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 3:1-3
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.
vs. 1: The Seventh month came, sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one to Jerusalem
vs. 2: Jeshua and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel and his brothers arose and built the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings on it as written in the law of Moses
vs.3: So they set up the altar in its foundation. They were terrified because of the people of the land. They offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD morning and evening.
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?
vs. 1: The 7th month was a time in Israel for feasts they would traditionally come to Jerusalem for, and today are still celebrated. The Day of Atonement, the Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Zerubbabel and the exiles began together by remembering the God they serve. When we have been away from God for any amount of time, sometimes, going back to that church, that place, among those people where you first made that commitment to God is a great step back. Come back, and begin again, among God’s people, remembering who He is!
vs. 2: After coming together, the priests, the men of God, physically built an altar. An altar is where sacrifices are made, remembering how sin (things we have done in disobedience to God) has so separated us from the God who loves us and gave His life for us. For us, we do not have to build an altar, but return to the altar upon which God Himself, Jesus, gave His life for us on the cross. Return to the cross, remember what God Himself has done to make things right. The altar was an outward public profession of their faith. Accountability comes with this, and our decisions are more solidified when we publicly proclaim.
vs. 3: There is importance in going back to the foundation. The one true God was the God of Israel, the God they covenantly promised to serve. There is no other foundation that we can build our lives upon that will not shift or move with the times, that is Jesus!
They were terrified: There will always be people in opposition to you when you want to make things right with God. It takes courage to follow God. Will you give in to your fear of others or will you let the love of God reign?
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?
vs. 1: Have you been away from God for too long? Is it time for you to return to Jesus, Who loves you and gave His life for you, so that you can know Him?
vs. 2: Again, is it time to come back? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you in need of rededicating your life to Jesus, outwardly? Are you really serious about coming back to Jesus or does it just sound good internally?
vs. 3: Have you tried to follow other people and other things instead of Jesus only to be left alone and empty in the end?
Will you give voice to those in opposition in your life afraid of what others may say if you decide to follow Jesus? Will fear or courage win out in the end? What do you need to do?
LIVE IT OUT!
It is never too late to come back to Jesus. Start today, open God’s Word and see how He loves you! Remember you were created by God, to know God, but also to need God in this life. Jesus is the foundation that will never leave you or forsake you! Return to that foundation today. May the restoration process begin this very moment.
Homework: Matthew 8:1-4
Our annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove begins on January 7th. Follow us! Join in! A study of Nehemiah for the next couple weeks! If you are in the Asheville area, come to the Cove, join us in person for 7 weeks! The study is free! The benefits are life-long! Click here to register.
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!