GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

GOD is NOT PLEASED with the DEATH of the WICKED

GOD is NOT PLEASED with the DEATH of the WICKED

August 31 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 16-18

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord God. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 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? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord God. "Therefore turn and live!" (Ezek 18:30-32)

In this passage, God clarifies His views on individual responsibility to prophet Ezekiel. Everyone is judged equitably and individually. God never enjoys condemning a person, but is just and righteous in dispensing His judgments. Sin can never be taken lightly in one’s relationship with God, and repentance is the way to life. The people continued to accuse God of injustice, but He shows that there is no injustice because even a wicked man can be saved by turning from his sins, and that is what the Lord wants them to do.

The problem is not God’s unwillingness to save man, but rather man’s refusal to be saved. This is God’s passionate call to repentance, and displays God’s mercy and man’s choice. God’s burden for His people is that they have life, not death. But life will not be forced upon anyone who wishes to remain in his sin. The individual must personally respond and repent to have life. Each individual is judged separately, so the only way for each person to live is to ‘repent and turn’.

God is not pleased in the death of the wicked or in judging them (vv. 23, 32). God will gladly forgive sinners if they would only repent. The supreme need is for a “new heart and a new spirit” (v. 31), which can come only through faith in Christ as the gift of God (36:26) and is not the product of human effort (Eph. 2:8, 9). Ezekiel exhorts his audience to seek these not through their own merit but by repentance (v. 32).

God does not punish the innocent for the guilty except in the case of His Son. On the cross, Jesus took the punishment for our sins. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, “yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Isa. 53:10), “for Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18).

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