Hello Project Ezra! I pray you are having a wonderful day in the Lord, and that your week has been good. Mine has been good, and very busy (as usual), but I am very much looking forward to spending some time sharing the gospel this weekend. It is such a privilege to be able to share God’s truth, a truth that I am not even worthy to think about, yet one that God has called me to being to those who are lost in their sin, as I once was. What a blessing it is!
This week our suggested chapter is Genesis 6, which speaks about Noah and the command to build the ark. In the story of the ark we have a wonderful picture of the grace and mercy of God, and of a single way of escape from His wrath, poured out for sin. In the ark God saved Noah and his family from the flood, and In Jesus Christ God saves us from the flood of our own sin, which will sweep us away to destruction as well, outside of His finished work on the cross. By grace we have been saved through faith in that work, and what an amazing blessing and gift that is! I pray both God’s justice and His love will be better understood through our reading this week.
We are also fast approaching our next Mission Good Friday reading, which will be at the end of next month. Believe it or not, this will be our FIFTH year! It still amazes me what God has done, how faithful He has been, and how many people have been impacted and encouraged by this group. I cannot express what a privilege it is to have so many of you participate and share your testimonies, and I pray you will continue to do so. In particular, I will try to put together an introduction to Project Ezra post, which will include some of those testimonies. There have been so many stories that it will be impossible to include most of them, but if there was a testimony, video or picture, or a divine appointment that particularly impacted you, and which you think will impact others and encourage them to participate, please let me know through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you all. God bless!
All for His glory,
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND THE GROUP
READ GENESIS 6
This story, the beginning of the story of Noah and the flood, is true, despite what some people may think
We still see the results of the flood today in the fossil record and in the world around us, and it reminds us that God’s word is true
It also reminds us of something that is true about God’s character, and our character
These truths give us the justification for the horrible destruction that the flood brought
God tells us in His word that the wickedness of man was great in the earth
He tells us that every intention of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually, and that it grieved Him in His heart that He had made man
The earth at that time was corrupt in God’s sight, and was filled with violence
The same is very much true in our time. The evil nature of man has not changed
Neither has the just and holy nature of God
God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil. He is angry at the wicked every day and will not leave the guilty unpunished.
The wrath of God demonstrated in the flood of Noah
He said “I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.”
So, like in Noah’s day, we see the dilemma between God’s goodness and our sin and wickedness.
How can a good God, and God who believes in justice, allow sinners like us to live?
If you look at yourself, reflected in the mirror of God’s law, you will see how sinful you truly are.
GO THROUGH THE LAW AND SHOW THE TRUTH OF OUR SIN
It is clear from God’s word that we are guilty, and that we are deserving of judgment and hell for our sins
Hell is described very vividly, and it is a description that should disturb every one of us.
We should fear going to Hell ourselves, and we should not want anyone we know to go there either.
But the story tells us something else about God. It tells us of His mercy
Despite the wickedness of the world, God had a plan of salvation, even if it was for only a few
The ark provided escape from destruction for Noah and his family
And in our day, God has also provided an ark of escape from His judgment.
That escape is found only in the person and work of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ was the God-man, God in human flesh.
The creator of all, He who made the world and then destroyed in by water once, because of man’s sin, humbled Himself and walked among us.
He lived a perfect life, the only perfect life ever lived. He also healed the sick, cleansed lepers, cast out demons, fed thousands with a young boy’s lunch, and even raised the dead.
Then, after about 33 years of life, He went to the cross and died for the sin of His creation
On the cross the debt for man’s sin was paid in full, when all God’s wrath and anger toward sin was poured out on Him rather than us.
He suffered and died. Then, three days later, He rose again and appeared to His disciples.
He fulfilled His own prophecies, and demonstrated His power over death, and who He was.
Then His disciples saw him ascend into heaven to sit at His Father’s right hand.
In the time of Noah, God put His rainbow in the clouds, as He does today, as a promise to mankind.
He promised He would never again destroy the earth by a flood.
But today we have a greater promise. He has promised us that if we will turn from our sins and put our trust in Christ alone, then we will be saved from eternal death and Hell.
Through faith and repentance we take hold of that promise. We can do nothing to earn or deserve it.
No good work can help us earn God’s favor. No religious duty will appease Him. Only the gifts of faith and repentance can make us right with Him.
So please, turn from your sin and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you
God is patient and merciful, but His mercy will one day end, and none of us is promised even one more day on this earth
Flee to the ark of God. Flee from the coming destruction. Flee to the only God who can save you.
Turn to Christ today, while He has given you time!