Ezekiel 14:6 Repent And Turn

Faded person on railroad

Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!’ Ezekiel 14:6 

Admission of having done something wrong is not something that most people like or are willing to do. Most often people will attempt to excuse their behavior or actions away. In excusing their actions, many will attempt to blame others or society for why they are the way they are or why they did what they did.

Very rarely do people see that what they are doing may be wrong. Actions are done because it seems right in their own eyes and many others are already doing it, so it must be acceptable.

God points out to Ezekiel that the elders of Israel, who had came to Ezekiel, were hiding idols in their hearts. God tells them to repent and get rid of the idols in their hearts.

In some nations, physical idols are still worshipped by the people. In many countries, physical idol worship is rarely seen. Most people realize that they physical idol is really nothing at all.

However, in every country, people set up and worship idols in their hearts. There are things that they hold onto in their hearts over anything else, including God.

Sinful practices are idols that are inside the heart. Some of these practices are: greed, selfishness, pride, hatred, vengeance, lying, cheating, sexual thoughts, and more. Most often these are inside the heart set up against God and His ways.

It is common for believers to hide these secret sins in their hearts to the point that they are idols in their hearts.

God tells the people to repent and turn from all these idols. It is either worship God alone, or worship the false gods. It is not both.

Only you and God knows what is in your heart and what is on the throne of your heart. Very few people do not have some idol in their heart that goes against God. You have to make a choice as to who or what will be on the throne of your heart.

You may choose to live in sin or hide sin or idols in your heart, but then there is the consequence of God’s judgement against you for those sins. You can also choose to be forgiven.

To be forgiven, you must repent of those idols and turn to God. Turn away from sin and accept God’s forgiveness and receive His life for you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will help you to see any idols in your heart; that you will repent of any sins before God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart. 

Acts 23:5 Watch What You Say

Peaceful stream

Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'” Acts 23:5

Paul had been taken in for preaching the gospel message and was being questioned. Ananias, the high priest, requested that Paul be struck for what he was saying. Paul yells at him for commanding that he be struck. Someone then stand amazed that Paul insulted the high priest. Immediately Paul apologizes, because he knows he is not supposed to speak evil about any ruler.

In America, there is freedom of speech and many people will use to the point of abuse. When there is a leader who they do not like, there are often words being spoken against that leader. These words are not only against the leader, but also insulting and degrading.

Comedians will cut down leaders in a negative, rude way. People will curse their leaders on a regular basis, and link the leader to Satan. This can happen to leaders of the nation or just a leader in the workplace. In the break room, there are many times people are cursing their boss or some other manager, because of a decision that was made.

People in the church have not been much better. There is often talk that cuts down the pastor or some other leader in the church. Instead of showing love, people will bash leaders in the world.

None of these actions are the ways of God. God wants love to be shown. God wants people to be lifted up, not cut down.

One may not agree with the leader, but that does not require speaking evil of and cursing the person. God has placed every leader in position for a reason, regardless of how good or bad the person is. Trust in God’s decision must be in place.

When you are in disagreement with a leader, you must be willing to pray for that person. Show love and mercy to that person. Do not stand there and cut the person down before others. You can express disagreement, without insulting the leader.

In a time of much unrest and hate of leadership, seek God to give you the words to speak. Find words of love and building up, rather than insulting and cutting down. Watch your words so that you can draw people to Jesus, not run them away.

I pray today that you will speak as Jesus spoke; that your words will be words of love and building up; that you will show proper respect for all leaders; and that your words will draw people to Jesus.

Acts 21:13 What Are You Willing To Go Through?

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Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

Paul had been in Caesarea for a time and was ready to leave and go to Jerusalem. Several people warned him that he would be bound up there. Paul said that he was ready to not only be bound, but also die in Jerusalem if needed.

Very few people are really willing to do something, knowing that they will most likely go to jail for it, unless they are a hardened criminal. They do not want to go to jail for doing something good, and usually will avoid it at all costs.

This is not to say how much more they will avoid it, if it may cost their life. Even fewer people want to die for doing something good.

Although most people do not want to go to jail for something good, there are many believers who state that they would be willing to go to jail for Jesus. They state that they are not afraid of anything.

