Practice What You Preach
For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel. (Ezra 7:10)
Many of us live by the adage, "Don't do as I do, do as I say." Many of us teach God's word without first practicing it in our own lives. Little is said about Ezra, but he is known for his skilled knowledge of the law. He meditated on God's word night and day, and he sought to do all that was written in the law (Joshua 1:8). Ezra not only studied the law, but he applied God's word to himself before preaching it to others. Ezra was a priest who depended on God. He set aside days for fasting and prayer. He knew and lived by the Old Testament law, but used it as a path to an intimate relationship with God. When he studied the scriptures, he applied God's word to himself before teaching it to others.
Ezra was so good at his task of teaching the law to others that most found favor with him. Not only did Ezra communicate God's requirements to the captives in Jerusalem, but he also lived a lifestyle paralleled to his teachings. Ezra could point out shortcomings to people with a keen sense of divine guidance "according to the good hand of His God upon him" (Ezra 7:9). People respected and followed the teachings of Ezra because Ezra practiced what he preached.
Do people listen to you because like Ezra you practice what you preach?
Why Do Christians Sin?
O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens (Ezra 9:6)
Once a person was complimented for knowing the Bible. She commented, "Yes, I know how to quote the scriptures of the Bible, but I still sin." This person doesn't sin because of lack of Bible knowledge. So, why do Christians sin?
On another occasion, a person was overhead bragging that he had not missed attending worship for the past seven years. Then he confessed, "But I still sin." This person doesn't sin because he neglects assembling himself with other believers. So, why do Christians sin?
Another person confessed he lives by faith and not by sight but he still sins. This person doesn't sin because he has no faith. So, why do Christians sin?
From the above examples, we have seen that nothing keeps us from sinning. We were born with a sinful nature because of Adam's sin that affected the entire world. Every person has the propensity to sin. God knew all would sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) because our flesh is not saved. However, a loving Father gave us a prescription to use for our sin. "If we would confess our sin God will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
Let's use the above prescription every single day because being a Christian does NOT prevent us from sinning!