Hello Project Ezra! Thanks to all of you who participated in Mission Good Friday, and I pray that you and your family had a great resurrection weekend. We had quite a few people join us for the first time and break the sound barrier, which is always very exciting. I shared some of their stories in an outreach update. If you missed it, you can take a look here: http://projectezra.blogspot.com/2013/04/mission-good-friday-2013-outreach-report.html. I hope it is an encouragement, and I would encourage you to share it with those in your church or through your social network pages. Seeing others share the gospel for the first time will likely embolden others to join us for our next event, Sermon on the Mount Saturday, which will be coming up in the near future. Be looking for more information here soon.
This week our suggested reading is Proverbs 4, a father’s advise to his child to pursue wisdom. Just as that father (likely Solomon himself) pleaded with his son to pursue wisdom, we should plead with others to pursue the knowledge of God, since the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Some will likely confront you on the use of God's law to bring conviction of sin, calling it judgmental. I frequently hear that from both non-believers and confessing Christians. But we are commanded to go into the world, not to be condemning, but to preach the truth of God and share His gospel without compromise, and that means talking of sin and judgment, as well as of love and grace. We are called to preach the whole gospel, not just the comfortable parts, and without an understanding of the law, we can not see our sin in truth and our need for a savior. Just make sure that those who are offended are offended by the message, and not by your behavior. Those God is calling to wisdom, and who He has prepared, will respond and turn to Him. And I pray that there will be many that do turn to Him this weekend. I'll be in prayer for you, and please be in prayer for your brothers and sisters and they go out to share the word this weekend.
All for His glory,
Introduce yourself and Project Ezra
Read Proverbs 4
This chapter records the words of a man teaching his son the value of wisdom
He advises him to get wisdom and to get insight.
He tells him to guard that wisdom, for it is his very life.
The father also tells his son to turn away from evil
He says “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the wicked”
And he compares the paths of wisdom and evil with light and darkness
The wisest thing we can ever do is to desire and strive to know the truth of who God is.
In fact, the Bible elsewhere tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and there is nothing more wise than making sure you are right with God
Later in this same book we are also told that the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil (Proverbs 18:3)
There is great wisdom in both the fear of the Lord, and hatred of evil
The problem is we have not fear of God before our eyes, and we can’t turn away from evil
Unless we have been changed by God, we love our sin, and are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2)
Genesis chapter 6 tells us that the thoughts of man are only evil continually
Paul’s letter to the Romans (chapter 3) tells us that there is no one righteous, no not one
It tells us that there is no one who seeks after God
And chapter 6 tells us that we are slaves to what we are obedient to. We are slaves to sin.
Look at yourself in light of God’s law, and see if this isn’t true.
GO THROUGH THE LAW OF GOD TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
We are told that the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
And if you choose to cling to your sin, and remain in rebellion against God, you will fall into the eternal darkness the Bible calls Hell.
Hell is not a place where sin is allowed, or a place where the devil and his angels rule.
It is a place of fire and pain and death, where both the servants of the devil and those people who remain in rebellion against God will justly punished for eternity, with no rest, in the presence of the holy angels, and of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
Hell is justice for our sin, and is what we all deserve for our rebellion against God. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
But you do not need to remain in your slavery to sin, and Hell does not need to be your destiny. God, in His mercy, has provided a payment for sin.
2000 years ago Jesus Christ, God in human form (John 1), came to earth, and lived the perfect life we could never live.
Then He went to the cross, and paid the penalty for our sin that we could never pay.
By repentance and faith (Acts 20:21), we can have our sins forgiven, and receive Christ’s righteousness
Then when we stand before God on the Day of Judgment, we will be seen as perfect, and pure, because of Jesus Christ’s perfection and purity.
This is what it means to be born again (John 3). Through repentance and faith in Christ, turning from our sin and trusting in Him alone, God takes us, and changes us, making us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
God will change your heart, so you will love Him and desire to serve Him. He will take out your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
Though the Christian life is not always easy, there is great joy in serving the one true God, and an eternity of future joy to look forward to.
So turn to Jesus Christ today. Repent of your sin, and trust in Him alone.
There is no other way to God. Jesus tells us through His word that no one comes to the Father except through Him, and that unless we believe that He is God, we will die in our sin.
God is patient, but His patience will not last forever. Turn to Him in repentance and faith today, while you still have time.