Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Why die?

Ezekiel 33:11, 14-16 (MSG) Tell them, ‘As sure as I am the living God, I take no pleasure from the death of the wicked. I want the wicked to change their ways and live. Turn your life around! Reverse your evil ways! Why die, Israel?’...  On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, “You’ll die for your wicked life,” and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life—being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don’t hurt others—he’ll live. He won’t die. None of his sins will be kept on the books. He’s doing what’s right, living a good life. He’ll live.

Even when we think change isn't possible...God gives us a glimmer of hope just to remind us it (change) is. While reading through Ezekiel 32 – 33 I couldn’t help but be reminded that God wants us to change. He is always fighting for us and desires for us to live and be free from the chains of our sin.

God can change anyone's heart or circumstance.

In the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, I've read about how God changed the hearts of the Israelites. In these books, both prophets warn the nation of Israel of the nation’s total destruction if they don’t “turn from their sin and idol worship” and return to the one true God. Yet, because God gave us all a will of our own, the people didn’t listen. They thought they knew what was best for “them” and “continued to wallow in their sin.”

Funny…I can’t help but see the similarities in our own lives today. We are SO consumed with chasing those “things” that bring “temporary wealth, pleasure/satisfaction, fixes, etc.” that we fail to see the truth. There is NOTHING on this EARTH that will ever satisfy our “temporary craving.” We drive ourselves crazy going from one thing to the next thinking “true happiness and contentment” will be found. This is simply a LIE OF THE ENEMY. 

Satan has a knack for keeping us distracted from the ONE TRUE GOD. He (Satan) plants seeds of doubt and we question the very truths that God is:

  • The GOD of change
  • The GOD of second (third, fourth, tenth, two-hundredth) chances
  • The GOD of peace
  • The GOD of healing and wholeness
  • The GOD of contentment and fulfillment
  • The GOD of abundant life
  • The GOD of joy
  • The GOD of love
The one simple truth that blows me away every time I think about it is this:

The creator of the entire universe knows my name and the number of hairs on my head – He knows the details of my life. He is relational and wants nothing more than to have a relationship with me…and with you.

BUT, the only way we can be in relationship with Him is to:
1 - Turn from (repent of) the sin in our lives (recognize your need for a Savior)
2 - Accept Jesus’ redemptive work on Calvary
3 – Turn over full authority of your life to Christ (recognize you are not in control)
4 - Wholeheartedly seek Him.
5 - Wholeheartedly worship Him.

He can and will CHANGE your heart. Will you give Him full access?

In Ezekiel 33 (verse 11 and following) we read that God takes no pleasure in the death of the "wicked". This means He wants NO ONE to die. He confirms this truth in the New Testament book of John in chapter 3 verse 16. 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish (die) but have eternal life."

By death here I mean a spiritual death. He wants us to live eternally with Him (that’s the relational part) but our sin separates us (that’s His Holiness and Righteousness) from this abundant life. Just as God assured the nation of Israel of His forgiveness if they repented of their sin...He will do that same for us if we turn to Him in repentance of ours. 

Remember, it doesn’t matter where we've been. All that matters is where we are going from here. This truth brings me hope for my unbelieving family members and the “sin” that holds them captive.

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