Ezekiel 27:1-28:26; Hebrews 11:17-31; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 27:15-16
Most people will never see God in person while on earth. But, God loves people too much to allow them to go their entire lives without knowing Who He is. So, what God does is He touches our lives and transforms us so that we look more like Him. And, when people look at us, they see a reflection of Who God is.
Because of Israel’s disobedience, the entire world was going to see them humiliated through exile. Even though people would see them leave with their heads hung low, when they returned, they would be able to hold their heads high because of God’s faithfulness and forgiveness.
Aren’t you glad that God does not pick perfect people but broken people who He can use to show the world how Holy He is. He let His glory shine through our imperfections! God never wants us to whitewash our past. He wants us to use every past failure as a testimony of God’s goodness and mercy. In this way, those who meet us can get a good picture of Who God is and then they will start their own journey with Him.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17
Ezekiel 24:1-26:21; Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 27:14
Sin is costly. When we allow sin to reign in our lives it will ultimately cost us (or jeopardize) what we consider most precious. To the Israelites, God’s Temple was their central focus. Even to this day in Jerusalem, faithful Jews will pray at The Wall that used to support the Temple Mount. There was a reverence for the place where God placed His Name.
The worst part of their punishment was seeing the Temple overrun and defiled. God told Israel that they would see this but could not mourn. Here is a simple truth: sin will make a mockery of what you hold dear and the devil will use sin to bring shame upon your life and cancel your witness for God.
We can never allow even the slightest door to remain open to sin because when sin comes in, it seeks to take everything not just a part. That is why Paul, in the New Testament, warned us about letting sin rule us. What sin touches, it destroys. What Jesus touches, He heals and cleanses. Whatever sin you may struggle with, surrender it to Jesus and He will show you a way out.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 27:1-28:26; Hebrews 11:17-31; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 27:15-16
Ezekiel 23:1-49; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 27:13
No one would ever conceive of willfully turning his or her back on God! If we were asked “Would you ever turn your back on God?” The answer would be a resounding, “Never!” But, our actions show differently. There is something about humanity where we are easily led astray.
We turn our backs on God in very subtle ways. When God whispers in our ears to take certain actions and we ignore Him, we have turned our backs on Him. If we make time for everything else but Him, we have turned our backs on Him. We can read the story of Samaria and Jerusalem and think that we have never done “those types of things” but the truth is in our own ways, we have turned against God.
God is so loving He will not give up on us. Let’s search our hearts today and see if there are areas that we have turned our backs on God. Let’s purpose to fix these areas so that there is nothing hindering our relationship with God.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 24:1-26:21; Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 27:14
Ezekiel 21:1-22:31; Hebrews 10:1-17; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 27:12
Every precious metal has impurities. It is only in the process of smelting (refining) the metal that the impurities rise to the top so that they can be skimmed off. In the best of us, there is impurity and in the worst of us, there is purity.
Israel had become so depraved that God refers to them as “slag” which is the impurity in silver. God created us to be precious and special but when we walk away from Him and disregard His instructions, we trade our precious metal for worthless dross.
Whenever we are tempted to disobey, we must choose to let our heart be sensitive to God so that we would not trade what is precious for what is cheap. Walking away from God is cheap living. Trying to find the solutions to life without God is a cheap approach to life. When we live our lives to honor God and follow His Word, we live precious lives. Be clear: we are always precious to God regardless of our state (silver or slag). We just devalue ourselves by our actions. You matter to God! Live like the precious person you were created to be.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 23:1-49; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 27:13
Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11
Lacking the ability to hear from God is a dangerous state to be in. Israel had rebelled against God so much that they lost the ability to hear from Him. The leaders came seeking a Word from God and God refused to speak to them!
Instead of giving them a new Word, God reminded them of all the things He had spoken to them in the past. How often do we want to receive a new Word from God when we have not acted on the Word He has already given to us.
