Contributed by Russ Perkins, Elder Overseer of Communities at Image Church

So, let me ask you a straightforward question.  If you could have God’s help, would you want it?

Of course, this presupposes that you believe in God and that He is interested and involved in our lives. (He is!) To be even more precise, I mean the God of the Bible, namely — Jesus.  Jesus is the grand subject of the scriptures. All of the Old Testament points to His eminent appearance, and the whole of the New Testament declares His arrival.  Jesus is the centerpiece of all the scriptures. He is God come to earth in a bag of skin and bones.  

So then, back to the question at hand… Do you want God’s help? — or worded another way, do you want His hand on your life?  Lets go take a quick look at a man named Ezra. Ezra was an Old Testament priest responsible for helping a portion of his fellow Israelites return home from exile.  Something truly wonderful is revealed to us in the text that bears his name.

Ezra 7:9-10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) – He (Ezra) began the journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month and arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month. The gracious hand of his God was on him, 10 because Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the LORD, obey [it], and teach [its] statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ok — did you read that? What did you see? — Let me tell you what I see. God’s hand was on Ezra. Why? Because Ezra had determined in his heart to study and obey God’s word, but that’s not all. Ezra would also teach its statutes and ordinances (laws and rules) to his fellow Israelites. Ready for some good news? – The same opportunity and privilege is ours as well!

We each can determine in our own hearts to study and obey God’s Word and to teach or pass what we are seeing and learning along to others.  God is no different today. If this was true for Ezra, it’s true for us right now.  

To the skeptic — one might argue, and rightly so — one verse a theology does not make — this is true.  Plenty more of the scripture would support my contention. But this very clear concise snap-shot from the life of Ezra remains compelling — at least to me… Perhaps others also?


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