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People of the Word

Ezra 7:10

For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

How many hours in the past week did you spend reading the newspaper; watching television; enjoying other forms of entertainment; or working on a hobby? We could argue the value of these activities, and I’m not suggesting that any of them are wrong. My concern has to do with the time they demand and the influence they exert in our lives. Is it any wonder that the average Christian today knows a lot more about the world but much less about the Word? We identify fads and fashion but cannot define our faith. We dabble in the philosophy of the world but ignore the theology of the Word. We defend our political preferences but cannot defend the Gospel. We quote stock prices but cannot quote Scripture. We know the most popular actors and recording artists by name but don’t know the books of the Bible by heart. Are we people of the world or are we people of the Word?

Along with the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity, the godly priest Ezra had been allowed to lead the way in rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. However, Ezra recognized that much more was needed than homes and secure walls around their city. So wise Ezra included in the building project the most important foundation of all—the Scriptures. He knew that this underpinning alone would provide the best footing for the people to take a godly stand in life. He realized that this bedrock alone would allow the people of God to truly rebuild their broken lives.

I recommend that you join the commitment of the people of Israel: when returning to Jerusalem, they learned that of all the things they built, the most important was their lives . . . built upon and infused with the Word of God. And remember, you will never have a close relationship with God if you have a distant relationship with His Word. So begin reading—and memorizing it . . . today!