Ezra 3:10-11, "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid."
There is no doubt, Satan hates to see anything progressing for the cause of Christ. I am more convinced of this today than ever. He works overtime to keep the work and causes of Christ suppressed. Satan works to thwart the work of God primarily through people and through difficult circumstances. That is why it is important for each of us to be sober and vigilant in our own Christian walk. I want to be a positive influence for the cause of Christ and do everything possible to promote the LORD and bring glory to Him. I do not want, in any way, to be a tool of the devil to harm the cause of Christ.
The children of Israel were given a great opportunity by the LORD as God moved in the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia. Ezra 1:2, "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." It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord works in the hearts of those in authority to accomplish His plans and purposes. This house wasn't just a building but it would become a place where God is worshipped and glorified.
Ezra 1-3 reminded me of some ways to best influence the Work of God:
- Start by giving your own heart to the Lord. Make sure your heart and attitude are such that you are going to live your life by bringing glory and honor to God and His church. (See 1 Thessalonians 1:9, and 2 Corinthians 8:5)
- Next, utilize the talents God has given you to strengthen His causes and the ministry of the church you attend. Some people are good at fixing things that need repaired, some are able to teach, all should learn to become a witness for Christ, some have computer skills that could benefit the church, etc. You get the idea, maybe I haven't listed your strengths but God has granted you both, spiritual and natural talents, for His glory. Don't bury your talents but use them to advance the kingdom of God. (See Matthew 25:14-29)
One other way we can influence the work of God is by giving financially to support the work and ministry of the church. The foundation of the temple would not have been completed without people supporting the work with their money. Ezra 3:7a, "They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters, and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon..." (See Matthew 6:19-24)
I trust we will all not only do our part to influence the cause of Christ in a positive way, but that we will do our best to accomplish this desire.
I pray you will have a great day serving the Lord and praising Him.
Pastor Mike Abbott