A New Year and a New Chance
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:10
One of the worst sounds that I hear on such a cold morning is the sound of the alarm telling me it is time to get up. It would be so nice to stay in bed on cold mornings. However, I have come to realize that not all wake up calls are bad. I am convinced that our great God is calling us in these days to be salt and light in this dark culture that we live in. I am afraid that the church today many times does not look any different than the world.
In the Old Testament, Ezra faced a similar challenge in Chapter 9 when he talked about how his people had not separated themselves from the world and had become defiled. I love however the commitment that Ezra had made in his own personal life in chapter seven and verse ten. That verse states: “Ezra had set his heart to know God and to practice it and to teach it." This verse reminds me that the single most important pursuit of our life ought to be to know God and fall in love with Him.
It can be easy sometimes for our lives to get out of control and at those times we lose where our true focus should be. I heard a pastor say once that "Life is not a dress rehearsal. You do not get a second chance. You get one shot at serving God, so whatever you are going to do for His name, do it now."
Indeed, life is short and we need to redeem the time that the Lord has given us by living for Him. To do this, we must set our hearts towards God as Ezra did. As we begin a New Year, may we all allow the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts and help us to focus our efforts on using this life God has given us to bring Him glory. May we look at the opportunity of a New Year in 2015 the way that Ezra described an opportunity for his people in Ezra 9:8?
“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.”
God has given us the grace for a New Year and I pray that He will awaken each of our hearts daily to serve Him with passion and make a difference in a world that desperately needs God.