When I heard {of the sin}, I angrily tore my robe and coat, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down in shock.

-Ezra 9:3


For me, it’s a daily occurrence.  Regularly, I let pride and selfishness guide my actions.

And then the pastor will preach a convicting message, and I will claim 1 John 1:9 as my motto of the moment.  From the pew, I will confess my self-centered thoughts and declare repentance…

…until self-interest resurfaces and I once again serve my fleshly lusts.  Then I return to my past ways like repentance never happened.

…Ezra was praying and confessing and crying and throwing himself down in front of the Temple

Ezra 10:1

Imagine Ezra.  Imagine the distress and shame he must have felt to act this way.  Imagine being so distraught about sin that you forget about everything else.

My God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are so many.

Ezra 9:6

Maybe I am in the minority, but I sometimes use grace as an excuse to do what I want.  I think that it is okay to serve myself more than I serve God because He is “faithful and just to forgive” (1 John 1:9).

We admit that we are guilty and none of us should be allowed to stand before you.

Ezra 9:14

Ezra, on the other hand, had a proper view of sin.  He knew that sin keeps us from fulfilling our sole purpose–glorifying God.  He knew that we do not deserve forgiveness, but it is a free gift from God.  He knew that true repentance means ceasing the sinful activity.

God, let me see sin as you see it.


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