Life Lessons from Ezekiel 24

Good morning, January 20, 2019.
 
Blessings from our Father which is in heaven.
 
I sit here looking at the bright snow outside. I watch the animals and birds attempt to stay warm in this frigid temperature. They seem to believe that all will be fine throughout the day. I just sit and think on how much colder it will be when the sun goes down. When we don’t have those short times of the sun shining through to warm the bodies. They do not have a fire to build or place of warming but must depend on their faith. As they depend on their faith that all will be good, they find a place away from the elements and stay still just waiting on the brief times that the sun will shine through.
I also have the task today of getting ready to speak at a funeral tomorrow for a friend. A friend of a family that I have known most of my living. I feel bad for the family because they have to depart from their friend. Many times people have more titles than that of a friend. To some it is their mother and friend. I search my inner thoughts to declare something about my friend that she would be happy to hear said. I will continue to struggle with my thoughts. Soon the time will come and I will be present with friends and family as we say our last “good-bye.” We realize that it is for a short time we part.
Well, church was closed today due to the winter weather. We will all sit at our homes and try to keep warm and miss our friends for a second Sunday in a row. We will miss singing together and praying together and praising together. We hope to meet again in the near future and exchange our good times as well as the trying times. All will share in each other’s concerns. All will take their stance against the troubles and pray for help and deliverance.
As I read through Ezekiel today, I see that we serve an awesome God. He is ever mindful of his children. He is also mindful of those that neglect his demands. We often think that he just request our obedience. I read and understand that our God does more than request our obedience. He demands that we follow him and his statutes.
As I listen to the news and updates around us, I often wonder about our main concern as a country. We push here today and push there tomorrow. Where is the common goal? Many will say it is the people. However the actions are not consistent to the sayings. We could go on-and-on saying what we think we should do as a nation. However, probably none of us would be 100% correct. I think the bigger question is “What does God want from our nation?” Does his concerns match our concerns? I would venture to say that if we all focus on what God wants from our nation, we will begin to have a real common goal.
In Ezekiel chapter 24, I am reminded what happens to a nation that forgets about the Lord. If I typed everything that could be typed about this chapter, many would say I have a bad attitude and don’t understand. Perhaps they would be right. But again, it was the people that doubted the word of God that got this nation into these times of trouble. God called them a rebellious house. Let us, America, not be a rebellious house in the eyes of our Living God. Some may not even know his name. These are a few spellings of our God’s name, YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah, or Elohim. There are other references to his name, but these are most common.
If I look god names in a search engine, I may get many different names. Many are named in the scriptures. I think it is important to name the God we are praying to and know HIM. I think it is important to know your father on a personal basis. Begin to know when he is unhappy with different segments of our life.
Different segments of our life require different labor. We must attempt to define these different segments and fight our battles accordingly. What do I mean by this statement? I will attempt to explain my understanding. I will use the person Ezekiel as my comparison in several of these explanations.
Situation 1. Let’s start with something very close to us. If we are a child still living at home, we must understand the rules of the household. If we do not, we may be expelled from the house. If things are going on in your home and you do not approve, it is up to you to make the changes because you are responsible for your house. If you blame the economy or outside influences, you may make yourself feel justified, but you did not solve the problem. This is one example of something very close to you in which God has given you the authority and ability to direct.
Situation 2. Another close to the heart situation is the relationship with your spouse. God has given you the ability and authority to love your spouse as Christ loves the church.
Refer to Ephesians 5
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
 
So let’s examine these few verses from Paul. Verse 25 is pretty bold and clear. We know that Christ gave his own life for the church. Verse 26 gives the how to sanctify and cleanse the relationship. Verse 27 gives us the why he gave himself. It was so he could present it to himself. Present it to himself without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but it should be holy and without blemish. So why this verse? Is it to help us understand that when we become ONE, we have a responsibility as a couple that is coupled together by a commitment to God? I think it may have something to ponder. We read on. Verse 28 ties the thought together. Very straightly spoken. This is situation number 2 that is considered different than situation number 1. It must be considered and dealt with on a different level with different knowledge and understanding.
Situation 3. This one I take you to church. Many may not attend church. I hear many times in the ministry that people can serve God at home. Well you must serve him at home. However, your get-up-and-go needs to push you outside your house and go to church and help others. If it can’t, you have a weak servitude responsibility to others. Ezekiel will come into play here. He was serving God. However, God gave him the responsibility to serve others. He had to deliver bad news and words from God. Who did help? He helped the poor and needy. He didn’t think to himself, “I am good, I can serve God at home.” Let’s consider these few verses in Hebrew 10:
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised  24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
 
Must we break this one down? Let me bother you by saying a few words. This is the verse and key word or words; V23 faith without wavering, V24 consider one another unto love and good works, v25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, some is, but exhorting one another, V26 willfully, V27 judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries. Sometimes I think others believe I repeat these versus because I am a minister. Well, I do, because I am a minister and sometimes you have to give news to people like Ezekiel had to do. He did not do it by sitting in the security of his home. He was even thrown in the dungeon for trying to warn and help. How far do you go to help others?
I agree this one is a tough one for many people with their busy life. Just need time to slow down and rest? The day will come when you can enter into the Lord’s rest. However, you can enjoy his rest as you travel along.
 
Situation 4: we move to our community. What do we do in our community? This situation must be deal with differently than situation number 2 or 3. The church should gather together and pray about situations outside their four walls and congregation. The church can engage in missions for the needy in their community or outside their community. Whichever you choose as your mission should be supported by the church. Many may say you do not have the money or time. Look at the situations a little differently. It is not always about the money and time. God is awesome at taking a little and turning it into a lot. Follow him and be counseled by him.
 
This situation will require a different type of battle plan. It may be a tough one for a church to become engaged. It will take a corporate faith and corporate desire. It is not about supporting one person, it is about supporting the kingdom of God and getting others to join into His Kingdom. IF you get discouraged, take a look at this verse. Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
 
Christ gave the power and he can give it to you and your church. Let us join together in love. I could go on with situation 5 and 6 and 7. But at this time you can define your own. I close with these final words from the book of Colossians 2:
2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
 
Let all churches become one and knit together in love. Not the love of the flesh, but the love of the spirit. Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Let us trust in the Lord the author and finisher of our faith.
 
God bless all, Pastor Dan Reed

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