Growing in God 2021/22 Season 4: “Restoration & Rebuilding”
Following any disaster (in this case the covid pandemic), there are seasons of response, of rest and finally of rebuilding. Here, we are tentatively moving into a season of restoration and rebuilding, exploring together what this looks like for us as individuals and as a church. This page will be updated on a week by week basis as we journey together…
WEEK 7 RESOURCES (ws 29th November)
This week looks into the finishing of the Temple. There is a general agreement, that it’s easier to start a project than to finish one and not many people would describe themselves as “finishers”. Look at the points below to encourage us in this area as we look to see our lives and the church rebuilt during this pandemic.
1. Catch up on the sermon “Finishing the job” from Ezra 5v2-8 https://youtu.be/vHHUtLVuZd8?t=2529
2. Read Ezra 5v2-8 and share your thoughts
3. See how diligence (careful and persistent effort) brings rapid progress (v8). How does that apply to you? To church?
4. We read in 6v15 “The temple was completed”. Compare this to the completed work of Jesus on the cross (see John 19v30). He is the greatest “finisher”. How can this encourage us to keep going in our Christian lives and in the life of the church and work towards a finish?
WEEK 6 RESOURCES (ws 22 November)
In this section, we read how the opposition arose to the rebuilding of God’s temple. Similarly, as God looks to rebuild our lives and our church fellowship, we look into things that could oppose his work
1. Catch up with the sermon on “Opposition to rebuilding” from Ezra 4v1-4 https://youtu.be/RzI6sGhh-vs?t=2465
2. Read Ezra 4v1-4 and share your thoughts
3. We citied three things which oppose God rebuilding our lives and rebuilding his church. Spend time discussing these areas.
i. Spiritual: Read John 10v10 to see how the devil opposes humankind, but how Jesus longs to bring us life to the full.
ii. Situational: Where God doesn’t make bad things happen, they can appear to oppose our growth. But read Romans 8v28 to see how God can turn these situations around and make them work for good
iii. Sinful: Sin will always oppose what God is doing in our lives. Read 1 Peter 2v11, urging us to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against our very souls.
4. Read Hebrews 12v1-3, drawing encouragement from how Jesus endured oppposition
WEEK 5 RESOURCES (ws 15 November)
1. CATCH UP on Tony’s sermon from Ezra 3v8-12 (starts on 57 mins) https://fb.watch/9h5NCanoj-/
The message focusses on looking forward to God’s kingdom
2. READ Ezra 3v8-12
3. Share your thoughts on – work (v8) – What it means to you to be part of “God’s house” (v9 & 1 Peter 2v4,5) – good foundations (v10) – praising God together (v10,11)
4. Share your thoughts from v12 about not looking to the former things, but looking forward to God using you to build his church. What does that look like for you?
5. Listen to “Seeking first the kingdom” Tim Hughes https://youtu.be/H-j7h0RiuNE. Can you turn this into a prayer?
WEEK 4 RESOURCES (ws 1 November)
CATCH UP on Paul’s sermon from Ezra 3v1-6 (starting on 56 minutes) https://fb.watch/8-RrMSjX2n/
This section talks about the remnant who returned from exile to rebuiold the altar, so that sacrifices and offerings to God could restart.
READ Ezra 3v1-6:
1. A people of unity: Paul reminded us that the people “assembled together as one” (v1). They were people of unity and God blesses unity. Read Acts 2v1-12 to see what God can do when people come together in one place.
2. This section talks about sacrifices and offerings. Paul reminds us that the greatest sacrifice was that of Jesus on our behalf to take away our sin. Every other sacrifice points to this (see Hebrews 10v1-10)
3. A people of victory over fear. In v3 we read read that “despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar…” What fears do we need Jesus’ help to overcome?
4. Morning and evening offerings. In verse v3 we read that the people sacrificed offerings every morning or evening. That is no longer necessary (see point 2), but it speaks of time spent with Jesus morning and evening and a life continually offered to him. What does rthis look like to you?
WEEK 3 RESOURCES (24th Oct)
CATCH UP on the sermon “These are the people…” (Ezra 2), a look at the people moved by God to return to the land and a challenge to us to be these people today. CLICK https://fb.watch/8S7MF8r6r4/ (starts on 43:22)
Those listed in chapter 2 includes:
Descendants (v3): Use this to look at the importance of a multi-generational church
Priests v36 (someone who represents God to the people and the people to God). Read 1 Peter 2v4-6 and dicuss what it means to be a royal priest in your situation today
Gatekeepers (v42): Considered to be a menial task, but no role is menial in God’s kingdom. On the contrary, anything we do for Jesus is significant.
In light of this, think what you do or could do to help (i) build God’s kingdom in your everyday life (ii) build the church. Opportunities include cleaning, mowing, maintenance, hospitality, foodbank volunteer, childrens work (please contact us is you can help in these areas)
Servants (v43): We serve Jesus out of love for him. Consider what it means to serve him in our lives and in his church. (See John 12v26; Phil 2v5-8; Matt 20v24-28)
WEEK 2 RESOURCES (17th October)
Catch up on the sermon “Everyone who’s heart God had moved prepared to go up and build” (Ezra 1v5) https://www.facebook.com/churchontheroundabout/videos/4284118908304096
Read Ezra chapter 1, reminding yourselves (see sermon) of the context of this, a remnant of God’s people being called back to the land to rebuild the temple.
What we learn from this is not whether we’re capable or not, but has God touched our heart? If yes, then we’re ready to build church under his lead. If not, then pray and offer your heart to him afresh and he will move your heart also.
He wants to work on our hearts to heal them and to soften them, to bless our lives, so that we can bless others.
THINK: Where is your heart with God? How can we encourage each other to soften our heart to him? What can we do in our daily lives to help?
WEEK 1 RESOURCES (10th October)
Catch up on the sermon starting on 45:00 mins here https://fb.watch/8zG_V0-Mzp/
Re-read Isaiah 54v11, especially the first 4 words, “I will rebuild you“
Read Matthew 16v13-18, a conversation about building church between Jesus and Peter. Note that the main point on which Jesus builds the church and individual lives is on the rock of personal confession of who Jesus is (v15-18). “But what about you?” (v15).
SHARE: What does Jesus mean to you?
The key point is to make time to encounter Jesus on a day by day basis.
SHARE: How can we encourage each other in this?
A rebuilding prayer from Sunday 3rd October
Notes from Season 3 “Rest & Recovery” can be found here and is a helpful and free resource for anyone to use http://www.ctr-iow.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Growing-in-God-season-3-Rest-^0-recovery.pdf