Saturday, September 18, 2021

Humbling the Proud

 Pride is a terrible problem for many people. Pride leads us into sin. It makes us see things from the wrong perspective, so we end up thinking our way is the best way. That is never true. It also makes us feel self-confident, which is never good. We should only be confident in the Lord, not in our own abilities or knowledge. That is why God hates to see pride swell up in any of us. God has to squash that pride in His own perfect way. He did this to the pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 4:37) After he was humbled by God by making him into a beast of the field for 7 years, Nebuchadnezzar praised, exalted, and honored the King of heaven. He declared that all His works are true and His ways are just. He acknowledged that God is able to humble those who walk in pride, as he had done to the king. He can humble us, too.

God's Word promises that God will exalt the humble, but He will humble the proud. He will bring them down off of their high horse. God does this in love, because he knows the damage done by pride. Still, the consequences are often severe, because it takes a lot to get us to listen to God and forsake our self-confidence. That is why we should guard against pride on a daily, even hourly, basis. Whenever we feel pride begin to come into our heart, we should confess it to God, and ask Him to root it out quickly. We should begin our day by reminding ourselves that without Jesus we can do nothing. (John 15:5) That way, we begin our day with the proper attitude, and it is easier to continue with it. Let's praise and exalt and honor the King of heaven, as Nebuchadnezzar did, humbling ourselves before Him, so we will not have to undergo those painful consequences of pride.

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Daniel 5-7.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Lord is There

 These last chapters of Ezekiel are all about the Temple that will be constructed for the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth, referred to as the Millennium.  It will be a huge temple because it will be used by many more people than the other temples in Jerusalem. In fact, people will come from all over the world to worship Jesus in this place. Ezekiel gives us a detailed description, so we can compare it with the plans of the other temples and see the contrast. Then, Ezekiel revealed the name for the city where this temple will be built. (Ezekiel 48:35) We know it as Jerusalem now, but then, this city which will be 6 miles in circumference, will be named "YAHWEH SHAMMAH", the Lord is There. That will be a great name, because Jesus will be there and reign from there for 1,000 years.

Where is the best place for us to be in this world? I like to say that the best place on earth  to be is in the middle of God's perfect will for us. It doesn't really matter where that takes us, just that the Lord is with us, since we are doing His will. However, now I have a different question. Where is the best place in the universe for us to be? The answer is that the best place to be is with the Lord, Himself, who loves us and gave Himself for us. We can be in that place, if we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. For the believer, to be absent from the body is the be present with the Lord, so if we die, we will be with Him. One day, the Father will tell Jesus it is time for Him to gather his followers from the earth, both the dead and the living, at the Rapture of the church. We will be raised to meet Jesus in the sky, and so we shall ever be with the Lord. We will be with Him in Heaven for the Judgment and the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Then, we will return to earth with Him to reign for 1,000 years during the Millennium. Finally, we will be in the New Jerusalem with Him forever. What a blessing to think that wherever we are the Lord will be there for us. I pray that you are prepared and excited about being with the Lord.

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Daniel 1-4.  

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Holy and the Profane

We certainly live in a very crazy day and time. We never know from one day to the next what unusual statement is going to be made that is the opposite of what has always been understood as being correct. People today have no sense of anything being holy or set apart. Anything goes when it comes to what is said and done in public. I know we do not live by the Old Testament Law any longer, but we need some kind of objective truth to guide us. That is what the Lord charged the priests to do during the Millennial age, as the priests had done in the Old Covenant time. (Ezekiel 44:23) They were to teach the people to know the difference between the holy and the profane. They were also to cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. I think the same thing might be needed today.

The word "holy" means to be different or set apart from the regular. When it comes to God, He is holy. He always does the right things and He never does anything wrong. He calls His children to be holy, like He is holy. That means we should act like Him and talk like Him. We can do that once we know Christ and have the Holy Spirit to empower us and guide us into all truth. Therefore, we need for our pastors and teachers to teach us the difference between the holy and the profane. Then, we need to stay away from the profane in what we say or do. The same is true for unclean and clean. There are so many things that are unclean practices today, So much of the sexual immorality and pornography fall into this category, but also there are things that pertain to drugs that are very unclean. People might see them as perfectly fine, but in reality, we should stay away from those things, too. Then, when we live holy and clean lives, we will be like Jesus, and we will enjoy life the way God designed it.

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Ezekiel 45-48. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Nations will Know that I Am the Lord

 God has His own ways of making Himself known to individuals, to nations, and to the whole world. Once He reveals Himself in power there is no doubt in anyone's mind that He is the Lord, the Almighty God of the universe. Sometimes, this happens in the quiet of the night. Other times, it happens in the light for all to see. Either way, God is seen, and people come to have a decision to make. Will they trust Him as Lord or not? That is what will happen in a most spectacular way, when God brings the attack of Gog and Magog upon Israel to an end. (Ezekiel 39:6,7) God will send fire upon Magog and the army, as well as, those who live on the coastlands in safety. No one will be left out. His holy name will be known in the midst of His people Israel, and He will not let His name be profaned anymore. Then, all nations will know for sure that He is the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.

