Ezekiel 44:9 Restricted Entry

Restricted area

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites. Ezekiel 44:9 

All over the world there are places that people have set up that have restrictions as to who is allowed to enter. Nearly every business has places within it where the majority of people are blocked from entering the area. The location is only allowed for those who work there or have special permission to enter, everyone is blocked from it.

Often the block is due to protection for the company and for the outsider. Some places require special equipment to enter. Other places have information in that is not to be released to just anyone.

God had just shown Ezekiel a vision of the restored temple. He then tells Ezekiel that no outsider is allowed into the temple.

The temple was the holy dwelling place for God to be among the people. In order for one to enter, he had to be purified and be a true follower of God. No one else was allowed to enter.

Since the time of Ezekiel, God has set up His temple in the hearts of believers. God is still telling people that no outsider is allowed to enter His temple.

Instead of just being physical beings entering, today it is false idols, greed, pride, anger, and sin that are to be not allowed to enter. People allow these things into their hearts and lives. When sin is allowed into the heart, one is pushing God off of His throne in the heart, which is His temple, His dwelling place.

The heart is the dwelling place for God, and nothing else should be allowed in that place. Nothing spiritual, physical or emotional should be allowed into the heart that does not honor God. The heart belongs to God and to God alone.

Take a moment to examine what is allowed into your heart. Think about what things you allow your heart to follow and hold on to. Are these things the things of God? Or are they the things of this world?

When you became a follower of Jesus, He gave you a new heart, because your heart became God’s dwelling place, a holy temple. Keep it pure and holy for God to dwell in. Do not allow sin or this world to move God off of His throne in your heart. Restrict access to your heart to God alone.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give your entire life to God; that you will allow God to reign in your heart and life; and that you will serve God alone.

Ezekiel 34:31 Belonging To God

Sheep and shepherd

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 34:31 

Very few people like to be owned and controlled by someone else. They like their freedom. People like to be able to do what they want, when they want and how they want.

While everyone loves absolute freedom, everyone is also partially under control of someone else. Most people have a job and are controlled in what they can and cannot do while at work by their employer. Every nation has rules that govern what things can and cannot be done. So no one is truly one hundred percent free all the time.

God tells the people of Israel that they are His sheep and that He is their God. This is despite the fact that they have fallen away from Him. He will draw them back.

Every person is free in themselves, but at the same time, every person has to answer to God. The one who has chosen to follow Christ has chosen to give up his own personal rights and obey God completely. He is now a sheep of God’s pasture.

The sheep does not get to choose what he does or where he goes. The shepherd guides the sheep into what is best for the sheep. Left on its own, the sheep will get itself hurt and in trouble.

In the same way, the believer, left on his own will fail and be destroyed. Following God’s commands and word will bring life. The believer must allow God to be his shepherd, His Lord and God, the one who controls everything.

As one allows God complete control of his life, he will have everything that is needed at the time it is needed. Just as a shepherd provides all that is needed, God will also provide all that is needed.

You have a choice as you walk on this earth as to who will be your leader and guide. You can try to lead yourself, in your limited knowledge and wisdom and sight. Or you can allow someone else to lead you.

In allowing others to lead, you also have a choice. You can allow those with the same limited knowledge and wisdom to lead you, those in this world. Or you can allow God to lead you.

Allow God, in His infinite wisdom and love, to be your God and to lead you to a full life that will extend into eternity. Let God be your God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to lead your whole life; that you will trust God with all of your life; and that God, alone, will be your God. 

Ezekiel 21:13 A Coming Test

Boy testing

Testing will surely come. And what if even the scepter, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 21:13 

When a person is in school, he knows that there will always come a time of testing. It does not matter what age or what level of schooling, testing will always be a part of the schooling.

The purpose of testing is to find out where a person stands in what he was supposed to have learned. It is a process of asking whether the student has learned anything or not. If the person fails the test, he must retake the class to work on actually learning the information. If he passes the test, he is able to move on to the next level.

God told the people that there was coming a time of testing. It was a time to test their hearts to find out if they are really following Him or not. Everything was showing that they were following idols and that they were failing the testing and would be judged accordingly.

Very few people like to be tested. When people hear that a test is on the schedule, they begin to get worried and filled with high anxiety. They question whether they are ready or not. Many start to cram for information to pass it.

