It’s Not An Easy Job — It takes work.
Our church in Arizona has been working through the book of Ezekiel.
Yes — that book.
I haven’t spent much time studying that book.
Even our Pastor admitted that in the last 30 years of preaching he has never preached from Ezekiel except the occasional passage.
But what a powerful book Ezekiel is.
A few weeks ago we looked at Ezekiel 18:1–4 and 29–32. This chapter has been called the most evangelistic of all the Old Testament.
The Book of Ezekiel takes place at the time when God’s people have been transported to Babylon. They didn’t live as slaves but were assimilated into the land and culture. They had their families and were allowed to practice their beliefs.
But there was the problem.
While they kept up their Jewish customs and practices they also added ones from Babylon’s culture and deities.
God is pronouncing judgment on them through Ezekiel in this book.
In Chapter 18, God speaks to Ezekiel about a proverb that Israel kept quoting:
“The fathers eat sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”
They were saying: “Everything about our lives is our ancestors’ fault.”
God said to tell them — You are NOT going to repeat this any longer.
“For every living soul belongs to Me, the father as well as the son — both alike belong to Me (Ezekiel 18:4, NIV).”
Although we know that our environment, circumstances and upbringing will affect our lives — that’s not a reason to blame others for the path we have chosen.
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When we do blame others or our circumstances we are blaming God for our pain.
Because they were blaming the past they could not move forward into the future. They didn’t think they could change.
This is called Fatalism or Karma.
It’s not what God has in mind for our lives. He created us in His image. Remember He said every living soul belonged to Him.
Do you feel powerless sometimes?
Do you feel world weary?
Then the answer is to turn to God.
“How can we do this?” you ask.
Repent. Yes repent your thinking, and your actions and go to the One who has the Power to change everything.
It all boils down to: To Whom Do we Belong?
Listen to 1 Corinthians 2:2 as Paul speaks to the Corinthians.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
There is the answer. It all boils down to Jesus. Jesus is the answer.
God says that we belong to Him. He gave us Life through Jesus, Life eternal.
Our Pastor made this powerful statement:
“God lays claim to the beginning of the world, and the end of the world and everything in between (Rick Thiemke).”
How can we be in a right relationship with Him?
Turn around, turn from our ways that make God unhappy.
Don’t just repent, but stop what God tells us is wrong.
Life without repentance is a life without God.
It’s a choice.
Listen to Ezekiel 18:23
“Am I not pleased, when they turn from their ways and live?”
What ways of this world are you following that God is telling you to turn from?
Ask Him. Spend time reflecting on this.
Years ago, one of the things I found out was, that I watched the wrong movies and read the wrong books. It affected my soul and my behaviour.
I turned from that habit and have been happier and healthier since.
Your turning may be entirely different. But if you want to open the door of communication with God –
Repent and turn away from those ways that He doesn’t like.
If you want results — listen to God.
Repentance is making a choice — a decision — to turn back to your rightful owner — the One who created you.
May I pray for you and me?
Heavenly Father, we thank You for sending Jesus to take on the sins of the world — for dying for us — thus opening the way back home for us. We regret our wrong ways and asked to be cleansed of our sin. And we also want to turn from those ways that you don’t like. Help us to do so. We want an open relationship with You, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
It’s a choice. Do you want to stay the way you are? Or do you want to turn towards God? It’s up to you.
My thoughts were based on a sermon by Rick Thiemke of Via Church in Mesa, Arizona. You can watch the video of the sermon below.
CALL TO ACTION
Do you want to make consistent time to study God’s Word?
Do you want to learn how to listen to God?
Do you want to learn how to read God’s Word on a consistent basis?