November 21

Ezekiel 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Psalm 119:1-16; Proverbs 28:6-7

God is Holy! It is as much a part of His nature as love. God cannot stop being Holy; if He did, He would stop being God. The same is true for God’s love. It is part of who He is. If you take love away He would no longer be God.

Because He is Holy (pure, without blemish, perfect), God can only have Holy things and Holy people in His presence. The way this was accomplished in the Old Testament was through cleansing rituals and sacrifices. Performing the ceremonies the way God instructed enabled one to enter God’s presence.

But, once Jesus came and died for our sins, we no longer need those rituals to make us worthy to be in God’s presence. Jesus’ blood does that. This is what is called Righteousness— being made right with God. God makes us righteous so we have nothing to do with it except believing. However, God still expects absolute holiness from us!

Are you really striving to give God the best in your actions and words? Is it your heart’s desire to please God in your behavior? If we give God our best efforts then when we miss the mark, His Blood cleanses us. Let us not live based on the low moral code of our culture. Since our God is holy, let’s be an example of right living which matches our right standing with God. In this way, God’s presence will remain with us all the time.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 44:1-45:12; 1 Peter 1:1-12; Psalm 119:17-32; Proverbs 28:8-10

November 20

Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5

Our Heavenly Father is a Master Architect. He can take anything and remake it into something beautiful. Regardless of the amount of work it will take, God will devise a plan to transform the most broken building or vessel.

As God spoke to Ezekiel about bringing Israel back home from exile, the centerpiece of their faith, The Temple, was destroyed. God takes the time to show Ezekiel, step-by-step and room-by-room, exactly how the Temple will be rebuilt. If God will do this for a building, imagine what He can do with our lives.

Your life might be lying in ruins with no hope of reconstruction. Those are the projects God specializes in rebuilding. As skilled as we are in messing up our lives, God is more skilled at putting them back together! Let the Master Builder show you the wonderful plan He has for your life! Then give Him permission to start the renovation process. You will be pleased with the outcome!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Psalm 119:1-16; Proverbs 28:6-7

November 19

Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2

God is protective of His children. Even though we may not do the things we should and we suffer natural consequences for our misdeeds, God is still on our side. God’s love for us never fails and His commitment to us never wanes.

All God desires is for us to repent, which means to turn away from our sins, and return to Him. Israel’s enemies had become haughty because they felt that their victory over Israel was because of their military might. How wrong they were!

Israel’s enemies defeated them because Israel had walked away from their Protector, The Lord of Heaven’s Armies! Israel’s exile to a foreign country was punishment for leaving God. Yet, the foreign nations rejoiced that Israel was destroyed. They did not realize that God still protects His own— even when they are being punished.

God demonstrated to all of Israel’s enemies that He is still Sovereign— which means He Reigns! As you live for God, you should know that God is on your side and He will always cause you to win if you stay close to Him. He will protect, guard and defend you.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5

November 18

Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1

Your words have creative power to change your life! God gives Ezekiel a vision of a valley with dry bones. God authorizes the prophet to speak to the dry bones a message of life and hope. Ezekiel speaks God’s words over the bones and the bones come together.

God then told him to call breath back into the bones. He obeys and the bones come back to life. This powerful vision helps us see how creative our words can be if we back them up with God’s power. There is nothing facing you that God’s Word cannot overcome.

Use your creative power to speak to dead situations and tell them to live! Not your words but God’s Words! Let His Word do the Work! In the same way that those bones responded, your situation will too. Don’t settle for dry bones when God wants to give you new life.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2

November 17

Ezekiel 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 27:23-27

God’s grace is limitless. We should know because we are the recipients of His grace every day. Grace is a product of God’s unconditional love for us. Even though Israel was under the law and constantly broke that law, they did not have a way to make things right with God on their own.

God tells Israel that He will bring them back from exile to honor His Name. Moreover, God says that He will restore the land and its productivity to a level greater than it was when they left. Did Israel deserve this? No!

God reminds Israel that they don’t deserve this kindness. Why was it important for God to repeatedly say this to Israel? Because God wanted to let them experience His grace first hand. They knew the law and the consequences for breaking the law. But, they did not know the love and grace of God. God’s grace is getting what we do not deserve.

Just like Israel, we cannot earn our right standing with God. He freely brings us into His family and seats us at the table— not as a guest— but as a full-fledged son or daughter. God’s grace is absolutely amazing. We are where we are because of God’s grace. We have hope and a bright future because of God’s grace. Trust God’s grace today. It can do more than save you! It will take to all the way to the top. God did it for Israel and He will do it for you!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1

November 16

Ezekiel 33:1-34:31; Hebrews 13:1-25; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 27:21-22

God has not left us to fend for ourselves. He has offered us two people to help guide us through life. The first is the Watchman. The Watchman can hear what God is saying and warn the people about impending doom or judgment.

The Watchman had to be prepared to tell the truth unreservedly because people’s lives were on the line. If the Watchman heard the Word but neglected to tell the people, then all responsibility shifted to the Watchman. But, if the people heard the Word and then disregarded it, they would bear their sin and consequences alone. God also gave us Shepherds, in addition to Watchmen, to lead us and feed us.

Shepherds are assigned by God to feed us a healthy diet so that we can grow and be the sheep that God has called us to be. God holds the Watchman and the Shepherd to high standards because they are caring for His people.

God is always trying to warn us from danger and nourish us so we can be who He has called us to be. Allow these people to assist you in becoming who God created you to be.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 27:23-27

November 15

Ezekiel 31:1-32:32; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 27:18-20

Death becomes a great equalizer for humanity. Regardless of how wealthy or how impoverished one is, in death, we are all equal. Since we all have to die (unless the Lord returns), it is important to consider, what will we be remembered for?

Egypt, who had a glorious history of innovation and political dominance, was reduced to nothing. The pharaoh who once reigned in infamy, was buried in dishonor. Other great warriors and leaders all died unfulfilled.

We only get one life. How will it be lived? Will we do those things that bring glory to God and leave a godly legacy for others to follow? Or will we waste our lives and go down to the grave with regrets and unfinished business? There is life after death and in eternity, we will enjoy the rewards of a life well-lived or we will spend eternity ever reminded of what we could have done but failed to do. You and I get one life. Let’s make it count!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 33:1-34:31; Hebrews 13:1-25; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 27:21-22

November 14

Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17

What does it take for us to surrender to God and acknowledge that He is the Lord? Many of us have heard that saying, “You can learn the hard way or the easy way.” For some of us, it takes a strong wake up call to get our attention so that we will look away from ourselves to Him.

Egypt took great joy in battling against and defeating Israel. They remembered how the Israelites had broken free from slavery and now this was their chance for retribution. They never thought that anyone else would arise to defeat them.

God said that the Babylonians would pummel Egypt’s King and its land. But, it is not so that Babylon could gain political dominance but that Egypt would come to know that the God of Israel is The Lord!

When challenging times arise in our lives, could God be using them as a neon sign pointing us to Him? God is not the source of the calamity, but He will use whatever means necessary to draw us to Him. We do not have to learn the hard way. Listen for the gentle voice of God calling you to Him. Respond to His voice today, don’t wait for trouble to arise.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Ezekiel 31:1-32:32; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 27:18-20

November 13

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

November 12

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