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God Wants Your Heart

"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." (Ezra 7:10)

God’s people were not doing well. They had fallen into sin and were facing many enemies. They were discouraged and needed help. And so God sent a man named Ezra to help His people. (Ezra's name actually means “to help.”) Why did God choose to use Ezra in such a great way? Maybe the reason is found in Ezra 7:10 – “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

The word “prepared” tells us that sometime in Ezra’s life, probably when he was a boy, he decided something about the direction in life – he “set his heart.” Did you know that it is never too early to purpose in your heart that you want to serve the Lord? Most missionaries around the world gave their lives to Christ when they were young people.

But what did Ezra “prepare his heart” to do? He decided to do three things. First, he wanted to “seek the law of the Lord.” That means that he wanted to become an expert at knowing the Word of God! Have you ever decided to become an expert at something? Jason and Evan spent a lot of time playing a game called foosball or table soccer. They liked to team up and try to win against the teenagers, often making the older boys feel very silly to have been beaten by 10-year-olds. Jason and Evan had decided to become experts at foosball, and they did it!

Sports and games can be great fun and good exercise. But think how much better it must be for a young person to decide that the most important goal is to be an "expert" at trusting and obeying God’s Word? There is nothing more worthwhile than that!

Secondly, Ezra decided to do the Word of God. Whenever God said something, Ezra wanted to obey right away. Have you ever met a picky eater? (Hopefully you are not one yourself!) Some kids will poke at their food and say, “I don’t want peas” or “I don’t like spinach.” They do not want their food, even though it is good for them. Some people like to be picky about God’s Word. They say, “I don’t want to do that command” or “I don’t like this.” God is not pleased when we are "picky eaters" of His Word.

Lastly, Ezra decided “to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” This means that Ezra decided early in life that he wanted to teach others about the Word of God. Maybe God would allow you to teach people the Word of God someday!

God wants your heart.

My Response:
» Does God have my whole heart?
» Am I letting other things in my life become too important to me?
» Do I really trust and obey ALL of God's Word, not just the parts I like?

Truth In Real Life

Description of God

Christ Jesus the Lord
2 Corinthians 4:5 – "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."


Question & Answer

QDid the writers of Scripture believe the words they wrote were the Word of God?

AYes. 1 John 4:6 – We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.


BIG Christian Word

Fasting – (FAST-eeng)

During Bible times, "fasting" was the act of not eating certain foods, or not eating at all, for a certain period of time. During a fast, people would often use the extra time (the time they normally would have spent eating) to pray for a specific need, to worship, to meditate on Scripture. Today, many believers still practice fasting. In Jesus' day, He talked to His disciples about how he wanted them to fast, when they fasted. He did not want them to make a big show of it so that people would think they were spiritual. Instead, they were to fast in secretly and for a godly purpose. Matthew 6:16-17 – "Moreover when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face."