Ozark Christian Living

Family Life & Homemaker's Guide

The Impetus of the Apprentice

March 10

 "For Ezra had prepared his heart ..."  Ezra 7:10




"The place of spiritual nativity is not a ward, but a workshop."






The place of spiritual nativity is not a ward, but a workshop.  It is there GOD introduces us to the JOURNEYMAN of HIS SPIRIT; and it is HE WHO is given to guide us into the skill of HIS choosing for our life work from that day on.  "And HE gave some, ... for the work of the ministry ..."  It is HIS further role to impart to us the passion and skill of the trade, so that one day, we too can be trusted to aid HIM in this shop of amazing grace:  "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the SON of GOD, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of CHRIST:" 

The rest of today's text tells of  a preacher with a comprehensive approach to preparation; and sad to say, Ezra illustrates for us the exception, rather than the rule, regarding what makes up much of contemporary clergy.

"Ezra had prepared ... to seek ..." The true apprentice is diligent, studious, and eager, recognizing that all he is, he owes to the JOURNEYMAN: "THY hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn THY commandments."  The religious day laborer, on the other hand, toils for his own selfish ends: "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

"Ezra had prepared ... to do ..." Unto what line of service are you keeping GOD waiting?  There must be no spiritual quadriplegia among the redeemed, for even the most skilled and learned hands are of no use if limp.

"Ezra had prepared ... to teach ..." The aim of the JOURNEYMAN in the workshop is to produce a vessel able to carry the blueprint of gospel grace to another life devastated by sin and in need of reconstruction.  "For we are HIS workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS unto good works, ..."

"Ezra had prepared his heart ..."  It all starts here, doesn't it, with a heart willing to yield itself as a personal Bethlehem of the living GOD?  "The preparations of the heart in man ... is from the LORD."  Ezra was prepared ... to excel to greatness and did so under the watchful eye of the JOURNEYMAN WHO allows for no shortcuts in preparing us for our work and HIS glory.

"But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant."

For Love of Country
Thomas Hooker (1586-1647)
(Cambridge graduate; Founder of Hartford Connecticut)
"Mutual covenanting and confederating of the saints in the fellowship of the faith according to the order of the Gospel, is that which gives constitution and being to a visible Church ... Mutual subjection is the sinews of society, by which it is sustained and supported."

This site was last updated 03/09/2012