Ezra was an intellect who loved God with his mind as well as with his heart and soul. Ezra is a model of one who loved God with his mind.
Additional Discussion Questions
1. Can you think of someone you know who has the intellectual spiritual temperament? In what ways has this person benefited your walk with God? Did you ever feel intimidated by this person? What was it that made you feel this way?
2. Based on Jim’s definition of an intellectual (a person who loves God best through using their minds to ponder Jesus and His truths), is this spiritual temperament limited to those who have a high IQ? What are some of the indications that a person has this spiritual temperament?
3. Read Ezra 7:1-6 and verse 10. Who was Ezra? What was his ancestral lineage? How is Ezra described in verses 6 and 10? As a scribe, what important service did he provide for the spiritual health of the nation of Israel?
4. What does it mean to have an inquisitive mind? (see I Kings 4:29) How would having an inquisitive mind be helpful in studying and teaching the Bible? Who is your favorite Bible teacher (from the radio or TV)? What is it that you like about his or her teaching?
5. Read Ezra 9:1-4. What made Ezra so upset? What does this tell us about the relationship between Ezra’s scholarly pursuits and his devotion to God?
6. Read Romans 12:1-2. How do these verses relate to each other as it pertains to the mind? Does this apply only to those with an intellectual temperament? What are some ways all of us can glorify god through the use of our minds?
7. Have you ever known anyone (other than a pastor) who loves to study the Bible and related materials and share what they have learned with others?
8. Read Acts 17:10-12. How would you describe the Bereans? What would it take for our church to become like the Bereans?
9. Jim mentioned 3 temptations that intellectuals need to be cautious of. Thy are: 1) Intellectuals love controversy and tend to be argumentative. 2) Intellectuals tend to put knowing ahead of doing? 3) Intellectuals tend to become proud and arrogant. Which of these have do you struggle with (whether you consider yourself an intellectual or not)? How can you resist this tendency?
10. Share with the group one thing you took away from this message.