Category Archives: Ezekiel

1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalm 104

Faithful work … loving deeds … enduring hope. When I read the encouragement poured out in 1 Thessalonians, I imagine a group of believers in life’s sweet spot where it’s easy to be faithful and loving. Understand: they weren’t in a sweet spot, yet a sweetness poured out from them–their faith. They were known by it, and God was known by it.

We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.

And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-10, NLT, emphasis added)

In a three year drought, faith ignited a fire. Unwavering, confident, expectant faith from knowing God.

30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.

Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”

34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!” (1 Kings 18:30-39, NLT)

(And rains came, ending the drought. Imagine the elation!)

Land is set aside for the tribes of Israel, and I read this piece:

11 This area is set aside for the ordained priests, the descendants of Zadok who served me faithfully and did not go astray with the people of Israel and the rest of the Levites. 12 It will be their special portion when the land is distributed, the most sacred land of all. (Ezekiel 48:11-12, NLT, emphasis added)

These are stories of man’s faith in a faithful God, not in life’s sweet spot, but in drought, in severe suffering, in focused and enduring service. It’s not just a believing faith, but a persistent, confident, expectant, actionable, demonstrable faith.

Lord Jesus, when I am burdened and bear a weight that’s heavy, what pours out of me? A three year drought … I am humbled, when I know a poor night’s sleep and a taunting stress are enough to make me snap. These scriptures remind me to keep a sure and eternal focus.

You placed the world on its foundation
    so it would never be moved. (Psalm 104:5, NLT)

Let all that I am praise you.

Courtney (66books365)

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1Kings 10; Philippians 1; Ezekiel 40; Psalm 91

He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with Hiram’s fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. – 1 Kings 10:22 GNT

When it comes to prosperity, I know this is a hard topic especially when I view it through prayer. I knew of one person who prayed that none of his children would be rich. I can only imagine that he found no source of life there. However, I am sure for those of us who are not rich, we have not prayed that prayer.

I am thrilled that Paul helped me get my focus on things that matter when it comes to relationships and he did so when writing to the Philippian church. His prayers revolve around the need of others.

I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgment, so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ. Your lives will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can produce, for the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11 GNT

It is a prayer for spiritual growth. I see the end in mind – grow up and live my full potential so that my life would be one that would glorify God and cause others to praise Him.

Then he took me into the entrance room of the Temple. – Ezekiel 40:48 GNT

I found it interesting that Ezekiel’s journey through the temple ended with him at the entrance room of the temple – the place where the priests prayed before they continued on into the temple. What a symbolic gesture of how I enter into the presence of God.

Praying for protection was a big thing in his day as it is in our day. Psalm 91 has been a protection Scripture that I have turned to whenever there has been danger of any kind. It is not only comforting, but effective when I pray it from my heart.

Father, I thank you for encouraging me to pray today and to be free to ask You for prosperity and I know You know what that means, to grow in love, knowledge, discernment, to be pure and blamelesss, to have the fruit of the Spirit evident and lastly to pray for protection. What a rich time to spend in Your Word and to spend time getting to know the things that move Your heart towards me. I look forward to growing and experiencing You throughout the day. May my day bring You glory and praise in all that I do and say. Amen.

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1 Kings 9; Ephesians 6; Ezekiel 39; Ps. 90

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT

My new favorite song is the Battle Belongs, by Phil Wickham. “When I fight, I fight on my knees, with my hands lifted high. Oh God, the battle belongs to you.” It reminds me to hand over my trials to the Lord. So much of the time, I try to carry them myself. I get weighted down by burdens. Why is it so hard for me to stop and pray? It sounds simple, but so often I worry instead. When I pray about it and give God praise in the middle of it, I feel lighter and more free. I am reminded that God already has the victory. Satan is always feeding me lies. Sometimes I am too tired to engage in battle. I am thankful for other believers who are intercede on my behalf.

“So now, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will end the captivity of my people; I will have mercy on all Israel, for I jealousy guard my holy reputation! When I bring them home from the lands of their enemies, I will display my holiness among them for all the nations to see. Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind. And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” Ezekiel 39:25-29 NLT

I am so encouraged by these verses. Especially that none of God’s people will be left behind. If I am feeling left out or discouraged, I am reminded that God never forgets me. I am on His mind. And His Spirit is inside of me.

“Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! ” Psalms 90 NLT

Dear Father, I can so easily get bogged down by the worries of this world. Help me to have an eternal perspective. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Thank you that you fight for me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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2 Samuel 19; 2 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 26; Psalm 74

I have had my moments where I was enjoying victory, being giddy, having fun, and then all of sudden, something more pressing came to confront me and rob me of that joy. It is amazing how quickly joy can be shut down.

And so the joy of victory was turned into sadness for all of David’s troops that day, because they heard that the king was mourning for his son.2 Samuel 19:2 GNT

LIfe can be strange that way – it makes for a rather unsteady life – I want, I don’t want; I pray and I don’t want the answer, or at least, not so – but thus, a crooked answer to a straight request. These are the times that I conquer such a life by the Spirit of God – it is when I pray and have it out with heaven. Then these words hit me too…

But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 GNT

My prayer continues in pleading with God for deliverance and I strive to keep them God-centred. I realize how much time I am spending on praying for myself and try to intervene on behalf of others so that His name may be honoured in their lives too.

But remember, O Lord, that your enemies laugh at you,
    that they are godless and despise you.
Don’t abandon your helpless people to their cruel enemies;
    don’t forget your persecuted people!

Remember the covenant you made with us.
    There is violence in every dark corner of the land.
Don’t let the oppressed be put to shame;
    let those poor and needy people praise you.

Rouse yourself, God, and defend your cause!
    Remember that godless people laugh at you all day long.
Don’t forget the angry shouts of your enemies,
    the continuous noise made by your foes. Psalm 74:18-23 GNT

The Psalmist teaches me to pray for the sake of God’s name and reputation, for the sake of His praise and for the sake of His covenant faithfulness.

Father, I pray that Your Kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Your name is I AM and I bow my knee before You and cry holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. You have proven Yourself in my life over and over again. Though I may find myself mourning, I know, deep in my heart and soul, that joy will come again in the morning. For that I bless You and love You always.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Sam. 18; 2 Cor. 11; Ezek. 25; Ps. 73

“I repeat, let no one think me foolish.  But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.  What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool.  Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.  For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!  For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.  Are they servants of Christ?  I am a better one-I am talking like a madman-with far greater labors, far greater imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.  In toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”  2 Corinthians 11:16-31 ESV Continue reading

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