by Ron Leonard, Missions Pastor

"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."

1.) Matters of the heart are what matter the most. 

The things that matter most to us, in our heart, are revealed by what we treasure. If we are loving God with all our heart as He commands, then we treasure following Him. The Lord is the One who truly knows our heart, and Jesus emphasized the importance of not only our actions but the motives for our actions. Ezra was determined and his determination came from the heart. What is it that you treasure the most?  Where is your heart?

2.) Study to know and grow in your understanding of God and His will.

Biblical illiteracy is a great hindrance to believers truly following Christ and His commands. Too often we look to be fed a taste rather than truly devouring the Word of God. Our commitment to "study" the temporal things of the world far outweighs our searching the Scripture for the eternal truths. Ezra made a conscious commitment to learn the law of the Lord. How much more effective would you be if you made the same level of commitment to studying the Bible as you make to your vocation or education?

3.) The Word of God is not simply a source of information but a source of transformation. 

If we truly are followers of Christ it is imperative that we do what He commands. Imagine the difference in our families, among our friends, in our schools and communities, and throughout the world when Christ followers love God, love people, and make disciples! Ezra not only knew the importance of studying the law of the Lord, but he was determined to do it. What would happen in your life if you actually did what Jesus said to do?

4.) When we go and make disciples, we are to teach them to observe Christ's commands. 

As we study and do what Christ commands, it is vital that we pass it along to others. We are recipients of a long history of many who have passed along the Gospel of Jesus, and as His followers, we become integral in multiplying disciples. Intentionally invest in others, especially younger generations, teaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and all that He commands. Ezra was intent on teaching the statutes and rules of God to Israel. Who are you teaching to follow Jesus?