The king had granted him everything he asked. (Ezra 7:6)


Remember the old Sears catalog? Beginning in 1888, Richard Sears used a printed mailer to advertise watches and jewelry. Over the next few years, the catalog grew, expanding beyond watches and jewelry to sewing machines, sporting goods, musical instruments, saddles, firearms, buggies, bicycles, baby carriages, and men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. The 1895 catalog added eyeglasses, including a self-test for “old sight, near sight and astigmatism.”

By 1943, it was said that the Sears catalog “serves as a mirror for our times, recording for future historians today’s desires, habits, customs, and mode of living.” Shoppers could find almost everything in a Sears catalog.

When our sons were young, in December they would approach us with the Sears catalog. Sticking out of the huge volume were bookmarks to indicate the pages on which we could find what they wanted for Christmas. Believe me, they were generous in their use of bookmarks! There was no way we could guarantee they would find everything they wanted under the Christmas tree.

So how fortunate when the king granted Ezra “everything he asked.” Of course, his motivation was not a pile of gifts under a tree. He “had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). No wonder God blessed him. His motives were pure!


Check your Christmas list twice to make sure it honors the Lord.


Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.


© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.