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Showing posts with label obey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label obey. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Year's Plan - If I...then He

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.

When they live by My statutes, keep My ordinances by practicing, then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 

But to those whose hearts delight in loathsome things and detestable practices, I'll bring the consequences of their behavior crashing down on their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.”

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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...

...but God also promised that IF WE (continue our bad behavior) then HE will “bring consequences crashing down on our head.”

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. 

Forgive us for our shortcomings Lord. Forgive our impatience, for our lack of courage, for being obedient and subservient to the WRONG MASTERS. Forgive us for not understanding what giving up our freedoms meant.

Be with those who lost loved ones this year, Lord. Touch and heal their hearts and remind them that if they are part of Your family, they will soon be united again, for all of eternity. 

Lord, humble our hearts. Give us strength and endurance for the days ahead. Give us guidance as to how we may serve You better, more fully and bring more glory to Your name.  

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)

Lord, we continue to pray for the rightful outcome of our election, the continuation of our country and the prayerful love of our constitution and our bill of rights. We thank you for all You have given us throughout 2020 – for opening our eyes, our minds and our hearts to so much that we have never seen before – and have never before been able to comprehend.

Thank You for being with us through challenging times and through the best of times. Lord, as we move further into uncharted waters, we lean in.  You promised to never leave nor abandon us; we trust You Lord that this is so. 

As we close out 2020, please continually remind us that IF WE draw closer unto Thee going forward, we know absolutely THEN YOU will be there with us, every step of the way, until we see Your Holy face forever with You in Eternity. We ask that They will be done. We as for these things, this or something better, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

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