Below you’ll find a series introduction as well as a week by week review of our Preparing to Build sermon series. Please use this resource to reflect on the good work that the Lord has already done in and through this series and also to continue to build upon that good work moving forward. 

 

To begin, here are a couple of overarching questions to consider as you review and continue to reflect upon this sermon series:

 

  • How have you been challenged through this series?
  • How have you been encouraged through this series?
  • What has God put on your heart or called you to through this series?
  • What next steps might God have for you following this series?

 

Here is a brief summary of the pages that follow:

  1. The Series Introduction 
  2. The Sermon Series Review by Date, Text & Sermon Theme

*Note that audio recordings of each sermon can be accessed by clicking on the blue sermon title

 

Series Introduction: 

Preparing to Build:  A Look at Ezra Nehemiah 

 

Unusual Times:  God’s people had been away from their routine and away from their place of worship for a long time–70 years!  We can honestly imagine how they may have felt, because our routines have been different and we have been away from worshipping together in our sanctuary since March and it feels like such a long time.  We are grateful that our worship isn’t limited to a place, but we all long to regather.   We have questions about how things will go and what we might expect in the coming months. We believe God is inviting us to learn from the stories recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah to prepare us as a church for the days ahead.

 

God’s Ways:   We have to admit, it seemed a bit odd to us to begin to preach a series about building and growing the church in this season of shelter in place.  However, the more we have studied and prayed, the more excited we are to engage this study as a church family.  There are lessons about returning to an area, about the importance of God’s presence and worship, about God and His faithfulness, about cooperating and working together toward common goals, and about how to resist opposition and press on despite difficulties.  There are lessons about our need for godly leaders, for discipleship and pursuing holiness.  And we will be reminded of the gift of salvation, how to pray when we meet opposition, and the great joy of significant mission accomplishment that results when everyone does their part and God brings the victory!  

 

Careful Attention:  We preached from Haggai earlier this year, a prophet who shows up in Ezra.  Haggai repeatedly urged God’s people to give careful consideration to their ways as they heeded God’s call to get busy and work!  We are excited to dig into the books of Ezra and Nehemiah with you this summer.  We believe God is calling us at Gold Avenue Church to give careful consideration to how we build so that as we move forward in unity, the gospel of Jesus Christ will transform our hearts, our neighborhood and the world. 

 

Preparing for Revival:  Yes, with the covid virus, it seems daunting to think about trying to advance God’s kingdom.  Yet, the exiles must have felt similarly as they considered going back to rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem.  We believe God will again revive his people and add to our number as He has done in the past.  

 

Will you commit to listen faithfully to and apply prayerfully these summer messages as Gold Avenue Church finds herself Preparing to Build?  

 

Series Review:  

Ezra-Nehemiah & Psalms Sermon Series 

A series of 16 prophetic messages that God has and continues to use to build upon the foundation of Christ and a group of leaders who embody the kingdom of God.  As we seek to grow as those who embody the kingdom of God and grow up into Christ, the themes of this sermon series are helpful.  This series focused on Part 1-Restoring the Temple, Part 2-Restoring the Wall, and throughout, the Restoration of God’s People.

 

*Click on the sermon title to access audio recording of each sermon

 

 PART ONE Restoring the Temple

Main Idea: God saves his people and has kingdom purpose and provision for the work we are called to.  

Guiding Question:  Is God moving on your heart to help build His Kingdom?

 

Main idea:  God records in his book those who He saves, and they celebrate God’s love and presence by worshipping unashamedly before the world. 

Guiding Question:  Are we overflowing with praise and thanksgiving?

 

Main Idea: The kingdom of God often faces prolonged and intimidating 

opposition, but God continues to encourage and assure of His presence.

Guiding Question:  Do we expect God to watch over us as we attempt to build?

 

Main Idea: God’s people call out to him in trouble and he strengthens them for perseverance. 

Guiding Question:  Do we expect God to deliver us?

 

Main Idea: When God initiates a work, He will see it to completion.  When building is challenging-watch and see the deliverance of the Lord!  

Guiding Question:  Do we believe that our opponents could become our supporters?

