Ezekiel 16:61-62 God Makes The Atonement

“‘So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD. Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.'” Ezekiel 16:61-62

God had just described Israel as being a prostitute. He had made a covenant of marriage with them and they broke the covenant by going out with others. They chose to follow false gods and the ways of the other nations. Since they had chosen to be this way, God chose to destroy their nation and punish them severely.

After a time of punishment, God would then establish a new covenant with them. God would be the one to make the atonement for all of their sins. This would be done by God for them, even when they did not deserve it.

God’s love is perfect, amazing and never-ending. He loves all people, even when they are living in sin. His goal is to have an eternal relationship with each person, however, He cannot have sin in the middle of that relationship.

No person on this earth can get rid of any of the sin that is in his life. Once a person has sinned, it is there for eternity, unless God does something about it. And God has done something about that sin.

Where man fell short, God sent Jesus to do what needed to be done. Jesus was a perfect man, with no sin at all in His life. Yet, He paid the price of death on the cross for sin that He did not commit. This price was for your sins.

Dying on the cross and shedding His blood was the atonement price for your sin. It was initiated by God, not by any person. Because Jesus was perfect, death could not hold Him in the grave. He rose from the grave to take away your sins. The price was paid in full.

As you think about what Jesus did for you, repent of all your sins and accept the atonement paid for them. Do not stay in your old ways of living. Once you realize your sins are removed, strive to live for God. God paid the price, don’t reject Him or ignore what He has done for you.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus did for you; that you will accept the forgiveness Jesus offers you; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will live for God.

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Ezekiel 8:10-11 Idols In The Church

So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel. In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising. Ezekiel 8:10-11

God was giving Ezekiel a vision of inside the temple. He was seeing idol worship being done. It was showing the condition of the hearts of the people and the leaders of Israel. They were worshipping false gods inside the temple.

Looking at many churches around the nation, they can look very beautiful on the outside. Large beautiful churches with great looking landscapes, beautiful platforms, and great looking foyers are seen everywhere. As one looks at the surface of these churches it often looks as though everything is done for the worship of God.

One has to look at things with the eyes of God, who sees into the heart of what is shown, to see what is really happening. Churches, in the name of outreach, have often chosen to do things without God at the center. It is often the thought of do whatever it takes to get someone to come into church, but do not preach Christ and Christ crucified.

The message of the cross is one that is detestable to the world and to every person, until he sees what it has done for him. It cannot be left behind or forgotten.

Churches are made up of people and it is the people who have chosen to do things without God as though they are doing God’s will. Sins are being done in secret, as though God does not see them. These very sins are brought into the church. Sins of jealousy, pride, anger, idol worship, and selfishness are being allowed into the church with no thought of giving them up. These are the things that brought judgment against Israel and will bring judgment against everyone today.

Do not allow yourself to let idols into your life. When you step into a church to worship, get rid of all sin and follow God. Make God the center of His temple, your body, so that the church building will also be a temple of God to worship Him in.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to get rid of idols in your life; that you will put God first in every area of your life; that every church will be followers of God; and that God will be honored in every church. 

Ezekiel 6:9-10 Calamity For A Purpose

Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me–how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. And they will know that I am the LORD; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them. Ezekiel 6:9-10

It was because of the sins of the people that God chose to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people in captivity in Babylon. In the process of doing that, God kept a remnant alive. Those who survived would realize what their sins had caused and would repent of those sins. The few left would turn their hearts back to God and the purpose of the calamity would be fulfilled. The captivity was not to just destroy the people, but to get them to turn their hearts back to God.

From the beginning of time, God has always wanted to have a relationship with mankind. He always wanted to be able to spend time with people and bless them with a full life. Never once was the final purpose of what happens to just be destruction.

God allows calamity and trials in the lives of those who follow Him for a purpose. Sometimes it is just to test the person and see if he is really following Him or not. Other times it is to draw the person back to God.

When a person begins to go through a hard time because of sin, he will realize how good he really had it when he was following God. At that point, he may turn back to God, hating the sin he had fallen in to. Some will fall away from God and give up on Him, while a remnant will turn back to Him during such times.

Throughout your life, God is working out all things to keep your focus on Him and to make you more like Jesus each day. Some of those things may be calamity. They may be painful and hard to go through, but the purpose is still the same.

Keep your eyes and life focused on God. Strive to be more like Jesus everyday. In that way, all the things you are going through will be for a good purpose. And God will not have to strike you to get your attention.

I pray today that you will be more like Jesus; that you will not fall away from God in hard times; and that you will turn from all sin in your life towards God.

Lamentations 4:12-13 The Unexpected

The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the peoples of the world, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous. Lamentation 4:12-13

Jerusalem had been a very powerful city, in a very powerful nation during its time. It was set on a high hill with a great wall surrounding it. Attacking it and overcoming it would have been very difficult. All over the world, other nations knew that taking Jerusalem would have been nearly impossible. Yet, it happened, it was destroyed for a time, the unexpected happened.

The only reason that the enemy was able to take Jerusalem was because of the sins of the prophets, priests and people in the city. God handed Jerusalem over to the enemy because of sin.

Just like Jerusalem was confident that no one could conquer them, many other nations and people feel as though the enemy has no chance of overtaking them. People hide behind their money, power and position believing that those things will protect them from all harm or destruction.

Others hide behind church or a position in church. They feel that because they are a leader in the church or go to church each week, that they are immune to any destruction. As they stand behind these things, some will live in a sinful lifestyle, rebelling against God and His commands. They feel as though they are protected because they go to church and call themselves ‘Christian.’

God sees through their false living. He sees how each person is really living his life. He knows whether a person is really following Him or not.

