Posts Tagged 'Lingering in Worship'

Lingering in Worship: Preparing

Lingering in Worship: Preparing

Ezra 8:21-23; 1 Peter 1:13-19

Quick refresher: Ezra is about rebuilding the Temple after the nation of Israel returns from exile. Ezra the priest shows up in chapter 7, introduces himself to the reader, and then moves the narrative along in chapter 8. He knew the newly rebuilt temple would need ministers, so he calls Levites together to staff the ministry. Then he has to move them to the Temple grounds, through hostile territory.

Prepare for Worship? We Need To Get Our

Heart Smart ~ Ezra 8:21-23

  • 21 FASTING isn’t to convince God of your sincerity; it’s to remind YOU to live in HUMILITY BEFORE GOD
  • 22 inconvenient truth: if you BRAG about God’s provision, you’d better be ready to depend upon it
  • 23 Is this FORCING God to answer the way we want? No – it might be forcing us to LISTEN better, though

Mind Aligned ~ 1 Peter 1:13-19

  • 13 not FOR salvation, but BECAUSE OF salvation
  • 14/16 one sentence: don’t shape your life by your old values; use Jesus’ life as your template: be holy Gk. “up and down, back and forth”
  • 17 live carefully, impartially (like God): THIS TAKES PREP WORK
  • 18/19 You are REDEEMED: not a purchased slave, but a cleansed child of God

We say that “liturgy/worship” is the work of the people. This work can be joyful, fulfilling, and life-changing. It just takes some preparation to get the most out of it.

Lingering in Worship: Building

Lingering in Worship: Building Sermon Audio Here

Ezra 3:1-11; 1 Peter 2:4-10

There’s a lot of new buildings going up in our little town; as the foundations are being laid, we can start to determine the intended use of the building. Can we do this for our own lives?

What Is Faith FOR?

Focus on the Foundation of Faith ~ Ezra 3:1-3, 6-7, 10-11

  • 1/3 they start building the altar right away
  • 6/7 they worship BEFORE the temple is completed
  • 10 “took their places” – what is YOUR place in worship?
  • 11 Praise for the Foundation of Faith (USE VS 11 TO CLOSE)

Function of the Foundation of Faith ~ 1 Peter 2:4-10

  • 4 GOD is doing the building, not us
  • 5 we offer worship THROUGH Christ
  • 6/8 because the whole POINT of worship is to TRUST CHRIST
  • 9 we receive these blessings TO DECLARE CHRIST
  • 10 Just like God’s people in Ezra, we have received undeserved mercy: why? Call back to Ezra 3:11

“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: ‘He is good; his love to Israel endures forever.’” We Praise God for the Foundation of Faith… because we CAN Praise God!

Lingering in Worship: Calling

Lingering in Worship: Calling Sermon Audio Here

Ezra 1:1-6

When I was a new Christian college student, someone challenged me to open the Bible, point to a random verse, and let it change my life. For the record, I think this is a bad practice, but at the time, I didn’t know any better. I prayed, asked the Lord to show me something that would change my life, and then opened my Bible to a random page. My finger landed in the book of Ezra. I’d never read it before, and to my surprise, I did indeed find a truth there that changed my life: the necessity and importance of worship.

Worship is ACTIVE:

God’s Call Moves Us To Consider ~ Ezra 1:1-2 (we mull over what we’ve heard)

  • 1 God moves the hearts of people
  • 2 realize you’re appointed! But for what?

Our Choice Moves Us To Respond ~ Ezra 1:3-4 (we decide we’re going to get involved)

  • 3 non-believers can encourage you in your faith…
  • 4 …and resource you, too!

Our Conclusion Moves Us To Plan ~ Ezra 1:5-6 (we ask HOW will we get involved?)

  • 5 we prepare to serve
  • 6 engage your neighbors in your faith

Worship isn’t an accident; it’s something we do ON PURPOSE. What kinds of choices do we make to prepare our lives for worship?


Pastor Ed Backell

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