The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, January 5, 2012
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"Devoted To Study"
"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). "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
Many churches have a ministry program called "Bible Quiz" where a dedicated "coach" leads youth in the study and memorization of God's Word. These youth have friendly but intensely serious competition with youth in other churches who have similar teams. For several years Ester was on the team in our church and benefited immensely.
We had a quiz team in a previous church I pastored in Northern Pennsylvania about twenty years ago and can testify to its long-lasting impact. To this day I stay in contact with many of those who were in it, most who receive these messages. What a blessing to see them staying faithful to the Lord in their adult years!
Bernie Elliot is a longtime friend and reader of this series who has devoted his ministry to Bible Quizzing. He writes, "There is a hunger and thirst for the presence and the Word of God in our young people's lives."
Many Bible College students, or for that matter Christian students in any setting, know the verse, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body" (Ecclesiastes 12:12). We consider the intense times of study in this phase of life. But for too many, including Christians, it may essentially end following our formal education.
But study is an ongoing part of life for the growing Christian, especially the study of the Holy Scriptures. It's not merely while we are young or perhaps while preparing for ministry or another career, but it should be a lifelong pursuit.
I am blessed by a request in what is likely the very last letter that Paul wrote. As he recognized the time of his departure (death) was near, he wrote to Timothy. "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13). He wanted to study right up to the end!
The daily text provides a great example for us all. "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD." The NASV translates this, "For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it." That should be said of all of us. Among characteristics I want others to observe in my life is this, "Stephen has devoted himself to the study and observance of the Scriptures and to teaching its decrees and laws to others." (Having the entire Bible in our possession I would believe it proper to expand the "law of the Lord" to mean the Scriptures.)
In fact we hope our daily encouragement net messages are one of numerous study components in your life and we make that our daily prayer when we prepare these messages. We pray that God's people will know His truth and experience freedom.
"No studying" may sound appealing but real growth takes place as we get serious in study and observe the truths of God's Word. The Spirit bearing fruit in our lives is a direct result of the application of the truths that we study, so let us resolve that we will keep studying!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we want to be diligent in our study of the Word of God, not only to receive Your approval, but to more fully understand Your plan for our lives. Thank You for the Bible that's like a road map showing us where to go and how to get there. And the greatest blessing is that Your Spirit illumines the path before us so that we do not walk in the dark, but we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit who shows us the way to life everlasting. Keep us on the right path, we pray. Amen.
Note: Providing adequate exposition of today's verse would take a series!
Like Ezra we need to devote ourselves to:
2) and observance
3) and teaching to others (See 2 Timothy 2:2)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Knowing You" Video Robin Mark
(A Chinese version)
"Oh, I Want To Know You More" Video Steve Fry
"This Is My Desire" Video Hillsong
"I Want To Know You More" Video Don Moen
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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