ILLUSTRATION – I have some friends who have a very strange hobby. They like to run in races, but not just an ordinary race. It is called a “Mud Run.” It’s really an obstacle course. PHOTO 1 – It involves feats like running through muddy pits of water. PHOTO 2 – Crawling under barbed wire. PHOTO 3 – Running through fire. PHOTO 4 – Climbing over obstacles.
You know, anyone who takes seriously the challenge of rebuilding their broken world will find that it isn’t easy. Whether you’re trying to rebuild a broken life or a broken marriage … whether you feel called by God to move into some broken part of your world and help to rebuild it … there will be obstacles, pitfalls and setbacks. Count on it. My aim this morning is to encourage you from God’s word to persevere.
Let’s open our Bibles to Ezra 2. In these weeks were focusing on a part of the OT that may not be familiar to us. But Ezra contains an amazing story of some people whom God used to rebuild their broken world. Specifically they were called by God to rebuild their broken city of Jerusalem and the broken Temple within Jerusalem. For seventy years or so the Jews had been in exile in Babylon. But God was moving. In Ezra 1 we saw how God purposed that Jerusalem would once again be a shining light to the nations. He moved the heart of a Persian king named Cyrus to let the captives go free to rebuild their broken city. And God moved the hearts of the people to do it. (more…)