Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012 … He’ll Do Whatever It Takes

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 243

Blogger’s Note: To any readers here: Before you read through my journal entry today, please take a few minutes and listen to one of the most personally powerful songs I’ve ever heard, by Phillips, Craig and Dean. Use this link  to view/hear this deeply moving sing as a set up for today’s devotional journal entry below. Thank you!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Ezekiel 16-17 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 16: 1-3; 13; 15-16; 20-21; 35-39; 49-51 : [NLT] … 1 Then another message came to me from the LORD: 2“Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her loathsome sins. 3 Give her this message from the Sovereign LORD: You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite! … 13 And so you were made beautiful with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—fine flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever. You looked like a queen, and so you were! … 15 “But you thought you could get along without me, so you trusted instead in your fame and beauty. You gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking! 16 You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you carried out your acts of prostitution. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? … 20 “Then you took your sons and daughters — the children you had borne to me — and sacrificed them to your gods. Was it not enough that you should be a prostitute? 21 Must you also slaughter my children by sacrificing them to idols? … 35 “Therefore, you prostitute, listen to this message from the LORD! 36 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you have exposed yourself in prostitution to all your lovers, and because you have worshiped detestable idols, and because you have slaughtered your children as sacrifices to your gods, 37 this is what I am going to do. I will gather together all your allies—these lovers of yours with whom you have sinned, both those you loved and those you hated—and I will strip you naked in front of them so they can stare at you. 38 I will punish you for your murder and adultery. I will cover you with blood in my jealous fury. 39 Then I will give you to your lovers—these many nations—and they will destroy you. … 49 Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and did loathsome things, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. 51 “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more loathsome things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you! … 59 “Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will give you what you deserve, for you have taken your solemn vows lightly by breaking your covenant. 60 Yet I will keep the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 17: 19-24 : [NLT] … 19 “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, I will punish him for breaking my covenant and despising the solemn oath he made in my name. 20 I will throw my net over him and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and deal with him there for this treason against me. 21 And all the best warriors of Israel will be killed in battle, and those remaining in the city will be scattered to the four winds. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken these words. 22 “And the Sovereign LORD says: I will take a tender shoot [i.e., The Messiah] from the top of a tall cedar, and I will plant it on the top of Israel’s highest mountain. 23 It will become a noble cedar, sending forth its branches and producing seed. Birds of every sort will nest in it, finding shelter beneath its branches. 24 And all the trees will know that it is I, the LORD, who cuts down the tall tree and helps the short tree to grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives new life to the dead tree. I, the LORD, have spoken! I will do what I have said.” 

My Journal for Today: I hope you took my lead above by listening to the You Tube piece, playing the poignant song by my favorite Christian singing group, Phillips, Craig, and Dean. If you haven’t done so; and you’re reading here, please use the link above and watch/hear that piece because it says what Ezekiel was prophesying over 600 years before the One Whom he wrote of, The Messiah, reached out to save Christ’s bride, Judah, who had prostituted herself and would be punished for her sin; but God, in His infinite love and mercy, would not – no, could not – go back on the vows He had made to Judah, His Bride. No, if you read through the imagery in Chapter 16 & 17 of Ezekiel above, you’ll see that Judah went about as far away from God’s Old Covenant as one could; but God, the Bridegroom, would never leave, nor forsake His Bride; and as the song you’ve been encouraged to hear sings, He, God, went way far out of His way to love and patiently bring His Bride back to Him. God made a promise of fidelity; and even with Judah’s horrible infidelity, God was willing to send His redeemer to save His Bride.

My fellow seeker, do you see yourself, as I do, in this story, my friend?  Because I REALLY do!

In my case, God went way far out of His way to pursue me and to make me part of His Bride (the Church). My testimony is way too long to repeat here; but God took me out of my prostitution, reaching down into a sin-dead life and bringing me back to life. So, I know just how far our God is willing to go to save one He has made a covenant to save. I pray you know that too.

My Prayer Today: … My Lord and Bridegroom, with tears of gratefulness cascading down my cheeks, I thank You for allowing me to repent and become Your Bride … forever. Amen

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