Scripture: Nehemiah 8:1
And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel.
Insights: The wall is now finished. Chapter seven tells us in great detail how well the people are doing in regards to organization and defense. Obviously, Nehemiah is an efficient and good governor. In spite of all this success there is still something missing. There is a spiritual void in the community. We can have all the finest structures, programs, personnel, but if God is not showing up, then we don’t have life on the inside. If we don’t have life, then something is terribly wrong. Nehemiah recognized that there was indeed a problem and though the text does not say it, I believe it is a fair assumption that he prayed as to what ought to be done. The answer God gave him was, “Call Ezra!” Nehemiah understood the principle Paul taught to the Romans which said, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly (12:4-6).” Nehemiah did not have to do everything. Ezra was the better teacher, therefore, Ezra ought to bring the Bible of their day and preach it. God has equipped the church for every good work. He has given some the ability to teach. He has given others the ability to sing. Still others the gift of intercession and on and on the gift list mix goes. If you are born again, then you have at least one spiritual gift because the Holy Spirit Himself is the Gift and He manifests Himself in specific ways in your life. You have the choice then to be obedient or rebellious to the gifts God has given you. If you refuse to use your gift, then you are in sin. If you use your gift for your own glory, you are in sin. If you humbly come before God and ask Him to be glorified through your use of the gift, then your obedience is a sweet sacrifice before the Lord. Nehemiah knew he was not gifted to teach, but Ezra was. So, Ezra was called.
- With what spiritual gift has the Lord God equipped you?
- Are you freely using that gift or selfishly hording it?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me Your Spirit who is the Gift. Let me grow in You and learn how He manifests Himself in my life. Then Lord, give me the courage to obediently say, “Yes, Lord,” to whatever commands You give me. Let my service through my gift mix bring glory to You. Amen.