Pastor Brad Graves
Written by Brad Graves, Senior Pastor
I love this verse, Ezra 7:28… "so I took courage because I was strengthened by the hand of the Lord my God…"
I have prayed it countless times over the years. Like Ezra, I want to lead people to follow God, I want to fulfill God’s will for my life, and I want people to see Christ in me the whole time I’m doing it.
So when he writes this verse I can relate.
And I pray I receive the same three things he received from God.
I love how they are more than tied together.
They are more than consequential.
They are inseparable and cannot exist independently from one another.
I can be courageous - that is seen in my strength and felt in God’s presence
I can be strengthened - that is seen in my courage and felt in God’s presence
I can be in the hand of God - that is seen in my courage and strength
For me, with out God on my side and in my life… I am weak and afraid.
But like Ezra, I find my courage and strength by being in the presence of God.
Dear God, please do not let me leave you today.
Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
*Come Thou Fount (I Will Sing)
Brad Graves is the Senior Pastor at Ada First Baptist Church.