A few weeks ago Kellie asked me what some of my all-time favorite Bible verses were. That led me to take a trip down memory lane and I wanted to share my Top 10 verses and why they impacted me. Here’s the 3rd one on my list. May God speak to you about your story as you read mine.
Ezra 7:10 (NLT) – 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.
Why this verse is in my Top 10: This verse probably sounds like a weird one to you. Quoting from Ezra??? No, I did not choose an obscure Bible verse for my Top 10 to show off! 🙂 I was introduced to this verse in seminary in one of my preaching classes and it has stuck with me for over a decade.
I love teaching. Out of all the things I do as a pastor, it’s my favorite activity. Whether it’s preaching during a church service, teaching in a workshop setting, or sitting on couches with college-age interns and talking about theology, I love taking biblical truths and communicating them in a way that makes sense. Not so the audience can fill their mind with information and win Bible trivia contests, but so they can be challenged and live differently as a result.
Sidenote: in my first preaching class in seminary, I was presented with the “most improved” award at the end of the semester. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. That is one of those awards you’re happy you received, but wish you didn’t qualify for. It basically means you were horrible at the beginning of the class but you’ve gotten much less horrible as the semester went on. Gee, thanks. 🙂
Take a second and re-read Ezra 7:10. Go ahead…do it.
Professor Ken Green explained a very important progression in this verse: First, Ezra studied the Word of God. Then he obeyed it. And after obeying it himself, he taught it to others. The progression is this: study, obey, teach.
Ken shared how most preachers study a passage from the Bible and then teach it to others without that all-important middle step – putting it into practice in their own lives first. This lesson has always stuck with me. I need to study, obey, and only after obeying it should I teach it to others. If I’m not obeying what I’m studying in the Bible, I should be sitting in a pew instead of being up on stage teaching.
***Note: Please join us on Sunday November 21st at 6:00pm. This will be the next monthly “preview service” of The Eastside Vineyard Church. We’ll have a time of worship, an in-depth Bible message (that I am currently putting into practice in my own life!), communion, and an opportunity to receive 1-on-1 prayer. It will be held at Heritage Church in Sterling Heights. (Heritage Church is located at 44625 Schoenherr Rd, 1 block south of M-59 — across the street from Lakeside Mall. If you’re an ‘eastsider’ it’s where the old AMC theater used to be.)***