Wednesday, August 31, 2016

There is Life Where the River Flows

Ezekiel 47: Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.


“Pop” was the sound my laptop made as I opened it up to my dismay. The left side of the casing was broken and the hinge seemed strained. I thought to myself “I better get this fixed.” I mean this machine was too important to me. After the repair I noticed sparks coming from the shoddy workmanship. I took apart the repair and noticed the laptop was working fine anyway. I was actually causing more problems with the repair.

  • Sometimes I try to fix stuff that “I” think is broken.
  • Sometimes I try to fix stuff under “my” own power.
  • Sometimes I try to fix stuff that should not be “fixed” rather it was alright in the first place.

It seems like the more I try to fix stuff the messier they become, especially when the stuff is people. I may think something is wrong with “that” person when the truth is GOD is using them for a special mission that only HE knows about, but what about situations? Shouldn’t I try to fix broken circumstances?

  • GOD says to me “Let ME flow like a river and you will see MY power.”
  • GOD says to me “Allow ME to handle your situations while you receive rest.”
  • GOD says to me “Be not troubled for I AM with you,”

Before I rush out and “fix” the situation I must trust in the LORD to guide me to where HE wants me involved. Sometimes GOD wants me to do something so HE can build my faith, other times HE wants me to stand back otherwise HIS river would become too deep and I would drown in the torrent. Letting GOD flow is the best way to receive peace.

  • Are you waiting on something?
  • Do you feel stuck because you have tried and tried over and over?
  • Can you stop worrying and allow GOD’s power to flow like a river through your circumstance?
  • Will you trust in GOD today?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You Can Only Move Forward

Ezekiel 46: “‘When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed festivals, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which they entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate.


After the accident I said “I wish I had anticipated the patch of ice.”  After getting stitches I said “I wish I hadn’t tried to smash that brick on the ground.” After failing the test I said “I wish I had studied more.”

  • There have been times I have regretted.
  • There have been things I have done I wish I could have taken back.
  • There have been paths I have gone down I wish I never went.

Regret has the same beginning as rewind or replay. The tape keeps playing over and over in my mind and I just sit there and brood over the mistake. Is there a way to fix my past? Yes!

  • GOD says to me “I AM the alpha and omega, beginning and the end.”
  • GOD says to me “I WILL wipe away all of your tears.”
  • GOD says to me “I WILL take your sins and remove them as far as the east is from the west.”

Forgetting is something that is virtually impossible to do. BUT GOD gave me a remedy. HE says “Let ME take care of the past and I will guide you in the present to provide for you a wonderful future.” HE wants me to stop looking back and start looking forward to what HE is doing and is going to do. GOD has a plan for me and has taken into account all the mistakes I will ever make.  HE wants me to move forward!

  • Are you stuck in the past?
  • Are you constantly making the same mistakes over and over?
  • Can you stop looking back and move forward with GOD?
  • Will you start trusting GOD’s plan HE has for you rather than being crushed by “that” mistake? 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Caught Thief

Ezekiel 45: “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have gone far enough, princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign Lord.


Budget time came around quickly this time. Cuts had to be made and I thought to myself “If we could only get rid of my boss and a few other scoundrels then there would be enough money for raises.” I called them scoundrels because this was an easy label to justify my decisions.

  • There have been times I have been a thief in disguise.
  • There have been times I have stolen someone else’s salary and position.
  • There have been times I have fought off the mighty in order to gain ground.

Dispossessing was about the only way to get ahead in the company I was in. I mean the person above had to practically die out of office in order for everyone to move up a notch. The accepted method of moving ahead was to knock the person off the top and take the higher spot.  This was done through clannish slander and smear campaigns. BUT GOD wanted me to behave different.

  • GOD said to me “Give up your violence.”
  • GOD said to me “Give up your oppression.”
  • GOD said to me “Stop dispossessing MY people.”

GOD wants me to have a heart “for” people, not against them. HE would rather I stay in the same spot and serve than to rip someone apart and conquer them. GOD wants “their” heart and it may take me to humble myself rather than exalting my skills. My purpose should only be to bring people to HIM.

