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.
Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live. Psalm 119:144
Each person has a different view on the best way to live life. Some believe the best way is out in the country side, deep in the woods alone with nature. Others say it is on the beach in the water. Some will say out on a large prairie with many cattle. Still others will say in the big cities at many different parties.
Outside of location, people will say living life is fishing, cooking, traveling, partying, or one of many other things to do. Doing something that they love is what many people determine as to whether they are really living a great life or not.
The problem with all of these views are they are self focused and temporary. They focus on what the individual likes and wants and does not take God’s guidance into the picture. They only last while here on this earth.
The psalmist asked God for understanding of His laws in order to really live. God’s laws teach a person how to really live a good life. It shows a person the best things to do or not do in this life.
Without understanding of the Law of God, it looks just like a bunch of harsh regulations and things not to do. However, God is looking out for your best interest. His laws protect you from harming yourself or others. It also draws you closer to Himself, by making you more like Jesus.
The world says to look out for old number one, yourself. God says to seek Him first and to serve or love others. Reading the Law helps you understand how to show that love to others and to seek Him first in your life. God’s Law will never fail you or let you down.
The things of this world will fail or come to an end. God’s law will never do either.
Seek God for understanding in His law and the way He wants you to live your life. Do not allow the laws to be just a list of things to do and not do. Allow it to change you for the better. See the value of His law in your life.
I pray today that you will know the Law of God in your heart; that God will help you understand His Word; that you will live according to God’s ways; and that you will live the full life God has for you.
“Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because the righteous will live by faith.” Galatians 3:11
There were some people in the churches of Galatia that were going back to the Mosaic Law to serve and worship God. They were attempting to show themselves righteous by how well they kept the Law. Paul clearly points out that they are being foolish in doing this. The Law only brought about death. It did not provide for removal of a sin in a person’s life. A believer in Jesus is to believe by faith in the salvation that Jesus is providing.
Although people today do not talk so much about following the Law of Moses, they still attempt to follow the Law. Often it is a person who is trying to make himself right with God. People like to be of value and to accomplish something on their own. They want to be successful.
When people mess up in their walk with God, often they will do things to make it right and try to earn God’s grace and forgiveness. They will give more in the offering, volunteer more in ministries, start reading the Bible more, or something else. All of these things are good, if done to be a service to God and others, but often they are done to look good to God.
No matter how good you are at following the law, at some point you have broken it and only deserve death. You have become of no value at all. You cannot earn life again, the price is too high.
This is where faith steps in. Jesus died for you and rose again to take away your sins. Can you trust Him to take away your sins? Can you trust that He loves you enough to do so? This is where faith comes in.
There is nothing to be earned. The works you do should be done out of gratitude for what Jesus had done for you, not to earn God’s favor. Following Jesus and believing in Him will give you God’s favor.
Don’t rely on what you can or cannot do, rely on what Jesus has done and can do.
I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will have faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus; that you will trust Jesus to make you righteous before God; and that you will live your life by faith in Jesus.