought, action too much to walk away from it quite yet? No sense in lying about it…. (God knows).
Verse 4: Do I have the courage it takes to let go of everything else and cling to God and His commands?
Verse 5: What say you? What will you do? Will you turn to God this day and the next or will you choose to stay far from the God who loves you and created you to walk with Him and know Him? What choice did you make?
LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.
Is there a main theme to them? Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??
Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.
Come daily in prayer for God’s people. Prayer matters. How I pray matters. Then, STAND UP! Get up off the ground, and choose to live for Jesus with courage this day (worry about tomorrow, tomorrow).
Homework: Ezra 10:6-15.
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!