Ezra was chosen to lead the people back to Jerusalem that they may prove that they were His people, and that His covenant will be upheld. Ezra spoke of the cleansing in the Lord, by setting apart both people and gifts as holy. The concept of setting apart is under appreciated in today’s society. People want to belong. They want to be accepted, or to go with the flow.
In the ancient Israel, when something is set apart, it is sacrificed. Today, people seldom want to give up anything for the sake of “self-love”. They want to put themselves first. There is little adherence to the concept of duty or stewardship, and it’s replaced with entitlement and looking out for number 1. Most of this is why people have a lot of trouble with bringing in their tithes and offering. They believe so much in the concept of comfort and being served that it is beyond them to believe that the Lord would want them to sacrifice something before they can be blessed. A lot of Christians feel entitled to God’s blessing — because they feel it’s in the Bible — without sacrificing anything on their part. It’s like believing in the principle of reaping, while neglecting the principle of sowing.
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Have you ever believed and desired for a reaping without actually sowing anything?