Scripture: The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Ezekiel 18:20 NIV
Observation: Ezekiel’s lament speaks of man either suffering or being rewarded for his behavior.
Application: In the Old Testament we see that a person truly was the master of his own destiny. Either sin and suffer for it or live righteously and gain eternal life. That was a pretty tall order for most typical Old Testament people. God knew that and so he sent Jesus to provide a means for sinful man to appear sinless. We still want to live righteously but our destiny is not determined by our ability to do so. Thank you Lord!
Prayer: Father, thank you for providing a way to you through Jesus. Amen
Scripture: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. Ezekiel 12:2 NIV
Observation: God is speaking to Ezekiel about the rebellious nation of Israel just prior to their exile to Babylon.
Application: This word may have been spoken to Ezekiel about Israel but it is true about society today as well. Most people today are so self-centered and selfish that they don’t and won’t hear or see truth. I believe that we must be diligent in our walk and not conform to society but let our witness transform it.
Prayer: Father, help me to be an instrument that causes others to seek you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12 NIV
Observation: Satan is ruling the day for the Israelites. Every kind of sin has taken hold of the Lord’s children. There is a price to pay for their behavior. The Lord urges them to seek him with all their mind and heart. Consequences will be theirs to carry however, redemption and righteousness can still be theirs if they dig deep and turn from sin.
Application: We are in trouble as a nation and as a people. Last night I had the chance to visit with my best friends in California. They are wonderful conservative Christians who love this country and have a huge heart for others. When I hear them speak of their disgust for our country’s leadership and the sinful and destructive decisions that are being made for our country my heart aches. Along with the political destruction there is sin amongst long time Christian friends and its impact is destroying the family. America and Christians are in trouble. Doug and I find ourselves angry to the point of sinful thinking. I feel distracted from Christ. That really doesn’t help my pursuit of seeking unfailing love or righteousness. Doug and I must look to Christ in everything. Like when you go looking for water in the desert, we must dig as deep and as long has it takes to find the Lords cleansing and strength giving water. Satan has a hold on America and American families. Freedom from the sin and corruption Satan brings is as hard if not harder than anything the people in the old testament faced.
Prayer: Lord I cry out to you…I struggle to stay focused on you. My life becomes more complicated and its harder to acknowledge you and the gifts I have from you that are daily in my life. Please Jesus give me the strength needed to continually dig deeper to drink the refreshing and cleansing water you have just for me. Lord please help me see you in everything around me. Prevent Satan from making me blind and thirsty. Amen
Scripture: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19 & 20 NIV
Observation: This is a good word considering how trying California was for me.
Application: When we lose our temper and become angry we are in defiance of God and his desire for our lives. When we go through difficult times we must remember that patience brings about a righteous life. That should encourage us to be
Prayer: Father, thank you for the reminder to be patient. Amen
Scripture: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV
Observation: Paul closes the book of Hebrews with some last words if encouragement and instruction.
Application: I don’t know how often I have heard through my life the proclamation “money is the root of all evil!” I know from today’s scripture that that proclamation was a misrepresentation of Paul’s exhortation to the Hebrew believers. It’s not money that is the root of all evil it’s the “love” of money. When we focus on money we stop focusing on the Lord. That’s the sin. The Lord is all we need and he promised he would always be with us and never forsake us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for getting us through this past week. I ask in Jesus’ name for safe travel home. Thank you for the reminder today that you are all we need. Thank you. Amen