January 12, 2014

Help Wanted

Ezra 8:1, 15-35

When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there.
—Ezra 8:15


We studied the other couple across the room. My wife and I did not know anyone at this gathering. But it looked as if the couple across the room was in a similar situation. We struck up a conversation and immediately hit it off. My church was looking for a bilingual associate pastor; we hired him. The Lord knew we had a position open, and he filled it!

Before the Israelites ventured to Jerusalem, Ezra had to address a personnel problem: there were no Levites to lead worship. If the resettlement of godly living was going to start right, this issue had to be solved wisely. But how?

Ezra believed that God was with them, and that set the tone for discerning God’s will. Ezra, along with other experienced lead-ers, prayed and fasted, asking for God’s help. Ezra put the Lord first, asking God to fill the Levite positions with capable people. Ezra centered Israel’s life on its worship of the Lord. And God answered.

Proper worship is vital. It pulls our busy, technology-heavy lives away to where we realize our help comes from God alone. Preachers and worship leaders help us to enter into the large, spacious world of grace and salvation. Together they prepare the kind of worship that focuses on God at the center of all things.

Thank your church’s worship leader today. Tell your pastor you appreciate their leading and preaching. They are helping you see how big Jesus is.

Lord, thank you for the vital work of worship in your church. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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