  • Are you trying to slander someone?
  • Are you thinking the best for that person or are you secretly trying to dispossess them?
  • Can you stand on your own merit by having GOD guide you?

Friday, August 26, 2016

There is a Difference

Ezekiel 44: 23 They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.


“Don’t go behind the pulpit” was a statement that struck fear in me as a child in a church I attended. I thought something would happen to me so I figured I would put it to the test. I stuck my hand behind the place where the preacher would speak and nothing happened, although I quickly removed it because I did not want to take any chances. Soon I was bold enough to walk back and forth behind it and make silly faces at it.

  • Many times I have taken something sacred and turned it common.
  • Many times I have looked at holy things as common.
  • Many times I have treated something that should be holy as a thing that can be used like any other thing.

After growing up, I noticed churches were treating their places as common places looking very similar to any other place that had a crowd. I thought this was the norm and quickly fell in line. BUT GOD wanted me to think differently.

  • GOD wants me to treat HIM as HOLY not common.
  • GOD wants me to prepare myself before I enter HIS sanctuary of prayer and worship.
  • GOD wants me to take some time to stop doing my everyday stuff and to have some sacred time between HIM and I.

GOD said to Moses “Take off your sandals for you are on sacred ground.” This intrigued me. I mean why was the dirt over there common and the dirt he was on sacred? The answer is GOD declared it.  GOD declares sacred times, namely the Sabbath. HE declares sacred places, namely prayer closets and churches. HE even declares sacred words, namely HIS message to us in the Bible.

It is up to me to see that there is a difference between holy and common, I don’t mean in a phony legalistic way. GOD wants me to lower my glossy eyes on common things like the new gadget and place them on heavenly things like GOD’s growing kingdom. HE wants me to see a difference in the common and the holy and teach others to hold GOD up in the highest regard.

  • Are you treating GOD as common?
  • Is nothing sacred in your life?
  • Can you set aside some sacred time between you and GOD?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Being Restored

Ezekiel 43: 25 “For seven days you are to provide a male goat daily for a sin offering; you are also to provide a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without defect. 26 For seven days they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; thus they will dedicate it. 27 At the end of these days, from the eighth day on, the priests are to present your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar. Then I will accept you, declares the Sovereign Lord.”


As I pondered this chapter and a few others, I see the exactness of GOD and HIS desire for strict obedience towards HIS laws. But sometimes it seems quite opposite in my life. I mean when GOD says don’t do something, I think “Wow, it sure would be great to do the thing HE just said not to do!”

  • GOD gave me HIS SON for atonement for my sins.
  • GOD sent me HIS HOLY SPIRIT to live in me and guide me.
  • GOD rescued me from sin offerings and became one HIMSELF.

When I imagined the enormity of killing a significant portion of the countries food and sacrificing it to GOD, I gasped. HE made those who had already been in exile do more, as if exile wasn’t enough. HE illustrated how angry HE had become with the sins of the nation and decided to not wipe them off the face of the planet rather to restore them with a little sacrifice to keep them thinking about HIM.

I believe GOD has not changed, though humans have. We do not sacrifice bulls or goats because the SON was the ultimate sacrifice. BUT I still need to admit sin as much as often as I can in order to remain in a place where I recognize the need for GOD.

  • Are you in a place where you cannot see or hear GOD?
  • Do you feel like you are on the outside of GOD rather than being in HIS love and care?
  • Can you confess your deepest sins to HIM and allow HIM to guide you to where HE wants you to be?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Being Brought Back

Ezekiel 39: 25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid.


Driving in circles, I got a little afraid. I was a young driver and I had not driven to this part of town. It was the “East Side” and I had never even heard of the streets. In my mind even the babies in strollers were trying to rob me. I was nervous. I drove a little further and found a familiar street. It took a while but I made it back to “civilization.” There was nothing wrong with that side of town, but I did not want to go back any time soon!

  • There have been places I have gone that have been very scary.
  • There have been situations I have encountered that have made me nervous.
  • There have been circumstances I have faced where the unknown seemed larger than what I could see.

