Category Archives: Ezekiel

It Doesn’t Revolve Around Man

holy is your name

It’s all about God.  I keep forgetting that.  In my egocentricity, I keep thinking it’s about me, it’s about us, it’s about man.

And God has done amazing things on behalf of man.

But still, the world doesn’t revolve around man, it’s about God.

What did Jesus tell us should be the first thing to pray?  About us and our needs?  No, “Our Father in heaven, HOLY IS YOUR NAME.”

What is the greatest commandment?  To love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.

What does God say about himself and his purpose?   “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Ex 9:16

God’s name must be proclaimed.  He must be glorified as the almighty and only supreme being.  Here are some other verses about this:

  • I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. Ex 36:23
  • If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name–the LORD your God—Deut 28:58
  • As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm  I Kings 8:41-42  (Solomon praying at the dedication of the temple.)
  • I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. Is 42:8
  • I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. Eze 39:21
  • For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Hab 2:1

One thing I am growing in recently is an appreciation of the need to glorify God.  I think we have a deep need to worship a transcendent God, and this can only happen when we appreciate the awesome and majestic holiness of God.

It’s all about God, and we are happiest when we acknowledge this.  Worship expresses the utter truth.

Yesterday I got with Marge, our women’s leader, and we started talking about the different women in our ministry.  As we talked, I started to get more and more anxious.  There are so many needs, and not enough of me to go around and meet those needs!  Finally I got out my guitar and sang some psalms to God.  I had to get the focus off of myself.

Sometimes I think I want it to be about me, but if it were really about me, I would explode.  I can’t be God.  It needs to be about HIM and only HIM.

This morning as I was praying, I remembered a song that reflects this insight:

This day is not my day
These possessions are not mine.
Time and physical existence
Are the Lord’s domain —  a matrix of God
In Him we live and move and have our being.
So what conceit to live apart from Him.
The way to be in harmony with God,
with everything around us
Is just to praise, just to praise.
Every particle of my being
Wants to resonate with praise.
It is right, it is right
What I was created to do.

It’s all about God, and this needs to be more of my mindset.  I’m looking forward to reading more verses that help me to grow in this.  And may I leave a trail of God’s glory behind me as I go.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. I Cor 10:31

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Filed under Abundance/Greatness of God, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, Having the Right Heart, Holiness

Don’t Forget Those Glasses!

glasses craft

This is what the Sovereign Lord says. . . “When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused . . . I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him.  And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”  Selections from Ez 38

Who is Gog?  No one knows for sure.  But this verse illustrates for us one thing we can know.  God is with his people and fiercely protects them.

As I was running this morning I thought of how I have lost sight of this.  When I pray, I haven’t been having the faith that God is going to work the situation out.  It may be because sometimes I have felt bad physically, been tired, and haven’t been able to think clearly.   When I have needed God to give me a clear head, it hasn’t always happened.  God doesn’t always change our physiological circumstances.

But God’s grace has been sufficient.  I have gotten through one day at a time.  I am feeling somewhat better in health. I am excited that we have candidates to be permanent leaders in our church.  Several of the women we have been studying with want to get baptized.

God HAS been with me, even in my weakness!!!  Let me not be like the Israelites:

And he (Moses) called the place Massah and Meribahbecause the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”  Ex 17:7

Here is the source of my faith:  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5  Nothing in my life is going to go right unless I am close to Jesus.  When I embrace him throughout the day, things will work out.

Jake preached a great sermon on Sunday about seeing with eyes of faith.  He used this passage from II Kings 6:  And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  Jake asked us, “What would you do differently if you really believed God is with you?”  I have been asking myself that this week.  I am not sure.  But I know I don’t have the confidence I need to have.

I will give you every place where you set your foot . . . No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous…  Joshua 1:3-6

Be strong.  Be courageous.  I second guess myself too much.  I am too quick to feel defeated.  Let me go out instead with boldness.  I am God’s daughter, I am chosen by him, I am a part of his priesthood, his anointed.  Of course He is with me!  Of course He is fighting for me!

God takes it personally when His people are in distress.  In Exodus, after the Amalekites attacked the Israelites and were defeated, the account tells us, “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.  He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”  Ex 17:15-16  

David said of Goliath, “Who is this uncircumcised philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  I Sam 17:26

When people contend with us, they contend with God!

