Do You Honor God?

Honor God

Ezekiel 28-31  When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, he noted that all men could know God as Creator and Sustainer by the vast universe before us, therefore we should stop and honor Him as holy, holy, holy. While Ezekiel slept and awakened to see the creation each morning in Babylon, God was preparing to destroy those nations who took advantage of His chosen ones. In his vision, God allowed him to know but never experience the horrors of God’s hand of discipline on them. From east to west, God would cleanse the wickedness in the land lest his children return 70 yrs. later to a land that was polluted. Do we ever stop to consider that both the bad and the good in our world have been allowed by His Hand? The children of Judah did not, and the wicked nations did not. Do we stop to honor Him for the steps He has ordered for His purposes alone? Daniel said: He raises up and puts down rulers. Do we praise Him for these choices, or are we like Egypt’s leader that usurped the honor of His Great Name to himself? Why did God choose to take these nations down? Over and over, He tells Ezekiel to tell the Judahites that when this happens, they will know that I am the Lord “their” God!

Today, stop and honor God for the “depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how unfathomable his ways!” [Rom 11:33]

Give God the honor due His Name today and every day.

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“Four Parables”

Parables are about real life and real decisions

Ezekiel  15 to 18 In the NT, Jesus told three parables about things or people. Ezekiel’s four parables, earthly stories with a heavenly purpose, mirrored these stories in many ways.

Parable: #1 In the branch parable, we see a branch full of life thrown into the fire. Life without God is like the fires of hell.  #2 In the unfaithful bride parable, we see a rags to riches story. God takes us from the gutter and bestows his blessings, yet the world’s lure is always at the doorstep of our heart.  Be on guard!  #3 In the parable about the eagle, we see that God raised up Nebuchadnezzar, who deported the people to Babylon, leaving a vassal king who swore to honor the king in charge. Yet the vassal grew impatient and soon rebelled against the king. Solomon wrote: when you make a vow, do not delay in paying it.  #4 In the parable of the two sons, we see a family whose lives mirrored the NT story. The younger was restless and disrespectful of his father. Seeking his inheritance, he left and walked the world.  The older son served his father but with an ungrateful heart. The younger returned and sought reconciliation, but the older remained unforgiving.

Israel had been blessed by God but was unfaithful and ungrateful. Yet, like the prodigal’s father, God was always waiting to restore the relationship. She would need to return to the father in confession and repentance. What would she do? What would you do?

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Proverbs 15 to 18: Self Questions

Through four long chapters headed as “contrasts of the blessed and the wicked,” we are confronted with the heart. Ten times Solomon uses the heart as his visual image. We may think we know our heart but in reality, only the Lord knows it. Jeremiah noted: ‘the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked..{Jeremiah asks: who can know it?} and he answers: The Lord searches the heart’ [Jer 17:9-10, emphasis mine] Our heart is revealed in how we respond to others in our countenance, our speech, and actions.

Lots and lots of questions come to mind as we read these four long chapters. Is today a day for my heart to do kingdom work? Is my ‘to-do’ list long even in lockdown or isolation mandated by our government officials? Do my marketing list and errands govern me or do they guide me to honor Him as I am out and about in my world? Does my heart seek to glorify God even in the everyday task of the home laundry basket? 

As you ponder your day try some self-evaluation:

Did I stop to ask the Lord what His plans would be for me? 

Did I ask him to guard my tongue and direct my steps?

God knows all, and He will evaluate our motives and our heart. Therefore, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” [Prov 4:23]

 May this be our prayer for today: 

What wilt Thou have me to do today that will bring you pleasure?

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Can we know the right path to follow?

Can I know which I am following?

Prov 8/9  Are you a people watcher as you walk down the path of life? Solomon must have been. He pondered and realized there are two tracks of life (foolish and wise) and he personifies both. Solomon has observed: Vs. 32: Blessed are those who keep my [God’s] ways. Vs. 34 Blessed is the one who listens, watches, and waits

As Solomon observed, he saw the contrast. The foolish follow Dame Harlot, as Solomon calls her. [Proverbs 7: 27] Followers of Dame Harlot find that “Her house is the way to the grave, going down to death’s chambers.”The wise are pursuing Lady Wisdom. The path of Dame Harlot leads to deception and darkness. The way of Lady Wisdom leads to honesty and light.