Life sometimes has some ups and sometimes it has its downs. I cannot tell how many I have been through, but I certainly can tell when I am being delivered from calamity rather than going in. It feels great!

  • GOD restores my fortunes.
  • GOD has compassion on me and is zealous in HIS holy name.
  • GOD delivers me to live in safety so I will no longer be afraid.

Deliverance is GOD’s realm. Only HE can deliver me safely and make my paths straight. HE helps me forget my shame and my unfaithfulness towards HIM by shining HIS light on me. GOD restores me fully!

  • Do you need to be restored?
  • Are you full of shame and disgrace?
  • Will you turn your face to GOD and let HIM deliver you?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Think Bigger

Ezekiel 38: 22 I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.


“I hope my running-back gets more yards than my opponent” was my prayer. Fantasy football was extremely fun to play and I got into it. My coworkers got me involved and it was a sign of being accepted. Praying for running-backs is probably okay, but looking back, I wonder what I would pray for if I only had a few breaths left in my body.

  • GOD is concerned with minor things in my life as well as major things.
  • GOD is concerned about growing me up to think more like HIM and to see those around me.
  • GOD is opening up my eyes to not just getting stuff but being who HE want me to be.

From lost car keys to loss of life, GOD wants my prayer. BUT GOD wants me to know HE is in control of nations, this planet and this universe. One reason is when I face situations and think there is no way out, HE wants me to know that HE is bigger than anything I can go through.

  • I can trust GOD because HE does exactly what HE says.
  • I can trust GOD because HE is the only one who can keep a promise.
  • I can trust GOD because HE is the first and the last.

GOD says “I WILL make MYSELF known in the sight of many nations.” HE will one day pour out wrath that has never been measured. The problem for humans is it will be too late. GOD would prefer that I come to HIM willingly rather than having to go through calamity in order to seek HIM. GOD is much larger than anything I can face. I only need to turn to HIM.

  • Have you thought so little of GOD that you think HE cannot solve what you are going through?
  • Are your words full of blame and doubt?
  • Can you seek the LORD first and allow HIM to rule in your life?
  • Will you allow GOD to open your eyes to HIS greatness?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Saved from the Slide

Ezekiel 37: 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.


Going down the slide wasn’t enough for our playground; you had to be brave enough to run up its steep incline. As I tried over and over I found myself on my back as I tumbled down the slippery slope. The same goes for life. Many times I have told GOD, “I will NEVER do or say that again” and moments later I am doing or saying what I just said I wouldn’t.

  • There have been times when I have slid back into the same old sins.
  • There have been times when I left my promises to reach for my own protection.
  • There have been times when I was on the wrong trail because I got off the correct one.

It seems like I go through periods when I am walking very close to GOD and other times it feels like I have slid so far away from HIM that even HE can’t find me. How can I be sure that HE will even look for me?

  • GOD said to me “I WILL save you from your backsliding.”
  • GOD said to me “I WILL cleanse you.”
  • GOD said to me “I WILL be your GOD and you will be MY people.”

GOD does not need me to clean myself up or be perfect. In fact HE knows the more I try to be perfect the more highly I think of myself. HE simply wants me to “be” and let HIM do the rest. Yes, sin is awful, but that should not be my focus. GOD wants me to focus on what HE is doing daily.

HE is delivering me on a daily basis. Protection flows from HIS sinews as I crouch behind HIS strength. HE saves me in the middle of my sin and does not wait. HE picks me up and teaches me how not to slide back. HE and HE alone placed me in HIS family, never to leave me again!

  • Are you sliding backwards to your old ways?
  • Do you think you are far away from GOD?
  • Can you understand that HE is right there with you?
  • Will you allow HIM to rescue you from your idols and vile images and other offenses?
  • Will you allow GOD to be your GOD and you HIS people? 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Not for you, for ME

Ezekiel 36: 24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.


32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!


As I struggled to remove my soiled pants I began to cry. I could not take them off without making more of a mess. My mother came in and helped me with my clothes and put me in the tub.

