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. Ezra 7:10
Devotion to something is being committed to it. It is being willing to focus on whatever it is one is devoted to, regardless of what else is going on around. It is giving all of one’s time and attention to something.
People are devoted to many different things. Some common things people are devoted to are jobs, sports teams, and hobbies. Often these and other devotions are held so tightly that they can cause the expense of neglect in other areas of life.
Some things should hold this level of devotion, but are often not. Marriage devotion is often ignored. Time with God is often ignored. Many things that should be long-term or eternal are ignored in devotion.
Ezra was a priest during the time of Israel’s exile in Babylon. He had devoted himself to studying and teaching God’s laws to the people of Israel. Since he had devoted himself to God’s word, God’s hand of favor was upon him.
Although today there is grace the overrides the law of the Old Testament, God’s word is still to be used. Believers can devote themselves to studying His word and teaching others about it. This teaching is discipling others, which is what God commanded every believer to do–go and make disciples in all the world.
Studying God’s word does not mean one needs a bible college degree or cannot do other work, it is just taking time daily to get into His word and learn what it is says. It is more than just reading a verse or two each day and running on with the rest of the day. It is taking time to understand what it says and how to apply it to life, then take that word to others.
You, like most people, may have some things that you are devoted to in your life. Your first devotion should be to God and His word. It is His word that lets you know what God wants and how to do it. Take time daily to focus on His word and apply it to your life. Then take time to share what you have learned with others.
Being devoted to His word is making God’s word a priority each day in your life.
Is God’s word a priority in your life?
I pray today that God will place a hunger for His word in your life; that God’s Holy Spirit will guide you in understanding His word; that you will apply God’s word to your life; and that you will share God’s word with everyone you meet.
When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 2 Chronicles 34:19
Going through a bookstore, there are many shelves of books on self-help. Books telling people how to do nearly anything that they could want to learn how to do. Along with the bookstores, there is a website or video online that tells a person how to do just about everything.
People are often eager to know how to do something. However, many people do not always follow through on doing what they had learned about. They read it then ignore it. There are also many people who will not even read the book or article. They really don’t want to know about it.
After becoming king, King Josiah had the people begin to restore the temple of God. He led the people back to serving and worshipping God alone. In the process of the restoration, they found the book of the Law, God’s word. He had the book read to him. Once he heard the words, he tore his robe. Josiah had realized how far they had strayed away from God and was in remorse for what they had done against God. He chose to do something about it.
It is easy for most people to hear God’s word, however, for many that is all it is. Just God’s word, just a bunch of words. They think the words are good, but don’t act upon it.
The bible is very clear on how a person should live and what his mission is here on the earth. Many do not take the time to read or study God’s word. Then when they do, it is just some good words and nothing more. They leave reading the bible and don’t change.
As you believe in God, you must believe that His word is alive and active. It has extreme value for your life. It is God’s blueprint on how He wants you to think, act and speak while on this earth.
Every time that you read God’s word, it can teach you something new. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you as you read His word. When you learn something new, then act upon it. Make the necessary changes.
Realize what you did not know or do before and learn from God. Do not let the bible be just a bunch of good stories, but a life changing word from God. God gave His word to build you up, not tear you down. Now live for God.
I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will act upon God’s word; that you will not fear God’s word; and that your life will be a testimony for Jesus.
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people–that they would become a curse and be laid waste–and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. 2 Kings 22:19
Hearing someone is something easy to do and every one can do it. Responding to what a person hears is something different. With as much noise as is going on all around a person, most people do not respond to what they are hearing.
Everywhere a person goes, there are signs saying for people to go the speed limit. Yet, many people do not even try to go the speed limit. Warnings are ignored as people do what they want to do.
They hear what is said, but do not respond to it.
Josiah had become king and followed God. He had the temple restored. In the process of the restoration, the book containing God’s word to the people was found. In it he found out that they had not been following God and God was going to curse and destroy them.
Immediately Josiah tore his robe and began to weep. He realized what they had done was wrong and sought God’s forgiveness. God heard him and held back His anger against the people.
Every Sunday people hear God’s word being preached, yet, many do not respond to it. They think it was a good message…for the other guy…not for themselves. They do not change in any way. They continue to live in sinful ways outside of the church, ignoring what God’s word says.
It is easy to hear what God’s word says, but it takes effort to act upon it, to allow it to change one’s life.
God’s word is alive and active and can change you, if you allow it. When you hear something God is speaking to you, make the necessary changes. Live according to God’s word.
As a believer, you are to live according to what God desires. If you hear what He is saying and are not doing it, you are disobeying God. Once you hear what He has to tell you, you are responsible to do it. Do not allow God’s word to go in one ear and out the other and never change anything.
God is speaking…are you really listening?
I pray today that you will know what God is saying; that you will act upon God’s word to you; that the Holy Spirit will guide you in what God desires of you; and that God will give you strength to do His will.
But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.” 1 Kings 22:14
Talking is something that most people love to do. Every person has their own opinion on situations and like to let others know what that opinion is. There are some people who almost seem professional about it. It does not matter what the subject is, they have a thought or opinion on it.
Many people’s opinions, however, are often based upon the majority of people’s opinions. They do not voice their personal opinions or convictions.
The Arameans were getting to fight against King Ahab. He went to King Jehoshaphat for some help. The both wanted to hear what the prophets would say. After seeking the advice of some prophets, King Jehoshaphat wanted a prophet of God.
Micaiah was the prophet they had found. Ahab did not like him, because of the words he would often speak. When they brought in Micaiah, he said he would only speak what God tells him to say.
Speaking to someone about their own ideas and thoughts is easy to do, but that type of message is not usually what God has to say. It is personal, not God’s word.
Many believers have their own thoughts on different situations as to what God may have to say about it. Often those thoughts do not always line up with God’s word in the Bible. They can be words filled with hate and condemnation, instead of God’s love, grace and mercy.
Believers need to be open to only speaking what God has to say. God knows what the other person needs to hear better than any person. A person only sees the surface of what is going on, God sees the heart and what is really happening. He knows the beginning and the end.
There will be times when you will have an opportunity to speak in a situation. You have a choice to make as you get ready to speak. You can speak your own words that may be pleasing to self or to others. Or you can speak the words of God.
God has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you and give you the words to say. He knows the best thing to say in each and every situation.
Take the time to find out what God has to say and then only speak His words. It will have the perfect results every time.
I pray today that you will hear God’s voice in your life; that you will hear what God has to say; that you will only speak the words of God; and that God will use you to speak to others.