Learn from Solomon. Observe people’s decision-making process. Those who choose to follow and heed Lady Wisdom find that her path leads to blessings, and life eternal. ” I will love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” [Proverbs 8:17] Lady Wisdom says: “For the one who finds me (wisdom) find life and receives favor from the Lord. But the one who does not find me brings harm to himself;” [Prov 8:35] 

It could not be any clearer: Prov 1:7 “Fearing the Lord is the beginning of moral knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10 “The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and acknowledging the Holy One is understanding.” Thus as Dr. Constable notes: 

“Wisdom and godliness are practically synonymous.”  

Beloved, Are you following Dame Harlot or Lady Wisdom?  

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Give God Glory in Song!

Praise God

Have you ever noticed how often the word “sing or sang” is noted throughout scripture? Psalm 89 Ethan said he would sing continually about the Lord’s faithful deeds. “The heavens also praise his amazing deeds as well.” Job referenced this same thought: When the morning stars sang in chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy.  In Chronicles 16 and Psalm 105, the authors note: Sing to him! Make music to him. Tell about all his miraculous deeds. We should be praising God for he is Lord among the heavenly beings, a God who is honored in the great angelic assembly. At the birth of our Savior, the vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God.

The author Ethen exalted God in word and song. Paul told the Colossians to exalt God by exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.

One author put it like this:  “live your life in praise to God.” In psalm 113 we read that God is higher than anything or anyone, outshining everything you see in the skies.

What is your favorite hymn or praise song that you sing to give God praise?

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Are You a “Why” person?

Psalm 9-12 God’s Longsuffering Patience

We are learning more and more about the power of prayer in the lives of believers. Yet there will always be those who rebuff God and refuse to bow the knee or utter words of praise to Him. They are like the men in Romans 1:20 who see the evidence of his power and His love, yet deny him. Just like the psalmist, we go before Him to ask: “Why, Lord, do you stand afar off?” Why do you not remove these evil men?

The answer is that God is full of compassion, mercy and his patience is far beyond ours. He continues to offer evidence until like Pharaoh; they have hardened their hearts beyond the point of no return. Then, He allows the waves of death to come, and like the people in Noah’s day, they realize it is too late. Their ears were seared beyond hearing the gospel message and so they die and enter Torments where they meet the rich man of Luke 16, who said, don’t let them come here. 

But, even as believers, we also often fail to stop and praise God for things like pandemics. We are like Peter, whose eyes were on Jesus as he stepped out of the boat but then let the winds whistle and the roar of the water take our attention. We see the evidence of his power, yet hear God ask: Why don’t you trust me and my plans?

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The Sacred Graveyards

1Chron 1-3

Easter was a glorious reminder that Christ rose from the dead and that because of that we have hope and will rise one day and meet Him in the clouds. As we read this list of unpronounceable names we are reminded that only Christ has been raised. Until then men will still die and will not experience the resurrection until our risen Christ returns. We will join many in the sacred graveyards and the living will only have a gravestone and memories. Why did the Chronicler record so many unpronounceable names? Why did he register the names of Israel’s enemies? Why are there so few women’s names? So what are we to glean from this sacred graveyard?

The Chronicler wants us to know that life is short, eternity is long, and God has revealed His plan for our redemption.  Woven in this chain of people, we find that God sent His son born of a woman to redeem those who were under the law. Some bowed the knee and whispered God save me for there is no other name under heaven whereby we are saved. We are saved not from perishable seed but imperishable. No matter how great our first birth privilege or heritage is, it does not secure our salvation for by no works are we justified, but by His grace alone.

One day all of us will stand before the Lamb of God when the books are opened. To some, they will hear well done, thou good and faithful servant; but to others, they will hear–depart from me I never knew you.

This is a sobering thought. Consider your decision for Christ today.

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Out with the old, in with the new

Thanks for following my blog and your notes of encouragement. However, this page will be fading away to allow the “new-to-me” blog page minus ads!

Old page: https://wordpress.com/view/beautyinthebarrenness.wordpress.com

New page: http://sonshinesjournal.com/2020/03/10/new-blog-page/

I hope you will come along with me as we venture forth in the Word of God daily. I have been writing these devotionals for 7 yrs now without missing a day. I am up to Judges (my least favorite book~) Tomorrow we start the book of Ruth. *smile* I am following the Daily Bible reading plan from Bible.org

( https://bible.org/Daily_Bible_Reading_Plans ) This is my second time through this plan but as you can see there are several others from which to choose.

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