 

Main Idea: God raises up leaders who know and love his Word, to disciple others. 

Guiding Question:  Do we devote ourselves to God’s Word and teach others His ways?

 

Main Idea: Revival starts with Repentance and Returning to God’s Ways. A leader who embodies repentance provides a model for others to follow.

Guiding Question: Does awareness of my own or others unfaithfulness to God lead me/us to deep repentance?

 

PART TWO Restoring the Wall
  1. Restoring the Wall- A Look at God’s Chosen Leader  (Nehemiah 1-2:10) Pastor Dave

Main Idea: God calls and engages the hearts of leaders toward his kingdom purposes on earth, leading them step by step (giving his heart, humility, favor, and courage). 

Guiding Question:  Does the state of the church in the world currently break our hearts as it did Nehemiah?  Will we fervently engage the Lord in prayer on behalf of His people?

 

Main Idea: God works through the courageous vision of a leader to ignite fresh hope and vision within the hearts of the people, and they all begin to build!

Guiding Question:  If the walls represent salvation, where in our community are the broken walls and places ripe for the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

 

Main Idea: God will help His people resist the enemy and complete the work, as they pray and trust God to fight the battles!  

Guiding Question:  Are we working together on the walls with all of our heart?

 

Main Idea: As conflict occurs within the people of God, God gifts leaders with wisdom, courage, and generosity to model and call for obedience to the ways of God. 

Guiding Question:  Are there ways that I am sinning and contributing to conflict by relying on worldly ways and wanting personal power and gain, or am I kingdom minded?

 

Main Idea: God helps his people to discern the enemies’ attacks, to resist them firmly, and to carry on boldly, and with integrity, in the work he’s called them to.

Guiding Question:  Are we seeking God for strength and carefully applying discernment principles?

 

Main Idea: God’s people cry out to him in trouble and he vindicates     them.

Guiding Question: Are we praying together for God’s deliverance?

 

Main Idea: Clear teaching of God’s Word brings repentance, rededication, and renewed joy.

Guiding Question: Are we committed to not neglect the House of our God and the work of advancing God’s Kingdom here on earth?

 

Main Idea: Completing a work of God in the way God prescribes–restoring his shalom/kingdom order–brings great joy!

Guiding Question:  Are we anticipating Christ’s joy at His return?

 

Main Idea: Prone to wander, we need to be continually called to faithfulness. 

Guiding Question: Are there any parts of our lives where there has been compromise and defilement?  How is God calling us to purify His house and get our lives in order?

 

Main Idea: God’s plans are good and he is our refuge and strength even when the world is shaking and we are eagerly awaiting the return of Christ.

Guiding Question:  Are we taking refuge in the Lord in this season?

 


Extra Resource: Check out the intro video to the series and the reading plans that went along with it here: Sermon Resources

We are entering into a new sermon series. It is truly exciting what the Lord has for us as we seek Him in “Preparing to Build” as we study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as a congregation!

 

Introduction Video to the Ezra Nehemiah Series

Please watch this introduction video to the summer sermon series as we prepare to enter into this season together.

 

Reading Plan Calendars

There are calendars with a reading plan that will accompany this series. Below are the first 2 calendars in this reading plan. You can save them to your desktop, camera roll, or print them out. This reading plan has a manageable weekly reading that prepares us for Sunday’s sermon. We are recommending you read the passages 1- 2 times throughout the week ahead of Sunday’s sermon. These readings will be part of the sermons so we hope you’ll be able to join us as we read through the books of Ezra and Nehemiah together!

Note: if you’d like to print the plan, click on the image, right click and save to your downloads, then open the file from there to print.

 

Introduction Framework to the Series

Below is a one-page introduction to the Ezra Nehemiah series. This is on the reading plan for the first week. It’ll help us all to begin with some framework as we begin this new sermon series!

 

Summer Preaching Series- 1 page Introduction

Easter 2020 is not looking like it usually does within the local church.  Even though this year looks different for all of us, as believers, we have reason to celebrate! We have resurrection hope that no outside circumstances can take away. There are many people in our communities and around the world who don’t have the luxury of “extra time” to celebrate, but there are some also who do.

