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Ezekiel 10-12; Psalm 83; John 4

The chapter of Ezekiel 12 leaves me with a relevant message for my life today. Sometimes I think that God allows me to continue in a certain direction that I know does not glorify Him. Yet, I have to remember while He is merciful and patient, He always hates evil. And therefore, He will not allow me, one of His children, to sin and sin forever. His hand will move in my life and encourage me to stop sinning. God wants a relationship with me, a holy one centred in love.

It is why I try to encourage those who read Psalm 83 to keep it as a prayer. It is so easy to judge and much harder to love. I have begun to pray that God’s enemies will start to love Him. I am constantly reminded to do so every time they do something contrary to who God is.

I also pray that I might bring a message of hope even when there might not be one. The woman at the well inspires me on so many fronts. I realize that I must bring so much of Jesus to the table when I engage with those who do not know Him.

 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” – John 4:29 HCSB

I know that love was in His eyes, I know that He outed sin and yet left no shame in His manner of speech, and I know that this woman did not want to run away but knew that He had what she was looking for her whole life – love, security and safety. How do I relate to others? Can they see love in my voice and the words I choose to use? Is there a sense of security or are they looking for the trap door to escape? Am I a safe place for them to share their guilt and shame while their sin is exposed? I need to make that a priority today – give people a safe place to confess their sin, repent and put their trust in Jesus.

Father, may my voice become Your voice in the ears of those I talk to today. May it be filled with words and expressions of Your love, grace and mercy. May I remember to apply those same thoughts into my own life as I remember that You want to walk with me in Your holiness – may I receive Your love today too. I know that You know me better than anyone else. Even so, Your love for me calls me right into Your arms. I know what it means to be loved, to have a place where I run to for security and I know what it means to be in a safe place. May I be put into situations where I can share these precious moments with others so that that they too may know You. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Ezekiel 7-9 and John 3

Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not a joyful shouting to the mountains. Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, ,and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord, who strikes.” (Ezekiel 7:7-9 ESV)

The problem. God is a just God. He has the right to create and the right to destroy. We all fall short of His standard.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21 ESV)

The solution. God punished His innocent Son for our sins. We will have eternal life with Him if we simply believe. Do you believe?

~Kellie

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Ezekiel 1-3 & John 1

This first chapter of John’s Gospel was one I memorized through a memory program we had in our church when I was in elementary school. It’s a chapter I can still roll off my tongue and at any moment without any prep. Several years ago I memorized Romans 12. I was in my sixties. Guess what? I can recite parts of it today, but not the whole chapter. What we learn as children sticks with us our entire lives. John 1 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible for that reason.

There is another reason, however, why this chapter is such a favorite to me and others. In these fifty-one verses one finds the essence of the gospel. You find how the world was created and what one must do to receive the free gift of eternal life. We may find out more — in this one chapter — about whoe Jesus is and where he comes from and what he did in creation than the rest of the Gospels combined. It is a powerful chapter. We find in the chapter the following:

  • Jesus is the Word
  • Jesus was in the beginning with the Father
  • Jesus is God
  • Jesus is the light of the world
  • Jesus is the creator of the world
  • Jesus is full of glory
  • Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
  • Jesus has supernatural powers to see us from afar
  • Jesus called individuals to follow him

All these things about Jesus in this first chapter of John. So what about us? This chapter is filled with who the God of the universe is and our response is to put our trust in him for our eternal destiny. When we read these fifty-one verses we are given strength and confidence to share Jesus’ story with others.

Father God thank you for the revelation we find in your word about the second person of the trinity… Jesus himself. I pray that we would be strengthened and emboldened to share what we have read and experienced with other. In your precious Name we pray, Amen.

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Psalm 80; 2 Peter 2

Psalm 80;

This is a psalm that appears to spell regret from the children of Israel. They had sinned against God time and time again and broken God’s edge of protection over them. We see their appeal to God in Psalm 80:3(NIV) “Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
In Psalm 80:4-6 one can almost touch the agony in their lamentations of God’s punishment and how much Israel had become an embarrassment amongst its neighbours because of God’s affliction on them.

