"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."
(Ezra 1:2 KJV)
Our Awesome God started the rebuilding of Jerusalem with a visit to Cyrus king of Persia, which included Judah at the time (Ezra 1 tells of the preparation to go). Sheshbazzar, a son of the exiled king Jechoniah, was appointed governor of Judah by Cyrus (Ezra 5:14) and with his nephew, Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2), led the first group of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. They took with them money and all the vessels of the Temple (Ezra 1:8, 11) which Nebuchadnezzar had taken (2 Kings 24:13). When they got there, they laid the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 5:16). Note that Sheshbazzar was about 60 years old when they left for Jerusalem. He died shortly after arriving and Zarubbabel was appointed governor of Judah (Ezra 5:1-2).
It took 23 years to complete the temple, including a space of 6 years that the next king of Persia told them to stop building (This was Esther's king, Ahasuerus, sometimes called Artaxerxes). Later Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach the people the law and establish judges (Ezra 7:8,10).
Then, 58 years later, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. (Nehemiah 2:1) It took 12 years before he went back to king Artaxerxes (not Ahasuerus) in Babylon (Nehemiah 2:6). When he returned to Jerusalem it was as governor and he reorganized the government according to Mosaic Law (Nehemiah 12:26). In Nehemiah 12, Zerubbabel and Ezra brought priests and Levites to dedicate the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem.
It took about 93 years to rebuild the walls and the Temple before the people began rebuilding their houses, but through all the problems and delays, nobody gave up. Our Awesome God had His people chosen to help accomplish His purpose of rebuilding His Temple and city. He supplied different people with different skills for different parts of the task and they did it all in Our Awesome God’s sequence and timing.
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and Worship Service at (10:30 AM) Then again Sunday evening (6:00 PM) for Bible Study along with the children’s AWANA clubs, which run until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) there is Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. When you come, ask about the Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
"In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts."
(Haggai 2:23 KJV)
Zerubbabel was Our Awesome God's choice for the man to be in charge of getting Jerusalem rebuilt during the last of Israel's captivity in Babylon. As a descendent of King David, (1 Chronicles 3:10-19) he might have been king except for a curse placed on his grandfather, king Jeconiah, by God (Jeremiah 36:29-30). According to their custom, the Persian kings made him governor of Judea (Haggai 1:1) for the purpose of rebuilding the temple.
Zerubbabel understood that his assignment was Our Awesome God's work, ordered and supported by the king of Persia, and that he had responsibilities to both. When local leaders seeking to hinder the progress asked to join in the work, Zerubbabel said, "No!" (Ezra 4:1-4). He knew that God had ordained the sons of David to build the temple (1 Chronicles 11-12). When the king of Persia banned work on the temple, he stopped the work until the ban was lifted six years later. Under a patient and persistent Zerubbabel, the slow and painstaking work on the temple continued through local opposition and royal decree. In all, it took 23 years to finish rebuilding just the temple.
Zerubbabel was one of Our Awesome God's silent heroes. He didn't win a war. He didn't write a book. He just finished the job as best he could and in compliance with the applicable laws. How do you approach God's work? Do you do your best work and wait patiently for God to give the results? Are you satisfied with having completed a job for God, even when there is no recognition by people? Zerubbabel did what God wanted without public recognition.
Come join us in our church as we seek the will of God and work to expand His kingdom. There is always a need for Christian teachers and new ideas in presenting Our Awesome God to others so that all may hear the Word of the Lord correctly.
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV) Join us this Sunday as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard to tell everyone about Jesus Christ and His salvation. We start with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour along with a children's program called AWANA until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and Bible Study along with a separate Spanish Bible Study until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
"Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord."
(Ezra 3:8 KJV)
The summer is over and the delay is past, it is time to do the work Our Awesome God intended us to do. This delay wasn't a long one, only a few months. But any delay in doing the work God intends for us is too long, isn't it? Since we don't know how long we have left on this earth. For the remnant of God's returning people, it was time to build the temple and lay the foundation. For God's adopted children, it is time to put new programs in place and find better ways to spread Our Awesome God's Word to all the world, especially those people around us. Are you ready to run the race again?
We have all these gifts that God has given us, gifts that are not all meant for ourselves, they are mostly meant for other people. What better place than your church to use them? Do we really need for everyone to know we took the trash out at church? God will know!
Our Awesome God wants most of us to use the quieter gifts, the less visible, the less obvious ones, the willingness simply to help, to pitch in and do the job that nobody else is willing to do. These are the ones we need to help to fulfill our responsibilities to Our Awesome God and to His Son, Jesus Christ, who gives us joy and thankfulness for a job we know He helped us do. He even gives us a crown in eternity.
Vacation is over and it is time to stop delaying. So get on your knees and ask Our Awesome God what He wants you to do this year. Attend the planning meetings for Sunday School, for Bible Study, for the Women's Organizations or the Men's Groups, choir, etc. There is a place for your gifts. Even if they include the trash or calling others, you are special in God's eyes and your gifts need you to practice them.
People may forget to say thank you for your gifts and the use of them, but God doesn't forget. He loves you!! You might even be able to change jobs as Our Awesome God always has something for you to do!
Join us at LWBC as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard to tell everyone about Jesus Christ and His salvation. We start with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. Our programs include Bible Study groups along with AWANA for children on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. Let's see what we can do and learn!
"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."
(Ezra 7:10 KJV)
The story in the Book of Ezra is one of redemption and deliverance. It emphasizes Our Awesome God's power and His keeping of His promises. Ezra was a contemporary of Nehemiah and lived in about 457 B.C. Ezra led a group of Jews from captivity in Babylon back to Jerusalem. The purpose of his journey was to restore the worship of God in the temple at Jerusalem.
Ezra was a scribe (scholar) of Our Awesome God. He was one of the first of a class of scholars dedicated to the knowledge and preservation of all the written and oral traditions of the Israelites. Ezra and those like him became the scribes, lawyers, and rabbis of Jesus’ day. Ezra was also a descendent of Aaron in the tribe of Levi, so he was a priest. The theme of Ezra’s life and work could be summed up by the phrase, “...the hand of the Lord my God was upon me...” (Ezra 7:28). Ezra used this phrase to indicate that God was blessing his work and to give God the credit for his success.
Ezra travelled from Babylon to Jerusalem, leading a group of Jews with money to help set up the Temple of Our Awesome God and the guards that King Artaxerxes had provided for their protection. Truly the hand of the Lord was upon him as Ezra had said because he got what he needed as God had set it up for him. Ezra knew the first five books of God's Word by memory so he knew the Jews were God's people.
Our Awesome God had His man set up to bring His Word back to His people after their captivity in Babylon and other countries. Ezra was a man who sought God and His Word and then put his belief into action. Are we people who seek God and His Word? This is important to know because God says, "seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7 KJV). If we aren't seeking more about God, what are we doing? God has so much to show us and tell us if we but look and listen.
Our Awesome God uses people like Ezra who are teachable, who listen, who are softhearted and are obedient to put God's requests into action. So put on your best and listen to His best to find the job and purpose He has just for you. Yes, our God has a job for you to further His Kingdom.
Join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others and reminding ourselves about His story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour with a children's program called AWANA that goes until 7:30 PM. Prayer Meeting is on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. We love visitors!
Flo & Bill