Ezekiel 12:1-2 Where You Live

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” Ezekiel 12:1-2

Ezekiel was living in the time right before God was going to destroy the nation of Israel. God was describing how sinful the people were and all the destruction that would occur because of the sin. Now He tells Ezekiel that the people he is living among are rebellious.

When people talk about a rebellious person, they usually are thinking of someone who is very openly defiant and fighting against some system or government. Teenagers are thought of as being rebellious, because they do not want to follow the rules and think that they know best. While this is true about these type of people, there are many others who are rebellious also, but do not show it as openly.

All rebellion is, is jut refusing to do what is right. People everywhere can see evidence of God in creation and life, yet, many do not want to believe it. They openly choose to refuse to believe in God, despite what they see. They do not want to see the evidence of God.

This even occurs inside the church. Believers hear sermons or read the Bible and see that God provides for them, loves them, and is in control. Yet, when a situation occurs, they refuse to believe God and get scared and run. They hear the words of God being said, but refuse to apply them to their own lives. They see what it means to follow God, but refuse to live their lives sold out to God.

Rebellion can be out-right defiant, violent rebellion, but most often it is a quiet rebellion. It is a refusal to live the way God has said to live.

You may not be the violent rebellious person that is read about in the news or described by others. But are you being rebellious in your walk with God?

Is God asking you to do something or give up something, and you are refusing to do so? This would be a sign of rebellion.

Allow God to open your eyes and ears to see and hear what He has to say, and then live that way. Do not be rebellious.

I pray today that you will hear God’s word in your life; that you will see God at work in your life; that you will live according to God’s plan for your life; and that you will not be rebellious against God.

Advertisements

Ezekiel 11:13 Weeping For Others

Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out in a loud voice, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?” Ezekiel 11:13

God was giving Ezekiel visions of what was coming to the nation of Israel. There was going to be judgment upon the people for the sins that they had committed against God. As he was seeing these visions, some started dying. Ezekiel then saw that the nation would go through extreme punishment and he wondered if God would completely destroy everyone. He cries out to God for mercy upon the people.

There are times when one can look at some of the destruction that is occurring in the world because of sin. People are being killed on a regular basis. Families are being pulled apart. Nations are being split up. The destruction is real.

In the middle of watching all of the world going through destruction, one can also see the destruction of churches. There are people in churches that are being destroyed by sin. This is not just persecution, but destruction because of personal sins in their lives.

Various churches are following the ways of the world and claiming to know God. In the process of doing this, they are bringing down people who want to know God and serve God. There are many who are in these churches that are striving hard to live for God, but are feeling the punishment upon the church because of the sins of others.

Many in the church see these things and just state that they had it coming because of sin. There is no sorrow for what is happening, only judgment.

Ezekiel cried out to God for those few who still believed in God and served Him. Rather than call down judgment upon the people, you must cry out as Ezekiel did for God’s mercy. Pray that God will spare the remnant who are striving to serve Him from the judgment against others.

As a believer, you must be a part of the remnant who will serve God with all of their hearts. Seek to know and understand God’s heart for His people. Call upon God to preserve the remnant and not destroy everyone. As you do this, be the light to others as to how God wants all to live.

I pray today that the remnant of God’s people will be spared of destruction; that all those who claim to believe in Jesus will live for Him; that you will have the heart of God for others; and that you will be a shining light of Jesus to those who are mislead. 

 

Ezekiel 9:6 Slaughter Begins In The Church

“Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple. Ezekiel 9:6

God was calling for judgment upon Jerusalem because of the sins of the people. A group of men were set to fulfill the judgment upon the people. Before they began, they went through and marked people who were grieving over the sins that the people were committing. Those people were not to be touched. The beginning point for the judgment was in the sanctuary and then they were to go out from there into all the city killing everyone without the mark.

People are very quick to place judgment upon those who do not follow God in any way. Those in the church like to quickly point out to non-believers that they are heading to hell because of their sins.

Although people like to cast this type of judgment, God looks at things differently. His harshest judgment is focused on those who claim to be believers. Jesus saved His harshest words for the leaders of the temple. Those who did not claim to know God, He showed love and compassion, because they knew who they were.

Just as with Ezekiel, there are many who go to church and claim to be a believer in Jesus, but do not live the life. Those who do not go to church are just living life the only way they know how to live. Those who go to church, have heard how to live their lives for God. There is no reason not to be living for God, yet many do not.

Although God is being patient right now and is holding off judgment of the people, there will come a day when judgment will come. It will start in the church, with those who claim to know Him.

You have to take a look at your own life and see how you are living for God. Are you striving to follow the commands God has given?

Are you living up to what you know God’s Word says?

Or are you living your life in your own way, going against God’s Word?

God is watching and there will come a day of judgment. Live for God and be ready for that day.

I pray today that you will know how God wants you to live; that God will strengthen you to live for Him; that God will see no reason to judge you harshly; and that you will be His witness on this earth.

A Week Of Firsts

Turning 50

This last week has held two different firsts in my life. The first was that I turned 50. That did not really seem like that much to me. It is just a natural part of life. I have been bald on top since I was 17, so that did not mean much to me. And I have had some grey hair for several years already, nothing new either.

