This is Part 2 of a quiet time series on the book of Ezra. Check out Part 1 if you missed it!
Ezra is an amazing book to read and study. It’s incredible to see God lead the Israelites to build an inspiring team, work together, and change their entire community. God is the driver. Team is the vehicle. This 2-Part quiet time series is broken down into the first and last 5 chapters of Ezra.
This may be different than the typical bible study or article, because you actually need to open your Bible and take notes for yourself as you go through it! This quiet time will help you change your view of God, relationships, and team while teaching you how to interact with God differently when you read the Bible on your own.
- Open your Bible to Ezra or click it open here
- Get out a notebook and pen
- Read each chapter on your own. Feel free to underline or take your own notes.
- Then read the questions and points below, after each chapter. Reread each of the selected verses and answer the questions for yourself in your notebook.
Read Ezra 6
v.3-11 God completely moved King Darius’ heart and changed everything! What do you learn about the greatness of God? What great ways are you praying for God to move in your life?
v.8 Even though God moved King Darius’ heart, he still said that the people’s “work will not stop.” Greatness is a combination of God creating opportunities for us, and us working hard for God to move! What area is God calling you to work harder at? Who’s life will end up changing if you do?
v.11-12 If God is working with you, then who can stop you?
v.19-22 Seeking God means purifying our hearts. What kinds of impure sins or impure motives do you need to be open about and change? Verse 22 shows that joy is on the other side!
Read Ezra 7
v.6-10 What strengths did Ezra bring to the team? What spiritual strengths does God want you to use?
v.15-20 God is the game-changer. Before, the kingdom was stopping them from building the temple. Now, the king wanted to fund them from his own royal treasury!
v.25 Ezra and the other believers lived such inspiring lives that the king noticed. He asked for their help choosing leaders in the government and the community. And he even wanted them to teach the rest of the people about their God! Is your “team” having great impact on the community around you? Why or why not? People take notice when our lives are inspiring, and our lives are inspiring when God is with us.
v.28 What do you think it meant for Ezra to have “the hand of the Lord” on him? Is there anything that is keeping you from having a right relationship with God?
Read Ezra 8
v.21-23 How much do you rely on God’s help? Think about the last week – what have you done that shows it?
v.31 God answered their prayers and kept them safe. What prayers has God answered recently? Are you even praying specifically enough to know if God has answered the prayer? We become proud and unbelieving when we aren’t praying, waiting for God to answer, and thanking him when he does.
Read Ezra 9
v.1-2 Sin has the power to destroy any team, undermine your purpose, and unravel your relationship with God. What sins do you need to face? What relationships has that sin damaged?
v.3-4 It just takes one person with conviction to take a stand and face sin. Others will follow. What stand against sin do you need to take?
v.6-15 One prayer can change everything… Pray like Ezra today. Find a quiet place where you can pray with no distractions. Set aside some time so you aren’t rushed. Bring your Bible and spend a few minutes reading each verse and praying about how it relates to your life.
- v.6 Confess your sin (take responsibility)
- v.7 Connect sin to relationships (humility)
- v.8 Appreciate God (grace)
- v.9 Find a purpose (God’s vision)
- v.10 Turn back to the Bible (repentance)
- v.11 Be specifically open about your sins (nothing to hide)
- v.13 Face your sin and appreciate grace (gratitude)
- v.14 Change and be different (repentance)
- v.15 Give God praise (joy)
Read Ezra 10
v.1-2 Ezra and the crowd of people were cut to the heart about how their sin affected God. They wanted to change. Are you cut to the heart about your sins? Are you humbled by the kind of person you are without God? When we are humble and aware of our sin, that’s when we see our need for God most and really change.
v.3 The Israelites had to make hard decisions. What hard decisions do you need to make? This is what repentance is all about.
v.13-14 The Israelites were a team. They were determined to make sure every one of them was dealing with their sin and turning back to God. Are you committed to making your team great? Make sure that you everyone on your team is repenting together and has a unified standard. We rise together and we fall together as one team.