Just as God tested the Israelites, He will test people today. He will test whether the person is following Him or not.

It is easy to say that one believes in Jesus and God, but it is another thing to actually follow and obey God in everything as one believes in Him.

The only way a person can know if he is truly following God is by testing. God has to reveal what is in the heart to know the level of commitment to Him.

Throughout your life God will allow times of testing to help reveal where you stand with Him. These are to allow you to know if you are passing the test of being willing to obey and follow Him with all of your life.

Every time you read the bible or hear a sermon, you are being presented with something to build you more like Jesus. Ask yourself if you are learning and passing or are you failing to learn and failing.

If you fail to learn, you will begin to fall back and may be rejected. Strive to learn to obey and follow God with all your heart. Be like Jesus, not this world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God with all of your life; that you will learn what God is teaching you; and that you will pass the tests God places on you. 

Jeremiah 30:22 Who Is Your God?

Rocks with a lighthouse

So you will be my people, and I will be your God. Jeremiah 30:22

All around the world there are many different nations and inside of each nation, many different groups of people. Each group of people has their own way of doing things that make them unique. Each group has their own set of leaders that they follow. Each group has their own desires that they feel are the best for them.

Some of the things that they follow or agree to have become like a god to them. They follow with a whole-hearted devotion some person, belief, tradition, or concept.

Israel had been chosen by God, but at some point they chose to walk away and follow other false gods. God had chosen to put them into exile and destroy them as a nation. However, God also planned to restore them and bring them back as His people. Jeremiah quotes God in saying that they will be His people and He will be their God.

A question every person must ask themselves is who is their God or god?

Most nations have a belief in God somewhere in their history. At some point, as a whole, each nation had followed God. However, most have turned away from God as a whole. They have chosen to follow false gods and reject God.

There are many in the church who claim God as their God, but in reality follow false gods every day. They follow self, the ways of this world, the things of this world, rather than God Himself.

This does not have to stay that way. Just as He had done with Israel, God is ready for people to return to Him and follow Him again. Jesus is right there ready to forgive and restore God’s people back to Him. Regardless of what nation or people group a person comes from, God is willing to be his God.

As you take a look at your life, who is your heart truly seeking and following? Are you being like the world and following the things and ways of this world, following false gods? Are you allowing little, false gods into your life?

Turn to God and find forgiveness and make Him your God. Allow God to be the one who is in absolute control of your life.

He wants to be your God, your only God. He also wants you to be part of His people, His family. Who is your God today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow God with all of your heart; that you will allow God to be in control of your life; and that God, alone will be your God.

Jeremiah 23:17 False Speaking

Peace symbol

They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ Jeremiah 23:17 

Everyone loves to hear good news, when it comes to news about themselves. They do not want to hear any news that things will be bad for them, whether it is true or not. No one wants to be told that things will get worse.

It is common for people to say that everything is good and will remain good, when things are not always good. They blind themselves to the truth of what is actually happening or what is going to happen as a result of certain actions.

During the time of Jeremiah, God had stated that the nation of Israel was going to go into Exile in Babylon because of the worship of false gods. Yet, many false prophets were saying that everything will be at peace and there will be no harm.

Times are not much different today. The world is talking about having peace, when there is coming destruction. Jesus is coming back to judge the world. When He returns there will be great destruction and judgement against all sin.

Those in the world are living as though everything is good and will remain so. There are believers who are living in the same way and not mentioning that when a person is living in sin and rebellion against God, there will come a day of reckoning and judgement. On that day there will be no peace, but only harm for those who refuse to follow God with all of their heart.

Following the ways of this world and one’s own heart will only bring about harm and judgement. Believers must follow Jesus and turn from all sin.

In order for you to know true peace and know that harm will not come in the end, you must believe and follow Jesus with a sincere heart. This begins with turning away from all sin.

As you strive to follow Jesus and be like Him, the judgement upon your head will be removed. God’s peace will come upon you despite the troubles of this world. When Jesus returns you will be brought into eternal peace with Him in heaven.

Without Jesus, or when refusing to obey Him, all you have to look forward to is judgement and harm.

Whose heart are you following? Your own? Or God’s?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn towards God and away from all sin; that you will know the true peace of God in your life; and that your life will be patterned after that of Jesus.