This battle that Ezekiel revealed will be God's way of preparing for the Rapture of the church and the beginning of the Tribulation Time. It will show the whole earth His power and His holy name, so that no one alive at that time will be able to say they did not know there was a God in heaven who intervenes in the affairs of men on earth. This will lead Israel to see the Lord clearly, as well as, all the nations of the world. Still, many will not turn to Jesus in faith. However, this will be their chance. It will set up Israel to trust Jesus, as soon as the Rapture happens. (Romans 11:25-27) Then, God will work in the and through them during the Tribulation time. I pray we will be ready for these events to take place, because it could happen soon with all that is going on in that part of the world now.

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Ezekiel 42-44.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Prophecy Against Gog

 There are all kinds of prophecies in the Bible. It is when a prophet tells something that will happen in the future. Many of these prophecies have already come true. Some are still yet to be fulfilled. When we study these prophecies, we see that 100% of them are fulfilled exactly as it was said they would be fulfilled. This is only possible because God sees all of history at one time. He knows the beginning and the end at the same time. Ezekiel gave us a prophecy to be fulfilled in the last days. (Ezekiel 38:14,16) It is a prophecy against Gog. God showed Ezekiel that in the last days, when Israel was dwelling securely in the land God gave them, a mighty army would descend upon the land like a cloud to cover the land. This would be done to sanctify the Lord through them before the eyes of the world. This is God's plan, and it could happen any time now. We need to watch and be ready.

Gog is a reference to the people of the north country from Israel. It could refer to Russia and Iran with others from the north. Then, there will be others who join them from northern Africa. I believe this battle is not the battle of Armageddon, but it will happen before that final battle, and it will happen before the Tribulation time. God will lead these peoples to attack Israel, so He can show His power to the entire world. It will be a wake up call to everyone alive on the earth. It will show God's power to all in an effort to get them to believe in God and to put their trust in Jesus, before it is eternally too late. Read Ezekiel 39 with me tomorrow and see how it will happen. That will show how God will be sanctified through them before the eyes of Gog and all the nations. 

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Ezekiel 39-41.  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Well Fed and Rested

 We all need food and rest to be strong physically. It is a huge problem to go without food for extended periods of time, and it is also very serious to be sleep deprived. Either one or both of these conditions take a tremendous toll on a person's life. The same is true for being spiritually fed and rested. In fact, it could be even more terrible than physical deprivations. When we are spiritually deprived, our soul shrivels up, and we are not able to think, feel, and act as we should. Ezekiel addressed the importance of having good spiritual shepherds, and because the spiritual leaders of Israel were failing so badly, God came to the rescue. (Ezekiel 34:15) God, Himself, made it known that He would feed His flock, and He would lead them to rest. What a comfort to know that God is there for us, to meet our needs, when we become one of His sheep. He is the Good Shepherd.

God has given us His Word as our food. He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us in knowing His Word. Therefore, when we spend time in the Bible, allowing the Holy Spirit to feed us the Word of God, we will be very well fed. We will learn what to do, and we will be encouraged by the Spirit to exercise it daily. Then, we will get stronger and stronger. Also, God will lead us to rest. We need rest for our soul, our mind, will, and emotions. God is the Only One who can give us that deep rest that frees us from stress and allows us to submit to Him, taking all of the pressure off of us. If we look to Him, He will lead us to His rest, and He will feed us well on His Word. Then, we will have all we need to become more like Jesus every day.

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Ezekiel 36-38.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Never Strong Again

 God has His own way of rendering a person or a nation ineffective, so that they will never be strong again. Of course, this is God's reaction to very severe sin. He does it in love to draw them to Him, but He also does it for the good of those around them, if He knows they will never repent of their sins and get right with Him. Egypt is a great example of this. (Ezekiel 30:21) Before the days of Ezekiel, Egypt was one of the most powerful countries of the world. That is why the Israelites  turned to them for help against their enemies. However, God broke the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and it was not bound up or bandaged for healing. Therefore, Egypt was never able to be strong to hold the sword again. That was almost 3,000 years ago, and Egypt still is not a strong military power. That is the power of the Lord in this world.

We need to make sure that we do not sin against God in such a way that He needs to render us ineffective. Paul used an athletic analogy to make this point. (I Corinthians 9:27) He said he bruised his body to make it his slave, so that after he had preached to others, he would not be disqualified. What a terrible thought! After we have been saved and shared the truth with others, we can sin so badly that we are disqualified from being used by God. Also, this is true for nations like Egypt in Ezekiel's day. The Lord has used America in many wonderful ways to share the gospel with the world. However, we could sin against God so badly that He renders us ineffective in His service. I wonder if the things that are happening here today haven't already started that process, because the world sees all of our blatant sins, and it dulls our influence and message. I pray we never cross that line as individuals and as a nation.

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Tomorrow, I intend to read Ezekiel 33-35.