June 21, 2017
Ezekiel 8 is a revelation of the abominations of the children of Israel and the effect that those abominations have on God. In verse 6 God mentions the abominations happening within the temple and says because of those abominations they, “make Me go far away from My sanctuary?” The same remains true today, “19…do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6:19 & 20. When we willingly commit sin or abominations we push God, in the form of the Holy Spirit away from us, just as the Israelites of Ezekiel’s day did.
We find in verse 12 of Ezekiel 8 that the abominations first revealed were “in the dark… in the room of his idols”. In other words in your home, when you are alone in privacy. Do you have hidden abominations that take place in a room of idols that are hidden from all others? Do you say as they did in this same verse “The Lord does not see us…”?
We find as we read on in the chapter (verses 14-16) that the abominations start at home, as we have discussed, then they spread to the temple itself pushing God out of the place He belongs. We must be ever vigilant to keep sin and abominations out of our personal lives and in effect keep them from tainting the larger body of Christ.
June 13, 2017
We’ve been enjoying the flowers at our house for the last several weeks. We’ve got a good amount of roses, some ground cover flowers, some flowering bushes, as well as some hanging baskets. The bright colors some how bring life and energy to the soul. Then you add some of the fragrances along with it and receive even more refreshment.
Every flower starts out as a bud. Buds tend to be somewhat colorless and boring. Then the sun connects with them and they open up in beauty releasing their invigorating fragrance. I’ve been blessed to witness this happening spiritually in the life of a young lady who is going into the 8th grade. A few weeks ago she approached me after church with a big smile on her face and told me she had made the decision to be baptized. Then Sunday morning I saw her at the ABC so I talked with her and her mother about a time to start studying in preparation for baptism. Again she had a bright smile on her face as we discussed her baptism. At the end of our discussion I invited them to come to attend the Wildfire series at the Greeley Church. Well, they’ve attended both nights and each night she has excitedly come and shown me the notes that she had taken during the message.. Last night’s message was about the Sabbath so I asked her if she’d ever heard these things before. She told me she had heard a couple of things but had never heard most of it. Then she proceeded to tell me that she was going to go home and study the notes and Scriptures she had written down some more.
What a blessing it is to watch a bud transform into a bright bloom releasing sweet fragrance in glory to God. She has turned toward Jesus the son of righteousness causing her spiritual life to bloom just as the flowers bloom when they receive the rays of the sun. Philippians 1:6
June 7, 2017
We’re living in a time when we are going to have to stand up for truth and for what’s right on a more consistent basis. This is the case within our country and unfortunately sometimes within our church as well. How can we boldly stand if we don’t first know what we ourselves stand for?
I was encouraged recently in my reading and study of Ezekiel chapter 2. First of all, in verse 6 we find God telling us, “don’t be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, …” God is pointedly stressing here that we have nothing to be afraid of concerning those who are against us. He specifically mentions the looks they will give you and the words they’ll say to you. Our humanity often immediately becomes concerned with, “what will they say or think”, but the Lord tells us not to worry or fret about these things. Secondly, in verse 7 and 8 God tells Ezekiel, “speak My words to them” and “hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Friends we have to know what God is saying to us in order to speak on His behalf. We have to be eating the Bread of Life, so that we can share the bounty with others. The more a person knows what they believe the more boldly that individual will stand for those beliefs. However, I can’t stress enough those beliefs must be Scripturally based.
Jesus gives us some excellent council in Matt. 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” It’s all about perspective. What have we to fear when we serve One who has all power and can deliver us from any situation in the here and now, but more importantly can deliver us into eternity in the here after.
May 25, 2017
I’ve recently started going through the book of Ezekiel for my devotions. It’s a book that immediately stretches your imagination. Chapter one starts off with Ezekiel sharing a vision he was given of God. If you haven’t read it for a while, I think you’d find it very fascinating how God is described. It is definitely not the typical picture we get when we think of God and His throne room.
I marvel to think that God is eternally different and more expansive and impressive then our finite minds can go. After all He is infinite, so how does a finite mind comprehend infinity. It can almost give you a headache when you really stop to ponder these things, but yet it is so exciting to realize that there is infinitely more to God then what has already been revealed to us. Imagine with me, we will be able to constantly learn new details about God non-stop for eternity. That’s every day for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s comical that we sometimes seem to think that we have our Creator and sustainer all figured out.
I so look forward to a not to distant time when I can, face to face, learn more about my God from my God; A time when revelations of Jesus will be personally divulged to me. Oh, the wonder of it all.
May 17, 2017
My family and I have been reading through Ezra and Nehemiah for our family worships. They are both interesting books that are very applicable for our time. A people coming out of Babylon to rebuild that, which truly represents God. I was specifically struck by Nehemiah chapter 3, A seemingly uneventful chapter that lists all those who rebuilt different sections of the wall surrounding Jerusalem. It’s interesting to me that God saw it necessary to diligently recognize and include all of the names of these individuals who would otherwise never be mentioned. Individuals who weren’t known for ongoing great accomplishments for the Lord, who would have went down through history unknown. However, the task they performed faithfully for God opened the door for them to be mentioned amongst the great men and women of God in His Holy Scriptures.
There is one exception in the list in verse 5. We’re told that, "the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord”. Throughout the whole list all were mentioned in a positive light for the work they did for the Lord, but here is one group whose hearts were not in the work. I’m so thankful that God takes notice of the faithful work we do for Him and I pray that we can all faithfully put our shoulders to the work of our Lord.
May 17, 2017
Eccl. 8:11 "Because the sentence against and evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” We live in a culture today that is shifting toward the concept that there are no absolutes. "Your truth is good for you, my truth is good for me. There is no absolute truth.” With this mindset we are becoming more and more resolute in our wrongdoing. If everything is just based on what’s right for each individual then we never have the right to correct a wrong. Who am I to say that what you are doing is wrong, that is just my opinion.
This line of thinking has unfortunately been creeping it’s way in amongst God’s people as well. When people are caught in wrongdoing or sin is pointed out to them, their response is often, “stop judging me”. This is a very dangerous mind set. It emboldens us in our sinful ways. If nobody has the right to correct me, I will continue on in my sin with greater boldness just as we’re told in Ecclesiastes. My heart becomes hardened against the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
This doesn’t mean that we should all be looking for and pointing out every fault and shortcoming of our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, if we see a fellow brother or sister who is living in open sin or habitually living out dangerous tendencies, it is our responsibility to lovingly reach out to them and seek to help them through their struggles. We must take great care and in prayerful humility and love work for the salvation of our fellow believers. On another note, we also need to be willing to humbly receive a loving rebuke from our fellow believers.