Today’s Meditation is dedicated to my bride of now, officially, 49 years! Happy Anniversary, Pat!
“At the King’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: ‘People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the Lord. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.’” (2nd Chronicles30:6–9)
The captives in Babylon felt that God could not hear them calling out to Him, because they were no longer in Jerusalem. Ezekiel revealed to them, through the charge You gave him, to tell the people that they could call upon you anytime and anywhere they happened to be. Effective evangelism is possible only as God’s own people live and witness humbly in the power of the Spirit. This passage lays out the conditions for so doing.
Every condition must be met by believers for God to “heal their land.” No passage in the Old Testament is more important to vital witnessing than these verses. They alone present the principles of revival and spiritual reality.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Your people had been captured and moved to Babylon, where they felt they could no longer call out to You, for they believed You could not hear them except in Israel, specifically in the Temple in Jerusalem. Many times when people are dealing with hard times, they “feel” like You cannot hear them, but as Ezekiel pointed out to the captives and Jesus to us, we can and should call out to You at all times, good and bad. You hear us, Abba, and respond to us. Help us to seek you out with our petitions, but then to sit back and listen to what You have to say to us in return. It is in His name we that we pray. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you don’t have anything to pray about, look around you, there are many who need to be prayed for or issues to be prayed to God.”
“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel38:23)
God is the power source in making known to all people that He is the holy Lord. He reveals Himself and His glorious holiness. He will not allow anyone to fail to see that He is holy, great, and majestic. Ezekiel thought went to Babylon at age 25 and spent 5 years thinking that he and he fellow Jews were separated from God, because of distance from Jerusalem.
Geography nor anything else, separates us from God, except our sins, but even that has been considered for we can confess our sins and we are restored to Him immediately. Although He uses agents in that divine work, He is the ultimate source of the power to convince people of their need of Him.
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might her it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” (2nd Timothy4:16-17)
First of all, Paul prayed for all deserting friends. Christ had taught that enemies should be prayed for. Even if all people desert us, God ill stand by us and strengthen us for the task of sharing Christ. He is able to deliver us and make our witness for Christ effective in winning people to our Lord. Beloved, even if you feel you are all alone and unprepared to witness to others, place yourselves in His hands through prayer first, and He will use you to touch the hearts and minds of others; thus, bringing them to Christ.
Second Thought of the Day:
“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for yo do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John5:31–40)
Different lines of evidence point to Jesus as the promised Messiah and Savior. Each type of testimony has power to convince. For the believer, Christ’s testimony is of top importance, but the unbeliever needs other evidence. John the Baptist provided important human testimony.
Human testimony needs God’s confirming power to lead people to salvation. Jesus’ powerful ministry and miracles revealed God’s approval. The inspired Scriptures give God’s convicting testimony to Jesus; yet study of Scripture does not lead to eternal life unless it leads to Jesus!