By Sylvia Stewart
Today's Scripture: Psalm 30:7
Central Thought: We cannot be under God's hand unless we keep ourselves in His presence.
'O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm” (Psalm 30:7).
Today we hear slogans such as: 'If it feels good, do it!” and 'Just do it.” We have become a 'me first' society. What we used to call common politeness isn't so common anymore.
The key to Ezra's success was that he '. . . had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord….” Ezra may have heard the siren call of worldly pleasures and sensual people, but he devoted himself to God and His laws.
Devoted implies self-discipline. Devotion is 'the ready will to perform what belongs to the service of God,” (The American College Dictionary, Random House). It means not allowing oneself to be swayed from acting rightly by any force—either outward or inward.
Himself means that 'he,” Ezra, caused 'himself,” Ezra, to follow God's law. I discipline myself. No one else can do it for me.
Ezra knew, as David knew, that observing God's laws brought him into a place where he could bring praise to God. God's favor rests on those who discipline themselves to stay in His presence.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, give me the inner courage to be faithful to You in all I do and say today.
Today's Bible Reading: Ezra 7:1–8:20; I Corinthians 4:1–21; Psalm 30:1–12; Proverbs 20:28–30