  • Many times I have been helpless.
  • Many times I have been dirty beyond measure.
  • Many times I have tried to clean myself up and the more I tried the dirtier I became.

Like soiled pants, so are my sins. Sticky and nasty my sins tend to cling to me and make matters worse. Then my sinful thinking says “Take some of the soiled pants to clean the rest of your body.” Ludicrous is the only word I can think of when I believe I can clean myself up at any time. Who can clean me?

  • GOD says to me “I WILL bring you back into your own land.”
  • GOD says to me “I WILL sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean.”
  • GOD says to me “I WILL give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.”

Like a gentle parent, GOD picks me up out of my sinful dirt and cleanses me of “all” unrighteousness. HE looks at my mess and rescues me anyway. HE seems me trying to clean myself up with soiled pants and sprinkles me with HIS holiness. HE removes my idolatrous heart and gives me a new one of flesh, not of stone. Why does HE do all of this? I mean should I clean myself up before HE saves me? NO!

GOD says to me “Your righteousness is like soiled pants. I AM not cleaning you for your sake, rather I am going to do these things, but for the sake of MY holy name.”  GOD wants me to follow HIM, point to HIM and love HIM. When I don’t, HE cleans me up because of HIS holiness, not mine. HE gently washes away the sticky sins and tells me to remember my conduct.

  • Are you running away from GOD because you are “too” dirty?
  • Do you think you should “clean” yourself up before you come back to GOD?
  • Can you stop thinking you or anyone else can clean yourself or themselves up at all?
  • Will you ask GOD to clean you the way HE wants to?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thoroughly Protected

Ezekiel 35: 12 Then you will know that I the Lord have heard all the contemptible things you have said against the mountains of Israel. You said, “They have been laid waste and have been given over to us to devour.” 13 You boasted against me and spoke against me without restraint, and I heard it. 14 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.


We split up and ran in different directions to divide the would-be robbers. When I felt the coast was clear, I went back to the grocery store looking for my friend. As I walked into the store one of the detectives summoned me over. “Is he one of them?” he asked my friend. “No, he was the one I told you about who was being chased with me. He is my friend.” I never felt more relieved because they did catch the thugs and drove us home.

  • Some people thought I was down and tried to kick me.
  • Some people thought I was an easy target, and I was.
  • Some people thought I could be taken advantage of and they were right.

We were outnumbered five to two. They even yelled out “Shoot them!” thinking that would stop our mad dash. The odds did not seem in our favor. BUT GOD said something different.

  • GOD said “I have heard all the contemptible things” meaning HE is listening to those plotting against me.
  • GOD said “You boasted against ME and spoke against ME without restraint and I heard it” meaning HE listens to those who think they do not need HIM and who are against those HE protects.
  • GOD said “I AM the Sovereign LORD, I will make you desolate” meaning HE is going to take down those who try to harm me.

GOD provides special protection for those who HE gives a purpose. I did not know it at the time, but HE protected me through many other similar incidents. As I look back through all the times I needed protection, I cannot help but think “Why me?” GOD says to me “Because I want you to tell people about MY SON.”

GOD’s protection should never be wasted. HE protects me in order for me to spread the Good News about HIS SON.’’

  • Are you scared?
  • Are you full of fear?
  • Can you let go of the situation ling enough to give it over to GOD and watch HIS deliverance?
  • Will you walk in HIS strength and protection today?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Freed from the Cage

Ezekiel 34: 25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.


With shoulders slumped I went into the office defeated. “’Sigh’ I guess I will be here forever” I thought to myself. I kind of enjoyed the job, but did not like the city and I was young, single and still ready to enjoy myself. I felt trapped with no way out.

  • There have been times where I felt caged in.
  • There have been times where I felt trapped in a snare.
  • There have been times where I felt my potential was being wasted away while being enslaved.

As I sat there staring at my cubicle wall a phone call came in with a job opportunity to move. I had not applied nor did I know where this person got my name. I received the information and immediately knew this was the place for me! I was rescued from the dungeon!

