We, SonRise Community Church are in the midst of transition and change. I mentioned last week that it would be a good and God-honoring exercise to look at a Biblical example of people in transition, moving out of one season into another. It would serve us well to receive guidance these days and who better to receive it from than God Himself? Today we are going to do just that. We’re going to walk through a passage of Scripture where the people of Israel were in such a spot. When they went looking for direction and weren’t quite sure of what to do in this new season they found themselves in, they asked for something in particular and when they got it, everything changed for them. Who did they ask and what did they ask for? They asked the prophet Ezra for one thing……the book! They asked for preaching!
Most of time, in the Churches all over the world, things just happen. People go through the motions while no one explains anything regarding why we do what we do here on Sunday mornings. We leaders too often assume everyone knows what’s going on. It is my desire and prayer that today you’d see from the text what preaching is, how it’s to be done, and what happens in the soul when it’s done the way God intends it to be done. I want you to see preaching as what it is – CENTRAL to this gathering…CENTRAL to what we’re about here. I want you to see that it is no small thing that God has decided to preserve His Church throughout the ages of history with a book. Because He’s done this, we ought to make every effort we can muster to know this book, love this book, and treasure this book immensely, because it’s no ordinary book – we don’t interact with a fictional author in this book, we meet God Himself in this book! God chases us down through this book! And God gives us Himself in all His glorious, majestic, joyful, overflowing fullness through this book! BUT, I don’t just want you to take my word for it on this one – I want to show you, from the Bible, preaching in action. I want you to understand what pastors are to give themselves to, and what you, as the congregation, ought to demand from your pastors. So, let’s get to the text. It’s Nehemiah 8:1-12.