Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 13 November 18:
1. Ezekiel 24:13, 14 – “On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you. I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.” God gives people the opportunity to be cleansed of their sins, with Him doing for them what they cannot do for themselves, but if they continue to reject His free gift of salvation, He will judge, and when He decides to judge, He will not relent.
2. Ezekiel 24:16 — “Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke.” God may call us to go through terrible pain and suffering for His purposes.
3. Ezekiel 24:18 – “So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.” The purpose of your life is to glorify God. Eventually, we will be called to glorify God in death, but from this perspective, death is not bad but an opportunity. Of course, Christians understand that death is the beginning of an eternity with God.
4. Ezekiel 25:3 – “Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God, Because you said, ‘Aha!’ over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when they went into exile….” Just because a person does not choose to believe in God doesn’t mean that they aren’t still responsible to God. God will hold unbelievers accountable for their acts against God’s people.
5. Ezekiel 25:5, 7, 11, 14, 17 – A nation that does not know God in love will meet Him in anger.
6. Ezekiel 25:6 – “For thus says the Lord God: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within your soul against the land of Israel….” Joy over another’s misfortune is sin.
7. Ezekiel 25:11 – “…and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” A nation’s military strength makes no difference when God chooses to judge.
8. Ezekiel 25:14 – “And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord God.” The fall of a nation is a result of God’s anger.
9. Ezekiel 25:15 — “Thus says the Lord God: Because the Philistines acted revengefully and took vengeance with malice of soul to destroy in never-ending enmity….” Harboring hatred is sin.
10. Ezekiel 25:16 – “…therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the rest of the seacoast.” God intends the defeat of a city to send a message to all the powerful nations of the world.
11. Proverbs 13:7 – “One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” What you really are eventually reveals itself. It matters little what you say; what matters is what you really do, and from what motivation you do it.
12. Proverbs 13:13 – “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” God’s word is not hard to understand. What a person does with God’s word determines consequences. What you choose to do with God’s word is life defining.
13. Proverbs 13:21 – “Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.” Sinners don’t fall into disaster, they are chased by disaster, and they will be caught.
14. John 10:1 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.” There are not many paths to God. Only through Jesus is there salvation. Anyone who proclaims any other message is a liar.
15. John 10:1-5, 14 – “He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers…. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
– Preachers who point to anything or anyone but Jesus are liars, thieves, and robbers. True followers of Jesus follow Him only, they know His teachings and are not deceived by false teachings. Those who truly know Jesus respond to Him and follow His word in obedience. They are protected from false teachers because they know the “voice” of Jesus and can easily recognize an imposter or thief. How well do you know God’s word and the “voice” of Jesus?
– Do you follow Jesus because you know Him and his voice? Do you follow his commands alone, or are you enticed by robbers and thieves?
16. John 10:7 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” Jesus is not only the Way, the Truth, and the Life, He is the door. Through Him you have access to the Father.
17. John 10:11, 12 – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.” Everyone else might abandon you, but Jesus never will. He has given His life for you when you didn’t deserve it. If you desire to love Jesus, even very imperfectly, He will not forsake you.
18. John 10:14 – “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” Jesus’ sheep follow Him.
19. John 10:19 – “There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.” There are few things you can say today more divisive than “Jesus is the only way.” Try it and see. Are you willing to proclaim this message?
20. John 10:25 – “The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.” Jesus did works in His Father’s name, and He wasn’t accepted by most. Today, most Christians do not generally attach Jesus’s name to their works because they don’t want to be rejected by people. Christians sanitize most of what they do from the name, Jesus. Even when giving to charity or committing acts of kindness, often they do not do it in the name of Jesus but rather say nothing, take credit themselves, or do it in the name of an organization. The two most popular charities are Doctors Without Borders and American Red Cross. These charities do not give in the Name of Jesus, but rather in the name of humanity.
21. John 10:25, 37, 38 — “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’” Do your actions reveal the power of the Holy Spirit within you so that it is undeniable?
22. John 10:27 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Obedience reveals God’s true followers.
23. John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one.” Our life ambition should be to be one with the Father and the Son. (see John 17)
24. John 10:38 – “…even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Let your works be proof that you are a follower of Jesus and have the Holy Spirit within you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 Nov 18: John 10:38 – Today, let your works be proof that you are a follower of Jesus and have the Holy Spirit within you.