Key Verse: Ezekiel 18:31
Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
The last three words of Ezekiel 18 are “turn and live.” This is the most important decision anyone could ever make. To decide to go God’s way instead of our own way is totally life changing for time and for eternity. Another word for this change of direction is “repentance” (18:30). Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” We need to lock into the way that God says in His Word is right!! That may be the most important reason for this daily blog. Consistently reading God’s Word is the only way to know what God thinks!! Chapter 18 begins with a proverb which points out that a son (or daughter) can change directions, even if their father does not. This truth is backed up by 18:14. Chapter 19 shifts emphasis to “mother,” in this case she is “Israel.” In our case, it may be those things in our background which keep us away from God. Again, if that is the case, “TURN AND LIVE!” Decide today to go God’s way and make the determination that there is no turning back. A Jewish ruler asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Here is Jesus’ answer (click here for John 3:1-21). This man showed up at Jesus’ Cross (John 19:39-42).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, that “turn and live” decision is eternally important. I pray for grace to daily check the GPS road map (the Bible) to make sure I have not turned away from Your highway of life onto a road of my own choosing. I’m moving always forward at Your instructions. Lord Jesus, You invited me to follow You. Here I come! I ask for strength so that I won’t lag behind and lose sight of You! Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
“A new heart and a new spirit.” I had open-heart surgery when I was 64. God did open-heart surgery on me when I was 16. He placed His Spirit in my heart. My physical heart is doing just fine, and because of constant monitoring of my spiritual heart every day as I read and pray, I believe that I’m spiritually healthy. Of course that is a subjective judgment on my part; God is the only One who truly knows my heart and He’s monitoring my spiritual condition. I’ll find out His final report sooner or later. It will probably be sooner, as I turn 80 on August 13th.
The book of Ezekiel is all about restoring the Jews as a nation in their ancestral home. There was a brief period around 200 BC when Israel’s sovereignty was restored. Israel became a sovereign state once again in 1948. I invite you to join me in thinking about modern Israel by reading one of the most thoughtful commentators anywhere. Charles Krauthammer was raised in Montreal, Canada, but now lives in the U.S.A. He has his M.D. and has practised as a psychiatrist, but now is a full-time journalist. In keeping with the “Make You Think” theme I introduced yesterday, I have a suggestion. Click here for Charles’ Washington Post article from June 4th, 2010. He is Jewish. His column is entitled, “Those Troublesome Jews.”
Yours for accepting God’s invitation to “Come now, and let us reason [make you think] together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient you shall eat of the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:18-19),