  • GOD says to me “I will make a covenant of peace with you.”
  • GOD says to me “I will make the wilderness and surrounding places safe for you.”
  • GOD says to me “I will make place you in a growing tree in a field where there is a bountiful crop and there you will be secure.”

Looking back I can see many times where I thought “This is the end and I am stuck.” I felt like the momentum in my desire had stalled, BUT GOD said something different. HE is the one who says “That’s enough” and rescues me from the tempest. HE makes the waters of my life still and restores my soul. GOD is my shower of blessing!

  • Are you feeling lost?
  • Have you given up on everything, even GOD?
  • Can you allow GOD to strengthen your faith again?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Neighborly Accountability

Ezekiel 33: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.


Silently I let a few people fall. In my mind they were slimy and would stop at nothing to get ahead. When I heard they were being watched I said to myself “Good, serves them right!” I did not warn them of their impending doom.

  • There have been some people I have wanted to see fail.
  • There have been some people I have wanted to see crash and burn.
  • There have been some people I have wanted to get what is coming to them.

Watching someone fail actually felt pretty good. I mean they had their chance to do the right thing right? Wrong! While they may have been warned by others, they may have listened to me. GOD wants me to behave differently than a “mini-judge.”

  • GOD wants me to have grace in my heart for all, even those who have stepped on my "last nerve.”
  • GOD wants me to have grace in my heart for all, especially the one who I think “deserves” a good fall.
  • GOD wants me to have grace in my heart for all, for the same measure of grace I show others will be shown to me.

It is real easy to point out the problems in others. It makes me forget that I need grace as well. Instead of “that” person needing to change, GOD wants me to change my heart towards them. HE wants me to have compassion rather than rage and tells me to “Pray without ceasing” for those who truly need to hear encouragement instead of argument. GOD holds me accountable for those HE put around me.

  • Are you sitting back and watching a person fail?
  • Do you think your actions are better than theirs?
  • Can you ask GOD for words of encouragement they may need in order to turn their eyes back to HIM?
  • Will you accept GOD’s calling to tell people about turning to the SON?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Feel Sorry for the Rich and Powerful

Ezekiel 32:“Son of man, take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:
“‘You are like a lion among the nations;
    you are like a monster in the seas
thrashing about in your streams,
    churning the water with your feet
    and muddying the streams.
“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘With a great throng of people
    I will cast my net over you,
    and they will haul you up in my net.


GOD sees. GOD Hears. GOD knows. Sometimes I wondered if HE does. I mean those who are in power seem to flaunt it recklessly, meanwhile “I’m sitting on this bus next to the man smelling like who knows what”, I thought to myself. “Is this fair?” I would exclaim to GOD!

  • There have been times I have compared my life to those who are extremely rich.
  • There have been times I have pointed at the rich and powerful as being the problem.
  • There have been times I have wondered why those who possibly lie and cheat their way to the top seem to get away with everything and I have count my bus fare.

Back then I thought it was appropriate to wish the rich to fall and the poor to rise, but then they would become rich and the cycle would continue with bad attitudes in different people. GOD wants me to lament over what is coming.

  • GOD says to me “Lament over those in power today for if they do not turn to ME they will fall.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not be envious over those in power today for I will hold every word against them if they do not turn to ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Every action, every penny is being held accountable for all, turn to ME before it is too late.

JESUS did not have a dime as HE walked the earth. HE was the poorest of the poor, yet HE was rich in that HE owned everything. Monetary wealth can bring blindness to the fact that I am related to the ONE who owns everything, namely JESUS. HE wants me to focus on HIM in the times of trouble rather than pointing at the rich and becoming jealous. HE wants me to see that HE is the Sovereign LORD.

  • Are you holding multiple conversations about the rich and powerful?
  • Do you get disturbed about what the wealthy are doing?
  • What happen if you held this many conversations about JESUS with the same amount of passion?
  • Can you speak about GOD to someone today as freely as you speak about the rich and powerful?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Entitled Confidence

Ezekiel 29: 16 Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.


“I finally made it” I thought to myself. I had climbed the ladder all the way to the top and I can really help the people I sought to help. Months later a reorganization happened and the person who put me in place was no longer there. In fact many of my supporters were gone.

