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Synopsis of Smorgasbord Sunday
Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. As for today’s slice let me say first that today is Smorgasbord Sunday. Oh, don’t look for it on your calendars it is only the title of today’s message.
In other words the slice of Bread of Life will be served as a smorgasbord today. We’ll begin with: Ezra 1:1 which is sub-titled ~The Proclamation of Cyrus
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem 4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
Realize that the book of Ezra is one of the Old Testament books that deals with the Israelites return to the land of promise after their exile to Babylon. It focuses on rebuilding Jerusalem. Which brings me to tell about The Cyrus Cylinder. You see, in 1879, archaeologist discovered a remarkable little item in the area now know as Iraq, which is biblical Babylon. Just 9 inches long the Cyrus Cylinder records something that King Cyrus of Persia did 2500 years ago, it says that Cyrus allowed a group of people to return to their homeland and rebuild their :holy city.”
Together, the Cyrus Cylinder and God’s Word, the Bible, combine to show us that the king’s heart was changed and he allowed the exiled Hebrews to go home and worship.
This has great implications for us today. In a world that seems out of control, we can rest assured that God can move the hearts of leaders. We read in Proverbs 21:1 that “the king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord.” And in Romans 13:1 it says that, “there is no authority except from God.”
So….. if the Lord who is able to change our own hearts as well as our leaders; then let’s ask Him to work for us. Let us pray…. Father, the world seems out of control. We know You are sovereign over everything. We pray that Your will be done in the hearts of our leaders.
Well, now for the next serving of the Bread of Life: Have a slice of…. Judges 6:11 You may read the whole passage, but look at: vs.4 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
You see Gideon was an ordinary person. He was a former, and a timid one at that. When God called him to deliver Israel from the Midianites, his initial reponse was, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, ad I am the least in my fathers house.
My friends, today, God is still calling ordinary people to do His work and He is assuring us that He will be with us as we do. Because we are ordinary people being used by God, it is obvious that the power comes from God and not from us.
So, what is our prayer: Lord, I am just an ordinary person, but You are an all-powerful God. I want to serve You. Please show me how and give me the strength.
The next serving comes to us in three scoops: Ephesian 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and a repeat from: Ephesians 1:7, “…by grace you have been saved. and also from: Ephesians 2:10, While we are not saved by our good works, we are saved so that we can do good works.
Now, lets cover those three scoops with a little sauce from: Colosians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace.
Grace in our hearts will pour out in our words and our actions. Learning to extend the grace in our hearts toward others is a by-product of the life of a Spirit-filled follower of Christ Jesus, the greatest of grace-givers.
So lets pray for more grace: Father, help us today to season our words with grace. May all that we say and do be gracious to others and pleasing to You.
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