by John Michalak
For Ezra had set his heart to seek the LORD’s law, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Have you ever experienced a fresh start?
Perhaps you decided it was time to exercise and eat better. Or perhaps you began again with a close relationship. You hurt your loved one, but were offered forgiveness. It was time to begin again.
In Ezra’s time, Israel was being offered a fresh start. They spent decades in exile for worshipping other gods. But, they were forgiven, and God allowed them to return to Jerusalem to start anew. But, some had already forgotten the lessons of the past and married women from different religions. So, Ezra’s first act was to send these wives away, restoring a purity of worship throughout Israel.
We should be grateful for our fresh starts. But with every fresh start, there’s also a responsibility—to remember our past errors, to not compromise in even the smallest ways, and to rely on God above all others for the strength to succeed.
With the gift of His Son, God has returned all of us from the exile of sin. Let us rejoice in this, but let us also take seriously the task of rebuilding our lives in Him. And let us rely on God in everything we do.
Prayer: Lord, help me be both grateful and respectful of the fresh start you have given me.