Introduction to Ezra
Ezra 3

Ezra 1 & 2

Scripture
 1:5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.
 
2:68When the people came to where the LORD's temple had been in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders gave gifts so it could be rebuilt in the same place. 69They gave all they could

Observation
When it is God's will regarding a matter He always provides a way to accomplish it and it is usually through partnering with us.

Understanding
In the case of rebuilding the temple God provided through a number of ways.  In the first place God placed Daniel as an adviser to King Cyrus.  Daniel was probably the one who showed Cyrus the prophecies regarding Cyrus and as a result God's Word was fulfilled.  He made a way to accomplish it.  Some may say coincidence...yeah right!  Then Cyrus issues a decree and provides all the stuff that was originally taken from the temple - see how God had kept it safe for so many years - and then God moves on the heart of the people He had selected to return and rebuild.  Those people were given gold and silver from people who were not returning.  Now it would have been easy for the people who were returning to get back to Jerusalem and loaded with all that gold and silver just start a new life for themselves and forget why they had returned, but thankfully they didn't.  Neither did they keep the gold and silver for themselves but gave so that the temple could be rebuilt - after all that was why they were there.  And they didn't hold back either, they gave all they could.

Life Application
I am amazed at how often we forget why we are here.  How many times we all fall into the trap of believing that the gold and silver we have in our possession is for us to make a life for ourselves when the fact is we have been given this treasure to build the kingdom of heaven.  We are guilty of keeping God's treasure for ourselves and lost sight of our purpose here on this planet.

What is our purpose?  Well it is to take the time, talent, treasure and testimony we have been given and use it to go and make Christ-followers everywhere. 
Have you been acting with integrity regarding the time, talent, treasure and testimony you have been given?  Share with us the stories of what you have been doing with those things to build God's kingdom.

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