If you were to honestly answer that question, what would you say? Is it Christ and His Word or … something else?
Ezekiel 43 & 44
1 Peter 2.1-25
Ezekiel 43 & 44:
Our sin & His mercy
Chapter 4.1-5, Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. 3 It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw—like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4 And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. 5 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Matthew Henry had this to say about this chapter, “After Ezekiel had surveyed the temple of God, he had a vision of the glory of God and it caused him to fall on his face. When Christ crucified, and the things freely given to us by God, through Him, are shown to us by the Holy Ghost, they make us ashamed for our sins. This frame of mind prepares us for fuller discoveries of the mysteries of redeeming love …”
Genuine conversion causes us to see our sin for what it really is—an offense against a Holy God. Only then can we fully understand the love and grace and mercy of God. When we see ourselves in comparison to Him and His holiness and seek to please Him through His empowering grace, He will take us yet deeper into His truths.
Bless the Lord
What does it mean to “bless the Lord”? We bless God when we are thankful for His mercy and grace in our lives. What a wonderful time of year to “bless Him” by being thankful that though we deserved to die for our sins, He send His Son to die in our place.
The cause of the poor
“The righteous considers the cause of the poor, but the wicked does not understand such knowledge.”
Again, what a timely thought. Most of us will sit down on Thanksgiving Day to tables heaping with food, probably eat too much, and have plenty leftover. Let’s not forget those who are less fortunate, not just with our words, but with our deeds, as well.
What do you crave?
Verse 2 says, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
Anyone who has been around a newborn baby knows they crave milk and will let you know when they want more! John MacArthur (MacArthur Daily Bible) says, “Spiritual growth is always marked by a craving for and a delight in God’s Word.”
Do you “delight” in God’s Word? Do you crave it like a baby craves milk? If not, pray and ask God to give you a hunger for His Word.
Peter was writing to believers who were suffering intense persecution in a very ungodly society! He was teaching them how to respond to persecution, mistreatment and the ungodliness of others.
He didn’t say, “Get mad, gossip, or rebel.” Neither did he say, “Act like everyone else” or “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” Instead he said in chapter 2:
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man …
Submit … even to those who are harsh (v. 18):
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps …
More about that tomorrow, but for now some …
What do you crave? Do you crave the Word of God? Do you hunger to know Jesus better? Or do you spend more time hungering for the things of this world? And how do you respond when persecution comes your way? How do you balance the pain of living in a fallen world with the glories of the world to come?
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