27 Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem,
28 and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.
Ezra was among the captives from Jerusalem in Babylon. He was a man learned in the scriptures and faithful to God. The king of Babylon, Artaxerxes, had issued a proclamation sending Ezra and all Jews who wanted to go with him, permission to return to rebuild the house of God. In his proclamation, the king ruled that great sums of silver and gold be send back with Ezra to make sure the Temple was built right so that sacrifices could be made to the God of heaven.
I want you to recognize that Ezra could do what he did because God touched the heart of a pagan king. Artaxerxes of Babylon did not need a temple in Jerusalem. But God put it in his heart to send men and women and money for this project. James said that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above. Should we not pray for God to touch the hearts of the rulers of our nation for the benefit of His worship and work? We should. Can we pray believing that God can move the hearts of unbelievers to benefit His people’s worship and work? We should.
As a result of the king’s proclamation, Ezra was encouraged and realized that the good hand of God was upon him. When unsaved people bless us we should recognize that the hand of God is upon us for good. God can use whomever He desires to accomplish His purposes. Let us pray today for God to open unusual doors of provision so that we can completely do His work thus showing us that His good hand is upon us.
Today is the funeral for Destiny, Sandra’s granddaughter. Do pray for this family that they will find peace and comfort in the arms and will of God Almighty.
Pastor Bill is leading his services today at Spring Meadow and at Sunrise. Pray for him to clearly minister Christ and for those who hear the message to be encouraged in their walk with Christ.
We do have RU tonight and need your prayers for God to bring in those who need to be here. I am certain that hundreds of people who drive by our sign know they should stop in. I am certain that people in our church know addicted people who could greatly benefit from coming. Pray together that God would bring in these dear people who lied to by sin are now caught in its chains.
Tomorrow is our reception for Ben and Anna. It is an open house from 11:30-2:00. They will be wearing their wedding attire and a video of the wedding will be playing. Bobbi is providing lunch for all who come. Please come and celebrate their wedding with us.
I will be bringing a message Sunday morning from Isaiah 40:1-2. This is a great passage, pray with me that God will use it as He intended for it to be used.
Have a great day in the Lord,