Setting our Hearts on God's Word
“For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.”
Ezra was a profound student of God’s laws and commandments. In this one verse there are four characteristics that help us in becoming better students of God’s word.
1. Ezra Prepared
Ezra SET his heart or as the NKJV says “prepared his heart.” With just about everything we do preparation is the starting point! There are many ways you and I can prepare to be students of God’s word! Maybe it is planning a certain time of the day to read and study. Or maybe it is taking part in various Bible reading programs that help us stay on track. Perhaps it is focusing on studying and completing our Bible lessons and workbooks for upcoming classes! There are many tools to better prepare us as students of God’s word.
2. Ezra Studied the Law of the Lord
Ezra took time to study! Sometimes we get so busy that we set God’s word aside while we take care of all the other “important” things we need to get done. It should be the other way around! Instead of being anxious about what we need to accomplish, take heed to the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Starting our day by seeking God’s word is refreshing; it clears our minds from the stresses of life and renews our minds to seek spiritual things! May our ambition be to present ourselves to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)
3. Ezra practiced the Law of the Lord
It is not enough to simply study but we must put the things we learn into practice! James tells us we are to be doers of the word, and not hearers only! We must act upon the word of God and apply it daily. In Matthew 7:24 Jesus tells us that if we hear His words and do them, we will be like one who built his house on the rock. As the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew it did not fall. As we implement the teachings of God’s word, it gives us a strong foundation to battle against the trials and tests life brings our way.
4. Ezra taught others the Law of the Lord
Ezra was involved in teaching the statutes and rules of God’s Law in Israel. We know that Ezra was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses (7:6). His efforts to teach others the Law of the Lord are seen in Nehemiah 8. In verse 2 it says, “So Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.” Ezra was devoted to teaching others the Law of the Lord! How devoted are we? Whether it is having a Bible study with someone or reading a passage of scripture with someone - you never know the impact you can have on someone’s life by sharing the great lessons God’s word provides!
We make time for the things that are most important to us. God’s word was most important to Ezra, how important is it to you? Will you take time today to study, apply and teach God’s word to others today?