Sep 14-20-08 Forever With The Lord

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Our little Church is using a Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by Skip Andrews. It can be found here: http://www.churchofchristduluthga.org
Each Sunday a lesson is given from some of that week's reading. This lesson covers Sept 14-20

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Sep 14-20-08 Forever With The Lord

  1. 1. This Week’s Reading <ul><li>This week’s reading included the last few chapters of Ezekiel. Today’s lesson is taken from several articles found in the </li></ul><ul><li>“ Word In Life TM </li></ul><ul><li>Study Bible .” </li></ul>
  2. 2. This Week’s Lesson <ul><li>Today we’ll talk about God’s </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation to Ezekiel pertaining to leaders, the promise of God’s Spirit , the plans for a new Temple should cause self-examination. The New Jerusalem should increase the hope of being with God Forever . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>Ezekiel 34:1 NET The word of the LORD came to me: 2 &quot;Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them — to the shepherds: </li></ul>
  4. 4. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>'This is what the sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the flock? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>Much has been written in recent years about effective managers focusing on customers, markets, trends, quality, succession, marketing, teamwork, and commitment. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>These and other factors are important, sometimes vitally so. But Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the leaders of Israel points out one more critical factor: </li></ul>
  7. 7. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>If the people being led are neglected or suffering, The qualifications to lead are in question. The &quot;shepherds&quot; of Israel received a &quot;performance review&quot; from God, and it was not good. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>The leaders were spending most of their energies feeding themselves instead of the flock, and they were giving them nothing but leftovers. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>Not only were they neglecting the least powerful and most vulnerable among the people-the weak, the sick, the broken, and the refugees—but they were actually taking advantage of them. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>There was only one remedy for this situation—to remove the leaders from leadership. God Himself would heal the hurting, restore the scattered, and feed His flock. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>Centuries later, Jesus prescribed &quot;shepherd leadership&quot; for Peter. ( John 21:15-19 ) As the Good Shepherd, Jesus had modeled this approach by laying down His life for His sheep. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>Security, safety, sufficient supply of necessities, and shared outcomes—these are some of the essentials that good leaders provide for their followers. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Leaders Should Care <ul><li>If we are in a position of leadership in our work, home, church, or community, how well are we providing these essentials for the people following us. In what ways could they be better served by us as leaders? </li></ul>
  14. 14. A New Spirit <ul><li>Now we transition to something unknown in Old Testament times. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s gift of His Spirit . </li></ul>
  15. 15. A New Spirit <ul><li>Ezekiel 36:26 NET I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. </li></ul>
  16. 16. A New Spirit <ul><li>27 I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my regulations. </li></ul>
  17. 17. A New Spirit <ul><li>The prospect of God placing His own Spirit within His people to help them walk in His ways was an exciting new development. </li></ul>
  18. 18. A New Spirit <ul><li>The Holy Spirit inspired Old Testament believers to pursue holiness, and from time to time He came upon certain leaders in a way that gave them extraordinary power. </li></ul>
  19. 19. A New Spirit <ul><li>But He was not a permanent resident in God's people as He is today so Ezekiel's vision of an indwelling Spirit must have filled his listeners with anticipation. </li></ul>
  20. 20. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>Next God gives Ezekiel the plans for a rebuilding the Temple. This is intended to cause people to </li></ul><ul><li>To Take Stock </li></ul><ul><li>of their lives. </li></ul>
  21. 21. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>Ezekiel 43:10 NET &quot;As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, so that they will be ashamed of their sins and measure the pattern. </li></ul>
  22. 22. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>11 When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its pattern, its exits and entrances, and its whole design </li></ul>
  23. 23. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>all its statutes, its entire design, and all its laws; write it all down in their sight, so that they may observe its entire design and all its statutes and do them. </li></ul>
  24. 24. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>Times of great loss or suffering can provide a valuable opportunity for reflection and self-examination. </li></ul>
  25. 25. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>For example, the loss of a loved one often brings back vivid memories that give insight into the meaning of the person's life. </li></ul>
  26. 26. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>In a similar way, Ezekiel's vision of the new temple appears to have been intended as a reminder of Solomon's temple, which had been the center of Judah's spiritual life and cultural identity. </li></ul>
  27. 27. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>For centuries, that temple had stood as a powerful symbol of God's abiding presence. Now it was gone. </li></ul>
  28. 28. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>Yet God did not leave His people without hope. Through Ezekiel, He told them that He had plans for an entirely new temple. </li></ul>
  29. 29. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>He described these plans in the most exacting detail. What was the point of this elaborate description? </li></ul>
  30. 30. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>It seems to have been meant to help the people rehearse their failure as the people of God and to recognize how much they needed His help. </li></ul>
  31. 31. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>In effect, they were to measure themselves with the same level of precision with which God was designing the new temple. </li></ul>
  32. 32. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>The same principle applies to believers today. In our darkest moments, in times of great loss or fear, God would have us pursue insight and self-examination. </li></ul>
  33. 33. A Time To Take Stock <ul><li>We can harness our thoughts and feelings as the exiles of Judah were challenged to through Ezekiel's description of the temple. </li></ul>
  34. 34. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>As the revelation to Ezekiel closes we find the plans for a New Jerusalem. It is in these plans all humans can base their hope. We Will Be With </li></ul><ul><li>HIM FOREVER ! </li></ul>
  35. 35. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>Ezekiel 48:30 NET &quot;These are the exits of the city: On the north side, one and one-half miles by measure, 31 the gates of the city will be named for the tribes of Israel; </li></ul>
  36. 36. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>there will be three gates to the north: one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, and one gate for Levi. 32 On the east side, one and one-half miles in length, </li></ul>
  37. 37. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>there will be three gates: one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, and one gate for Dan. 33 On the south side, one and one-half miles by measure, </li></ul>
  38. 38. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>there will be three gates: one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, and one gate for Zebulun. 34 On the west side, one and one-half miles in length, </li></ul>
  39. 39. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>there will be three gates: one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, and one gate for Naphtali. 35 The circumference of the city will be six miles. The name of the city from that day forward will be: 'The LORD Is There.' &quot; </li></ul>
  40. 40. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>Scripture gives us only the barest glimpses of what heaven will be like. But one feature that we know for sure is that God will be there, and we will never be separated from Him again. </li></ul>
  41. 41. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>With this bright vision of eternity, Ezekiel's book of prophecy draws to a close. </li></ul><ul><li>Just as the apostle John saw the New Jerusalem descending from heaven. </li></ul>
  42. 42. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>so Ezekiel envisioned the day when the city of God would finally be made perfect and complete in every way. Both prophets saw twelve gates facing the four corners of the earth, </li></ul>
  43. 43. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>an indication of accessibility for everyone. Inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, the gates suggest inclusion, restoration, and fulfillment of all that God has promised His covenant people. </li></ul>
  44. 44. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>In John's vision, this image is strengthened by the fact that these gates never shut. </li></ul>
  45. 45. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>The name of this ideal city is &quot;THE LORD IS THERE.&quot; This is a fitting climax, not only to the Book of Ezekiel, but to John's Revelation and to the Bible itself. </li></ul>
  46. 46. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>It shows that a reversal has occurred during the course of history. Whereas Ezekiel had seen the Lord withdrawing from His temple because of the people's wickedness, now He has returned to a new temple to live among His people forever. </li></ul>
  47. 47. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>Likewise, whereas fellowship with God was cut off through the sin in Eden, ( Gen. 3:22-24 ) it is made permanent in the New Jerusalem. ( Rev. 21:3 ) </li></ul>
  48. 48. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>This is a strong hope we can look forward to with great anticipation. Right now, we may sometimes feel distant from God, perhaps alone and confused and wondering whether He even knows who we are. </li></ul>
  49. 49. The Lord Is There - FOREVER! <ul><li>The assurance of Scripture is that someday we will no longer wonder where God is; </li></ul><ul><li>We Will Be With </li></ul><ul><li>HIM FOREVER ! </li></ul>
  50. 50. In Closing… <ul><li>As we close this lesson let us review. How are doing in leading others? Have we joined Jesus in death through baptism for the remission of our sins and the gift of </li></ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit ? </li></ul>
  51. 51. In Closing… <ul><li>Are we taking stock of our thoughts and actions, especially when we come around the Lord’s Table? </li></ul>
  52. 52. In Closing… <ul><li>Are we longing for when we’ll be in the </li></ul><ul><li>City Of God </li></ul><ul><li>with </li></ul><ul><li>Him Forever ? </li></ul>

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