Pastor Mike’s Garage July 22, 2021

*Pastor Mike’s Garage, July 22/21*

I want to start this PG by thanking Rachel Kardash for introducing the
song “You Are The Lord” this last Sunday. I’ve been humming and singing it
all this week. It reminds me of the many times the people in the Old
Testament made covenants promising to follow God’s leading. Unfortunately,
as many times as they promised to follow, they invariably turned away to
follow their own way.

As I mentioned in my sermon on Sunday, I’ve been reading through the
historical books lately. This week I read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
They both give account of when a remnant of the people of God returned from
captivity to rebuild the city walls and tabernacle in Jerusalem. Because of
their continued disobedience God allowed them to be conquered and led away
to slavery, and the city of Jerusalem, where the temple of the Lord that
Solomon built, was totally destroyed. Many years later in the time of Ezra
and Nehemiah some were allowed to return to rebuild the city and resume the
worship of the Lord. Prior to their destruction they were a world power.
Well over a million strong, with an army that, seemingly under God’s
leadership, no-one could defeat. The temple was lavish, most everything was
gold! It was said that world leaders came from far and wide to look upon
the beauty of Jerusalem. Yet just a few decades later only 42 thousand were
allowed to return to rebuild the city out of whatever they could scrape
together. Upon the completion of the temple and city walls they had a great
celebration and Ezra stood before them all and read the law once again. It
says they had a massive time of confession, and then once again committed
to following the leadership of their God. It was during this account that a
part of a verse stuck out to me. It’s found in Nehemiah 9:29 “They did not
follow your regulations, by which people will find life if they only obey.”
Wow, this is just as true today as it was the many centuries ago it was

Unfortunately, I can relate to these people all too well! I’ve had my
mountain top experiences, times of refreshing, and seasons of walking
faithfully. I’ve also had my valleys, times of despair, and I can stray and
walk in disobedience as quickly and as much as anybody! That aforementioned
passage ends with these words, “What a gracious and merciful God you are!”
I will close by quoting a verse from one of my favourite hymns. “Oh to
grace, how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be; Let thy goodness
like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I
feel it, prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, Lord, take and
seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”

Pastor Mike