Zechariah 6:15 Building God’s Temple

Those who are far away will come and help build the temple of the LORD, and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the LORD your God. Zechariah 6:15

God had sent Zechariah to Joshua son of Jozadek to commission him to build the temple. His name means branch, so he would become the branch that will reach out to all people. People from all over would come to help him in building the temple. The only requirement needed to make this happen was that he had to diligently obey God.

Joshua was an example of who Christ Jesus would become. He was a type of savior to the people. The temple, in the Old Testament, was a sign of God’s favor, presence and power. He was to build that temple, drawing all people to it. Jesus, later, would be a temple Himself and would draw all people to Himself also.

The building of God’s temple has never finished, although it has changed from being a physical building with bricks, to a body of people. Paul said that the body of a believer is the temple of God, it is where God now dwells.

Instead of using bricks to build the temple today, believers are presenting the gospel message to the rest of the world. They are to lift Jesus up and promote Him. As they do, He will draw all men unto Himself. In that process the temple of God will be built larger and larger.

In order for all people to be drawn to Jesus, every believer must obey His word. Jesus set the example on how to spread the gospel message. It was to be spread boldly with love, compassion, grace and mercy. When a believer is working diligently in this manner, God’s temple will grow. People from all over the world will come to Him. People who are lost in sin will come to Him.

Do not try to build His temple on your own, using your own plans. Seek out God and His word to understand what you are to do in order to build His temple. Follow His rules in building and you will see success. Pattern your life after that of Jesus–the Branch, that you are a part of .

Are you building God’s temple today?

I pray today that you will be a part of God’s temple; that you will seek to draw others to Jesus; that you will tell others the gospel message of Jesus Christ; and that through you God will draw many to salvation in Jesus. 

Advertisements

Daniel 9:8 Admitting Sin

We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered in shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:8

Daniel had just received a very clear vision of how long Israel would be destroyed and under captivity of another nation. He then started reading some of the words of Jeremiah and seeing what God had told him. Once he read those words, he started to pray to God a prayer of repentance for the nation of Israel. Daniel started admitting to breaking God’s commands and sinning against Him.

Daniel did not point fingers at other people and just say that they were the ones to sin. He included himself in the sins against God.

It is very easy, and very common, for people in the church to point fingers at the sins of others. Christians blame those in the world for the corruption and sin that is so rampant in their nation. Blaming politicians and leaders for the sin comes easily for many people. People will say if “they” did not allow something, that sin would not be there or the corruption would not have happened, always talking about someone else and not themselves.

When actions like this are done, one is not showing the love and mercy of God towards others. Nor is the person taking his responsibility in what is being done wrong.

Some may say, “I have never killed anyone (or some other sin), so why am I to repent.” It is true that you may not have done a particular sin, but there is another one that you have done. Regardless of what sin you have committed, you have sinned against God and helped lead your country to where it is today.

Along with that, every believer is supposed to be His loving witness to this world. As you go through your days ask yourself if you are doing everything that you can to be His witness. Ask yourself if you are showing His love and mercy to this dying world in the best way possible and as much as possible.

Since many believers cannot say that they are doing these things to the level God wants them to do, they are helping others continue in sin.

Seek God and ask Him to show you how you can reach the world for Him.

Repent of all sins, both the corporate and the personal. Allow God to change lives.

I pray today that you will seek to be a witness of Jesus to everyone you meet; that you will do your best to bring all to God; that you will show His great love and mercy to this world; and that you will repent of all sin. 

Daniel 1:8 Choosing To Not Be Defiled

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8

When King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had taken over Jerusalem and all Judah, he carried many people into captivity. Out of these people, he chose some who were the best and brightest to work for him. They were brought into the palace courts to work and given the best food and drink, along with all other needed provisions. Daniel was among those given that favor.

The food being provided was food that the Israelites were not supposed to eat according to God’s law. Daniel set it in his heart that he would not defile his body with the food being offered. Regardless of what may happen, he refused to eat that food. He asked the officials to not eat it. He was given favor, because God was on his side.

In this world there are many things that are out there that can defile a believer. No matter what store or location a person walks into things are available to cause one to sin. Pictures, thoughts, and actions are everywhere being done that are filled with sin and can lead a believer down the wrong path. Even other people can lead a person wrong.

As a believer, you must make a commitment to the Lord prior to walking into any place. You must commit to not allowing yourself to be led into sin. You have to choose not to walk down certain paths that the world offers.

In the process of doing this, there will be many times that you will go against the flow of society, even some in the church. Some may be doing it in good will, not meaning to harm you, but still be against God’s ways. It may also be painful. As with Daniel choosing not to eat certain foods, it runs the risk of creating severe pain and suffering. God is with you, and if you choose to follow Him and His ways, He will take care of you.