 

Heather Sterenberg prepared this downloadable guide which gives daily readings and activities for you to participate in and lead your families through Holy Week well. She’s included all the sources in a page at the end of the plan. Holy Week 2020 begins with Palm Sunday, April 5 and concludes on April 12, Easter Sunday. 

 

We pray you’ll be blessed to participate in celebrating and remembering our Lord Jesus Christ and His great sacrifice and love for each of you.

Holy Week Family Guide

The Discipleship Team invites you to connect with others as you continue in the Lent Readings that were provided at the beginning of Lent. Here is the GAC Lenten Calendar 2020 and Lenten Invitation (ways to engage with the readings). There will be a Zoom meeting on Saturday morning to connect and discuss, more info on that below!

For a little less than an hour on Saturday morning, join with others in our faith community and look at the remainder of the book of Matthew.  The Bible Project is an online resource that is a helpful tool when used alongside Scripture readings. Please watch the following video on Matthew Chapters 14- 28. 

Please plan to watch the video ahead of our meeting time and think through the following questions. A good discipline to engage in is journaling. Try journaling your answers as you read and watch the video. We hope to see you Saturday morning!

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about 2 or 3 things that stuck out to you in the video. 
  2. What do you notice about humanity and God’s Kingdom?

 

Additional Questions to Ponder and Apply (Not required for discussion):

  1. What are some practical ways to apply the Word of God to your life?
  2. How did the Lent readings of these same chapters help you grow in your relationship with God?

 

Zoom Call information for Saturday, April 4 at 10am:

Join Zoom Meeting (click this link and follow prompts)
https://zoom.us/j/180715024

Meeting ID: 180 715 024

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,180715024# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,180715024# US (New York)

Have you found yourself wondering what God might be up to in this unique season? Check out these thoughts from Pastor Dave, who is safely home from his trip to Israel!  Thanks be to God! 

 

Reflection Questions:

Take some time to press in to invitation you’ve just received. Spend some time praying, waiting on the Lord, and even journaling through these questions:

Lord, what are you doing in this season?

Lord, what do you have for me in this season?

Lord, how do you want to redeem this time?

Lord, how would you have me cooperate with you?

 

The Discipleship Team would like to invite you to connect with us as you continue in the Lent Readings that were provided at the beginning of Lent. Here is the GAC Lenten Calendar 2020 and Lenten Invitation (ways to engage with the readings). We will be hosting a Zoom meeting on Saturday morning to connect and discuss, more info on that below!

At this time in our reading through Matthew we are over halfway through our reading of Matthew.  The Bible Project is an online resource that is a helpful tool when used alongside Scripture readings. Please watch the following video on Matthew Chapters 1-13. 

 

 

We would like to host some face to face time with anyone who can join us! We will meet to discuss the video and the readings that correlate on Saturday, March 28, from 10-10:45 am on a Zoom call.

Please plan to watch the video ahead of our meeting time and think through the following questions. A good discipline to engage in is journaling. Try journaling your answers as you read and watch the video. We hope to see you Saturday morning!

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about 2 or 3 things that stuck out to you in the video. 
  2. What do you notice about humanity and God’s Kingdom?

Additional Questions to Ponder and Apply (Not required for discussion):

  1. What are some practical ways to apply the Word of God to your life?
  2. How did the Lent readings of these same chapters help you grow in your relationship with God?

Zoom Call information for Saturday, March 28 at 10am:

Topic: Disicpleship Connection & Discussion
Time: Mar 28, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting (click this link and follow prompts)
https://zoom.us/j/180715024

Meeting ID: 180 715 024

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,180715024# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,180715024# US (New York)

    1.  

On March 13, 2020 President Donald Trump called for a National Day of Prayer. “It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer,” the President tweeted. “We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these…No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith.”

We’ve produced a resource to guide your prayers, and it is useful for ongoing prayer and reflection, so please use it even after this day of prayer is over. Every day is a day of prayer and we, our nation, and our world needs prayer more than ever!

National Day of Prayer Resource