If you find yourself in a season where you cannot hear from God or sense His presence, go back to the last instruction you received from Him and act on it. God wants to speak to His children and give us the direction that we need. But, He cannot speak to us if we do not put ourselves in a place to hear. Hearing God’s voice is precious to the Believer. Don’t ever jeopardize it.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 21:1-22:31; Hebrews 10:1-17; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 27:12
Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10
Some things cannot be passed down from generation to generation. There was an old saying that conveyed the falsehood that the sins of the fathers would be taken out on the children. Children thought their lives were capped at whatever their parents did (or didn’t do).
What a way to live! You could not determine your own future. Those who came before you limited your life. God tells Israel to stop saying this because each person has a right and responsibility to choose righteous or unrighteous actions. Even those who start out doing right can turn and do evil or vice versa.
God desires for everyone to live righteous lives and reap the rewards of such living. As God’s children, we have an open door in front of us. If we choose God’s way, there are no limits to how far we can go! Reject that false belief that your education, pedigree or economics will determine your future. It can’t and it won’t. God can take you places your degrees and networks never could. Stick with God. No one can stop Him!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11
Ezekiel 16:42-17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9
Under the Old Covenant, all sin had to be paid for and once the price was paid, life went back to normal except, the person lived with the shame and stigma of having been punished. (Similar to going to prison and then being released.)
God told Israel that after they had stayed in exile long enough, He would bring them back home and restore them and other nations who had broken His laws. Yet, when they came back, they would still remember with regret all the bad decisions they made which caused them to go into exile. Though everything would be restored, they would always remember what they had lost because of their rebellion.
Thank God for the New Covenant. In this New Covenant, Jesus paid the price for our wrongdoing and suffered all the humiliation and shame so we would not have to. This is what grace is all about! Grace means getting what we don’t deserve! We deserved to die for our sins and forever be remembered as sinners but God loved us enough to make us righteous through someone else’s sacrifice. We don’t deserve righteousness and it cannot be earned. It is received. Receive God’s righteousness and know that you are a beloved child of God fully accepted by the Father.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10
Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6
God takes it personally when his children abandon Him and go after other “gods”. After God has done so much for us, how can we go after those who have not invested in us? God paints a vivid picture of Israel and how He found her abandoned. God nurtured her when she could not take care of herself. God provided and protected her. But once Israel matured, she left the love of God and went after foreign nations.
This kind of disloyalty does not happen over night. It very subtly creeps in when we are not aware and before we know it, we are worshipping a false god who cannot help us. The temptation of idols is all around us everyday. It could be our money, our job, our friends, a habit or even, ourselves!
Every idol that we chase will disappoint us. The gods of this world can never care for us like our Heavenly Father. Idols make promises that they cannot keep. They give us a false sense of security that quickly is ripped from us. Though we may be tempted to stray, there is nothing greater than “dancing with the one who brought you.” God has loved us from the beginning and He will never leave us or stop loving us. He’s worthy of our faithfulness.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 16:42-17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9
Ezekiel 12:1-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3
Those around you can affect your future. We have heard it said, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The people we spend time with are a reflection of what’s going on in us and they will paint the picture of our future. More than human wisdom, the Bible says it this way, “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Israel was full of people who refused to listen to good counsel and see the path that God laid out for them. The rebellious people corrupted the good people. It is a simple formula: when negative is introduced, it corrupts everything around it.
If you have people around you who speak and act contrary to God’s love and plans, please be careful! You are setting yourself in a position to fall away from God’s purpose for your life. These relationships may need to be eliminated. These are tough actions to take but your life and future depend upon it.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6
Ezekiel 10:1-11:25; Hebrews 6:1-20; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 27:1-2
God cannot be contained in a building. No matter where we are or where we go, God is always there. When Israel was exiled from Jerusalem they no longer had access to the Temple where God’s presence resided. What made their exile worse, was knowing they could not get to God. In fact, God’s presence had withdrawn from the Temple.
God tells Israel, “I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile” (Ezekiel 11:16). In other words, though you cannot get to me, I will come to you. God is not only going to be with them but God is going to be Their Sacred Dwelling Place.
It is good to know that no matter where we go, it is never away from God! Even if we are experiencing the consequences of our own actions, God will not let us be cut off from Him unless we reject Him. How near is God? Just a whisper away! Call out to Him and He will answer you no matter where you are.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 12:1-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3