‘Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven.’ Ezra 7.23
It is true of so many things in life, and certainly our Christian life, that it is not just what we do that counts but also our attitude. Ezra was told by the king to return to his own people and encourage them in their pursuit of God. To support him in this mission, the king gave him a letter encouraging the people to do what they do ‘with diligence’. The word ‘diligence’ carries with it a sense of zeal, enthusiasm and certainty. This presents us with a challenge. We might be able to say truthfully that we pray, worship and read our Bibles, but the king was encouraging his people to do more than this; to do what they do with enthusiasm.
What you put into something is very likely to reflect what you will get out of it. If you spend time with God simply because you think you ought to pray, then there is likely to be a formality about prayer that has little to do with relationship. Similarly, if you only worship in church because that is what happens at the beginning of the service,
then it’s possible you won’t be doing it with great enthusiasm.
As you pray today, pray as one who is utterly loved and cherished by God; as you read the Bible, read it with the expectation that God desires to speak to you personally through it; and as you spend time in worship, do it with the enthusiasm of one who has been rescued from darkness and brought into the light.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission