Sermon outline: This is an abbreviated outline with the complete sermon downloadable at the bottom of the post.
Text: Ezra 3:10–13
Title: Your Past
Introduction: The year was 535 B.C. It had been 70 long years. The people of Israel were a conquered people. Babylon had defeated them, Persia is now the world power, and the Jews, many of which are now quite prosperous in the land of their captivity, are living far from a home they once knew, which is now a land that many of them never knew. At this time in Ezra chapter 3, there were some 2-3 million Jews living in captivity. Less than 50,000 returned to the land of Israel. Some were young and others were old. Only the most committed left the comforts of Babylon to do what was necessary to re-build. They would return to a city surrounded by enemies, whose defenses were gone, which lay in ruins, and whose temple had been destroyed. Before they could face a bright new future, they would have to face the giant of their sinful past.
I. The Past—Face it Honestly
A. A Glorious Past
B. A Notorious Past
1. Ahab’s wicked past
2. Manasseh’s wicked past
3. Zedekiah’s wickedness and Jerusalem’s destruction
II. The Present—Face it Obediently
A. What is worship?
1. It begins with humility.
2. Humility is an old English word that comes from worth-ship.
B. Obediently face your present
III. The Future—Accept it gratefully
Conclusion: Are you dealing with a giant from the past? Whether your past is tattered and stained, or is brilliant and commendable, yesterday is forever closed to your influence. It cannot be changed. God is at work today, and your submission to his immediate plans will influence your tomorrow.
Things are not like they used to be, but they don’t have to be. Did you fail in the past? Then worship Him today. Did you succeed in the past? Then live for Him today. Let’s worship Him today, and destroy the giant of the past.