The Return to Church

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It was the heading in the book of Ezra that caught my attention this morning. “The Returning Remnant.” That’s very much how I view the church at this point. It’s as if we’ve been in captivity and we’re about to return to build the house of the Lord. Oh my stars, that makes me so happy, and I hope that when this remnant returns we truly build the house!

I always find prophesy so fascinating. Two hundred years before this event in Ezra, Isaiah foretold of it happening. I’m told that there are 1817 prophesies in the Old and New Testament, As one preacher said, that alone should cause us to stand on the Word of God! It’s events such as those that the world cannot deny… well, they can and do, but they can’t change it. Hallelujah! Now, back to my story. ????

A STIR IN THE LEADERSHIP

Ezra 1:1-2 KJV

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

I see it today.  Perhaps you do too. God has clearly stirred the leadership of our country. It is God who has the hearts of all men in his hands, even the kings, and Presidents, of this day. I don’t question why the Coronavirus happened. I don’t like it, but I don’t question it. What I do enjoy is that God has gotten so much glory and it’s causing many to turn to God, wondering if this is truly the end times. Not nearly enough, but many. So I’ll take it! So what will happen when we return to the house of God. I have to wonder. Will there be a great stir in the church. Will people remember how sad it was when we were told that we could not congregate together. I remember how I felt. Nauseous. I missed my people.

So when we received the word through the Governor that the churches could once again gather together, even with limitations, my heart was overjoyed. Perhaps it’s a chance for those of us who God has called into leadership to regroup and plan for a great gathering of our communities. I feel that this is our time to let the light shine for Jesus. People are listening and receptive to eternal thoughts with so much sickness and death in view.

For such a time as this… those words have echoed in my ears for weeks.

A PREPARATION OF LEADERSHIP

Ezra 1:5-6 KJV

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

I have to ask myself this morning, what am I holding onto that I have not given to the house of God? Ask yourself that question. What thing, what talent, what precious thing are we holding on to that we’ve not given to the Lord’s house for use?

When God stirred up the King, He also stirred up the leadership of the church to give of what they had to the service of God. It’s a great question that deserves an answer. I look about my home this morning and think of how good God has been to me. The many, many gifts, talents and precious things that God has given me. What can I do with those “things.” How can I build His house with these things He has given me. And if I cannot build His house with these things, what am I doing with some of them at all? Iff there are things in my life that take my mind off of God, and many things that I have does, I need to look at those things and refocus on what’s truly important in my life.

I like to “think” that I am sold out for the ministry. But am I? This morning I’m not so sure. Yes, I’m dedicated, but I’m not so sure that I have sanctified myself to God’s liking. Sanctified means separated. Have I separated myself from he world enough? Ugh. There’s that nausea again.

Although I’ve technically not been out of church, I still help with the live broadcast on Sunday’s, my Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings have been spent at home. And I must confess, it’s taken its toll. I have not prepared lessons, and prepared my heart for those services that I was missing. I have not really prepared for the time when God calls His remnant back together, which is now! There is so much work to do.

THE ROLE CALL OF LEADERSHIP

It’s often time in the “role call scriptures”, where name after name after name is listed, that my eyes glaze over and I become “churchy.” Just reading through the word to get through to the next interesting part. But today as I read through the countless names that total up to the 42,360 children of Israel that God called the remnant; I thought about each name, and that number. All of which is important to God, else He would have not brought it up.

You too are in the role call of the church. Your name and the role you play is an important part of the ministry.

Look at the children of Israel in Ezra, chapter 2:

Ezra 2:64-70 KJV

[64] The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, [65] Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. [66] Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; [67] Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. [68] And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place: [69] They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments. [70] So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

Those

It was the heading in the book of Ezra that caught my attention this morning. “The Returning Remnant.” That’s very much how I view the church at this point. It’s as if we’ve been in captivity and we’re about to return to build the house of the Lord. Oh my stars, that makes me so happy, and I hope that when this remnant returns we truly build the house!

I always find prophesy so fascinating. Two hundred years before this event in Ezra, Isaiah foretold of it happening. I’m told that there are 1817 prophesies in the Old and New Testament, As one preacher said, that alone should cause us to stand on the Word of God! It’s events such as those that the world cannot deny… well, they can and do, but they can’t change it. Hallelujah! Now, back to my story. ????

