March 3, 2023
Spirit-Filled Messengers Sharing Spirit-Led Messages
Nehemiah - “Ezra faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand… Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, ‘Amen! Amen!’ as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:3, 6)
Nehemiah led Israel to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, but Ezra the Scribe was the primary spiritual leader of the people. He was the primary leader who oversaw the worship of the people. When he praised the Lord publicly, the people followed suit. He was known by all of the people as the messenger of God who was empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim God’s Word. In Nehemiah 8, Ezra brought a Spirit-Led Message directly from scripture to the people. In fact, he read it from early morning until noon. Afterward, “Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, ‘Amen! Amen!’ as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:6)
God used Ezra as His Messenger, empowered by His Spirit, to proclaim the Word of God so the lives of people could be changed. Today, God still uses His Messengers who are empowered by His Spirit, to proclaim His Word so the lives of people might be changed through the power of Jesus. When we hear, believe and implement inspired messages from God they bring conviction, consolation, transformation and impartation to our lives. We see this plainly through these words of James: So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” (James 1:21-25).
After the Israelites heard the words of the scriptures proclaimed by Ezra and after they had lifted their hands in the air and bowed low to the ground, they held a festive celebration. Nehemiah writes that “The people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.” (Nehemiah 8:12). They had heard the Word of the Lord, it had been further explained to them, and they understood how to implement the Word into their lives. That is definitely worth celebrating.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Real preaching is always about God and about the miracles He can perform in, for and through our lives (Nehemiah 8:6a). Ask yourself this question: What steps do I need to take to better hear, believe and implement God’s Word into my life? If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, ask them the same question before dialoguing about it as a family.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, help me to always strive to grow by seeking out Spirit-Led messages from Spirit-Filled Messengers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.