Heartview Day 4: Emotions Reveal Foundations (Ezra 3)
Directions: The group leader will read the lesson aloud. The words in italics are directions for the leader, not to be read aloud. It's recommended that you click on the words in blue to make sure that the links open before the session starts.
Say a brief opening prayer for God to show you what he's thinking about.
Read Intro: In this passage, God is telling us that our emotions reveal our foundations. Turn to Ezra 3.
Do Highlights: Highlight verse 2 as a main event and verse 12 as a key verse. Highlight the names Zerubbabel and Jeshua in verse 8 as main characters.
Play Audio Bible: (Children) Use two hands to make the letter “S" when you hear the word, “son.” (Teens & Adults) Which two musical instruments are mentioned? (Play audio. Answer: The trumpet and cymbals, v10.)
Read Observations: Did you notice how the ancient fathers felt when they saw the foundations of the temple rebuilt? They remembered what life was like when the whole nation was worshipping God. This made them deeply sad that their foundation of worship had been lost for so long. At the same time, it revived great hope in them that their culture of worship and love could be rebuilt. Their tears of grief and shouts of joy were like rain and sunshine at the same time.
Application: You will be sketching your heart's garden. (If you're not comfortable drawing, just make a line for the ground and little lines on it for grass. Make a circle for the sun or dots for rain. Draw a line with a circle for a tree and mini ones for flowers.) To choose the weather in your sketch, consider this question: how do you feel about your most important relationships? If you have God’s heartview toward your family and friends, your prayer garden will have the rain of tears or the sunshine of joy. Fruit and flowers will grow in their proper seasons. Even in the wintertime of pain, there will be bare fruit trees waiting for buds of life. However, if your heart is dead in bitterness and hopelessness, the seeds of God’s love will not sprout in your relationships. The garden will show only bare dirt and weeds.
Prayersketching Activity: Everyone take a photo of this assignment, beginning with the paragraph above. Children may need adult assistance. Go into a private place with a pencil and blank piece of paper from your binder for sketching your secret garden. (1) Draw the weather in your garden based on how you feel about toward the people closest to you as described above. (2) Write words on your drawing to tell why you feel this way. Finally, (3) Like Zerubbabel did, sacrifice the dead parts of your heart in exchange for God's Biblical promises of new life. Write one phrase from the Bible that God speaks to your heart on your paper. When you are done, you may shred the paper if it is private. Or, you can pray about it with someone you trust, or just keep it in the "Prayersketches" section of your binder. (Make sure everyone knows the three steps and finds a private place to draw and pray. Offer to pray privately afterward with anyone who would like prayer.)
Teens & Adults (If time allows): Read aloud only the text between the second italicized verse (Eph 5) and the discussion questions, starting with “Discovering how important…” Then, take turns answering question 2.