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.

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Ezekiel 4:4 Doing What Seems Crazy

“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.” Ezekiel 4:4

As God was getting ready to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people into exile, He sent various prophets to warn the people. Ezekiel was one who brought the message of the coming destruction to the people. One of the ways God wanted to show that message was by having Ezekiel lie on his side on the ground for 390 days and bear the sins of the people. Reading later it shows in the same chapter that after this event, he had to roll over and lie for another forty days.

There are times when God has a person do something that seems crazy. For the person, it may seem insane to do what God has asked him to do. God asked Moses to go before Pharaoh to ask him to release the slaves. He asked Moses to cross a sea on foot. He asked Jeremiah to defy the king. He asked John to step out of a boat and walk on water. He asked Jesus to die on the cross.

Each and everything God has asked a person to do was for a purpose. That purpose was greater than the pain, suffering or fear that person might have had in doing it. His goal is to build His kingdom and restore all people to Him.

God may one day ask you to do something that seems crazy. It may go against the norm of most people, including believers. It may be life threatening. It may be painful.

What God may ask of you, may not be the same as what Ezekiel had to do, in fact, read the Bible and very few people did the same exact crazy thing twice. However, it may be crazy by today’s normal standards, or just crazy for you. It could be just be willing to take a hard stand for Jesus; telling someone about Jesus; going into an area to be a witness that is dangerous; quitting a good paying job to do another work for God in a different place; and the list goes on.

Will you be willing to do whatever God asks of you, regardless of how crazy it seems?

Or would you reject God’s request?

I pray today that God will show you what He wants you to do; that He will give you strength to do the work; that love for God and His people will be strong enough for you to do what God wants; and that you will work to build God’s kingdom each day.

Jeremiah 42:6 Favorable Or Unfavorable Message

“Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God.” Jeremiah 42:6

Once Israel was in exile in Babylon, some of the people came to Jeremiah to find out what God wanted. They asked Jeremiah to inquire of God what His desire was. They then stated that regardless if the message was favorable or unfavorable, they would obey Him. Many realized that they were in exile because they had not obeyed God, and now they needed to obey. It would not matter if the message was one of pain or not.

God’s message to them was that the Israelites had to choose to obey and serve the king of Babylon. It was not up for option. The message was one of humility, because they were the chosen nation, who were supposed to be the leaders, not the followers. 

Getting news from someone is not always what a person really wants to hear. People go to the doctor about some pain that they are feeling, hoping the doctor can cure them. There are times that the doctor can give the favorable news that it is something minor and easily fixed. Other times the news might be that it is unfavorable saying that the person must change his way of living in a major way, giving up a lot of what the person had enjoyed, just to stay healthy. Either way, the person must obey the doctor in order to be cured.

God works in the same way as the doctor. There will be many times when you have to go to God for some guidance in your life. As you present your situation to God, He will give you His answer. That answer may be easy to follow, or it may mean major changes in your life.

When God speaks into your life, you must be willing to follow His word. It does not matter if it looks favorable or unfavorable, it is what is best for your life. God will never hand you anything that is not for your benefit in the long run.

Are you willing to obey God, even when it does not look or sound good?

I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will obey God no matter what He tells you to do; that you will listen for when God speaks; and that you will live your life for God.

 

 

Jeremiah 35:16 Only Obeying Man

The descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me. Jeremiah 35:16

A group of Israelites, that were the descendants of Jehonadab, had followed the rules of their forefather faithfully. Even though it had been a few generations, they still obeyed his command. God was pointing out that many of the Israelites were obeying this man, but were not obeying God in the same way.

Most people will follow most of the laws of their place of employment without much problem. People want to stay out of trouble and keep their job. They will also follow the rules of their land, for the same reason of staying out of trouble. The majority of these people are people who do not believe in God, yet they show faithfulness and obedience in what they do.

Those in the church will often be very quick to point out to those in the world many of the laws of God, especially the ones they are breaking. People will boast of how they follow God by going to church. However, many will not obey all the commands of God.

Even though many go to church, very few actually take time to read and study the Bible as God wants. Very few will go out and be an active witness of who Jesus is to those around them. Very few will take the time to serve those in need, both in and out of the church. Very few will show the love God has for people who are lost. They are refusing to follow the commands of God, even though they will follow the laws of man in their workplace, city, or nation.

As a believer, you have been given some commands by God. You have been given the freedom to follow God and do what He wants you to do. It is good to follow the laws of your land, because God had commanded that, but do not stop there. Follow all of what God has given you to do.

Show your faithfulness to God in the same way that you show your faithfulness to your employer, city, or nation.

Obeying only man will leave you short with God. Obeying God will bring you reward in the end.

Who are you obeying today?

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will obey all of God’s commands for your life; that you will be the witness God wants you to be; and that you will be an example of who Jesus is to this world.

