December 29, 2020 - LISTEN HERE
Ezekiel 11: 17-21
Therefore say: “This is what the Lord God says: I will gather you from among the nations and assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. When they return and cast away all of their loathsome things and detestable practices, I will give them one heart, placing a new spirit within them. I will remove their stubborn heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
The Lord gave these words to Ezekiel to tell the leaders of the Jewish people. God made them a promise...that He would return them to their promised land. But as we have seen with many of God’s promises, there are conditions:
- IF turn away from loathsome things AND
- IF they cast away detestable practices AND
- WHEN they live by His statutes AND
- WHEN they keep and practice HIS ordinances
- ....THEN they will be called “My People”
- ....THEN He will be their God
IF I, then HE...
As we reflect on the monstrous things going on in our country and across the world right now – the WEForum.org terrorism; the failures of congress; the overreach of our governors and lame responses of our state legislators; the complete meltdown of the SCOTUS, we need to remember something: Each of those nameless characters are human beings. They did not uphold their oaths of office ...and are selling out of our constitution, our country, the American people, the people of the world. As I read the verses the Lord gave me today I had to wonder: What consequences will be crashing down on their heads, delivered by the Living God?
As we reflect back over the disturbing things that have happened to each of us individually and collectively throughout 2020, what did we each do for God? Where can you say...and over what behaviors... can you say, “IF I....then He”?
I really don’t support the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. They are mostly lofty and non-specific lists like, losing some weight or getting more sleep or exercising regularly. I read somewhere that about 8% are actually able to stick to them to make substantial changes in our lives. But what if we set 1 or 2 very specific GOALS for ourselves this year, especially in the area of spiritual growth.... what can you put down – in writing – that IF I this year... will be matched by one of God’s promises of “...then He”?
TODAY’S PRAYER:Dear Lord, we are grateful for the Season of Remembering Your Birth and incarnation into human form for the sake of each of us. We are grateful for your birth, for your sacrificial death and for rising again to sit at the right hand of the Father, for the sake of us all.
The end of the year is a time for reflection, for taking stock of what has happened, what we have done, and what we should have done ...and for taking steps to formulate a plan for doing better in the upcoming year.
Lord, You declared, and it is written in Your Word, “There is nothing hidden that won't be revealed, and there is nothing secret that won't become known and come to light.” You admonished us to “be careful how we listen; for whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a longing for truth], even what he thinks he has [knows] will be taken away.” (Luke 8: 17-18)