Ezekiel 20:44 God Deals Differently

Mountain and lake

You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 20:44 

When a crime is committed by a person, people want the person to pay for it. They want punishment to be brought upon the person.

Generally most people want the punishment to fit the crime. The more serious the crime, the greater the punishment. No one wants a person who stole a piece of candy to get a death sentence. At the same time, many want the person who murdered a person in cold-blood to get the death sentence.

Ezekiel tells that people that God is telling them that He will not deal with them as their evil ways dictate. God works in a different way and will have mercy upon them.

Most people do not really see how sinful sin is. They do not see how bad every sin is regardless of how great or how little it is. Many think that little sins can be overlooked and forgotten. Yet, with God all sin is sin. And all sin is punishable by death for eternity.

No one can say that they have never sinned, so everyone can have, and does, the judgement of death upon their heads. Yet, God in His great love and mercy, chose not to destroy them. He is willing to forgive and move forward.

God does this for His namesake, not because of something the people did. It shows His true character of true love and mercy.

Every believer has been forgiven and, yet, sins again, hopefully unintentionally. At that point he deserves death…again. Yet God still has mercy and forgives…again. God does not want to kill, but to make alive.

As a believer, you have already seen some of the mercy and love of God. There will be times when you will make a mistake and fall into a sin. Do not give up trying to live for God. Go back to Him for His love, mercy and forgiveness.

God is not out to destroy or condemn you. He is right there waiting to love and forgive you. Give God the chance to forgive you. Then strive to live for Him, being led by His Holy Spirit. God will work with you as you allow Him too. God is a God of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that you will live for God; and that you will know God’s love and mercy for you and others. 

Lamentations 1:20 Inner Turmoil

Over rough waters

See, Lord, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death. Lamentation 1:20 

Stress and inner turmoil are very common feelings for people all over the world. People are striving to have more, do more, experience more than is possible, which, in turn, causes more stress and inner struggling.

The majority of the world feel as if they know what is best for themselves. Yet, as they fight to get what they feel is best, they feel more empty inside and as if they have not gained anything or enough yet.

After the fall and destruction of Israel, Jeremiah was weeping over the loss. He struggled in his heart for the rebellion that he had done and Israel as a nation had done against God. He knew the level of sin that had occurred.

While the world struggles enough with inner stress and turmoil, the believer who walks in sin struggles even more. The believer knows the right that he should be doing, but does not do and God is pulling at his heart.

As the world struggles with things, they do not really know the truth as to what they should be doing, the believer knows the truth. God’s Holy Spirit is reaching down to bring the believer back into a right relationship with Him. Where there is sin, there is no real peace.

The believer walking in a sinful habit may not go into physical exile, as the Israelites did, but he will feel a distancing from God in his heart. His heart and mind will know that he is doing wrong, removing all peace.

All that needs to occur is for the believer to turn away from the sin in repentance and turn back to God. God is ready to forgiven and forget, restoring His peace.

Examine your heart and determine if your heart is disturbed and in turmoil. Are you going through an inner stress that should not be there? Is the cause of it some sin that you are holding on to and refusing to give up?

Be willing to turn away from all sin and obey God. Do not allow yourself to be like the Israelites who were rebellious and God had to put them into exile. Repent and know the love and peace of God in your life today. God is willing to restore the joy of your salvation.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn from all sin; that you will not rebel against God; and that you will know God’s peace in your heart and life. 

Jeremiah 36:3 Hearing Of Coming Disaster

Crumbling ice

Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn from their wicked ways; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin. Jeremiah 36:3 

There are times when warnings of coming disaster are declared. Some people completely ignore the warnings and keep going forward as though nothing is going to happen. Others heed those warnings and change accordingly. In the end some will regret their choices and others will be glad for their choices.

The nation of Judah had been living in sin and God was warning them of coming judgement against them. He sends Jeremiah to tell them of the disaster He will bring upon them because of their sin. God hopes that they will change their hearts and repent of their sin when they hear of the coming destruction.

Most people do not like to hear about coming judgement or disaster. They want to hear about good news, that things will get better or continue to be great. They want to hear about prosperity and love and peace, not disaster and destruction.

This type of thinking has also crept into the church. People only want to hear about love and forgiveness, not judgement. However, God does and will judge sin. Those who purposefully live in sinful ways will be judged some day.

