Life Lessons from Ezra.
The book of Ezra is packed full of valuable lessons for our lives. Ranging from topics like obedience and identity to worship and God's faithfulness the book of Ezra can be a gold mine of growth for those seeking a deeper walk with Christ. Take the journey by yourself or grab some friends and work through the videos together. Each teaching is followed by a short list of processing questions designed to get you thinking about next steps. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
EZRA #1 - OBEDIENCE
It's not always our job to fully understand what God is doing, our job is to fully obey. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. Where do you see God stirring your heart and life?
2. What are the signs that God is stirring your heart?
3. How much of what God is doing in your life do you fully understand?
4. What’s frustrating about not understanding what God is doing?
5. What do you know you are being called to do even though you may not fully understand God’s movement in your life?
EZRA #3 - IDENTITY
It can be tempting to forsake our identity in God when things get tough. Fight the temptation and stay true to who God you created to be. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. Have you ever experienced a tough patch in life that resulted in you “compromising” your standards?
2. Do you find it easier to stick with God in the good times or the bad times?
3. What are the marks of someone who identifies with God?
4. Do you see those marks in your life on a regular basis?
5. What could you do to bring those identifiers more to the surface?
EZRA #5 - DISCERNMENT
Some will appreciate and celebrate the new work God is doing in your life and some will not. Learn to know the difference and choose to surround yourself with people who will celebrate with you. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. Thinking of those who you surround yourself with, are they shouting for joy or weeping over the new work God is doing in your life?
2. Why is sometimes difficult to distinguish between those that are shouting for joy and those that are weeping?
3. How have your spiritual journey been slowed because of who you have surrounded yourself with?
4. How has your spiritual journey been bettered by those you have surrounded yourself with?
EZRA #7 - PERSEVERENCE
Sometimes it's tough to push through when the people around you don't understand what's happening and start to ask questions. It can be easy to let up on what you know God is calling you towards. Keep your foot on the gas and know that God is with you. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. Do you ever feel pressure to “let off the gas” because the people around you are questioning you?
2. Can you think of an example of when you’ve pushed through despite the questions from people around you?
3. How have you experienced “the eye of God” watching you?
EZRA #2 - TIME
No amount of exile or time will ever cause God to forget you. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. How is it that you and I become exiled from God, His plan and His purposes for our lives? In other words, what creates the distance between us and God?
2. Do you ever feel like you’re out of God’s reach and/or vision?
3. Where do you see God restoring you?
4. What are the obstacles that we face in our journey towards restoration?
EZRA #4 - WORSHIP
Our sacrifice and worship to God shouldn't be dependent on the completion of our journey. Sacrifice and praise isn't set aside for the destination only. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. When is it most difficult for you to worship?
2. Can you think of a time when you worshipped on the journey?
3. Can you think of a time when you chose not to worship on the journey?
4. What mindset is required when choosing to worship on the journey?
5. Has worshipping on the journey been modeled for you, from your ancestors? Or are you a first generation worshipper?
EZRA #6 - OPPOSITION
Any move to start or revive a work of God in your life is going to be met with opposition. Get ready, get prepared, get behind God and push through. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. How does opposition reveal itself in your life?
2. In what ways have you successfully navigated opposition in your life?
3. In what ways have you failed at navigating opposition in your life?
4. When do you feel the most hopeless in the face of opposition?
5. When do you feel the most hopeful in the face of opposition?
EZRA #8 - COMPLETION
There are times in life when we feel like we will forever be "unfinished". Is God even hearing my prayers? Is He even aware of my plans and goals? Rest assured that God not only sees you, but He hears you and He is working on your behalf to bring to you to completion.
1. Do you ever feel discouraged by your lack of "feeling complete"?
2. In which areas do you feel especially incomplete?
3. Which areas of struggle have you faced?
Persecution, work stoppage, discouragement, throwing in the towel?
4. Do you ever feel frustrated by God's timing?
5. Give an example of when God's timing ended up working out perfectly?
EZRA #10 - COMFORT
Sometimes it's easy to get too comfortable with where we are. God may be pushing us towards His best but we've become satisfied with our good. Ezra chapter 8 gives us a great example of what it looks like to never settle. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. Have you ever felt like "not showing up" for what God is calling you to in life?
2. What factors have kept you from "showing up"?
3. Why is it easier to "not show up"?
4. What "make shift" temples have you erected in your life?
5. What can you do this week to tap into "God's best" in place of "your good"?
EZRA #12 - WEEPING TO WALKING
God's true desire for our lives is change. He's not interested in words or our good intentions. He wants us to make moves. The final chapter of Ezra gives us a great model to live by in this arena. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
1. Have you ever experienced "weeping without walking"?
2. What has prevented you from taking the "first step" in getting right with God?
3. What is God calling you to "put away" in your life?
4. What can you do this week to "make moves" in your relationship with God?