A STIR IN THE LEADERSHIP

Ezra 1:1-2 KJV

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

I see it today.  Perhaps you do too. God has clearly stirred the leadership of our country. It is God who has the hearts of all men in his hands, even the kings, and Presidents, of this day. I don’t question why the Coronavirus happened. I don’t like it, but I don’t question it. What I do enjoy is that God has gotten so much glory and it’s causing many to turn to God, wondering if this is truly the end times. Not nearly enough, but many. So I’ll take it! So what will happen when we return to the house of God. I have to wonder. Will there be a great stir in the church. Will people remember how sad it was when we were told that we could not congregate together. I remember how I felt. Nauseous. I missed my people.

So when we received the word through the Governor that the churches could once again gather together, even with limitations, my heart was overjoyed. Perhaps it’s a chance for those of us who God has called into leadership to regroup and plan for a great gathering of our communities. I feel that this is our time to let the light shine for Jesus. People are listening and receptive to eternal thoughts with so much sickness and death in view.

For such a time as this… those words have echoed in my ears for weeks.

A PREPARATION OF LEADERSHIP

Ezra 1:5-6 KJV

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

I have to ask myself this morning, what am I holding onto that I have not given to the house of God? Ask yourself that question. What thing, what talent, what precious thing are we holding on to that we’ve not given to the Lord’s house for use?

When God stirred up the King, He also stirred up the leadership of the church to give of what they had to the service of God. It’s a great question that deserves an answer. I look about my home this morning and think of how good God has been to me. The many, many gifts, talents and precious things that God has given me. What can I do with those “things.” How can I build His house with these things He has given me. And if I cannot build His house with these things, what am I doing with some of them at all? Iff there are things in my life that take my mind off of God, and many things that I have does, I need to look at those things and refocus on what’s truly important in my life.

I like to “think” that I am sold out for the ministry. But am I? This morning I’m not so sure. Yes, I’m dedicated, but I’m not so sure that I have sanctified myself to God’s liking. Sanctified means separated. Have I separated myself from he world enough? Ugh. There’s that nausea again.

Although I’ve technically not been out of church, I still help with the live broadcast on Sunday’s, my Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings have been spent at home. And I must confess, it’s taken its toll. I have not prepared lessons, and prepared my heart for those services that I was missing. I have not really prepared for the time when God calls His remnant back together, which is now! There is so much work to do.

THE ROLE CALL OF LEADERSHIP

It’s often time in the “role call scriptures”, where name after name after name is listed, that my eyes glaze over and I become “churchy.” Just reading through the word to get through to the next interesting part. But today as I read through the countless names that total up to the 42,360 children of Israel that God called the remnant; I thought about each name, and that number. All of which is important to God, else He would have not brought it up.

You too are in the role call of the church. Your name and the role you play is an important part of the ministry.

Look at the children of Israel in Ezra, chapter 2:

Ezra 2:64-70 KJV

[64] The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, [65] Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. [66] Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; [67] Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. [68] And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place: [69] They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments. [70] So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

Those people and things that God thought important enough to mention, might not have seemed important to the world. There were people, critters, things…. God can and will use anything that is given willingly. He used it in “their” place. (Verse 70) Just where they were. And I believe that as we go back into the house of God after this very long hiatus, that God is calling us take a look at all that we have, and ask ourselves, what can I use for His glory?

It’s a question that needs answered, at least by me. God bless you all, and I hope that some of you will take the time to let me know if this message stirred your heart and made you ponder some of the precious things that you’ve been holding back from God’s service.

people and things that God thought important enough to mention, might not have seemed important to the world. There were people, critters, things…. God can and will use anything that is given willingly. He used it in “their” place. (Verse 70) Just where they were. And I believe that as we go back into the house of God after this very long hiatus, that God is calling us take a look at all that we have, and ask ourselves, what can I use for His glory?

It’s a question that needs answered, at least by me. God bless you all, and I hope that some of you will take the time to let me know if this message stirred your heart and made you ponder some of the precious things that you’ve been holding back from God’s service.

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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