  • At one time I had confidence in “my” title.
  • At one time I had confidence in the “power” I was given.
  • At one time I had confidence in place I worked.

I literally thought I would work at one place until I retired, at least that was the dream of my age group. I placed an enormous amount of confidence in those who should do the right thing for those who worked hard and did not cause trouble. When I saw good people disappear one by one, my confidence waned. What should I place my confidence in?

  • GOD said to me “Stand still and wait on the LORD.”
  • GOD said to me “I AM the ONE who you should place all of your trust.”
  • GOD said to me “I AM the ONE who loves you and will keep you.”

It felt strange to place my trust in GOD. I mean what about bank accounts, houses, cars and other stuff? GOD said “All those things are nice but I can make them rust or have a moth eat them. Do not worry about those things, but seek MY kingdom and I will always take care of you.” Suddenly the worry fell off my shoulders. You mean I can depend on GOD and not have to be something I don’t want to be? Yes! GOD wants me to place my total confidence in HIM alone.

  • Where have you placed your confidence?
  • Do you think you are the one who got you where you are?
  • Can you give GOD praise for giving you your talents and abilities?
  • Will you ask GOD to guide you?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Collecting Trophies

Ezekiel 28: The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘In the pride of your heart
    you say, “I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
    in the heart of the seas.”
But you are a mere mortal and not a god,
    though you think you are as wise as a god.
Are you wiser than Daniel?
    Is no secret hidden from you?
By your wisdom and understanding
    you have gained wealth for yourself
and amassed gold and silver
    in your treasuries.
By your great skill in trading
    you have increased your wealth,
and because of your wealth
    your heart has grown proud.


Twelve out of a possible three hundred was my first bowling score, but at the end of the season I was “most improved” and received a trophy. Soon I got accustomed to winning trophies in bowling and wanted trophies in other areas of my life. I received awards in school and moved onto work where I received numerous awards and accolades. “I am all that” I thought to myself. I better go in and demand a raise and promotion. I mean the company would stop without “me.”

  • There were times I have bought into the accolades.
  • There were times I have believed in “my” abilities.
  • There were times I have thought more of myself than I should.

Whenever I believe in the team of “me” I seem to get in trouble. I mean after a while others can’t do things as good as I can. Soon I start thinking they can’t do things right at all. Pride rises before the fall. BUT GOD can head the fall off.

  • GOD says to me “I AM willing to forgive you if you turn away from your pride.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM your creator.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the ONE who saves, the ONE who has life, the ONE who owns everything.”

“My” abilities are not mine at all, they are simply borrowed like clothes from a neighbor. Any accomplishment I achieve needs to have GOD mentioned. In fact, anything I do needs GOD’s permission; otherwise I will not be successful. GOD can stop my pride as long as I point to HIM.

  • Do you have trouble letting others do for you?
  • Do you think “that” person cannot do anything right in your eyes?
  • Will you stop letting your pride blind you and allow GOD to open your eyes?
  • Can you lower your expectations of others and raise your need for GOD higher?
  • Will you sop your pride today and humble yourself before GOD?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kingdom Minded

Ezekiel 27:Men of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen;
    your skilled men, Tyre, were aboard as your sailors.
Veteran craftsmen of Byblos were on board
    as shipwrights to caulk your seams.
All the ships of the sea and their sailors
    came alongside to trade for your wares.
10 “‘Men of Persia, Lydia and Put
    served as soldiers in your army.
They hung their shields and helmets on your walls,
    bringing you splendor.
11 Men of Arvad and Helek
    guarded your walls on every side;
men of Gammad
    were in your towers.
They hung their shields around your walls;
    they brought your beauty to perfection.


26 Your oarsmen take you
    out to the high seas.
But the east wind will break you to pieces
    far out at sea.
27 Your wealth, merchandise and wares,
    your mariners, sailors and shipwrights,
your merchants and all your soldiers,
    and everyone else on board
will sink into the heart of the sea
    on the day of your shipwreck.


