Sunday, November 5, 2017

MEN - Influence

As a male, cater to your audience. They look up to you and they will be influenced by you. Ezra had an audience – Jews in Israel.

Nehemiah 8:5-6 (NIV)
Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down to worship the LORD with their faces to the ground.
Emphasis Mine

Therefore, when we study the life of Ezra, he had a very structured life. Influence and structure work together. A structured life is a productive life.
Position (teacher of the Word – a position of influence)
Location (Israel)
Population (Israelites)
Activity (devoted study and observance of the Law of the LORD)
Direction (By God the Father alone).

Ezra 7:10 (NIV)
 Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
Emphasis Mine

Where you come from does not determine how much influence you will or will not have on where the Lord is assigning you to. Your gender and race are not pre-determinants either.
When God gives you responsibilities and specific directions, you need to obey. How far you influence will be determined by how well you obey.
The Bible says…

Ezra 7:6a (NIV)
…this Ezra came up from Babylon
Emphasis Mine

Yet he was a Jewish scribe and priest and Ezra 7:10 (NIV) tells us of where God had called him to – “…and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel”
Emphasis Mine

Understand God is your helper. Fine tune your influential ability by living in full obedience to God. By so doing, you will cater to your audience- your audience could be your wife, son, daughter, co-worker, your boss at work, your church family, etc.

There is a relationship between influence and obedience. Amen.

MEN - Diligence

The Lord rewards diligence. 
Proverbs 12:24a (NIV) 
 “The hand of the diligent will rule…” Emphasis Mine. 

Everything we do for the sake of the kingdom does not go unnoticed by Him. “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown towards His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Hebrews 6:10 (NIV).

Reach your full potential in your diverse responsibilities. Earlier, we examined that Ezra was a scribe/priest, teacher of the Law, devoted to studying and observing the Law of the Lord. When you read the details of Ezra’s life, he was one of the leaders who led the Jews from Babylonian exile back to Jerusalem. He remained diligent to all the assignments given to him by God the Father.

Approach your responsibilities with a sense of ownership and accountability. In no circumstance should you be a male with a carefree attitude. Handle circumstances with a sense of urgency and excellence.

How do you find balance in the midst of all the responsibilities?
Prioritize. Give attention to what is most relevant.

God has a position, location, population, activity and direction for you. And He needs your attention. Amen! So it was with Ezra, and so it is for you and me.

MEN - Replicate

Study and observe the Word to a place where you as a male can replicate through teaching the Word. When it comes to teaching, we teach what we are knowledgeable about. Teaching is a purposeful act. A teacher takes into account his audience. A teacher communicates in a language best understood by the audience. In order to properly pass on information through teaching, you must be a student the material (Ezra was).

Teaching gives the teacher permission to hold his students accountable. It will be unfair to do otherwise. As a male, generally, you need to possess a strong mental capacity- in this case, spiritual soundness. Your communication of the Word of God should be very fluent and eloquent. You should be the “go to” person in your family for clarity about the Word of God. You should be the one who gathers people for the purpose of sharing the Word of God. Instructing, encouraging, directing them and more.

Ezra 8:9 (NIV)
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 
Emphasis Mine

Once you identify your areas of responsibilities, make teaching a non-negotiable part of life. By areas of responsibilities we mean you could be a father, brother, co-worker, uncle, grandfather, mentor, etc.  Purposefully replicate through teaching the Word; Jesus did likewise. (Luke 11:1-13, Matthew 24, etc).

MEN - Devote

According to the free dictionary, devote is defined as “to give or apply one’s time, attention or self entirely to a particular activity, cause or person”.

Ezra 7:10 (NIV)
 Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
Emphasis Mine

Ezra 7:6 (NIV)
this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given.
Emphasis Mine

Nehemiah 8:9b (NIV)
…Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law…
Emphasis Mine

Ezra 7:12b (NIV)
To Ezra the priest, teacher of the Law of the God of heaven:
 Emphasis Mine

Ezra is a biblical male character whom the bible describes as devoted, a scribe/priest, teacher of the Law. Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel Ezra 7:10 (NIV).
No wonder he was very outstanding in his leadership and teaching - because his foundation was the Word of God. Scripture is very clear about what Ezra’s priority was – studying and observing the Law of the Lord.

Could you say of yourself likewise?
Could others say of you likewise?
Can the almighty God say of you likewise?

What will it take for you to restructure your life such that you give attention to the Word?
You will agree with me that if everything is that important, you need the breath of life in order to keep pursuing. Why not show appreciation to the giver? How high you go will be determined by how stable your foundation is. A life built on the Word of God is an unshakable life. There is so much to be studied in life however, our goal is to stir you in the direction that matters most.
The outcome of devotion are enormous.

2 Peter 1:2-3 (NIV)
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Emphasis Mine

Choose to be that person who abounds in knowledge of the Word. As a result, it becomes evident in your character.
What will it take to be devoted to the Law of the LORD (Word)?
-Focus, despite distractions.
-Giving attention to the Word.
-Purposefully studying (not just reading) with a mind to understand God, gain wisdom, and get direction. Through devotion, you get direction, you discover God’s purpose for you.

Ezra taught the decrees in Israel. The location and population were specific.

Ezra 7:10b (NIV)
and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
Emphasis Mine

Consider making a life of devotion to studying and observing the Word a lifestyle. Amen!

MEN - Introduction - Ezra

Genesis 5:2a (NIV) 
He created them male and female and blessed them.
Emphasis Mine

When we talk about mankind/humans, we are simply referring to male and female. For the purpose of this series, our emphasis is on the male. Our goal is to build up men so that they can become pillars in society. Helping them to function in their various roles successfully and at optimum capacity; not misplacing priority, however, giving attention to the most relevant aspects and areas in life.

Are you a male according to God’s design? You were created for a purpose. Have you discovered that purpose? If yes. Great! If not, I challenge you today to embark on the most fulfilling life’s journey of discovering your God given purpose. Life without purpose is vain. The various hats worn by men are very significant in the eyes of God and we have the responsibility to be accountable to HIM for what we do with the various hats He has assigned to us.

You may ask, what does the bible have to say about men? So much- the bible has a lot to say about men and how to become pillars in society. How to properly groom yourself in the Word of God and how to increase in the knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word. Let’s begin by emulating the grace of biblical characters (men), shunning their failures. We can become better after every study by emulating their actions, way of life and helping others become likewise.

Find out how you as a male can begin re-shaping your life as you rediscover yourselves through the Word. Understanding who you are through the lens of Christ. Amen!


There is an endless list of individuals in scriptures who served as instruments of change in the lives of others. The frequency of th...