There is coming a day when Jesus will return to judge everyone. Some may live to see that day, others will die sooner and see that judgement come sooner.

The one who is repenting of his sins and striving to live for God will not see that judgement hit him. Those who refuse to repent and turn from sin will only see the wrath of God and His judgement upon them.

People in the church and those in the world need to hear this message. But also need to hear that God is ready to forgive them and save them from the coming destruction of eternal death and punishment.

God is willing to forgive you as you turn to Him and turn away from sin. Be willing to repent and turn from sin, so that God can forgive you.

If you choose to live in sin and rebel against God’s commands, you have only one thing to look forward to–destruction in eternal judgement.

When you repent and turn to God, you can look forward to eternal life with God.

What is your choice? What is your message?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you repent of all sins; that you will know God’s forgiveness and love; that you will obey all that God commands; and that you will let others know of God’s love and commands. 

Jeremiah 31:3 God Loves You

Rose petal

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness;” Jeremiah 31:3 

Everyone loves to be loved, but not everyone feels loved. Some people love fairy tale stories that end with everlasting happiness and love, while others hate the stories. They love them because it is something that they dream of, while the others hate it, because they don’t see that type of love in reality.

The love most people see is often very conditional. One loves as long as it is going his own way, otherwise there is hatred or apathy.

Jeremiah reminds the people that in the past and to the present God loved Israel with an everlasting love. God drew the people to Him through His kindness.

God’s love for people has never changed. He still loves with a perfect, never-ending love. His love is not conditional on whether a person believes in Him or not, whether the person sins or does not sin, God loves regardless.

With that perfect love, God shows a kindness that most people do not understand. Sin separates one from God and brings about death. Yet, He is right there willing to forgive sins and make everything right again. God does this because of love.

God’s great love for people causes Him to be kind, rather than hateful. He wants everyone to come to Him and have a relationship with Him. This can only be done with forgiveness. His love makes this possible.

People want to be loved and need to be loved. When a person realizes God’s great love for him, he will be drawn to God. He will no longer want to run away from that great love and go back into death.

There may be times when you don’t feel as if anyone loves you, including God. God may appear to be far away and distant from you, not very loving.

Do not forget that God still does love you. He is being kind to you, not giving you what you deserve, but drawing you to Him to restore you and pour His love into you.

Regardless of what you have done in the past, how much you have sinned, God still loves you. You can return to Him and be changed and used by God.

Whether anyone in this world loves you or not, God does love you with an everlasting and perfect love.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s perfect love; that you will know the kindness God is showing you; that you will have a relationship with God; and that you will stay by God’s side at all times.

Jeremiah 16:17 God Sees All

Hidden deer

My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. Jeremiah 16:17 

People like their privacy. Large privacy fences are set up to keep others from seeing in. Actions are done behind closed doors or in the dark. Extreme passwords are put in place to protect their privacy online. Many will not talk about what is actually occurring in their private lives to others.

Some of this is done for protection, much of it is being done out of desire to hide the truth of what is occurring. Most criminals do their work in the middle of the night, while it is dark, because they do not want to be seen.

God tells Jeremiah that He can see everything the people are doing, all their ways and actions. This is to include their sin is revealed to Him.

Knowing that God can see everything can be a comfort or a fear. It depends upon what the person knows God is seeing in his life. For the person who is living for God, it is a comfort because he knows God is seeing his work to build His kingdom. For the person who does not follow God fully with all of his heart, it is a fear, because he knows that God is also seeing His secret sins.

Many believers live their lives holding on to secret sins, refusing to give them up. This brings fear of God seeing their lives.

For the believer who wants to live for God, knowing that God sees all of his sins can also be a comfort. It shows that God loves them, even in spite of their sins. It also allows God to reveal sins and allow for repentance and change.

God wants you to be the best that you can be. He wants you to be like Jesus–perfect and holy. He is willing to look deeply into your heart and soul and seek out what is wrong and show you the way to make it right. God is ready to forgive all sin and strengthen you to turn away from sin.

Instead of running from God’s vision for you, run towards Him. Run into His arms of love and mercy and find the forgiveness and strength you need to live for Him. Do not fear that God can see all of you, but embrace it and grow in Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear God seeing you; that you will live as Jesus lived; that you will allow God to change you; and that God will see you living for Him.