by Patrick Tan
Ezra lived during the time when Israel lived in captivity in Babylon because of their unfaithfulness to God. Now God has made a way for the remaining citizens of Israel to return to their city Jerusalem by favor of the Babylonian king:
Ezra 7:9 He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
– God planted a vision in the heart of Ezra, to establish the saturation and practice of God’s word in his city Jerusalem … What is the vision God has placed in your heart for your campus/city?
– God was with Ezra’s team throughout their journey from Babylon to Jerusalem “for the gracious hand of God was on him.” – Recognize that as you obey and pursue God’s vision for your campus, God’s presence will go with you.
– Recognize also that two heads are better than one. Ezra didn’t come to Jerusalem alone, but a team went with him. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to the mission field! (Matthew 9)
– Ezra did his part – He continued his devotion to God. Devotion is not defined by keeping yourself from breaking the law. Devotion is giving more than the bare minimum:
1. Ezra devoted to study God’s Word – How’s your Time Alone with God (Seek Christ First)?
After a day of ministry Jesus’ disciples came back rejoicing because God gave them victory in their journey. But this is what Jesus reminded them: “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). – Let us not forsake cultivating our personal intimacy/relationship with God (your names are written in heaven) over ministry (spirit’s submitting to you). A ministry/service apart from genuine love and devotion to Christ is empty and lacking.
The Apostle Paul says, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Co 9:27).
2. Ezra observed the Law of the Lord – Every revelation must have an application. Are you living it out?
Don’t allow a disconnect between studying and observing God’s Word. They must be seamless.
3. Ezra taught to the law to Israel – Commit to discipling the next generation.
Reaching your generation may well be adding up to God’s kingdom, nothing wrong with that. But if you want a multiplication of harvest, commit to reach to next generation.