As I prepare for tomorrow’s message on Ezra and Nehemiah, I am again amazed at our great God’s grace! As we begin this new year, may we be reminded of what life and ministry really is all about…God’s grace and our relationship to it. In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, God gave Israel yet another chance to experience His grace. Their sin drove them into judgment in the form of captivity. Now Israel’s descendants find themselves in a strange place wondering how God’s promises regarding their blessing would ever come to pass in their present downtrodden situation. It is at this seemingly hopeless point that God steps in, sovereignly orchestrating time and politics to give them another chance to rebuild…rebuild their city, it’s walls, their temple, their worship, and their personal lives.
God is in the work of rebuilding a fallen creation back to Himself through the atoning work of Christ. This is really ministry; the work of rebuilding lives of broken sinners through God’s grace and Christ. Just as He gave Israel a another chance, so He has given me a another chance (and I praise Him for that!) So this new year, have you responded to God’s gracious gift of forgiveness and restoration through repentance and faith in Christ? If you are a fellow believer, let us together relish in our great God’s undeserving favor and daily yield our lives to His sovereign purposes!