2/21/16 – The Process of Getting Unstuck – Ezra 10:6-17

The Process of Getting Unstuck


John Stange

Ezra 10:6-17

I. Trembling with godly sorrow (v. 6-9)

II. Confronting the presence of sin (v. 10-11)

2 Peter 1:4 – And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

III. Admitting personal fault (v. 12-13)

Romans 5:8 – But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

IV. Taking positive action motivated by faith (v. 14-17)

2/14/16 – Finding Strength to Make the Harder Choice

Finding Strength to Make the Harder Choice


John Stange

Ezra 10:1-5

I. Godly sorrow produces repentance (v. 1)

2 Corinthians 7:10 – For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

II. Remaining hopeful in your lowest seasons (v. 2)

III. Heeding counsel that’s faithful to God’s Word (v. 3-5)

11/22/15 – Take Courage, for the Hand of the Lord Is On You

Take Courage, for the Hand of the Lord Is On You

John Stange

Ezra 7:1-28

I. What are you setting your heart to do? (v. 1-10)

Philippians 3:12-16 – 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

II. Who are you encouraging to use their gifts (v. 11-20)

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

III. How highly do you prioritize what God has decreed? (v. 21-28)

11/15/15 – God is Working in and Through You

God is Working in and Through You

John Stange

Ezra 6:13-22

I. Finishing the work God entrusted to you (v. 13-15)

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

II. Dedicating the fruit of the work to God’s glory (v. 16-18)

Hebrews 9:27-28 – 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

III. Living a life of worship and holiness (v. 19-22)

11/1/15 – Making God’s Mission Your Own

Making God’s Mission Your Own

John Stange

Ezra 6:1-12

I. Searching for Truth (v. 1-5)

John 18:37-38a – 33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

II. Investing in what you value (v. 6-8)

III. Desiring God’s favor (v. 9-12)

Proverbs 21:1 – The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lordhe turns it wherever he will.

10/25/15 – God’s grace toward the humble

God’s grace toward the humble

John Stange

Ezra 5:6-17

I. The work of God testified to before the king (v. 6-10)

Matthew 10:16-18 – 16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.

Hebrews 7:14-17 – 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

II. Humbly owning your history (v. 11-16)

1 Peter 5:5 – Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Matthew 18:1-5 – At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,

III. Getting ready for God to bless from unexpected sources (v. 17)

10/18/15 – A Fresh Wind to Rebuild

A Fresh Wind to Rebuild

John Stange

Ezra 5:1-5

I. Taking inspiration from God’s Word (v. 1-2)

Haggai 1:2-5 – 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?5 Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.

II. Receiving questions from the curious (v. 3-4)

1 Peter 2:5 – you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

III. Knowing that God is watching over you (v. 5)

10/11/15 – With great Opportunity Comes Great Opposition

With great Opportunity Comes Great Opposition

John Stange

Ezra 4:17-24

I. Sometimes, the wrong king wants the glory (v. 17-22)

John 4:1-3 – Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making andbaptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee.

II. Sometimes, there will be people who can’t wait to give you bad news (v. 23)

Psalm 118:6 – The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

III. Sometimes, you’ll be given unexpected opportunities to rest, recharge and restart (v. 24)

Acts 16:19-24 – But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city.21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or
practice.”22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

10/4/15 – Handling Adversity and Accusation When You’re Doing God’s Will

Handling Adversity and Accusation When You’re Doing God’s Will

John Stange

Ezra 4:1-16

I. Seek discernment regarding those you choose to partner with (v. 1-3)

Acts 1:21-26 – 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesuswent in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also calledJustus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

II. Don’t be taken off guard by those who seek to discourage you (v. 4-5)

III. Remember who you really are when accusations are made against you (v. 6-16)

Job 1:9-10 – Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?

Revelation 12:10 – And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,who accuses them day and night before our God.

9/13/15 – Stirred Up

Stirred Up

John Stange

Ezra 1:1-11

I. Stirred up to fulfill God’s Word (v. 1)

Jeremiah 25:11-13 – This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste. 13 I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 

Isaiah 44:28 – who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

II. Stirred up to support God’s work (v. 2-4)

III. Stirred up to do God’s mission (v. 5-11)

Hebrews 7:14a – “For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah,”

Matthew 4:18-22 – While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.