Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 4:7-23; Ezra 7:1 through 8:36
Are you getting ready to begin a new project, business, or field of study?
Would you like to know if you will be successful in that endeavor?
We all know people who have started something and quit or “seemingly” failed.
Is there one predictor of success?
Paul Graham, an essayist, programmer, and investor believes there is…
The most important predictor of new business start-up success is determination. At first we thought it might be intelligence. Everyone likes to believe that’s what makes startups succeed. It makes a better story that a company won because its founders were so smart. The PR people and reporters who spread such stories probably believe them themselves. But while it certainly helps to be smart, it’s not the deciding factor. There are plenty of people as smart as Bill Gates who achieve nothing.
In most domains, talent is overrated compared to determination—partly because it makes a better story, partly because it gives onlookers an excuse for being lazy, and partly because after a while determination starts to look like talent.
Ezra agrees with Paul Graham:
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in August of that year. He had arranged to leave Babylon on April 8, the first day of the new year, and he arrived at Jerusalem on August for the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. —Ezra 7:8-10
How many times do we look at someone and think, “Wow, everything seems to come so easy for them!”
It’s never “easy” to be successful; easy means with little or no effort. It certainly wasn’t easy for Ezra.
Most people in his day couldn’t read or write. The majority of the Israelites were disobeying the Law rather than obeying.
But Ezra was determined to be what God had called him to be.
If you’ve been on our journey one day or all year, you can personally attest to the difficulty of developing a habit of reading, studying, and applying God’s Word. Compared to Ezra we have it so easy, Bibles are everywhere and study helps are in abundance, but it takes just as much determination in our day-to-day study to obey God’s Word as it did in Ezra’s day.
Friends, let’s make a choice to be an Ezra and determine to know God through His Word!
Heavenly Father, help us to determine to be a student of Your Word. Holy Spirit, teach us how to apply it to our daily lives. Help us to live a life that preaches Your Word to others.
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 9:1 through Ezra 10:44; Nehemiah 1:1 through 2:20