In the end each person will stand before God to give account for his life. If one believes in Jesus and is following Jesus, God will see it and he will be saved. If one does not really follow Jesus, regardless of what his words say, God will also see it and the person will not be saved.

You have to make the choice to follow God. Do not trust the things of this world or yourself, put all your trust in Jesus. If you are against God, you can be overcome. God will win in the end.

Who are you really following today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God with all of your life; that you will trust God in every area of your life; and that you will be saved by Jesus. 

Lamentations 1:14 A Heavy Weight

“My sins have been bound into a yoke; by his hands they were woven together. They have been hung on my neck, and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has given me into the hands of those I cannot withstand.” Lamentations 1:14

During the time of the Babylonian takeover of Jerusalem, the people were under much suffering. The Babylonians did not treat them well, though they did allow them to live. The city had been destroyed and the people were in great misery. As Jeremiah sees this, he is weeping, lamenting, because he feels the weight of all the sin that brought on this destruction.

Sin is something that looks and sounds like fun, but it carries a heavy weight to it. People often think that they can handle their own sin, especially those ‘little’ sins.

It is commonly thought that what does it matter if one tells a little lie? Or if one cheats his neighbor a little bit? Or if one just breaks a little rule once in a while? It really does not affect anyone is what most think. And besides, God will understand.

The truth is that any sin, big or small, has a weight that no one can really bear up under. That weight is the weight of death. It will take away all strength from a person, pulling their head down to the grave as though a millstone was hung on his neck. It is bound tight to the person’s neck as a yoke is placed on an animal, that only the master can remove.

Jeremiah had faithfully followed God, but was feeling the weight of the sins of the people. All those sins took a toll on his body and zapped all of his strength.

Even today, if you live in sin, it will take your strength away from you. You will be constantly looking over your back to see if you will be caught in that sin. Fear will keep you awake through the night because death will be knocking on your door. The weight will be more than you can handle.

The good news is that you do not have to bear that weight any more. You can hand it over to Jesus. Turn from the sin and He will get rid of it. He paid the price of death for your sin.

As you turn from your own sin, weep for the sins of others. Lead others to Jesus to get rid of that enormous weight.

I pray today that God will help you turn from all sin; that you will know the freedom Jesus can give you from your sin; and that you will tell others about Jesus.

Jeremiah 25:11 There Is Hope

This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Jeremiah 25:11

The Israelites in Judah had chosen to follow false gods, despite many warnings from the prophets. God had chosen to punish them by allowing Babylon to overrun the nation and place them all in captivity. Through the prophets, God told the Israelites to go into captivity and serve the king of Babylon, a gentile king, for a time. This time of service and punishment would only last for a set amount of time. It would end in seventy years, there was the hope of restoration.

Living in sin will always have a price that a person must pay. The ultimate price is death. It starts out with spiritual death and separation from God, and ends with physical and spiritual death for all eternity.

Those who have never chosen to follow Jesus are destined to be punished for eternity. Those who have chosen to follow Jesus have had their sins removed. The punishment is no longer there. However, when believers step back into sin and choose to not follow Jesus for a time, there may be punishments set in place by God.

God is a loving Father who does not allow His children to do wrong without any correction or punishment. He disciplines those He loves.

There may be times when you have chosen a wrong path that was not God’s path for you. You chose to step into sin for a time. God may discipline you in order to get you to focus back on Him. He does not want you to stay in sin and be punished with death for eternity.

The good news is that the discipline is only for a set amount of time. It is not for eternity. The discipline for the Israelites lasted for only seventy years. God set a limit for it when He put it in place. He will also place limits on the discipline in your life.

The consequences of living in sin may be for a short time or a longer time, but when there is repentance, it is not for eternity. Go through the discipline and learn to follow God correctly. Know that it is only for a set time. With the forgiveness found in Jesus, you will still live for eternity. Do not stay in that sin, but know the hope you have in Jesus.

I pray today that you will follow Jesus with all your life; that you will learn all lessons from God; that God will strengthen you in all discipline; and that you will shine for God after any discipline.

 

Jeremiah 14:14 False Visions And Delusions

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14

As the people of Israel were being cast into captivity, there were many prophets who were proclaiming that God would come in and rescue them. They would say that God would bring them peace and give them back their land. Many were telling the people that they needed to fight against the invading nations and that God was on their side. All these things were being said because they believed that they were the nation of God.

God did not tell any of these prophets any of those words. The only prophet God was speaking to was Jeremiah and the words given him were much different.

Words like this are still spoken to this day. Speakers, preachers, teachers, and prophets all proclaim many things. There may be peace in America, or whatever nation you live in, but that is not the problem with a lot of the teachings that are occurring.

Many of the current prophesies or teachings are saying that God is accepting of sin. “Christian” leaders are now saying that various sins are acceptable in God’s sight and that God will not punish anyone for these sins. Words are said that if a believer accepts people in these sins, then God will love them and help them prosper.

God does not, now, nor ever has He, accepted sin or a sinful lifestyle as acceptable behavior. God is against all sin, regardless of political correctness or popularity.

These are the false visions and delusions that many people have. As a believer in Jesus, you must keep yourself focused on what God’s Word said from beginning to end. Do not allow yourself to deluded into believing that sin is acceptable.

God does love everyone who is living in sin, but He hates the sin. If one does not repent of the sin, there will be destruction in the end. If a nation lives in sin as a whole, there will be destruction in the end.

Who are you believing today?

God’s word?

Or the false prophets of today?

I pray today that you will know what God’s word says; that you will speak the true words of God; that you will walk in the truth of God; and that God will reveal the truth in the words people speak.