This Sunday, we are teaching the story of the 12 spies who went to investigate the Promise Land.  For the craft, each child will make and decorate a pair of glasses that will be their “eyes of faith” to help them see like Joshua and Caleb, that God is bigger than whatever they fear.

PaperGlassFrame5

Let us all put on our eyes of faith.  We need to persevere and believe that God is with us, even when it seems He is not.  I was talking to someone yesterday who has for years been one of just a handful of disciples where he lives.  He was excited to share that finally there are plans to plant a church in his city.

I will post a picture soon of my tomato plant.  I planted it in the summer from seeds.  It grew and grew, but never had any tomatoes.  Then, a few weeks ago, it actually started to produce fruit!  Now, in cold November, I have a tomato that is red and ripe, and several more that are growing.  I think and hope that this tomato plant is a symbol for my life, that sometimes it seems like nothing is working, but in time, if I keep on, the harvest will come.  Amen.  We will stand in awe.  To God be the glory.

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Filed under Ezekiel, Faith, Old Testament Survey, Uncategorized

Like the Advancing Dawn

dawn_in_space

This is a time like no time in history.  I think that Christianity is stronger and more pure now than it has been since the early days of the apostles.

God’s work started with Abraham, creating a nation that would be his very own.  He shaped this people through bondage and deliverance from Egypt to be a kingdom of priests.  Through kings and captivity and oppression over many years, God taught people to respect his holy name.

And then with the coming of Jesus, God showed us how to live a truly God centered life, and how to have God’s heart of righteousness and mercy.

Since that time people have tried to implement Christianity, but it has been flawed. False teachings that deviated from the scripture arose.  Many wrong things were done over the years in the name of Christianity — the Crusades, the selling of indulgences, witch hunts, and so on.  Protestantism grew, and this was closer to the Bible.   But how many men truly lived a God centered life, balancing righteousness and mercy?  I think if we conduct an honest assessment of history, we see greed and selfishness everywhere.

Next, there was the establishment of new churches in the 1800, groups that sought a more pure way to follow God. Then came the popularity of tent meetings, campus crusades, Billy Graham, instant conversion and evangelicalism.

To me, each step of the way people have been getting closer to the model of what God would want us to be.  Along the way there have been bright lights — people who stood up for the truth and lived in an exemplary fashion.

Today, it is encouraging to be a part of a group that stands for and lives out the fundamentals of Christianity — making Jesus Lord, denying self,  being evangelistic, serving the poor and needy, being humble, loving and practicing one-another relationships.  It is encouraging to me that more people are adopting this kind of worship, led by teachers like Francis Chan and David Platt. I know we still all have a long way to go.

But the point is, God’s work is advancing.

Sometimes I need to just take a deep breath, let go and let God do what he’s doing.  If I’m not careful, I run off in a direction and try to drag God with me.  I want to advance in God’s direction, in step with Him.

Let me remember —

  • It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  Romans 9:16
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.  Eph 2:8
  • This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  Mark 4:26-27

The word of the Lord is living and active. Hebrews 4:12  All I need to do is put the Word out there, do what I can, and stand back and let God work. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Is 55:10-11

May I keep in step with the Spirit.

May we be the generation that worships in Spirit and in truth.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  John 4:26

The world is not falling apart.  Although there is much evil, may we trust that God is working in an amazing way, advancing His kingdom like the bright line of dawn advancing across the globe of the world.  He WILL be exalted.  He will show His name as holy.  The future is unfolding as it should.  In the days to come, we will stand in amazement as we see that he has accomplished immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.

I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Ez 37:27

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Filed under Abundance/Greatness of God, Ezekiel, Grace

Dry Bones and Living Water

Sunrise

Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD. This is what the Almighty LORD says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. I will put ligaments on you, place muscles on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you, and you will live. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'” Ezekiel 37

Like dry bones coming again to flesh, there are no situations too impossible for the Lord.  I think of a friend who is wrestling with repentance.  To her it seems like a huge obstacle, but nothing is impossible for the Lord.  I think of disciples who are trying to be faithful while living a long distance away from those who could encourage them.  There seems to be no good answer for them, but nothing is impossible for the Lord.  I think of people who have so much to overcome to come to faith.  It is not hopeless for them.