 

Jeremiah 22:21 Refusal To Listen

I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed me. Jeremiah 22:21

As the nation of Judah was being overtaken by the Babylonians, God told King Jehoiakim that He had already been warning him. God had warned him of the coming disaster, yet, the king refused to listen. It was pointed out that his not listening was nothing new. He had been doing that since he was a young man.

Parents often warn their children of not doing some action, because it will bring about suffering and pain, or punishment. The purpose of the warnings are to protect the child, not bind them up and take away their freedom. Even though the warnings are done in love, many times a child will refuse to listen and get himself into trouble or be injured.

It is common for adults to look at children and talk about how they are rebellious and refuse to listen, while many are doing the exact same thing. God has set out a way to live life. He did that, not to bind a person up and take away his freedom, but in order that he may live life to the fullest.

When a person chooses to not live according to God’s plan, God will give warnings. Living in sin and against God’s plan, will bring about disaster and punishment. God’s holiness requires that He punish, if nothing is done about it.

Believers are often guilty of this type of living. They go to church and carry a bible, so they feel that there is nothing wrong. They feel secure. Yet, they are living with a sin in their life, refusing to give it up. They refuse to listen to what God is saying through the bible or through the pastor and others. While this is happening, the person often feels as though there is nothing wrong, yet there is.

Take a look at your own life. Ask yourself how well are you really listening to God? When God speaks are you obeying what He is saying? Or are you still going about doing your own thing?

Do not live your life in a way that God would have to say of you, that you have been rebellious since your youth. May God be able to say that you have done well and are faithful.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice; that you will obey God’s voice; that you will know the warnings of God in your life; and that you will live your life for God.

Jeremiah 5:7 Why Should God Forgive You?

“Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.” Jeremiah 5:7

Some of the people of Israel were crying out to God for forgiveness and mercy as He was pouring out punishment upon them. They were being overrun and put into captivity and exile because of all their sins. God asked the question as to why He should forgive them.

God then points out that the Israelites children had walked away from Him. They refused to follow Him and went after others gods. Just like a loving father, God had provided abundantly for all of their needs, yet they still walked away from Him. Now He questions why He should forgive them.

Things are no different today. There are people who have chosen to follow God, but after a time, chose to walk away from God’s ways. Some may not completely abandon God, but they choose a path that does not follow, nor honor God in any way. They choose to live in sin on purpose.

It is one thing to have never known God, live in sin and then ask for forgiveness. However, it is a completely different thing to commit to living for God, but then walk away from Him on purpose, then ask for forgiveness.

As a human, you may say that person does not deserve any forgiveness. God looks at that person with amazingly great love and compassion, and wants to forgive. God looked at you with that same love and compassion and wants to forgive you. His desire is that no one is lost or needs to be punished.

God does not enjoy punishing people, but His holiness requires it, if they refuse to follow Him.

No matter what you have done, or how you have hurt God, He is always right there waiting to forgive you. If you question His ability to forgive you, think about His love for you. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you. If He was willing to do that, He will be willing to forgive you, if you ask Him too, and turn from all your sins.

Will you change today and allow God to forgive you?

Or will you stay in your sins?

I pray today that you will know God’s great love and compassion for you; that you will turn from your sins; that you will allow God to forgive you; and that you will give God a reason to forgive you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The Duty Of Every Person

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Solomon started out this book stating that everything is meaningless. As one reads through it, he shows how worthless everything is in this life. People are born, they live for a while and they die. There does not appear to be any meaning in this life for what a person goes through.

As he finishes the book, he points out that everything has been considered and he came up with a conclusion. That conclusion is that the whole purpose of every person on this earth is to fear God and obey Him.

Having this viewpoint in a person’s life, puts God as the One who is in absolute control of everything and knows what is best for everyone. In the end this will be seen when God brings every deed into judgment. This is not just the deeds that are physically seen, but those that are hidden behind closed doors, or are hidden inside the thoughts of the mind.

This judgment will also include all deeds, both the good ones and the sinful ones. God is not just one-sided, He looks at everything, the whole person.

Some people may now say that keeping His commandments is difficult. On the surface this appears to be true, but if you really look at it, there are only two commandments to really keep. Those commandments are: love God, and love your neighbor.

If you are showing true love to God and your neighbor, you will not do anything to harm either one in any way. This includes harmful thoughts in the quiet of your mind, along with the physical actions many do.

Many people are searching for a purpose in this world. You may be searching for your purpose in this world. Now you know what it is: love God and love your neighbors.

Show your love to God and your neighbors by telling them about Jesus and what Jesus has done and will do for them. Be the witness of Jesus to this world today. That is what Jesus did and wants you to do today.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose for your life; that you will see the opportunities to be His witness; that you will love God; and that you will show God’s love to everyone else.