Getting older has never bothered me in any way. I guess having eight wonderful children has kept me young, even though I am getting older and slowing down. I can no longer run as fast, or as long as I used to be able to.

The other first for me this week did have a major impact on me. My oldest daughter got married and I had to be the one to give her away.

I am not one to cry very easy or at every little thing that comes my way. Although there have been movies that have brought tears to my eyes, and I am not ashamed or afraid to cry, when needed.

Over the last few months, since she got engaged, I have been ready for this wedding to happen. I never cried or was sad about it. I was very excited that she was getting married. It never bothered me that she would be leaving the house now, after 23 years.

IMG_1842

However, Saturday, when I began to walk my daughter down the aisle, the emotions started to overwhelm me. It was tears of joy, but tears none-the-less.

One of the things I had to do, as part of the ceremony, was to stand up in front of everyone and pray for her new marriage. She and her husband held hands, the pastor had his hands on them also, and I put my hands on top of hers when I prayed.

I have spoken in front of many people, many times over the years. I have also acted and sang in front of hundreds of people. I have even been the pastor over a wedding and over a funeral. Never once have I been afraid, or unable to speak, till that day.

As I was getting ready to speak, my mind went blank for the first time ever, another first in this past week. What I planned to say completely left me speechless. When I tried to speak, I had to really force the words to come out of my mouth. At that moment, my heart was overwhelmed at what was happening. It was overwhelmed with joy and pride. I also knew the value of the prayer that I was getting ready to pray. It was to be a blessing upon the new marriage.

I knew that the man she was marrying was the one God had for her. If I were to list everything that I would want in a man to marry her, he had it all, and then some. Over the last ten years, I have watched him grow up and become a great man of God. He has a heart to pray for and be a witness to anyone and everyone, anytime and every time. He has a servant’s heart to serve any person in need, no matter the cost to himself. He came from a family that serves God with all of their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.

My daughter had desired to be married since before she graduated high school. She had continually prayed to God for the one that she was to marry. She constantly asked God where that man was and when would she get him. Although my daughter and her husband had grown up together, for most of that time, they were not together or even considering each other. God, however, was building both of them up to be who each one needed the other to be. They are the perfect helpmates for each other.

IMG_1843

As I prayed that prayer of blessing upon them, I knew that God is going to bless their marriage and ministry together. I am looking forward to the ministry that God will do through them, now that they are together in marriage. Both have great ministries of their own, but now together they will work together building God’s kingdom for His glory and honor.

I did pray a blessing over them. God filled me with His overwhelming peace of His Holy Spirit to say the words I prayed. As I prayed, I also had tears of joy welling up in my eyes. Afterwards, my wife was very surprised, because that is not something normal for me.

While I was watching the wedding, and watching it again on video, because it was recorded, I had the same feelings I had when I married my wife 25 years ago. I knew then that my wife was the one God had for me beyond any shadow of doubt. And I still know that to this day with no doubts. As I knew my wife was the one for me, I knew that this man was the one for my daughter. I also know that they will keep God at the center of their lives and their marriage.

IMG_1844

For those who are still single and want to get married, keep your eyes focused on God. He will bring the right person to you at the right time. Wait on His perfect timing.

For those of you who are married, also keep your eyes focused on God. Keep your marriage centered on pleasing God and He will do great things in and through your marriage.

god-is-the-centerof-everything-2-728

Staying in the center of God’s will, will always have many firsts in it, but God will strengthen you to do whatever comes your way or make it through whatever comes your way..

 

Ezekiel 8:10-11 Idols In The Church

So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel. In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising. Ezekiel 8:10-11

God was giving Ezekiel a vision of inside the temple. He was seeing idol worship being done. It was showing the condition of the hearts of the people and the leaders of Israel. They were worshipping false gods inside the temple.

Looking at many churches around the nation, they can look very beautiful on the outside. Large beautiful churches with great looking landscapes, beautiful platforms, and great looking foyers are seen everywhere. As one looks at the surface of these churches it often looks as though everything is done for the worship of God.

One has to look at things with the eyes of God, who sees into the heart of what is shown, to see what is really happening. Churches, in the name of outreach, have often chosen to do things without God at the center. It is often the thought of do whatever it takes to get someone to come into church, but do not preach Christ and Christ crucified.

The message of the cross is one that is detestable to the world and to every person, until he sees what it has done for him. It cannot be left behind or forgotten.

Churches are made up of people and it is the people who have chosen to do things without God as though they are doing God’s will. Sins are being done in secret, as though God does not see them. These very sins are brought into the church. Sins of jealousy, pride, anger, idol worship, and selfishness are being allowed into the church with no thought of giving them up. These are the things that brought judgment against Israel and will bring judgment against everyone today.

Do not allow yourself to let idols into your life. When you step into a church to worship, get rid of all sin and follow God. Make God the center of His temple, your body, so that the church building will also be a temple of God to worship Him in.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to get rid of idols in your life; that you will put God first in every area of your life; that every church will be followers of God; and that God will be honored in every church.