God will always provide a way.

  • God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. II Cor 10:13
  • And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matt 6:13
  • the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials.  II Peter 2:9
  • He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  Ps 23

And then God works in the impossible situation of forgiving our sins.

I am reading an excellent book right now called “Iscariot,” written as if Judas were telling his own story.  On one of his first encounters with Jesus he sees Jesus heal a leper.  The way Judas describes the leper — deteriorating,  foul, unclean, despondent — reminds me of the way we are in the depths of our sin.  How could there possibly be any hope for us?  We feel unwanted and unworthy.

But Jesus healed the leper, and most miraculous of all, he can heal our souls; he can cleanse us of those hidden putrid cancers that no amount of our own efforts can ever fix.

You know, at our Wednesday midweek we talked about how for hundreds of years the Jews anticipated the time when they would be saved.  They thought they would be saved from their oppressors, the Romans.  How could they know that the greatest thing they needed was to be saved from themselves; saved from the bitterness, the anger, the hatred, the idolatry of self, the corrosive lust, the gnawing guilt, the inner pain?

Jesus is the living water, the source of internal cleansing, the source of LIFE for our dry bones.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  John 7:37-38

In “Iscariot,” the author, Tosca Lee, describes the first time Judas, wrestling with his inner demons, found himself alone with Jesus.  Judas asks Jesus about healing.  “‘Teacher, the leper.  How?  How did you know you could heal him?’”  Jesus focuses his attention on the healing of Judas.   “‘The thing you seek is not along this shore, or in the hills.  But with me.  Follow me.‘”  Judas responds in his  internal dialogue, “Yes I said it in my heart…in that moment I felt I had found a thing, a person, worth the resurrection of my every hope.” 

Every day, Jesus is the resurrection of my every hope.  No situation is too impossible.  No state of a soul is beyond redemption.  Yes, I will follow him.  HE is the thing I seek above all else.

As the sun rises on the horizon, I think about how it is God who will put the flesh on the dry bones of the day.  Through Him people will find faith.  Through Him we will meet those who are searching.  Through Him we will find answered prayer, joy, love — all the things that give us abundant LIFE.

“My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; ..I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ ”  Ezek 37:12

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Filed under Ezekiel, Hope

Reading Mark All At Once

For my devotional recently I read the first 13 chapters of the Gospel of Mark straight through out of the God’s Word Translation.  It was good to read this way because Mark is so brief.  I could see the whole picture of the narrative of Jesus’s ministry more clearly, instead of seeing it in little bits, like I usually do.

Also, through the Spirit some of the passages stuck out to me and gave me the spiritual insights and strengthening I need for the things I am working on. (Sorry, I have not listed the chapter and verses here.)  Here is what encouraged me:

GOD IS FAITHFUL.  Let me hold to that today like a lifeline.  If I know nothing else, let me know that.

Let me be faithful as well, the person Jesus wants to take with him to work his miracles, as he took Peter, John and James with him, not the person who is a hindrance, as those were in his hometown.

  • While Jesus was still speaking to her, some people came from the synagogue leader’s home. They told the synagogue leader, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the teacher anymore?”  When Jesus overheard what they said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid! Just believe.” Jesus allowed no one to go with him except Peter and the two brothers James and John. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a noisy crowd there. People were crying and sobbing loudly. When he came into the house, he asked them, “Why are you making so much noise and crying? The child isn’t dead. She’s just sleeping.” They laughed at him. So he made all of them go outside. Then he took the child’s father, mother, and his three disciples and went to the child. Jesus took the child’s hand and said to her, “Talitha, koum!” which means, “Little girl, I’m telling you to get up!” The girl got up at once and started to walk. (She was twelve years old.) They were astonished.
  • He couldn’t work any miracles there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and cure them. Their unbelief amazed him.

Let me remember that “hopeless”  is not in God’s vocabulary.   The passage above about Jesus healing the little girl illustrates this, as does the story of healing the demon possessed boy who the disciples couldn’t heal.  These verses help to remind me that the situation before me may seem daunting, but it is not daunting to God.  Those who seem like they cannot be saved can be saved.  Those who seem like they will not change can grow over time.

