Today is Monday September 06, 2010 and we are reading through the Bible in a year. Today's message comes from the reading of the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 20-21. If you would like to read the chapters along with us here online you can Click Here to read them or copy & paste this link onto your browser: http://www.imfollowingjesus.com/bible-september-6
Today's Message: God's Grace
God tells Christians over, and over, and over again to cast away the abominations that keep them from needless pain and suffering, yet many will continue to follow the sinful lives they are leading and wonder why they are having such a hard time in life and start blaming God. We are children of the living God saved by His grace through the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. We are going to suffer some affliction from time to time because Satan is always on our backs, but as long as we hold on to God's grace than we will endure them and see blessings through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, no one can expect to endure affliction and God's blessings as long as they continue to live in sin. It is time for all backsliding Christians to stop blaming God and everyone else for their problems, fess up, get over it, and start serving God again. “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,...By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, ” - II Corinthians 6:1-4,7.
On three occasions the elders went to Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord (8:1; 14:1; 20:1). On the first occasion, Ezekiel exposed their sins and foretold Jerusalem's destruction because of idolatry. At the second meeting, God revealed to Ezekiel that the elders were not sincere and had no desire to do His will. The third time, Ezekiel told them that the destruction of Jerusalem and the nation was certain. God declared that the real reason for the Israelites' failure, rebellion. “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God; In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.” - Ezekiel 20:5-8. It was out of pure rebellion, disregarding His Word, and falling into the corruption of the heathen nations that God let them suffer. To inquire of the Lord without a sincere desire to put Him above all else in your life is foolish for God will not listen to anyone who rebels against Him.
Israel did not just volunteer to be God's people, they were chosen by Him personally. That alone should have been a blessing to them, but that fact never seemed to grasp their attention. God let it be known to them while they were in Egypt, that He was their God, loved them, even when they rebelled against them, but He was not about to let them get away with their disobedience. God showed them that love by the miracles He performed in bringing them out of their captivity there, yet, they continued to rebel against Him. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” - Ezekiel 20:33-38. Morally, the Israelites had sunk to the corrupt conduct of the heathen nations around them. Because they disregarded His Word and lived like the world, God could not bless or protect them. God will not bless evil. However, He will bless those that repent and return to Him. God extends forgiving grace to every sinner who sincerely repents and turns to Christ as Savior and the Lord of his life. Praise God!
As Christians, we are not just volunteered to be God's people either, Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” - John 15:16-20. We are chosen by Christ Himself to not only be witnesses, but and example to follow to show the world God's great grace. Because we are chosen we are going to suffer as Jesus did, but we should count all suffering as blessings because, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” - Galatians 1:3-5. Praise God! Hold on to God's grace, never let it go, He has plenty to give those who are willing to receive it.
Enjoy the rest of your day/night and have an awesome week.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,