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Moment of Grace

Moment of Grace

08 October 2009

Scripture:

6 I prayed, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens… 8 But now we have been given a brief moment of grace, for the Lord our God has allowed a few of us to survive as a remnant. He has given us security in this holy place. Our God has brightened our eyes and granted us some relief from our slavery.” (Ezra 9:6, 8 NLT)

Ezra the priest had lived his life in strict obedience to the moral code and the ceremonial laws God had given his people through Moses. His primary strength of ministry was that he had thoroughly studied God’s laws, practiced them diligently and faithfully, and taught them in practical ways to the people.

Yet when Ezra became aware of the extent of the people’s sin and disobedience, he identified himself fully with the sinful people, confessing and repenting on their behalf. Ezra joined the ranks of other godly leaders – Daniel, Nehemiah, Peter, Paul, and Jesus – whose prayers and sacrificial identification with sinful people brought about forgiveness and restoration.

It’s far too easy to look at the condition of our nation, of the culture, of people around us and say, “They have sinned! Oh righteous God, judge them as they deserve!” I believe God is looking for faithful Christ-followers who will identify with the wayward and lost and say, “We have sinned! Please be merciful to us, Oh gracious Father!”

Ezra’s faithful life and his sacrificial identification with his wayward people ushered in a Moment of Grace in which God was able to forgive, cleanse, and restore. Might not our gracious and merciful God use us to bring Moments of Grace to our communities, our neighborhoods, our churches, our workplaces, our families, and even our nations?

Prayer:

Father, It is only by your mercy and grace that I can come boldly to you in prayer and that I can – wonder of wonders – call you Abba Father! Thank you for your patient love for me. Thank you for your Amazing Grace to me. May my life, my example, my prayers, and my words be part of creating Moments of Grace as I move through this day and all my days. Amen.

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