The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of August 8, 2016
Set His Heart
Ezra 7:10- “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.”
Beloved, I still remember that day when I had to present a seven-minute sermon before the Shepherd School’s homiletic class in Pastor Skip’s office. Pastor Skip would critique all manner of the presentation from your eye contact to your pronunciation of words. He left no one unscathed by his tedious critique of every aspect of your presentation. My sermon was based off of Ezra 7:10 which has become one of my favorite verses in Scripture.
Beloved, it is in Ezra 7:10 that we receive an outline on how to study the Word of God. First we must set or prepare our heart. This includes going to the Lord in prayer and preparing out heart to receive the Word of God. We do this because God first desires to speak to the individual studying the Scripture. Unfortunately so many teachers miss this point. They search the Scriptures for texts that will speak to others not understanding that God still needs to do a work in their own hearts and lives.
Secondly, as we set our heart then we can proceed to study the Law of the Lord. We read it again and again and use the observation, interpretation, and application method of study. Thankfully, God speaks to us: this is necessary because step three commands our participation in what we have just studied.
Thus, thirdly, we apply the Scripture to our own lives as we “do it.” God first desires to make application in the teacher’s life before the teacher ever teaches his text. Some teachers may say, “Well, the text doesn’t apply to me, “ or “I didn’t receive anything out of that text.” Teacher, if you did not receive anything you can bet that no one else will receive anything as well. You might as well not teach it.
Which is the fourth part of Ezra 7:10, “And to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” When we finally get around to teaching the text, we have already set our heart, studied the Word and applied it to our life; then we can teach it remembering what James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!