Devotional for May 19, 2021

Greetings in Christ,

  Imagine if you will, God came to you in a vision and told you He was going to reveal His plan for your life.  In this plan, you were going to be His mouthpiece to the people and in doing this you could be held responsible for any wrongdoing they may do, but in this plan your tongue will be stuck to the roof of your mouth.  Sounds like a no-win situation for anybody to have to endure, even if it was only a test of character.

  Ezekiel had been called by God to be His mouthpiece, and in this plan for Ezekiel God had some guidelines he must follow in order to be qualified as the spokesperson for God.  God had told Ezekiel to speak out against any wrongdoing no matter if the people were unrighteous or righteous.  Everybody was to be warned by him, and God was going to hold them accountable for their actions.  If Ezekiel did not warn them of their wrongdoing, he would suffer the consequences of those people’s actions.  The only catch to the plan God was going to make Ezekiel’s tongue stick to the roof of his mouth.

  God knew the people would not like to hear what Ezekiel had to say.  The people would bind Ezekiel and put him into a place where he could not be free, or to be able to speak freely to the people.  God was going to make Ezekiel dumb so he could not rebuke them for their actions of binding him.  God knew that if Ezekiel had the opportunity, he would warn the people before God had the right moment for Ezekiel to proclaim just what God had for him to say to the people.  In a way, God was telling him not to fear what the people will do to him, but to fear what He may do to him and the people.

  Jesus had a similar approach to the people as He told them to proclaim to the people what they knew.  Jesus began by telling them they are not above the master.  “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become as his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!  Therefore, do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

  The approach God and Jesus took was different, but the message was the same.  Proclaim the good news!  It also reveals the accountability we have for not speaking out against the wrongdoing others commit.  We take for granted people have heard the word of God, but not all people have been exposed to the truth.  Ezekiel’s terms and responsibility for the wrongdoing of others may not be relevant today, but if we deny God when the opportunity is given to us to present the truth we may answer for our neglect.  We are not to be afraid of what people may say to us, but to fear what God can do to us.

  Paul writes to the Ephesians these words, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus   for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” 

   Paul reminded the Ephesians they too were sinners.   It was through the words of someone else they heard the truth spoken to them, and it was by the grace of Jesus they were saved.  They received a gift from God and Jesus, and it was not for them to hold onto, but to give away freely just as it was given to them.

  We too were sinners.  We have been given a gift wrapped in grace.  We should be willing to pass it along to someone else who needs it just like we did.

  “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.  They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.   Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:7-14

  “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—Selah.   That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.  The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.  God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”  Psalm 67

  Lord we thank you for the gift of salvation.  May we share the truth with those who need to hear and receive the gift of salvation.  Amen


  Mark Johnson
  Psalm 19,46,66,67; Ezekiel 3:16-27; Ephesians 2:1-10; Matthew 10:24-33, 40-42

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