KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Chapters: Ezekiel 34-36
Message: It Is All About JOY
Hello My Friend,
I used to have a preacher that when the church fell on hard times sold their house and moved his family into the church. Several months later he stopped using funds that were designated for missions to pay his salary, stating they had to take care the man of God first. The following January he had a give all Sunday where he wanted every person to give their entire paycheck for the week. Now, I am not against this preacher or saying that he ought not get paid for his service, after all God does enlist us to give tithes to the church so His ministers are taken care of, but do think his decision to put himself above the needs of the church caused it to struggle. You see, no matter who we are, even men and women of God, it is not about us, it is about JOY, Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. God will provide all of our needs, but unless we have JOY we are going to struggle.
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:31-33.
One of the things that angers God is those who are in authority of His church that are more worried about providing for themselves before His people. God sees His people as sheep who need a shepherd to keep them on the right path, men of God (preachers, pastors) are the shepherds who look over the sheep, and if they cause them to go astray they have to answer to God. Through Ezekiel, He has some pretty harsh words for the shepherds who, ignore His flock to feed themselves.
“Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.” – Ezekiel 34:9,10,22-24.
“And I will set up one shepherd over them,” There is only one Shepherd that cares for God’s sheep and that is Jesus Christ. He alone covers us with His life giving blood and sustains us through the good, bad, and ugly things we face, but if we run from Him He cannot protect us. Mt Seir was land owned by Edom, descendants of Esau, Jacob’s (Israel) brother, and while Jacob and Esau did patch things up themselves, Edom remained enemies with Israel. Through Ezekiel, God gives the judgment of mount Seir for their hatred of Israel, and of their mocking their fall.
“Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee. And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them. Thus saith the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate. As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD.” – Ezekiel 35:11-15.
“and that I have heard all thy blasphemies” Do you think God does not know those who lie and teach false doctrines about Him? Do you think He does not know who proclaims they are saved, yet are not? God knows all things, and will go after those who bring division and confusion to His people, and those who are trying to become His. And to His faithful, just because it seems like God is no where to be found that does not mean He is not watching over us and preparing us for something better. Through Ezekiel, God tells His people that He has not forgotten about them.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” – Ezekiel 36:7-11.
“and yield your fruit to my people of Israel;” If we put God first, we naturally become more like His Son as we serve Him and others, the more we seek His needs, the more we help others, the more He provides for us. Whenever I start to struggle with finances and other provisions I retrace my steps to see if I perhaps lost my JOY, and usually I find that it is the reason for my problems. When I refocus and keep God first, not just in His work, but in spending time with Him, and focus on the needs of others, that is when God takes care of me. One thing we can be sure of is that we belong to God, even if we do lose our JOY. Through Ezekiel, God reminds Israel that it was not their works that keep Him faithful to them, but the promise He made.
“Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:22-27.
“and I will give you an heart of flesh.” This goes for both Jews and Gentiles that are saved. You know, putting others first can be as simple as praying for them and their needs. What an amazing God we have, His mercy truly endures and let me tell you, God’s mercy toward us is what keeps Him from casting us into hell, even when we mess up time and time again. His grace is what keeps Him loving us at all times, and His promise is to bring all of His people together again, to a place that has no more sin, pain, or death.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:1-4.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.” – Ezekiel 34:23.
Today’s Prayer: God, As our Father is gives you great joy to provide for and take care of Your children, what you ask of us is in return is not difficult, but can be a challenge when calamities come. Lord, lead us and guide us, let us not lose our JOY, so You can bless and sustain us here. Help us to keep You first, others second, and ourselves last so we not only have out needs met, but become fruitful as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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