Sermon Notes: “The Gracious Hand” by Pastor Danny Leavitt

Thanksgiving 2016

The First Thanksgiving

1 Chronicles 16:7 (HCSB)

On that day David decreed for the first time that thanks be given to the Lord by Asaph and his relatives:

1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:43 NIV

Then all the people left, each for their own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

 

A prophecy

Isaiah 45:1  (NLT)

This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower.

Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.

Their fortress gates will be opened never to shut again.

 

TALIM Ministries

 

Ezra 1  (NLT)

1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:

2 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:

“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you! 4 Wherever this Jewish remnant is found, let their neighbors contribute toward their expenses by giving them silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”

5 Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. 6 And all their neighbors assisted by giving them articles of silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock. They gave them many valuable gifts in addition to all the voluntary offerings.

7 King Cyrus himself brought out the articles that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his own gods. 8 Cyrus directed Mithredath, the treasurer of Persia, to count these items and present them to Sheshbazzar, the leader of the exiles returning to Judah.

 

The Returned

Ez 2:61 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.) 62 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests. 63 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.

So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah, 65 in addition to 7,337 servants and 200 singers, both men and women. 66 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules, 67 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

68 When they arrived at the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders made voluntary offerings toward the rebuilding of God’s Temple on its original site, 69 and each leader gave as much as he could. The total of their gifts came to 61,000 gold coins,6,250 pounds of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.

70 So the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled in villages near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.

 

Overwhelming Gratitude

Ezra 3:10 When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed. 11 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:

“He is so good!

His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.

12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. 13 The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.

 

Ezra 7 (NLT)

Ezra Arrives in Jerusalem

7 Many years later, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, there was a man named Ezra.

6 This Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.

 

A Letter from the King

21 “I, Artaxerxes the king, hereby send this decree to all the treasurers in the province west of the Euphrates River: ‘You are to give Ezra, the priest and teacher of the law of the God of heaven, whatever he requests of you.

 

The Gracious Hand of God

Ezra 8:18 Since the gracious hand of our God was on us, they sent us a man named Sherebiah. He was a very astute man and a descendant of Mahli, who was a descendant of Levi son of Israel.

 

Demonstrate a compelling passion for God

Ezra 8: 22  I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and cavalry to protect us against the enemy on our way; since we had told the king that the hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”

 

“We fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.” Ezra 8:23 (NLT)

 

 

  1. Be resolute in living God’s word
  2. Demonstrate a Compelling Passion for God
  3. Rest in God’s Gracious Hand

 

2 Corinthians 13:14

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 136The Voice (VOICE)

 

Psalm 136

This hymn of praise recounts God’s actions in the past: creation, exodus, and the giving of the land to Israel. A repeated refrain indicates this psalm was chanted responsively.

 

1 Let your heart overflow with praise to the Eternal, for He is good,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

2 Praise the True God who reigns over all other gods,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

3 Praise the Lord who reigns over all other lords,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

4 To Him who alone does marvelous wonders,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

5 Who created the heavens with skill and artistry,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

6 Who laid out dry land over the waters,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

7 Who made the great heavenly lights,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

8 The sun to reign by day,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

9 The moon and stars to reign by night,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

10 To Him who struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

11 Who set Israel free from Egyptian masters,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

12 With fierce strength, a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

13 To Him who split the Red Sea[a] in two and made a path between the divided waters,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

14 Then allowed Israel to pass safely through on dry ground,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

15 To Him who crushed Pharaoh and his army in the waters of the Red Sea,[b]

for His faithful love lasts forever.

16 Who guided His people through the desert,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

17 Who struck down mighty kings,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

18 Who slaughtered famous kings,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

19 Sihon, the king of the Amorites,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

20 And Og, the king of Bashan,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

21 To Him who gave the conquered land as an inheritance,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

22 Who made the land a heritage to Israel, His servant,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

23 To Him who remembered us when we were nearly defeated,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

24 Who rescued us from our enemies,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

25 Who provides food for every living thing,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

26 Let your heart overflow with praise to the True God of heaven,

for His faithful love lasts forever.

 

 

 

 

 

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