Psalm 80:8-11 describes how God had distinguished Israel and made them the envy of its neighbours after rescuing them from Egypt. The remaining verses up until verse 16 continues to describe God’s punishment and abandonment of Israel.

In the last few verses we see Israel appealing to God to save them as they had learnt their lesson now.

What we can learn from this is if we wonder off from obeying God we only leave ourselves open for the enemy to plunder us because by disobeying God we stray away from His protective arms

2Peter2

From the beginning of this chapter I believe we are being enlighten & warned here that false prophets and blasphemers have always been from time immemorial so there is nothing new there but we need to be aware that they are setup for God’s judgement.

The scripture then continues by assuring us that God like he rescued Noah & his family from the mist of depravity and Lot and his family also from the evil of Sodom & Gomorrah, God will do the same today to protect the righteous from the evil, sin and temptation around them.

There is also a word of caution to us Christians not to be like “a dog going back to its vomit” by living to satisfy the desires of the flesh for the judgment of God will definitely come upon us like it did to Sodom and Gomorrah . The scriptures here describes how devastating backsliding can be by saying “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” 2 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

Let us be very careful to take this word seriously as we can see from the example of the children of Israel the consequences of turning away from God to serve other idols could be eternally devastating.

In Him

BM

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Jeremiah 43, 44, 46; 2 Peter 1

Peter is one of my favorite Bible characters.  Maybe it’s because he’s so relatable.  He messes up.  Then he messes up again.  At times, his faith is so evident—like when he cut off Malchus’ ear in an attempt to prevent the arrest of Jesus (John 18).  Yet, at other times (in this case the very same night!), he denies the Lord he was just attempting to defend—not once or twice but three times.  It seems like Jesus and his purpose were a mystery to Peter.  He was quick to act and speak, but his understanding of the true ministry and mission of Jesus was lacking. However, by the time Peter wrote his second letter to the persecuted believers, he referred to Jesus as “our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  After witnessing Christ’s death and resurrection, Peter had a full understanding of Christ’s mission on earth. 

It makes me think about often I respond the same way. With the benefit of history and God’s Word, I have a clear understanding of all that Christ has done for me and what is required of me in return.  I have a head knowledge of what to do, but my heart response doesn’t always match up. Many days my life doesn’t look very changed by the truth I know and, like Peter, I mess up again and again.

Peter was challenging his readers in the same way.  He wanted them not just to KNOW the truth about God, but to LIVE it out.  And I love that Peter doesn’t begin this passage with something they need to do.  Instead, he starts by reminding them what God has already done for them. My striving will never work. Only Jesus can guarantee my salvation.

His divine power has granted to us all things
that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called us to

his own glory and excellence,
 by which he has granted to us his precious

and very great promises,
 so that through them you may become

partakers of the divine nature,
 having escaped from the corruption

that is in the world because of sinful desire.
(2 Peter 1:3-4. ESV
)

In the verses 5-7, Peter shares a progressive list of qualities that should be the natural outpouring of a heart devoted to following Christ.  I love how each quality builds on the next–our foundation of faith should ultimately result in love for others.

I also love that Peter starts this list by saying “make every effort” but concludes by reminding his readers that Jesus has called them and ensures their salvation.  As believers, we are called to know Christ and grow in our faith and knowledge of Him and show His love to others.  Peter is clear that the consequences of not doing so are dire:  ineffectiveness and unfruitfulness (2 Peter 1:8) If my faith is not bearing fruit, something is wrong.  But Peter is also clear that these qualities are not prerequisites for salvation.  They do not secure or ensure my salvation; they will be the natural outpouring of a gracious heart that seeks to know God.   

Father, like Peter, I have so many flaws and imperfections.  Help me to continue growing in my understanding of your great love and sacrifice for me.  May my life be characterized by faith in You, growth that makes me more like You, and a love for others that represents You.   

Jen

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