Pondering this chapter, I could not help but notice that GOD pays attention to who is serving who. HE even paid attention to their motive for serving. HE noticed every single thing they were doing and allowed them to accomplish “greatness” in the eyes of humans. BUT GOD wanted something different to be noticed.

  • GOD does not mind me accomplishing things as long as HE truly gets the praise for my abilities.
  • GOD does not mind me showing my creativity as long as I point to the CREATOR.
  • GOD does not mind me becoming wealthy as long as I acknowledge that “my” wealth is but a portion of HIS great wealth.

Tyre was a “self-made” nation. They had great wealth and strong humans pulled alongside to protect the money. BUT GOD was not praised and HE showed them HIS might by tearing down their wealth. HE does the same in my life. When I put too much emphasis on money, HE has a way to pile the bills so high, my little change can’t reach the top of the debt. BUT GOD is merciful.

  • GOD says to me “If you would turn your ways back to me, I will raise you up.”
  • GOD says to me “Seek first the kingdom of GOD and all these things will be added to you.”
  • GOD says to me “Put ME first and you will be blessed.”

Giving GOD the praise is very important! HE deserves every ounce of credit, but does not need it. HE wants me to see HIS power over everything!

  • Are you bragging about your wealth?
  • Do you think you are “self-made”?
  • Can you stop looking at yourself and your accomplishments for just one second and look at GOD?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Protected while Chastened

Ezekiel 26: “Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,’ therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves.


Timid in my mannerisms I observed a few people acting silly during class. I had enough of being teased and wanted some positive peer press. When I acted like the disrupters, the teacher quickly got ahold of me and sent me to the principal’s office. When I returned, I faced even more ridicule. The teacher stepped in and said “Next one who laughs gets sent.”

  • There were times I received discipline in front of everyone.
  • There were times I received discipline at the most embarrassing moment.
  • There were times I received discipline when everyone was looking and it seemed like my world was going to crumble.

How come everyone else can do stuff and I have to be the “goody two shoes?” I asked. The explanation actually surprised me. “You can be special if you act special.” The teacher was rescuing me from myself, at the same time she held off those who would pummel me on the playground.

  • GOD says to me “MY rod and MY staff will comfort you” meaning HE will chasten me but only so much.
  • GOD says to me “Spare the rod, spoil the child” meaning HE will not hesitate to discipline HIS own children but only so much.
  • GOD says to me “I gave my only SON to be murdered on your behalf” meaning those who oppose the SON and who think they can take over are dead wrong!

GOD did not spare HIS one and only SON so I know HE will not hesitate to discipline me for some of the stupid things I do. BUT GOD does not crush me to the point of extinction. HE still has a purpose for me so HE dusts me off and picks me back up to continue. HE also does something marvelous. Those who try to kick me when I am down are not only blocked, BUT GOD goes after them with a vengeance.

HE raises HIS hand and says “NO” to those who desire to do harm to me, then HE takes them down in the process in hopes they will turn back to HIM as well. GOD only wants me to act like the special person HE created. Be holy because I AM holy.

  • Are you acting out?
  • Are you pouting and want some attention?
  • Can you let GOD change your heart so you can act like the special person HE created?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Seeking Revenge

Ezekiel 25: 15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, 16 therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will wipe out the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. 17 I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.’”


Seeking revenge felt good sometimes. I mean with anger boiling, I felt I had the “right” to inflict whatever pain or harm I could legally do to the person who “started” the fight in the first place. BUT GOD says something different.

  • GOD says to me “Get rid of malice in your heart, otherwise it can turn into hatred.”
  • GOD says to me “Get rid of ancient hostility in order to move into the future.”
  • GOD says to me “Vengeance is MINE says the LORD, I will repay.”

Letting GOD take care of those who trespass against me enables me to feel better about whatever is going on with “that” person. I can sleep and eat without a carrying around misery and pain. GOD wants me to ask HIM to forgive my trespasses as well as those who trespass against me. Instead of seeking revenge, I will seek GOD.

  • Do you have malice in your heart against someone?
  • Are you carrying around ancient hostility?
  • Can you allow GOD to take care of the situation knowing HE will deal with you also?