Zechariah 5:4 Thieves And False Swearing

The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’ Zechariah 5:4

Zechariah had been given a vision by God of a large flying scroll. The scroll had a curse written on both sides of it. One was against all thieves and the other was against those who swore falsely by God’s name. It was to go into the houses of these people and remain there until the house was completely destroyed.

It is common for people to be upset about others who are thieves. Very few people have room for someone who is a thief. It is expected that thieves are to be punished.

While this is true, there are many people who are living as thieves. They may not be stealing physical things from other people, but they are stealing from God. He has given them blessings to be used for others and they use them for their own personal gain. They refuse to give generously in offerings and tithes. They steal time to spend with Him for their own personal entertainment.

The other curse was against those who swear falsely by God’s name. It is easy for a person to claim a belief in God, but it is another thing to live by His name. People claim to live for God, yet refuse to read His word, follow His commands, or be His witness. Others also claim things, as though they are true of God, that go against His word. When this happens, they are swearing falsely by His name.

As a believer, you need to continually examine your life, what you say or do. Are you stealing things from God? This could be done on purpose or by accident, but it is still stealing. How much time are you taking from God?

You claim to be a believer, then you must ask yourself if you are really living like a disciple of Jesus. Are you striving to be more like Jesus everyday? Or are you falsely swearing allegiance to God and living your own way?

Make God the center of your life. Live in every way possible for God, in everything you say and do. May God not be able to accuse you of being a thief or falsely swearing in His name.

I pray today that you God will reveal to you ways you may be stealing from Him; that God will show ways you may be falsely swearing in His name; and that you will be more like Jesus everyday.

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Daniel 5:26-27 Found Wanting

“Here is what these words mean: MENE: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. TEKEL: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” Daniel 5:26-27

Belshazzar was king of Babylon and his kingdom was prospering very well. However, unlike Nebuchadnezzar, he did not honor or follow God at all. He worshipped various idols and used articles from the temple to party with.

One day while he and all his officials were having a party, God made a hand visible that wrote some words on the wall. No one was able to understand what those words meant, until Daniel was called. He stated that God said that Belshazzar’s days were numbered as a king and that he had been found wanting. Later that night he would be killed and Babylon would be over taken by the Medes.

Many people have gone to a store to purchase an item and use their debit card to pay for it. When the cashier runs the card, it comes up short on funds in the account. The person is found wanting more money than what he has. It can be embarrassing to the person, because he is short on money.

Millions of people today are living their lives in their own way. Often going to church and claiming to be a believer. Yet, they do not have a relationship with Jesus and are not living for Him in any way. The only thing that they do is go to church. During the week, they never read the Bible, witness, or even pray. The only thing that they do is live a “good” life by not living in extreme sins and by going to church.

When Jesus returns or when He calls those people home, they will be found wanting. Jesus will turn them away for never knowing them. They will be needing the salvation that He provides, but will not have it. The reality of their life will be exposed.

As you are going through this life, you must live your life in a way that you will not be found wanting when you stand before God. Put all of your trust in Jesus and live for Him. Show your love for Him by obeying Him. If you live your life your own way, you will be found wanting and lose in the end.

How do the scales weigh you today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus in a personal way; that you will live for God; that God will be able to speak well of you; and that you will trust God with all of your life.

Ezekiel 33:32 Nothing More Than A Nice Voice

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. Ezekiel 33:32

The call upon Ezekiel to be a watchman was renewed by God. He was to warn the people of coming judgment and to strive to get the people to turn back to God. Even though Ezekiel was doing what God wanted him to do, many of the people saw him as just another person. They heard the words Ezekiel was speaking and thought that they sounded good, but did nothing more.

Each week churches around the nation and the world are filled with many people who claim to be serving and loving God. Many of those churches have pastors who are speaking the words of God correctly.  The people hear the word of God that the pastors present and think that it was a great sermon. Some may shout out ‘Amen!’ as the pastor speaks. Many will talk about how great a speaker their pastor is. However, many will stop right there and nothing more happens.

