"Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read." —Nehemiah 8:8
Ezra read the Bible to the people from daybreak until midday (Neh 8:3). The people heard God's word for nearly six hours. This extensive exposure to the word led them to life-changing commitment (Neh 8:6), tearful repentance (Neh 8:9), and joyful celebration (Neh 8:10).
When we expose ourselves to God's word for an extended time, amazing things happen. For example, the risen Jesus spent much of the afternoon on His resurrection day explaining the Scriptures to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:27). By the power of God's word, their hearts began to burn within them (Lk 24:32). After the beheading of John the Baptizer and before the multiplication of the loaves and fish, Jesus taught a vast crowd "at great length" (Mk 6:34). After healing the lame man, Peter and John preached from about 3 PM into the evening (Acts 4:3). "Many of those who had heard the speech believed; the number of men came to about five thousand" (Acts 4:4). On one occasion, Paul preached to the Christians of Troas all night long and closed the Mass by raising a dead man (Acts 20:7ff).
There are things which will never happen in our lives without an extended exposure to God's word. Devour the word. May it be the joy and happiness of your heart (Jer 15:16).
Prayer: Father, may reading Your word daily (see Acts 17:11) deepen my relationship with You through Jesus and in the Spirit.
Promise: "The harvest is rich but the workers are few; therefore ask the harvest-Master to send workers to His harvest." —Lk 10:2
Praise: St. Therese was unsure of how to live the specifics of her religious vocation. She spent a long time meditating on 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and realized that her vocation was love.
Reference: (Proclaim Jesus to others by using the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009
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