November 22 “Your words: blessing or cursing?”

scoldingIf someone had to describe what comes out of your mouth in one word, would it be blessing or cursing?

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 35 & 36
Psalm 131.1-3
Proverbs 29.2-3
James 3.1-18

 

Ezekiel 35 & 36:

A picture of the New Covenant

Chapter 36.24-27 is a beautiful picture of the new covenant:

24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

This will be fulfilled for the Nation of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom, but we already enjoy much of these same blessings with the new birth and its new covenant.

 

Psalm 131.1-3:

Grace for the humble

Verse 1, “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me.”

Humility is one of the characteristics that should characterize a believer. God says He resists the proud (Jas. 4.6) and that a proud look is one of the things He hates (Prov. 6.16-17), but He gives grace to the humble (Jas. 4.6).

Let’s pray that we would recognize pride in our lives and learn to humble ourselves under His mighty hand. Continue reading

November 21 “Are you a faithful watchman?”

Silhouettes of trumpetWe are all called to be God’s watchman. Are you faithful to wisely and prayerfully share God’s truth, even when it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient?

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 33 & 34
Psalm 130.5-8
Proverbs 29.1
James 2.1-26

Ezekiel 33 & 34:

Watching & warning

1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand” (ch. 33.1-6).

Ezekiel was called to be a “watchman” to the people of His day. He was to warn the people of their need to repent and turn from their sin and idolatry. We, too, are “watchman” called to share the gospel with those around us. Matthew 28.19-20 says:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

If we are faithful to share God’s truth, even when it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient, we are free from guilt. But if we refuse, God says “their blood is on our hands.”

Notice I said we are called to be “faithful,” not to do it perfectly, not to memorize the whole Bible, nor to be able to answer every potential question or objection someone may make … just to be faithful!

We are not responsible for someone’s response, only to be obedient as God’s instrument in the lives of others. It is He who ultimately seeks and saves! Continue reading