People can hear about God’s love and about all of His commands, but if they do nothing with it, the words mean nothing. Going to church and hearing a sermon is just a routine for many people, something that they must do to look good for God.

Just hearing God’s word is not enough, putting the words of God into practice is what needs to happen.

The Bible is filled with many beautiful stories about God’s love. It is also filled with many stories of God’s judgment. It is a great book to read or hear about, but it is so much more than just stories. It is what points a person to life and shows a person how to live life.

Each time you hear God’s word, whether in a sermon, a song, podcast, blog, reading the Bible, or any other method, what do you do with it?

If all  you do is think it is a good word, than it is worthless to  you. Apply the word of God to your life and live by it. They are the words that bring about life with God.

Do not be like the people of Israel and think it is just a nice voice or a good story.

I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will apply all the words of God to your life; that you will speak the words of God to others; and that you will put into practice all the commands of God. 

Ezekiel 18:23 What Pleases God

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23

The question had been raised asking if a son will die for the sins of the father, and God answered no. He states that a person will die for his own sins, and that is regardless of how he lived prior to those sins. Along with that, God said that if a person had lived a sinful life, then changed his ways, he would live and not die because of the past sins. God does not look forward to someone dying in sin, but that they will change their ways and live.

Looking out on the world, there are many different types of people. When people read or hear about someone who has done a great crime against many people, they often want justice done and see the person destroyed. They do not see any hope for that person at all.

It can even happen in the small town, where a person knows someone who has been living a very bad lifestyle and it there seems to be no hope for him. People do not believe that he will ever be able to accept Christ and change.

On the other side, people see someone who is a great looking Christian, with a large ministry, fall away from God into some sinful lifestyle. Some people feel that God should still save him because of what he had done in his past.

God looks at the current situation of the heart of a man. God’s greatest desire is that every person will change their ways and follow Him, regardless of how bad or how good they were in the past. Jesus does not want anyone to perish.

Often Christians will condemn a person and never have hope that he will change. Or they do not believe it when he does start to change and serve God.

When  you see a person, you must have hope that God will touch his heart and he will change. If someone who has served God falls away,  your heart must also break with God’s, and pray that he returns.

Have the heart of God in being pleased when a person repents and turns to Him, do not doubt or get angry when a person is given life.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for people; that you will be pleased as God when a person turns to Him; that you will weep as God does when a person turns from Him; and that you will seek to tell all about Jesus. 

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.

Isaiah 58:2-3 Doing Your Own Thing

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.” Isaiah 58:2-3

Israel had claimed to be the nation that God loved and was over. They claimed God as their God. When they were going through tough situations, they would cry out to God, yet God was silent with them. God allowed trouble to come into their lives. The reason was because, even though they cried out to God, they were not trying to live for God. They were doing their own thing, rather than what God wanted.

People in churches all over the world are seeking to know God and His ways every Sunday morning. Throughout the days of their week, many cry out to God for help in situations in their life. Yet, just like the Israelites, many are not attempting to live for God.

Believers cry out to God for help, while at the same time refusing to forgive, or holding onto anger, or lying, or stealing, or gossiping. As one does this, they wonder why God is not showing up in their lives. God cannot be around sin and will not honor those who do not serve Him.

You have to take an honest look at your own life to see where you are at. If you are like many people, you are probably crying out to God for some help in an area of your life. You may be feeling as though God is no where near and does not hear you.

Ask yourself if you are really living for God. Are you serving God with your life? Or are you doing your own thing?

Are you trying to get help from God so that you can look good, or get better things?

Or are you asking for help so that you may build His kingdom more?

As you go before God, do what He wants, not as you please. God will hear you then.

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for your life; that you will obey the commands of God; that you will not put God on the side of your life; and that you will truly know God.

Jesus Freaks

Last week I was blessed to be able to go on a cruise with one of my boys. This cruise was the Jesus Freak 2017 cruise. The Christian band, DC Talk, had reunited after a 16 year hiatus for a one week cruise tour. They set up the cruise with several other bands, Newsboys, Hollyn, Capital Kings, Ryan Stevenson, and Finding Favor.

