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.
When we ended with Ezra 7:10 last time, my intention had been to press on to the next set of verses this week. But a strange thing happened as I began to prepare for today’s message. This picture of Ezra as a man who’s life was shaped by God’s Word wouldn’t let go of me! Like a song you can’t get out of your head, these words kept coming back to my mind – Study the Word, Live the Word, Share the Word. And I began to wonder if we, at Rockport, truly do have a heart like Ezra’s. Are we being shaped daily by God’s Word!
Clearly that’s not something that just happens by accident. Ezra didn’t wake up one morning and miraculously discover that he had been given a deep knowledge of God’s Word leading to a deep walk and the ability to teach others! Instead, there is a process in evidence here. He had set his heart on gaining such knowledge. That was a goal he set for himself, a treasure he was actively pursuing. He was determined to take the steps necessary to begin to know God’s word deeply, to live by it faithfully and to share it with others.
So the question I want to ask this morning is, “Is that the goal of your life?” And perhaps even more important, “Are you willing to take the steps necessary to gain such a life?” I want to challenge you to consider what it takes to have a life that is truly shaped by the word, and then look at how we might pursue such a life through the study, meditation and application of God’s word to our lives daily.
And speaking of God’s word. One of the privileges we have as Christians is that of hearing God’s word read in worship. In 1 Tim 4:13 Paul says we must devote ourselves to “the public reading of Scripture.” So beginning this month we will be reading through John’s Gospel together in our worship.
May the Lord shape our minds and hearts for His glory!