Day 19 – My God Is… Summer Bible Challenge

Today’s Reading: Ezra 7:1-8:20, 1 Corinthians 4:1-21, Psalm 30:1-12, Proverbs 20:28-30 (Click here to read today’s passages online.)

Today’s reading brings me to a place of surrender. It is from that place, that I want to encourage you today. I want to strengthen you in Him. I want to instruct you if you will allow it. I want to push you to always start your day with your Bible in your hand so that His Word can strengthen your heart. If you have not read today’s passages yet, I encourage you to set aside my words. Look first to His words – let them strengthen you, support you and speak to you before you listen to anything else today.

My God… Speaks!  And, as He speaks He supports.

Ezra 7:9-10

…for the gracious hand of his God was on him.  This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. (NLT) 

…according to the good hand of his God upon him.  For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. (NKJV)

The passage in Ezra speaks loudly today. We hear a description of Ezra that I hope will prompt us all into action. Four separate times we hear “the gracious had of the Lord is upon him.” When God repeats, I listen. In these two short chapters today, God gives a beautiful description of His loving support of Ezra. Over and over He says “my hand is on you.” But, don’t get so caught up in the what that you miss the why.  Verse 7:10 gives us a glimpse into this relationship of Ezra and God. Verse ten reads “this was because.” The favor of the Lord rested on Ezra because he had determined to study and obey The Word of God.  Ezra 7:28 says “I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was on me.”

The word determined means established, certain, prepared. Ezra felt encouraged because he was prepared. Don’t miss that. The determination to study God’s Word led to the strengthening of his heart. He was certain that he needed to listen when God spoke. And because of that, He felt and understood and came to know what the gracious guiding hand of the Lord felt like.

I want you just to soak that in this morning. Do you need to be encouraged? Who do you look to for encouragement? Do you seek His hand upon you? Are you determined to study His Word SO THAT you will be encouraged?

My encouragement for you today is seek Him! Be determined to seek His counsel. BE determined to seek His peace. Be determined to seek all that He has for you. And, as you seek Him, He will place His gracious hand upon your heart and direct your day. As you listen to Him speak into your life, He will support you in and along the roads you travel. As you settle in to truth found in His Word, your will become strong and encouraged.

Let His Word be the one thing you reach for. Let His truth strengthen your soul. Let His promises encourage you. Let His gracious hand rest upon you. Sit. Listen. Be Strengthened. Allow yourself to become strong in Him. Set aside the distractions and and become certain.

My prayer for us today,

Lord, be our first thing. Give us the strength to seek you first each day. Humble us into a place where we run to you when we need guidance. Give us hearts that willingly seek Your face each day. Strengthen us because we are determined to study. AMEN.