For anyone not familiar with the band, DC Talk, they had started out in 1987 and performed until 2000. During that time they became one of the most popular Christian bands of all time. Their music was one of a mix of rap and rock in each song. The band was known for being bold in talking about Jesus and pointing people to Jesus. They wanted their message to be one about the gospel message.

One of the songs that they came out with was, “Jesus Freak.” It was their most popular song and portrayed their hearts.

One of the lines in that song is: “What if people think when they hear that I’m a Jesus freak? What will people do when they find that its true?

The term “freak”, to be used to describe a person is not a popular term to be used in today’s society. It would probably be listed as a politically incorrect term.

Freak has the meaning of a very unusual and unexpected event or situation. It can also mean a person, plant or animal with an unusual physical abnormality.

Adding the term freak with Jesus, makes an interesting combination. What exactly is a “Jesus Freak”?

It is the idea that one is very unusual in following Jesus. They are abnormal from all the other people. It is a very unusual and unexpected situation in life.

Take a look at the life of Jesus. He was a different type of person when He walked on this earth. Another line in this song is: “People say I’m a strange, does that make me a stranger? My best friend was born in a manger.

Think about this: Jesus came to this world to save the world and  be king of this world. Yet, the method of coming in this world was not normal. He was not born in the palace, or even in the hospital as most people were. He was royalty and yet, was born in a manger, a place for animals, not kings.

Jesus talked about loving your enemies, instead of fighting them. He tells you to bless those who curse you. These statements go against the thoughts and ways of most of the world. The world says that you have a right to fight against your enemies and that it is acceptable to curse those who do you wrong.

Along with some of the strange teachings that Jesus taught, He also died on a cross. Why would a person die who wanted to save everyone else? How can He save everyone by dying? By the world’s methods of doing things, Jesus was a freak, which is part of the reason why they chose to crucify Him.

Jesus was one who followed God with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength. He was sold-out to God. This made Him a freak, an unusual and strange person in this world.

Those who follow Him are also strange. Why would someone want to follow someone who died nearly 2,000 years ago? Why would someone want to follow someone who was strange and said to love and bless his enemies?

The whole reason Jesus was a freak was because of love. The reason a person is willing to follow Jesus is because of love. God’s love is the best thing that there is in all of this great universe. God has the best in mind for every person.

Now going back to the song about the line saying that he is a Jesus freak. What makes a person a Jesus freak?

Take a look around you and you will probably see a lot of people who claim to be Christian. Some churches have a lot of people in them. Yet, at the same time, take a look around you and watch how many of these same people act in this world. How do they treat each other? How do they treat their enemies?

The sad part is that most do not treat others with the same love that Jesus shows them. Christians are often known for acting and looking just like everyone else in this world. They do not stand out as different.

The few people who do stand out as extremists for Jesus are rare. They are seen as radicals and crazies–Jesus Freaks.

When a person comes out in this way in this world, the world will rise up against them, just as the world rose up against Jesus when He walked on this earth. Today the term used is usually politically incorrect, or extremists. This will even occur within the church. Very few people live as an extremist for Jesus. It is highly unusual to see someone live wholeheartedly for God, abandoning their own life and ways to follow God–thus a Jesus Freak.

Take a look at your own life and see how you are living. Are you living for yourself? Or are you living for God?

Are you concerned with what people think or what they will do if you live sold-out to God?

Allow yourself to be sold-out to God. See what God can do in and through you when you live in the same way that Jesus did. As a believer in Jesus, you are to live, talk and act just as He did. Everything that Jesus said and did was what God wanted Him to say and do.

Just as Jesus was a stranger in this world, so are you. This world is not your final home, you are just a stranger passing through.

Are you a Jesus Freak?

May the final words of that song be yours: “I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak, there ain’t no disguising the truth.”

As for the cruise, it was an awesome cruise! It was amazing to see 4,000 people all being excited about serving and loving God. They were not ashamed of the gospel message. It was awesome to hear the various Christian bands proclaiming God loud and clear for five days.

I was able to talk with many people from all over the world and hear many great testimonies of what God is doing or has done in their life. It was encouraging to hear. God is alive and being served in this world by many, though not the majority.