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Ezra 8:15-21 15 I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava , and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there. .

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slide1

Ezra 8:15-21

15 I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there.

slide2

16 So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning, 17 and I sent them to Iddo, the leader in Casiphia.

slide3

I told them what to say to Iddo and his kinsmen, the temple servants in Casiphia, so that they might bring attendants to us for the house of our God.

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18 Because the gracious hand of our God was on us, they brought us Sherebiah, a capable man, from the descendants of Mahli son of Levi, the son of Israel, and Sherebiah’s sons and brothers, 18 men; 19 and Hashabiah, together with Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and nephews, 20 men.

slide5

20 They also brought 220 of the temple servants—a body that David and the officials had established to assist the Levites. All were registered by name.

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21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

direction choice and responsibility ezra 7 10
Direction, Choice and ResponsibilityEzra 7 - 10

Where am I going?

What should I do?

Who’s fault is it?

slide8

Ezra 1 – 6

Kings and Chronicles

The people ended up in Assyria and Babylon not by choice

Defeated, captured and exiled.

Ezra returns with the second group of the exiles

slide9

Some of us go willingly

Some of us go for other reasons

Some of us stay

Some of us return

It has always ben like this

Sometimes we pick the direction and sometimes it picks happens us

slide10

I left Colombia

1973

East coast to West coast

Mexico

Japan

Venezuela

Philippines

Israel

Canada

slide11

When it’s time to do something…

Some of us volunteer

Some of us have to be asked, invited or dragged

slide12

Ezra7

13 Now I decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who wish to go to Jerusalem with you, may go.

slide13

28 …Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.

slide14

Calling

College

Career, Work or opportunity

Lack of opportunity

Invitation

The only choice

slide15

Ezra 8

15 I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there.

slide16

16 So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning, 17 and I sent them to Iddo, the leader in Casiphia. I told them what to say to Iddo and his kinsmen, the temple servants in Casiphia, so that they might bring attendants to us for the house of our God.

slide17

We do not always have a choice

Our choices are often limited

We do not know what we do not know

slide18

We like to believe we are not the problem

The problem is out there somewhere

We see it as being outside of us

slide19

Ezra 9

After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites.

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2 They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”

slide21

It is very easy to identify the enemy

Especially when we are sure the enemy is not us.

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15 O Lord, God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”

slide23

Ezra 10

44 All these had married foreign women, and some of them had children by these wives

slide24

The woman caught in adultery

John chapter 8

Where was the man?

Blame someone

slide25

The outsider and the foreigner where not excluded from Israel if they chose to believe

Matthew 1:5

Ruth

slide26

When we take responsibility we can acknowledge that we are the problem

That is why superficial changes…

Geographical moves…

And other half steps do not work

slide27

Putting in all together:

Sometime we can control the steering wheel and sometimes we cannot

Be at peace not knowing what direction our lives will take

Enjoy wherever we might end up

slide28

Putting in all together:

We may not have as much choice as we would like

Sometimes choices are made for us

Enjoy whatever you end up doing

slide29

Putting in all together:

Own up to our sins, problems and shortcomings

Stop blaming others for the way things turn out

It may not be our fault or their fault either

Chose to be responsible and learn from the mistakes we have made and are about to make

slide30

We can blame people for where you end up

We can blame others for what you have to do

Or we can accept responsibility

Own them and learn from our mistakes

Grow from them and through them

slide31

We are the Federated Church.

Our Mission is to…

Seek Christ, Serve Christ andShare Christ.