  • When Jesus went into a house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we force the spirit out of the boy?” He told them, “This kind of spirit can be forced out only by prayer.”

Let me know God is all sufficient.  He will provide for my needs as I serve him.  I may be intimidated by the health challenges I face, and worry about how I will be able to do the things I want to do.  But as long as I make it my focus to seek God’s agenda,  He will enable and equip me to accomplish the things He wants for me to accomplish.

  • He called the twelve apostles, sent them out two by two, and gave them authority over evil spirits. He instructed them to take nothing along on the trip except a walking stick. They were not to take any food, a traveling bag, or money in their pockets. They could wear sandals but could not take along a change of clothes.

Let me pour myself out in service, not expecting anything in return.  It is so inspiring to read how Jesus gave himself to a life of menial service.  When I read these examples it exposes how tied up I can be in self, and in personal glory.

  • When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd and felt sorry for them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. So he spent a lot of time teaching them
  • Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant. Whoever wants to be most important among you will be a slave for everyone. It’s the same way with the Son of Man. He didn’t come so that others could serve him. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people.

Let me tell the truth to people, to tell them the things they need to know, and not hold back.  I have been really thinking about this lately.  Jake talked about sin in his disciple makers class on Saturday.  He talked about how people need to see the truth in their life, what is causing it to be dysfunctional, what they are putting ahead of God.  I am also including in this section some of the verses I have been reading on this topic in Ezekiel.

  • So the apostles went and told people that they should turn to God and change the way they think and act.
  • John had been telling Herod, “It’s not right for you to be married to your brother’s wife.” So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she wasn’t allowed to do it because Herod was afraid of John. Herod knew that John was a fair and holy man, so he protected him. When he listened to John, he would become very disturbed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
  • Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man would have to suffer a lot. He taught them that he would be rejected by the leaders, the chief priests, and the scribes. He would be killed, but after three days he would come back to life. He told them very clearly what he meant. Peter took him aside and objected to this. Jesus turned, looked at his disciples, and objected to what Peter said. Jesus said, “Get out of my way, Satan! You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.”
  • When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die fortheir sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.  (Ezek 33:8-9)

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Holiness and Humility

“When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  Luke 14

Father God, I pray that I will no longer seek glory for myself, accomplishment for myself, recognition for myself, but that YOU will lift me up instead, as I humble myself.  May I be like Jesus, who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.” (Phil 2)  As Travis talked about yesterday in communion, may I be willing to have the mindset of Jesus, which is like me deciding to be an ant and serve the ants and allow them to kill me.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”  I Cor 3:6-7

Holy Father, may I be humble and realize that it is all up to you.  Only YOU can make things grow.  May I build as an expert builder, on Christ, not on my own wisdom.  Please always give me guidance to be your fellow worker, and to labor with you on the work you are focusing on.

A quote by Jonathan Edwards, cited in Jake’s sermon yesterday: “The Gospel story is designed to affect us emotionally – and our emotions are designed to be affected by it’s beauty and glory. It touches our hearts at their tenderest parts, shaking us deeply to the core. We should be utterly humbled that we are not more emotionally affected than we are.”

Jake talked about how our lives should be like a party, a celebration that we can follow Jesus. We should have an abundance of joy, passion and excitement.  I want to live this way more, to see more deeply how wonderful the gift is that I have been given, to be more aware of it each moment, and not at just a few times during the week.

Last night we were watching the end of Les Miserables.  It is easy for me to get choked up to the point of holding off a sob as I watch this.  How much more should I get emotional about the gospel!  The deeply moving, inspiring message is the same:

Come with me
Where chains will never bind you
All your grief
At last, at last behind you
Lord in heaven;
Look down on him in mercy
(VALJEAN:) Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to your glory

Valjean's_Death

Father, let me humble myself, and see the wonders of the gospel story like a child.  May I not be corrupted by the good things you have given me: “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.”  Ez 28:17.  May I instead build with beauty — with the gold, silver and costly stones of your word, of service and of love.

