Friday, March 19, 2010

Radical obedience Part II

4:39 p.m. Today's project was to continue studying the Book of Ezekiel and ponder what radical obedience might look like if practiced by a Christian in 2010.

My portion of scripture for this morning was chapter three in the New Living Translation (NLT). In verses 1-3, the prophet is given the message for the people of Israel on a scroll that "tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth." The pure, delicious joy of God's Word is described for us in Psalm 119:103: "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" I pray that I might love and treasure God's word each day!

Ezekiel is warned that the hardhearted exiles will not listen, but God has made him as obstinate and hardhearted as they are! God says, v. 9, "I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don't be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels." Being hard-headed is rarely a compliment, as I well know from my own parents' resigned comments! But to be hardheaded in a righteous cause, a cause given to you by God Himself, even speaking in His behalf, is a sublime privilege; none higher!

Verse 10 is what became inprinted on my mind this morning, however:

Then he added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.
I was dumbfounded by this verse, as if I had never read it before! If I have not taken in, "eaten," or, in other words, completely consumed and grasped the word of God for myself, if it has not become a part of me, if I have not "treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:12), what have I to give out? My own opinions, hints and tips for better living? Even the most exemplary person you can name cannot parade his or her ways, words or wisdom before God! Those are all just filthy rags! All that we have or are of any eternal worth has been given to us by God and God alone, through saving faith in Jesus Christ.

When we have been born again, transformed by Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit , we can take in God's word with understanding. We are prepared to witness for Him!

Ezekiel 3:11 says, "Then go to your people in exile and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says!' Do this whether they listen to you or not."

Unsaved people are a people in exile, in exile from the presence of the Living God. Their destiny, their chosen path, is the road to hell. Are we committed to practicing the "radical obedience" of Ezekiel?

I'll be considering the way that our gospel message is received from God and our preparation for delivering it next time!!

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