1. SUCCESSFUL RESTORATION MUST BEGIN WITH CONCERN FOR THE SCRIPTURES.
Ezra 3:2,4 - "Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God...They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day."
The desire to obey that which is written in God's word, as opposed to following human traditions and opinions, is noble and required for a restoration effort to be successful. A genuine concern for following the Scriptures is what spurred the restoration plea of the 1800s. Furthermore, successful individual restoration with God is impossible without a sincere concern for the teaching and authority of the Bible. As a side note, had this level of concern been present in earlier generations, it would have prevented Jerusalem's destruction and the period of captivity.
2. PERSPECTIVE IS OFTEN THE ONLY REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JOY & SORROW.
Ezra 3:12 - "But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy."
It was simultaneously a great day and a very sad day. It was a day of rejoicing because a temple for the worship of Jehovah was being constructed. However, those who had seen Solomon's temple in all its glory before it was destroyed, knew that this new temple simply would not compare. They had a different perspective, and it grieved them. As followers of Christ, we must have a different outlook. Our perspective should be molded by the Scriptures and opposite to that of the world (cf. Rom. 12:2). That is, we should rejoice in the Lord and the ways of righteousness but sorrow over sin (cf. Matt. 6:33; Heb. 11:25).
3. EXTRA HELP AT THE COST OF PURITY IS TOO EXPENSIVE.
Ezra 4:1-3 - "Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the temple of the LORD God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the fathers' houses, and said to them, 'Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do; and we have sacrificed to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.' But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers' houses of Israel said to them, 'You may do nothing with us to build a house for our God; but we alone will build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.'"
Some might be inclined to accept help from anyone who claims to be interested, but that is foolish. Some who offer assistance are more interested in harming than helping. Accepting help or gifts from some will open up the door for compromise. This happens in politics regularly, but we must not allow it to happen in God's church. Do not compromise your purity in any way in order to receive gifts or help; it is simply not worth it!
4. SOMETIMES WORTHWHILE EFFORTS HIT ROADBLOCKS.
Ezra 4:23,24 - "Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews, and by force of arms made them cease. Thus the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia."
Do we quit when enemies rise against us? There is a difference between a setback and quitting. Although the enemies of Israel won that day, the temple would eventually be completed. There would be another way around this roadblock. So it is for Christians today who are engaged in noble work for the Lord. Setbacks and difficult challenges must not cause us to quit (cf. Gal. 6:9,10).