Change hurts. It makes people insecure, confused, and angry. People want things to be the same as they've always been, because that makes life easier. But, if you're a leader, you can't let your people hang on to the past.(1) - Richard Marcinko
We all experienced radical change in 2010. If nothing else, should the Lord's coming be delayed, we will certainally experience more radical change in 2011. As Richard Marcinko observed, change does hurt. As we begin this new year of change we can learn a lot from a man who epitomized change - Ezra the priest of God.
Few men experience more change than did Ezra, finding himself transferred from the palacial halls of Cyrus the King of the Medo - Persian empire to the broken down rubble of long abandoned Jerusalem. Ezra was not intimidated by such change, he was inspired by it! Inspiration is preceded by preparation.
Ezra Chapter 7 details Ezra's preparation and we can learn from it. Ezra knew who he was, he knew the Word of God, he was willing to leave the familiar, he did God's will, he took direction from others, he was thankful and he took courage for the Hand of God was upon him!
Ezra 7:1 - 5 - Ezra Prepared for Change By Knowing Who He Was - A Son of Aaron
Here we see Ezra's family tree, he was a direct decendant of Aaorn the High Priest of God. Though we might define Aaron by his temporary lapse into sin regarding the "golden calf," God did not. In fact God's view of Aaron is revealed in Hebrews 5:1 - 4, Aaron was a man "called by God.!" Everyone has an "Aaron" in their family tree, even if it is you! Thank God He doesnt define our worth by our worst deed! We can prepare for change in 2011 by knowing who we are and being proud of it like Ezra.
Ezra 7:6 - Ezra Prepared for Change by Knowing God's Word
Preparation requires knowledge, especially when it comes to the work of God. Ezra, perhaps more than anyone in the Old Testament is equated with theological excellence. In fact, Ezra focused on "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" with Pauline dedication. He "set his heart" to "study the Law of the LORD," to "do it" and to "teach his statutes and rules in Israel." We can prepare for change in 2011 by knowing God's Word like Ezra did by studying, doing and teaching it.
To Be Continued...
(1) Source: http://famousquotes.com
Picture Courtesy of: http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/Picture.htm