Before you walk out of your house today, or even your bedroom, resolve in your heart to not allow yourself to be defiled by sin. Refuse to walk down that path as you walk in this world.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will choose to follow God alone; that you will choose to not walk in sin against God; and that you will not allow yourself to be defiled by this world.

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. 

Purpose Of Living On Earth

LifePurpose

Everyone you look people are busy about things in their life. Busy at work, at play, at taking care of the home, at taking care of children or parents, repairs, relationships, making money, paying bills, and the list goes on forever. People are always busy doing something.

If you are like me and my family, we are always busy doing something. We are always wishing things would slow down so that we could breath. There is always something to do and a whole list of things we are behind on in getting done.

Then comes the questions of what is supposed to be done. What is the purpose in everything that is being done? Does the things that we are doing have any real purpose or is it just being busy?

Many people wonder what their real purpose is. They want to know why they are where they are and what they are supposed to be doing. They wonder if there is any real meaning to what they are doing.

Ecclesiastes 12_13

Solomon had written Ecclesiastes looking at life and the purpose of life. He was the wealthiest man who ever lived in all of history. He makes Bill Gates look as though he has not even started to make any money.

Since Solomon had so much money and fame, he was able to have and do anything that he wanted. This book that he wrote, looks at everything and sees everything as meaningless. Things that just happen over and over. Everyone lives and dies, and can take nothing with them…meaningless. Solomon searches for meaning in many different things, wisdom, knowledge, joy, wealth, entertainment, and work.

meaningless word on concrette wall

Yet, in the final verses of the book, he draws everything to a final conclusion. The purpose of man is to fear God and keep His commands.

To fear God is the first thing Solomon lists as a duty of all men. This is to have a reverence for God. You are to respect God for who He is.

Who is God?

He is the One who created everything, including you. He created this world for man to live on and He created every person and everything in this world. Since He created it all, that means He is the Boss, the One in charge, the One who can make all the rules.

Is God In Control

This slides into the second duty of man that Solomon listed: man is to obey God.

A lot of people will claim that they love God. They will go to church every Sunday and wear their Sunday best. It all sounds good, until you look at their life. Then the question of whether they are really loving God or not comes up in deciding whether they are really obeying God.

Some will live in sinful lifestyles or do not show Christ in any area of their life, other than at church. Is this really obeying God? Claiming to love God is easy, but proving it is another matter, though not difficult.

1 John 5:3 New International Version (NIV)

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

John said that for a person to love God, he must keep His commands–obey Him. He finishes this verse with saying that the commands are not burdensome. In other words, they are not that difficult to keep and obey.

Obedience Is An Expression

When talking about the commands of God, many people look to the Old Testament and the book of Leviticus and see hundreds of laws. They see that and say that there is no way they can obey all those laws.

Jesus made the laws of God very simple. He summed the entire law up into two very simple laws: 1) Love God, 2) Love others.

Matthew 22:37-39 New International Version (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

All of the commandments God gave to mankind are summed up under these two simple commands. When you love God, you will obey His commands. When you are obeying God, you are loving Him. And when you love God, you will love every person. And when you love every person, you are loving God. These go hand in hand and cannot be separated, because God is love.

Everything that you do must be about love. Either love to God or love to another person. All of it sums up into love for God.

Now to get back to what I was talking about at the beginning, the purpose of life and the busyness of life. Many people are questioning their purpose in this life and why they are running so hard.

Questions

As you go into each day or plan for days to come, are you seeking out God’s purpose for you? God has a reason for you to be where you are, when you are there, and for what you are going through. Ultimately it is to bring you closer to Him and be a witness to others to bring them closer to Him.

As Jesus left the earth, He told the disciples to go into all of the world and make disciples of every one. They were to point people to Jesus and teach them everything Jesus taught them.

making disciples

This command has not been pulled back to this day. God has given you the same command to tell others about Jesus. This is showing the ultimate love to any person on this earth. It is also showing the ultimate love for God. Jesus died for every person and it is your job and my job to tell them about Jesus and what He did.

Look at your day and ask yourself if what you are doing is fulfilling this command in some way or another. No matter what your job is, you can still be a witness, you can still tell others about Jesus.

If you are not fulfilling God’s command to be a witness in this world, then you need to make some changes in your life. Your life will be meaningless and without purpose, if you are not doing God’s commands and loving Him and others.

When you are busy doing God’s work, you will have strength that will not fail. God will continually open doors for you to be His witness. The doors will never stop opening, unless you close them. In doing this God will restore your energy so that you may continue to do more of His work. In this, you will find your purpose for where you are and what you are doing and what you may be going through.

God Be In Control Prayer

I trust and pray that you will find your purpose on this earth today. Live for loving God and loving others.

 

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.

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.