Are you devoted to God’s Word? And what does it even mean? Scripture tells us.
Ezra, one of my biblical heroes, is described as being “devoted” to God’s Word. Ezra lived in the 5th century BC, a Jew born during Israel’s Babylonian exile. (“What is the Post-Exilic Period?”) He was a “scribe” and a descendent of Aaron, a priest of the Most High God. Ezra was a teacher “well-versed in the Law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6). He was far more than a casual student of God’s Word. He was a skilled teacher who committed himself to the regular study of Scripture.
This Jewish priest had never set foot in the land of Israel. But when God called him to go and teach His Word to God’s people who had returned to Israel, Ezra obeyed.
The book of Ezra also tells us five times in two chapters that “God’s gracious hand” was on Ezra. And it also tells us why:
“…the gracious hand of His God was on him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” Ezra 7:10 NIV
God kept His hand on Ezra because he was devoted to God’s Word.
I want to experience God’s protective, gracious hand! What about you? Let’s commit to be devoted to God’s Word! But, just what does it mean?
“Devoted” means a settled and lasting commitment. Ezra had an unwavering determination to God’s Word. For him, it was an enduring, life-long pursuit. But what does that look like day in and day out?
We are told exactly what Ezra’s devotion looked like in Ezra 7:10.
3 Characteristics of Devotion to God’s Word
1. Study – The Hebrew word translated as “study” or “seek” means to “tread a place frequently, with care, consult, inquire of.” Our study of the Bible should not be haphazard or casual. Every believer should take have a plan that gets us deep into the truths of God’s Word on a regular basis. (See “4 R Bible Study Method for Every Day Use” for help on how to study the Bible.)
2. Obey – Ezra didn’t merely devote himself to the study of God’s Word, he was also committed to observing what he learned. Our study is not simply to know more about the Bible. Our goal should be application, obedience, and transformation. (A true disciple of Jesus will obey Him. For more on obedience see “Can I be a Christian without Being a Disciple?” For more on how to apply God’s Word see “4 Ways You Can Apply Scripture to Your Life.“)
3. Teach – The Hebrew word translated as “teaching” in the NIV includes not only the idea of educating (teaching information) but also training & application. As growing believers we should teach, mentor, and disciple other believers. This includes not just formal teaching positions, but all the ways in which we share about God’s Word and encourage others to follow it.
One Way to Study God’s Word
I lead a daily Bible reading group on Facebook called “Reading the Bible Together.” We study through one Bible book at a time. This closed group provides encouragement, support, and accountability for women from all over the world. We will begin a new book on Saturday, September 16th. You are welcome to join us for Titus and 1 & 2 Timothy! CHECK OUT THE GROUP.
Want to be devoted to God’s Word? Which one of these 3 characteristics do you struggle with most and why?