Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra – He Taught the Word

Teach the Word

Note from the author: This is an excerpt from my message in Linglingay Christian Fellowship entitled “Seek. Do. Teach”. This is also the fourth and last part of the series on “Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra.” You can check the series again – Introduction, seek the word and do the word.

You need to ensure that you do what you teach. Why? Because if you don’t apply what you’re teaching, it is like a man teaching farmers how to plant when the man doesn’t have his own farm to plant. You can’t effectively teach something that you do not have personal experience with. And we know that the best way to teach is usually through real life experiences. Yes, you can teach even if you haven’t experienced it but I don’t think that will be very effective.

For example, I cannot really teach about marriage. How can I when I am not even married? I don’t have a wife so I don’t know what kind of problems a wife and husband face. Will I be credible if I teach lessons on how to make a marriage work? I don’t think so.

Ezra not only sought and applied the Word of God, but he also taught it to others. Scribes are responsible to teach the word of the Lord because that was the only way the people could learn God’s truth. But that doesn’t mean that you are only to teach because it is your responsibility to teach.

Do you not know that everyone is called to teach? Not everyone is called to just focus on being a teacher but everyone should teach. Let’s look at Jesus’ great commission in Matthew 28:19-20.

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Did you see the keyword there? In verse 20 it says “teaching them”. We are tasked to teach every command. It doesn’t say in the verse that this responsibility only falls on teachers or preachers. Every disciple of Jesus Christ is to teach his commandments.

Teaching is evidence that the disciple is firmly rooted on the word of the Lord thus he is compelled to teach and proclaim the word of the Lord. When you are in love you don’t stay silent. You are moved and compelled to proclaim your love to the world. That’s why teaching is a sign that you have already grown in your walk with the Lord. You have sought and obeyed his word and now, you are moved to teach it. Because it just overflows from your heart that you just need to let it out. You just need to teach.

We need to be disciples who will make disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. And we can only achieve this if we take the time to teach his word and direct others to the word of the Lord. It takes courage and effort but it is all worth it.

Friends, let me just share to everyone the joy of teaching. When I teach, I am sometimes the one learning. When I teach, I reinforce deep within myself what I have just taught. I remember, I was preaching one time in our church and I said a phrase that I took home with me. When I said “it is not about us but about him”, I began to think if what I said was true in my life. As I thought about it more, I realized that I needed to apply this truth more in my life. I have discipled a group of young men for more than 4 years. We have grown together and I have taught them different lessons from the word of God. It is always a joy to see these men grow. It is a wonderful feeling to be used by God in this way. Because when you need to teach you are forced to study his word. And as you study, you realize the things that you need to apply. As you finish studying and applying what you have learned – you can now teach – Proclaim His words with passion and zeal. Teach the Word of the Lord. Teach and be blessed through it.

The Lord said in Matt 13:52 — “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old”.

Ezra was a man who studied the Word and applied it. He is a disciple who obeyed and practiced the Word, and a householder who taught the Word to others. If we want God’s hand to be on our life, we are to follow his example.

Seek. Do. Teach. There is no better way to live life than to experience how it is to have the hand of the Lord working in your life daily. Fear the Lord. Fear losing his hand in your life. Fear not being able to experience him and losing what life is all about. Life is really just being with Him, getting to know Him and experiencing Him.

I hope you have learned something on Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra. I would love to hear your thoughts about this series by leaving a comment below.

Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra – He did the Word

Do the Word.

Note from the author: This is an excerpt from my message in Linglingay Christian Fellowship entitled “Seek. Do. Teach”. This is also the third part of the series on “Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra.” You can read the Introduction of this series here while the second part of this series is about seek the word.

This is the hardest of them all. To study the word of the Lord, you need discipline. But to do the word of the Lord you need power! Our flesh is always in a state of struggle and the only way that we’ll be able to apply what we have learned is through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is the reason why it takes time to internalize the messages you hear.  From the interpretation of God’s word, you need to know how you will be able to apply it to your life. What are the things that you need to do? What changes in your life do you need to make? Think about the specific action points that you need to set and just do them. Do not delay because the moment that you delay it, you are more likely to forget it. We are accountable to apply what we know.

Knowledge is useless without application. James in his book addresses the issue of being doers of the word. Take note of this. This is to remind us to always be doers of the word.

James 1:19-25

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Verse 19 is still under the context of the word of the Lord. We should be eager to know the word of the Lord. We should have that desire to know what the Lord is really saying to us through His word. There are times when rather than hearing what the Lord is saying, we tend to act like teachers rather than students. What do I mean by this? Sometimes, we’re so quick to judge the message. We’re so quick in convincing ourselves that we already know what the message is because we’ve heard it before. Take it slow and discern what the Lord wants to tell you. But be quick to listen to his voice.

We are sometimes so quick to judge the message and content that we think we already know the lesson. That is the anger that is being mentioned in verse 20 – the resentment in the word of God because we are having a hard time accepting the truth. We are having a hard time accepting that the word of the Lord is true and this can lead to the revelation of deep sins that we have.

