Sunday School Material 7-14-13: Dedication of Temple 



(Ezra 6:13-22; 7/14/13)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God’s people completed the Temple and celebrated doing so. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to complete what God has assigned us to do and celebrate how God allowed us to do so.

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Body:

Read Ezra 6:13-15

I. Decree Obeyed. The Jews kept on working, in accord with the King’s decree. They finished the Temple. The ministries of Haggai and Zechariah were mentioned.

 

Applications -

- Teamwork. Notice in vss. 13-14 of our Sunday School material the idea of teamwork. The King gave his decree. The Govenor supported the King’s decree.

The elders supervised the work. And the workers did the work. In like manner, in order for God’s will to be accomplished today, everyone is called to understand and carryout his/her part of the work.

When people do what is not assigned to them and/or fail to do what is assigned to them, there is way too much confusion and lack of progress. Let’s work on understanding and doing our part in God’s work.

In the same neighborhood of thought is the idea of appreciating how God uses various people to be a part of His work - civil government and religious people.

- Finishing. Notice in vs. 15 that the Temple was finished. There are so many people who start but never finish. Let’s work on being finishers for the Lord.

In order to finish, we must know what we are trying to get done, do our part, and be able to endure hardships. There is so much that needs to be finished in our families, churches, and communities.

Read Ezra 6:16-18

II. Temple Dedicated. There is a great celebration. The leaders and all of those who were in exile celebrated the dedication of the Temple. There are offerings given. And the priests and Levites are put into place, based on what was written in the book of Moses.

Applications -

- Celebration. Notice in vs. 16 of our Sunday School material the people dedicated the Temple to God with a great celebration. First, we should do what we do for the Lord.

We should dedicate our service and the product of our service to the Lord. To dedicate it to the Lord means that it belongs to the Lord.

Second, we should celebrate what God has and is doing through His people. There is something terribly wrong, when we celebrate the accomplishment of our sports teams more than we celebrate what God is doing in the lives of His people.

Let’s work on dedicating and celebrating what God is doing.

- Giving. Notice in vs. 17 of our Sunday School material giving was a part of the celebration. There are too many who will eat every free meal that you supply but always resist having to give. Too many love for God to give to us but hate giving to God.

Giving is a foundational part of our fellowship with God. Let’s work on being cheerful givers. We don’t have to give animal sacrifices like in the text, but we should be known for paying our tithes and giving our offerings with a cheerful spirit.

- Leadership. Notice in vs. 18 of our Sunday School material establishment of recognized leaders. God wants things to be done decently and in order. This often calls for leaders.

In order for the instructions of leaders to be followed, there is often a need to acknowledge who has been deemed the leader. These people have often passed some kind of testing or demonstration of competency and character.

In like manner, there is a need for qualified and certified leaders today. The church, our families, and our communities all stand in need of trained discipled leaders. 

Let’s work on being the leaders that God is calling us to be and supporting the leaders that God has placed in our lives.

Read Ezra 6:19-22

III. Passover Kept. The people celebrated the Passover. The lamb is slain by ceremonially clean leaders and served to the people. The week of Unleavened bread is celebrated with great joy.

There is an acknowledgement that God had changed the attitude of the King in such a way that the King was assisting the work on the house of God.

Applications -

- Special days. Notice in vss. 19-22 of our Sunday School material the people celebrated the Passover. This was a time to remember how God brought them out of Egyptian bondage and a time to recommit to obeying God’s will.

Christians may not give much attention to the Jewish Passover, but we should have some special days that help us remember how good God has been to us and challenges us to recommit to obeying His will.

Church anniversaries, Resurrection Sunday (i.e., Easter), Christmas, and even birthdays and the like should be used for such purposes. 

Let’s work on intentionally remembering the goodness of the Lord and recommitting to obeying Him.  

Conclusion: Based on our Sunday School material work on completing what God has assigned us to do and celebrating how God allowed us to do so. God has much for those who obey His will.

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