The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

02/01/2010

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Good Advice From Ezra


"Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king.....for the gracious hand of his God was on him...For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws to Israel" (Ezra 7: 8-10).

In my years of teaching school, the classroom was my "workplace." I carried some clout in the classroom because this was what I had prepared myself to do with my life...Teach kids..We all have things in life that we do well because we have dedicated ourselves to them and have made the right preparation. Ezra's task was to help bring his people back to their land out of captivity, but he did not do it on a "wing and a prayer." He wanted to make sure that he was up to the task and he got himself as ready as he could. He did not want his people to sink back into the same habits that caused their being taken captive. What did he do? He "devoted" (KJV says "prepared" and NAS says "set his heart") to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord."

Now just why did he spend all this time he did in study and observance? The answer is given to us..."And to teach its decrees to Israel." All of us have experienced something like this in our lives on some level. A short time ago I told you about the 375 quarts of strawberries I picked to earn enough money to buy a baseball glove when I was eleven years old. Any time that we set a worthwhile goal we are aware that it will take an amount of hard work to reach it. When we achieve that goal, we look back at the body of work and realize that all the hard work was truly worth it. Ezra's goals were twofold. Get his people back, but more importantly, get them back on track with the Lord. It would be fruitless to get them back without them understanding what had to be done to stay there! He HAD TO teach the statutes and ordinances that he had studied and observed to all of Israel.

So here we are...Wanting our lights to shine forth to others. The light just does not go on automatically. Work needs to be done. It works only after we have "studied and observed." Our light will only shine if we say the right things. (the Bible that we have studied) Our light will only shine if we do the right things.(observe that we have studied through our example)...If all of this sounds simple, it actually is. The Word and the Spirit were not given to us to cause confusion, but rather to bring things out into the light. If we want to be all that the Lord wants us to be, the recipe has not changed since the days of Ezra...Devotion to study and observance will get our job done...

Have a great day...Wouldn't it be a splendid day for a RAK? Love mark Phil. 4:11

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