Thursday, September 24, 2015: Ezra 2-3; Luke 8
Now these were the people of the province who came from those captive exiles whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia; they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, all to their own towns. 2 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
Why do you think Ezra takes such pains to enumerate the people who returned to Jerusalem from their exile? Why is this important? I believe it is this – GOD rejoices when His people return. What is that passage in Luke…’There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents than ninety-nine who do not need to repent’? God is continually working to restore us to relationship – and if that is the work of God, no wonder it is a joyful day; no wonder Ezra wants to bask in the moment by listing the people who have the joy of returning.
Do you need to return? Do you know someone that needs to return? Perhaps the greatest thing we can do is cooperate in the work of God by making it a point to invite someone to return, or come for the very first time – to this extraordinary relationship with God.
Who is God putting in your life that might be ready to accept an invitation?