1:1-2:35 – To ‘all’ of us, God gives His call. We are to ‘rebuild the House of the Lord’. To ‘all’ of us, He gives His strength: ‘Then… all those whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the House of the Lord’ (1:3,5). If the work of God is to be done, every one must play their part. No one must opt out. No one must say, ‘There’s nothing for me to do’. There’s always something to do. There’s something for every one. God has so much work for us to do. We must not fail Him. He is calling you to serve Him. He will give you the strength that you need. Open your heart to Him. Surrender your life to Him. ‘Every person in every nation, in each succeeding generation, has the right to hear the news that Christ can save… Father, I am willing to dedicate to Thee, life and talent, time and money. Here am I, send me.’
2:36-3:13 – At the heart of God’s work, there is worship – ‘praising and giving thanks to the Lord’. This is our first priority. We must not forget the Lord. We must remember that ‘He is good’. We must remember that ‘His steadfast love endures for ever’ (3:11). Nothing can take the place of worship. This is where serving the Lord begins. It begins with worship. Without worship, we cannot serve the Lord. He must be at the centre of everything we do. This is what serving the Lord means – keeping Him at the centre of everything you do. We look for ‘more love’, ‘more power’, more of God’s blessing in our lives. We must give ourselves – more fully and more truly – to Him: ‘I will worship You with all of my heart… with all of my mind… with all of my strength’ (Songs of Fellowship, 392). The blessing will come down as the worship goes up!
9:1-10:44 – The return of God’s blessing begins with a real confession of sin – ‘our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens’ (9:6). If God chooses to bless us, it is not because we deserve to be blessed by Him. It is because He loves us and wants more than anything else to pour out His blessing upon us. Despite all of our sin, God’s Word encourages us to believe that the Lord may yet ‘grant us a little reviving’. Pray that God will ‘grant us some reviving to set up the House of our God’ (9:8-9). This was Ezra’s prayer. It was the prayer of ‘a very great assembly of men, women and children’ (10:1). If prayer for revival is real, it will be much more than pulpit prayer. There will be much prayer, arising from the hearts of many people: ‘If My people pray… I will heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14).