I often have people ask me to write down my life verse. I usually quip back to them that I like the whole book. No need to settle for one verse when God has written it all for us. But all the same, God uses specific verses at specific times in our lives. And so I suppose He could probably use certain verses more in one life than another. One of those verses for me is Nehemiah 8:8: “They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.”
This passage is talking about Ezra, some other chosen men, and the Levites reading and explaining the Scripture to the people of Israel as they are moving back into Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. They didn’t tell clever stories. They didn’t have any jokes. They read the Bible. And then they did what was necessary for the people to understand it. They didn’t set it up with a precursor or a poem. They didn’t have a topic and choose specific scriptures to fit it. They read the Bible and helped the people understand what they had read.
That’s what I’d like to do with my life. I don’t want to tell people funny stories. I don’t want to sing them pretty songs. I want them to read the Bible, and then I want to help them understand what they have read. Sometimes I realize I might need to tell a story or sing a song, but that’s not what I want to do. I want to help people understand what God has said to them. The God of the universe, our Creator and our Redeemer, has written us a book. I want to read it and understand. And I want to live a life that helps other people understand it.
More on this coming soon.
4 thoughts on “Ezra and Special Education, Pt. 1”
When you think about why Jesus came–to show us the love of the Father–and why we are here–to show others Jesus’ love through our lives–the common thread is love. The Bible is God’s love letter to us, full of stories and songs to help us understand who God is, who we are, and how we can live and love to the fullness of our joy and His glory. Todd, I think you’re on the right track. No one has made the Bible come more alive to me than you because you tell the story of redemption in ways that make me laugh, cry, ponder, question, and worship. In other words, you feed much more than our intellect with facts about the Bible–you touch hearts deeply with the message of the Bible. One of my favorite pastors, Charles Price from Toronto, said that each time he leaves home to preach a sermon his wife reminds him, “While you’re preaching the Word, don’t forget to love the people.” Good advice for all of us.
Great concert last night Todd – it was nice to meet you :O) Thanks so much for sharing your faith and your music (and humor :o) with us…and for reminding us at the end of keeping family a priority. The more I read and study God’s Word, the more I fall in love with it….it will never grow old as He says something new every time I read it. We can read the same passage at different seasons in our life and He will say something entirely new…Lifechanging :O) All the best to you and 33 Miles as you continue on the tour…
Todd I have been a fan of your music for quite awhile….I was driving down the road one day and heard My Jesus, It touched my heart, because we ran a homeless shelter for a couple of years, until we ran out of funds. We now have Sabbath in our home and it is opened to many of those same people we fell in love with at the shelter. I just want to thank you for sharing your God givin talent with all of us that are broken and need to know that Christ is with us no matter what.. I live in Colorado and would love to see you in concert.as well as bring a few of my friends….God Bless
I seem to be strikingly impressed, in a very good way, every time I hear or see something from or about you, Todd, and this is no different. I (seemingly) stumbled upon this gem of a story in Nehemiah a while back, and have been loving this section of scripture ever since. I think I originally looked into this story when I decided to look up the biblical context of that oft-heard phrase “the joy of the Lord is our strength” to get a better handle on it. I got a whole lot more than what I was bargaining for out of the deal (surprised?), so when I saw that you’d written about it here too I was kind of hooked into finally committing to follow your blog. I’m a long-time resident over at the Rabbit Room, and I like the way you go about this blog of yours. I hope to be able to return often and find a place in this community you have 🙂
Looking forward to more to come,