Yet, a lot of those very same people do not go out and be a true witness for Jesus every day. They close their eyes and ears to those in real need. They do not put themselves on the line for getting the gospel message out to people. When they are in line at the checkout counter, they are staring at their phones, rather than talking to the next person about Jesus. Or they are in too much of a hurry to give a helping hand of love to someone in need. They worry about their job position to tell someone about Jesus at their workplace.

If people are not willing to be hated a little, or risk their job, or be a little late in order to tell someone about Jesus, they will not be willing to go to jail or die for Jesus when the time comes.

Take a look at your life and see how much you are willing to do in order to get the message of Jesus to the people around you. How often do you take advantage of every situation to tell someone about Jesus?

Do you bypass opportunities out of fear? Or do you grab them?

How much are you willing to do to tell others about Jesus?

I pray today that God will give you boldness to tell others about Jesus; that you will not fear what may happen as you talk about Jesus; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Acts 20:24 What Are You Aiming At?

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However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

As Paul was getting ready to leave Ephesus, he told the people that he may not see them again. He knew that prison and hardships were ahead of him. Paul was not worried about his own life, but his aim in his life was to do what God called him to do–testify about Jesus and God’s grace.

Many people have goals or aims in life. Those who are successful tell everyone else that they need a goal in life, something to aim for. If one does not have an aim, then he will not hit anything or accomplish anything of any real value.

The world says that the goals that one must have should be a big bank account, large house, many cars, great vacations, and high status in society. If one does not have these, then they are worthless aims in life.

Believers have a different aim in life. Their aim is to please God. The only way to please God is to do what God has called them to do. The greatest task that God has called every believer to do, is to testify about Jesus and God’s grace.

The world is on a one-way track to death, seeking temporary things of this world. They do not know that there is real life to be had out there. That real life is only found in Jesus Christ.

The only way that the world can know about Jesus Christ is for a believer to bring the gospel message to them. Someone has to be a witness of what Jesus has done for them.

As a believer, you need to be one to tell others about Jesus. Your aim in this life needs to be telling as many people about Jesus as you can possibly tell.

Building a big bank account and great vacations may be nice for this life, but it does not help in light of eternity. Souls may be lost, if the main task is not focused on.

Take time each day to be a witness. Make it your aim in this life to tell as many people about Jesus as possible. In doing this you will please God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the task God has called you to do; that you will make it your aim in life to be a witness for Jesus; and that many will know Jesus because of your message.

Acts 19:15 Do The Demons Know You?

A Person Thinking

One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Acts 19:15

A Jewish chief priest named Sceva, had seven sons. They were going around trying to cast demons out of people in the name of Jesus that Paul preached about. At one point a demon responded to them about knowing Jesus and Paul, but had no idea who they were. Immediately afterwards, the man with the demonic spirit jumped them and severely beat them up.

In many parts of the world, people strongly believe in demonic forces, while in other parts, very few people believe in demonic forces. In places where they do not really believe in these types of forces, they often think of them as a game or a fantasy.

Yet, demonic forces are a reality in this life. Often they are not seen as demonic forces, but mental illnesses or other problems in the life of a person.

Those who think that demonic forces are just a game, can be in for a surprise, since they are real. The demons know who Jesus is. They have directly seen and been in battle with Him for thousands of years.

Believers who truly follow Jesus, will be seen and known by the demonic spirits. A strong believer in Jesus will make an impact in the spiritual realm of this world. Those who follow Jesus know the power that Jesus has available for them to use. It is not their own power or the power of another person, but the power of God in their life.

Every believer is to be clothed with Jesus Christ. When the demons see the believer, he will see Jesus Christ. Demons have to flee from the presence of Jesus Christ, because He is holy and righteous and has power over them.

You may not ever have to deal directly with a demonic spirit, but you will have to deal with people in this world who do not know Jesus. When they look at you, who do they see? Do they just see another person in this world? Or are you someone different, clothed with Jesus?

When you approach those who are of satan, do they see Jesus in you? Do they recognize you as a believer in Jesus, with the power of God? Or are you just another person claiming to know Jesus?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will walk and talk as Jesus did; that the world will see you as a follower of Jesus; and that the demonic world will tremble around you because you have Jesus at your side.