Thursday, 19 October 2017

Ezekiel 6

In Ezekiel 6, we have a message concerning divine judgment. Note the emphasis - “you (they) will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 6:7,13-14). If we are to appreciate the greatness of God’s salvation, we must see the greatness of our sin and the greatness of the judgment from which we are delivered through God’s mighty work of salvation.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Our Sin, God's Judgment (Ezekiel 5:13-14) ... And God's Love

God takes sin very seriously. He sends his judgment upon sin. The unleashing of His fury turns the sinful nation into a wasteland (Ezekiel 5:13-14). When we read of such things, we wonder, “Is there any hope?” When we are reading so much about sin and judgment, we must not lose sight of the love of God. In love, He calls men and women to return to Him.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Ezekiel 2-3

In true ministry, there is both the Word of God and the Spirit of God. God’s Word is spoken to us in the power of the Spirit, so that we might speak His Word in the power of the Spirit (Ezekiel 2:1-4). Ezekiel is described as “a watchman over the people of Israel.” He was to speak the word of warning (Ezekiel 3:17). This is the kind of preaching which calls its hearers back from the wages of sin - death. The hearers are called to “change their wicked ways in order to save their lives” (Ezekiel 3:18).

Monday, 16 October 2017

Ezekiel 1

“Visions from God” (Ezekiel 1:1); “The power of the Lord came over Ezekiel” (Ezekiel 1:3); “A bright light” (Ezekiel 1:27); “A rainbow in the clouds” , “The Lord’s glory”, “Bowed down”, “I heard someone speaking” (Ezekiel 1:28). In these phrases, we have some suggestion of the kind of lines we must follow, as we think about the various elements of divine revelation.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

False Religion And True Worship

The wise men did want to worship Jesus (Matthew 2:2). Herod said that he wanted to worship Jesus (Matthew 2:8). What a difference there is between saying that we want to worship Jesus and really wanting to worship Him. This highlights the conflict between false religion and true worship. Religion may say the right things, but, if we don’t really mean what we say, our words will not make any difference to the way we live. This kind of religion is worthless. What does God say to us about this kind of religion? - “God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod” (Matthew 2:12). God is still warning His people to steer clear of empty religion. When we come to the Lord, we must not come with empty words - words that we don’t really mean. Our worship is to shape our life. How is our worship to change our way of living? Real worship arises out of salvation. This is very different from religion. Religion says more about ourselves than it says about our Saviour. Salvation is not about us. It’s about Jesus, our Saviour. When He is the focus of our attention, we will learn to worship Him and live for Him.

Beyond the suffering, there is the glory.

There’s realism in the ministry of Jeremiah. He prophesies the Babylonian captivity. There is also hope. He looks beyond the Babylonian captivity: “They will be taken to Babylon and stay there.I come for them, declares the Lord. I will take them from there and bring them back to this place” (Jeremiah 27:22). The way we are led may not be easy. The destination will be glorious. When things are going badly, we must never lose sight of the final goal of God’s working in us and through us. Beyond the suffering, there is the glory.

A Hopeless Situation? ... And The Faithfulness Of God (Lamentations)

For Jerusalem, the situation seemed to be hopeless. Humanly speaking, everything looked very gloomy. This was the situation into which the Word of the Lord came. Often, our feelings may tell us, “My enemies have triumphed” (Lamentations 1:9). These are the times when we must learn to look beyond our feelings, believing that God has His Word for us, and it is a Word of victory.
There is so much, in Lamentations 2, about God’s judgment. It is, however, encouraging to read the words of Lamentations 2:13 - God’s people are described as the “beloved people of Zion.” Beloved - This is a great word. God used this word to describe Jesus - His Beloved Son. We are in Christ. We are in the Beloved. We are God’s Beloved. We are loved with an everlasting love.
At the heart of this book, in which there is much lamentation, we find words of great encouragement - “Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23). The Lord is assuring us that, whatever may happen to us, here is something that never changes: the faithfulness of God.
We hear what Lamentations says to us about God’s judgment. We also hear what it says about His faithfulness. Through our sin, we have brought God’s judgment upon ourselves - This is the bad news concerning ourselves. Through His faithful love, we receive the forgiveness of our sins - This is the Good News of God’s love for sinners.
In Lamentations 5, we have a prayer of the prophet. As he prays for a return to the Lord - “O Lord, bring us back to You ...” (Lamentations 5:21), he affirms that the Lord is King - “You, O Lord, sit enthroned for ever” (Lamentations 5:19).

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The Lord has sent His Spirit of power to live in us.

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