Therefore, to humbly accept the word is to remove the sin in your life. Get rid of all the moral filth and evil in your life. Allow the word of God to penetrate your spirit that you may be able to apply its truth in your life. Because that is what it is about – change. You were not commanded to read the word of God without applying it in your life. As verse 22 says, if you are doing this you are merely fooling yourself. Because without application it is just like reading a sign that says “stop there’s danger” and yet you’re still on the move. It doesn’t make sense. Why even read the sign if you won’t even do what it says?

Christians are also described as someone who looks into the mirror and forget how he looks like because when Christians don’t act promptly after they hear the word, they tend to forget the changes and improvements they need to make from what they have seen on that their reflection. That’s just the nature of man, we tend to forget things. So when you hear the word of God, make that conscious decision to apply it in your life and act on it.

Again, doing the word of the Lord is not easy. But we need to be firmly convinced that we are to apply this in your life. It starts with an attitude that we want to do the word of God. That we can change and want to obey. When we have that attitude, the Holy Spirit will then work and help us do the word of the Lord. Seek the Word of the Lord and then do the Word of the Lord. After that you can teach the word of the Lord passionately!

Here is the next part of this series – teach the word

Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra – He sought the Word

Seek the Word.

Note from the author: This is an excerpt from my message in Linglingay Christian Fellowship entitled “Seek. Do. Teach”. This is also the second part of the series on “Why the Lord’s hand was with Ezra.” You can read the 1st part of this series here.

Ezra was a well versed man in the word of God because he took the time to actually study the word of God. He was a man with a prepared heart, devoted to the study of the Scriptures. When we seek something, we look for it until we find it. We don’t “seek” if we have no intention of ever finding it. That’s why to seek the word of God actually involves spending time in reading to know the truth. This is the part where most of us are having a hard time. How many times in a day do you spend in reading the word of the Lord? How often do you seek the word of the Lord and just soak in the word of the Lord?

Do you spend enough time in the word of the God to study and read it? Or are you just too busy in life to actually take the time to read His word? We read newspapers or books regularly, but how about the word of the Lord? Isn’t His word much more important in life and eternity than the current news or self-help books? Even if you are not a preacher or teacher you are to study the word of the Lord for proper living. Every Christian should seek the word of the Lord. If you fear the Lord, you need to read His word so you’ll know how to please Him.

And when we read the word of the Lord, we shouldn’t pick on what to read or study. We should take the time to know the context and background of the verse. We can’t just open our bibles and point to the verses that we want to read. We should stop pointing to verses for the sake of feeding our ego or desires. God is more than that. If you are selective with the verses that you read, you will grow to be a shallow Christian with a shallow view of who God is and what pleases him. To prove a point, let’s look at a couple of verses that we tend to misinterpret.

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We usually use this verse to find comfort in difficult times. Usually we rely on this verse when there are things that are happening in our lives that we don’t understand. People often quote this verse to feed their hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams that they have set for themselves and not necessarily what God really wants for them. Yes, this brings hope but if lose our focus on God and just focus on the “plans” for us – we’re losing the greatest source of our hope. Let’s now look at the verse 12 and 13 to see the proper focus.

 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

The plans are from the Lord. The focus is on the Lord. Verse 11 is the Lord saying, I know what I am doing – you are to trust me for good or bad. In verse 12 to 13 alone we can see the “me” referring to God. It is not about us. It is not about the good plans for us but about the good plan of the Lord because He is a good God.

 Matthew 18:20 – 20 for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

We use this verse to declare that God is in our midst when there is at least two people. But God is always with us no matter what. In one, two or many, He is always with us. If we’re going to look at the whole content of this verse, it is actually teaching us how to deal with sin in the church

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

This means, that if we are ever faced with tough decisions like this, when we collectively agree and have good motives in our hearts, the Lord is with us on our decision. By faith, we take hold of this truth to find peace that our decision is blessed by the Lord and is correct.

Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Sometimes when we pray, we tend to ask and demand as if God should answer our prayer because of this verse. But who are we to demand from the king of Kings? Who are we to feel that our Creator owes us an answer? Now let’s look at the next set of verses.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

This just proves that we can ask and praise God for this privilege because it is only through what His son has done on the cross that we are able to pray and come into his presence. The next set of verse shows us the goodness of God. Yes, we can ask but the focus again is not on us but on the goodness of God. He will answer according to the goodness of His will. And His answer might be “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe.” This is only possible because of His love for us. Go ahead and ask but always remember there’s no guarantee that you will get the answer that you want.  The only guarantee we can hold on to is that he will always be there to listen. And once we learn to trust Him – that becomes the answer. The answer to our prayers in not what we have prayed for but it’s knowing God more through the process of prayer.

It take discipline to study the word of God. To seek the word of the Lord takes time and effort. You need to discipline yourself to make time for it, and not just find the time. Seek the time for it. When you study his word, it’s not about just reading the verse. Take the time to actually study the background and context of it. Use other reference materials. Seek to know the truth then start applying it.

Here is the next part of this series – do the word