Heavenly Father strengthen us as we pour out so that You can pour in and lead us as we pour forth in Your name. Amen
November 23, 2020
Same God: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Special Guest Writer, A.E. Allison
Good Morning Princesses,
Consistency is an underrated but valuable characteristic. Isn’t it great to know that if a person volunteers to participate on a committee or project, that you can really count on them to consistently be there and do their part? Or how about a loved one who consistently demonstrates their love for you by their words and actions? The Bible reveals to us that our God is a consistent God.
After the Israelites escaped from Egypt but before they entered the Promised Land, God gave Moses commands for His people to follow. God loved them so much that He gave them these commands because He knew it was the best for them. In Deuteronomy 6:1-7, He said the most important command is that they love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. (Source: Watermark Community Church 2019)
Hundreds of years later, Jesus was questioned by a teacher of the law and asked what the greatest command was. Mark 12:28-34 shows that Jesus, who is God, had not changed and reminded the people that the most important thing was to love God with all that they are and do because He loved them (us) first. Both Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 declare that God is the same always and never changes. He is always good, always loving, and always powerful.
No matter how this world changes, we can trust God is consistent. Time has not and will never change who He is for He is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. (Id.) Amen!
But what about us? Since the sin of Adam, our hearts are consistently cluttered with things not of God, such as idols. Despite our inconsistency, God consistently provides encouragement and reassurance that He will remain consistent.
A Look At Ezekiel Chapters 14 and 15
This leads us to Ezekiel Chapters 14 and 15. Both chapters express the Lord’s displeasure with the hearts of the people of Israel so much so that in Chapter 15, the Lord calls the people “useless”, like a vine growing among the trees of the forest.
In Chapter 14, Ezekiel is paid a visit by “some of the leaders of Israel”. What do these “leaders” want? The Lord is not interested in what they want, but instead, what is in their hearts. The Lord reveals to Ezekiel that on the outside, these leaders appeared to worship Him, but in fact, they do not. In short, the leaders were frauds because they have “embraced things that lead them into sin.” The issue is not that they are sinners, but that they have “embraced” sin and yet want to pretend, in front of the Lord’s prophet, that they are holy.
What the Lord says next reveals both His personality and holiness. “Why should I let them ask me anything?” Yikes! We forget that God is holy. The Lord is above human duplicity and the masks we wear to hide it. His divine character demands that He be approached “with thanksgiving” in our hearts. (Philippians 4:6) The Israelite leaders were never permitted to ask the Lord their questions. Instead, He instructs Ezekiel to deliver a stern warning: He will punish those that set up idols in their hearts and then come to Him asking for help.
But the people have other plans to escape this predicament. Have you ever “name-dropped” to get yourself out of a jam? I have been caught speeding and when the police officer wanted to give me a ticket, I would politely tell him that my dad was a police officer in hopes that I could avoid the punishment. Name-dropping goes back to the days of Ezekiel. The Lord tells the people that their affiliation with the righteousness of Noah, Daniel, and Job would not spare them His punishment for their sins. In other words, despite my dad’s admirable service, I’m going to get that speeding ticket.
With all the talk of punishment, we must never forget that God’s Grace and Mercy always precede His punishment. His very "Being" is to consistently love and care for His people. He wants to save us from ourselves and will always provide a way for us to get out of the trouble that we cause. How? Verse 6 in Ezekiel 14 says that we must repent, turn away from embracing idols, and stop our loathsome practices. In the Bible, the heart was considered the core of a person’s intellect and spirit. God wants to recapture the hearts of his people.
We must never let anything captivate our allegiance or imagination in such a way that replaces or weakens our devotion to God.
Thank you Lord for your consistency.
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.
Lord, thank you daily for your grace and mercy.
Amen. Yes, Lord.
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From That Time On...
Prophet of the Spirit
When: Tuesday's from September 15, 2020 (until June 29, 2021)
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Study Source: Your Bible
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Oh, princesses of faith...remember
Prayer “empowers and ‘charges up’ every other piece so they can be used effectively against the enemy. Without prayer… your armor, cannot, will not, be infused with the power that only God’s - Spirit can give."
Know that through the Holy Spirit you can:
do things you couldn't;
feel things you didn't; and
know things you wouldn't.