Ezra and Paul – both were amazing leaders…
Today’s passage in Ezra fast-forwards 57 years from the building of the temple to describe Ezra, the priest, coming to Jerusalem. We learn from the text that Ezra wasn’t just any priest…he could trace his lineage all the way back to Aaron. He also had authority from the king of Persia AND extensive knowledge of the law of Moses. But in addition to all of his earthly qualifications, he dedicated himself to serving God and studying His law (Ezra 7:10). He was uniquely qualified to lead the people of God.
Now consider Paul’s testimony from our reading in 2 Corinthians…He was beaten, imprisoned and starved (among other afflictions) yet he persevered in his apostolic calling (2 Cor. 6:4-10) . Paul’s leadership was refined through weakness – and because of Paul’s weakness – the power of God was revealed. Paul was also uniquely qualified to lead the people of God.
Both leaders respected and loved the Lord, His word and His people. But above all, they gave their very lives in service to their God. Leadership begins with service and requires great sacrifice. Are you cut out to be a leader in God’s kingdom? If so, get used to being on your knees – in humble reliance on God for all he’s called you to be!