Father, you are HOLY and you would have us treat you as such, with humility, reverence and gratitude.  In a thousand ways, all around me, I can see how you work.  You build your church around the world.  you change hearts.  You give people hope.  You call people to you.  You bless immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.’ ” Ez 28:25-26

Father, you have gathered us out of the world.  We have been caught in the net of the fishers of men.  We are living out your purpose, and you are shown to be holy.  May I be ever more humble as I realize who YOU are, what you have done, and what you continue to do.

 

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Filed under Ezekiel, Humility

The Power of Connection

“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.”  John 17:21

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

“…so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  Eph 4:12-13

The goal is unity.  From the moment He walked with Adam an Eve in the garden, God wanted a connection with man.  Jesus provided a way for this to happen.  The purpose of the church is to facilitate unity.

As I wrote in my last blog, I am seeing how vital it is to maintain an encounter with Christ.  This is something I have been doing more of lately — interacting with him, enjoying fellowship with him, asking him before I do something to give me wisdom.  My latest challenge has been stomach issues.  Yesterday I thanked God for this weakness, because it forced me to go to Him so often to ask for help and guidance.  I couldn’t rely on my normal energy level and clear mind.

The power of connection.  I watched a really cool documentary this week called, “I AM.”

I AM

It was done by Tom Shadyac, the director of movies like “Ace Ventura” and “Bruce Almighty.”  Shadyac got a concussion in a bicycle accident that gave caused him to have lingering depression.  When he finally came out of this depression, he was motivated to make a movie about what is wrong with the world, and what we can do to change it.

After interviewing many famous thinkers —  including Noam Chomsky, Lynn McTaggart, Desmond Tutu and Howard Zinn — Shadyac concluded that all of creation is connected, and that humans are biologically wired to cooperate and empathize with one another, not be separate and competitive.  The movie pointed to how, for instance, birds decide which way to fly in a cooperative way, one flap of a wing at a time.  It showed how bacteria in a dish of yogurt is affected by the strong emotion of a nearby person.

Although Darwin touted survival of the fittest, he also said the strongest human instinct is sympathy.  Our throats will choke and our eyes fill with tears at moving situations.  We are hardwired for a compassionate response to the trouble of others.  We’re born to be our brother’s keeper, said those interviewed in the movie.

If God desires unity with us, if this is what was  important to Jesus (that we abide in him, that we would one day be one), if the goal for all time has been for us to dwell eternally with our Lord, then our job IS to be our brother’s keeper.  We need to bring all into a state of connectedness with our Heavenly Father.

We need to be Christ’s ambassadors, urging people to be reconciled to God. And reconciliation can only happen with repentance.  I was studying the Bible for the first time with a campus girl yesterday and we read Acts 17:30, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

We need to be fishers of men.  Jake mentioned Sunday how the idea of being a fisher of men originated in Jeremiah.  God would search out those who lived in “wickedness and sin. “Behold, I am sending for fishermen, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them.”  (Jer 16:16)

There is a wonderful, encouraging message of God’s love, and His desire to be close to us, but it requires the proper response from us., one of utter reverence.  This is not a warm fuzzy spiritual philosophy we’re dealing with, but the MOST HOLY ONE.  Although I believe the time of miraculous gifts has passed, this passage in I Cor 14:24-25 still illustrates our job to show others who they are before God, “But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!'”  

I keep working my way through Ezekiel.  Here is one of the most famous passages, which also has to do with reconciling man with God.  “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved. . . I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”  (Ez 33:7-9, 11)

The last part of the movie “I AM” dealt with the ways we can help the world to be better. Here are some things that were said.

  • Change happens because YOU are concerned.
  • By loving our enemies, we heal their damaged souls.
  • It makes our heart sing to use our talents to make world better.
  • If none of us do anything, nothing will change.
  • There is no such thing as a tiny act. One positive action can change the world.

And the last thing someone said is something I love.  Desmond Tutu looked at the camera with hope and joy in his eyes, and related, “God says, ‘I have no one but you.'”

It is up to each one of us.  It is up to us to “remain in the vine.”  It is up to us to interact with our brothers and sisters to foster unity and maturity.  It is up to us to make the world a better place by reconciling others to God, and calling them back into the state which they were created, “hardwired,” to be.

It is up to us to help bring about God’s ultimate plan -to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”  (Eph 1:10)

 

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Filed under Evangelism, Ezekiel