April 4, 2015

Today you should read: Ezekiel 2

Sometimes God calls us to do hard things. For some of us, it may have been a mission trip where we need to go out of our comfort zone to learn a different language and persevere through hard circumstances in order to be used by God. For others it can be the simple roles we have as husbands/wives and mothers/fathers. When our kids rebel or tragedy hits home, we recognize that this high calling of leading our families in Christ is a lot tougher then we originally thought. Maybe it’s a ministry opportunity where we feel like we’re battling people within the church as much as we’re battling Satan outside in the world.

God calls us to do hard things and Ezekiel’s calling was no different. In this chapter we see that God called Ezekiel to be a prophet to a nation of rebels, people who have rebelled against Him, who follow descendants before them who were impudent and stubborn and they will also not listen to you (v. 3-5). God compares this job, this calling of Ezekiel’s to working with briers and thorns and sitting on scorpions (v. 6). Did I mention that this was God’s own people that He was called to prophecy to as well (v. 3)? Talk about a tough calling on one’s life. However Ezekiel gave God three things that would help him with this difficult task and these three things are present with our tough jobs from God as well.

  1. Do not be afraid (v. 6)

We don’t have to be afraid when God calls us to do hard things because God wouldn’t call us to these tasks if He didn’t have a purpose for them. Even if the people wouldn’t listen to Ezekiel and it was like sitting on scorpions, the God of eternity is on Ezekiel’s side and there’s not greater joy then doing what God called us to do, even if we don’t always see it’s fruit. Fulfill your calling with courage and boldness.

  1. Do not join the evil you’re called to reach out to (v. 8)

It’s amazing and heartbreaking to see so many Christians who start participating in the sin that they were at one time sharing with people that they need saved from.  From the thousands of current and former clergy who now don’t believe in God at http://clergyproject.org to the people who claim Christ with their mouths but look worse then the world in the sin that they are justifying in their lives. We are called to share the Gospel with people who desperately need it and God warns us of the temptation to join in the sin that we are trying to save them from. There’s a difference between imperfect Christians struggling with sin and trying to fight against it and openly participating in the evil before us. Fulfill your calling with protection and wisdom.

  1. Do not underestimate the power of God’s Word in your calling (v. 9-10)

Lastly, use God’s Word in what God calls you to. The same word that you’ll read more about in the next chapter in Ezekiel’s call is the same Word we are called to use in the tough tasks that we are given. The same word that is used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) will be used powerfully by the Holy Spirit in your life and others you are sent to reach. Fulfill your calling with the power of the Holy Spirit spoken through God’s Word. A word that will not return back void (Isaiah 55:11)

Posted by: Erik Koliser

April 3, 2015

Today you should read: Ezekiel 1

Welcome to the book of Ezekiel. As we dive into this new book I wanted to give some basic background on who this is and what this book is about. Obviously Ezekiel is the author of this book. He was a prophet during the time of king Jehoichin, also during the Babylonian exile. He writes this book with two running themes in mind:

  1. God’s judgement for sin and disobedience
  2. God’s grace in saving and restoring his people

It is interesting that Ezekiel, in Hebrew, means “God is our strength”. As we read throughout this book we will see that name bear itself in the fact that God’s people would and do need God to be their strength.

Ezekiel starts off in chapter 1 with a beautiful description of a vision he had received from God. It is one of God’s awesome glory and beauty. It is important to remember that, although God is our father and loves us, he is still all-powerful and above all things. He is an awesome sight and one that should strike both joy and fear in us. God is so beyond our comprehension that when we are faced with his physical presence, time and time again, man has one response

All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the LORD looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me. (Ezekiel 1:28 NLT)

We fall on our faces before our mighty God, just as Ezekiel did. There will be many chapters of discussion, foreshadowing, and visions but we start with God entering the picture as only he can.

What an amazing reminder of how awesome God is and how worthy He is of our praises. So as we tackle this book together let’s remember where we start from and our appropriate position before God.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd