The Lord's Hand

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Ezra 4:7-23, 7:1-8:36Ezra 7:27-28, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended His good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.”

Think

Consider the difference between being comfortable and being courageous.Comfort is a natural choice; courage may require a step of faith into the unknown. Comfort is often the peace and quiet of minding our own business; courage may demand us to speak up and step away from the crowd. Comfort lets us stay in place; courage requires some form of movement. Comfort tends towards selfishness; courage most often affects others!Ezra was courageous and followed obediently where God was leading. He did not depend on his own strength or his own abilities, but he stepped out of his comfort zone in faith because the hand of the Lord was on him. The Lord greatly blessed Ezra’s journey and allowed even the pagan king to extend his favor on him — and where the hand of the Lord is, blessing is sure to follow.Are you too comfortable? If so, it may be time to stand up and speak out, despite what those around you may say or think. Maybe it’s time to skip the snooze button and roll out of bed earlier to serve others. Or maybe you need to finally invite that friend to church. As a Christ-follower, trust that His hand is on you, have faith, and find the courage to act!

Act

Pray

Lord, show me. Am I moving towards comfort based on my own abilities? Or am I stepping out in faith, focused on Your glory? Lord, lead me and place Your hand of blessing on me! Amen.