On January 1, 2012, I began to study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah for 60 days, studying for 60 minutes each day. I learned the following important lessons.
If I, and I or the family of God at large, need to experience spiritual revival and reformation, we need to study the Word of God seriously. I do not mean just reading the Word of God but studying God’s Word. Studying involves listening, internalizing the meaning, and applying the lessons to our lives. When the Israelites studied the Word of God, they began to experience a desire to return to the ways of the Lord (Neh. 8:1–8, 13–18). The outcome will result in individual reformation.
Reformation changes our desire to live what is written in the Bible (Ezra 10:3). The Word of God is the standard. Practical experience in the process of reformation includes (1) asking for forgiveness, (2) choosing to give up sin, and (3) starting to obey the will of God.
In the times of Nehemiah, the areas that most needed reformation were (1) avoiding associations leading to conformity to worldly patterns and practices, thus forsaking the will of God, (2) observing the seventh-day Sabbath by doing only those things that are good, and (3) not forsaking the house of God, supporting it with our gifts of offerings and tithes (Neh. 10; 13).
O God of Israel, please bring a revival and reformation in me and in us as Your children. Amen.
—Pardon Mwansa is a Vice President for the World Church of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States