I don’t want to parrot the views of the pastors I respect. I also don’t want my preaching to be “leaves springing from a root out of dry ground.” Instead, I want to be like Ezra, who determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel (Ezra 7:10). Too many of us settle for the “teaching” aspect of ministry without having passed through the “study” and “obey” parts. So our theology becomes incoherent, and our exhortations no longer originate in a heartfelt passion that mirrors God’s passion for His people. Others jump from “studying” to “teaching” without the “obedience” part. So our intellectual muscle may be robust and admirable, but our feet of obedience are shriveled and useless.