April 13

[Ezekiel 14:12-23: excerpts from Matthew Henry’s Commentary]  National sins bring National judgments.  When virtue is ruined and laid waste every thing else will soon be ruined and laid waste too: When the land sins against Me, when vice and wickedness become epidemical, when the land sins by trespassing grievously, when the sinners have become very numerous and their sins very heinous, when gross impieties and immoralities universally prevail [as has long since been the case now in our own Nation; we have way out-sinned Sodom and Gomorrah], then will I stretch forth My hand upon it, for the punishment of it.  The Divine Power shall be vigorously and openly exerted; the judgments shall be extended and stretched forth to all the corners of the land, to all the concerns and interests of the nation.  Grievous sins bring grievous plagues.
God has a variety of sore judgments wherewith to punish sinful nations, and He has them all at command and inflicts which He pleases.  Pestilence, a dreadful disease, which has sometimes depopulated cities…by it God pours out His fury in blood (that is, in death); the pestilence kills as effectually as if the blood were shed by the sword, for it is poisoned by the disease, the sickness we call it.  See how miserable the case of mankind is that lies thus exposed to deaths in various shapes.  See how dangerous the case of sinners is against whom God has so many ways of fighting, so that, though they escape one judgment, God has another waiting for them.
Even so, in the places that are most corrupt, and in the ages that are most degenerate, there is a remnant which God reserves to Himself, and which still hold fast their integrity and stand fair for the honour of delivering the land, as the innocent are said to do [Job 22:30]  However, when the sin of a people has come to its height, and the Divine decree has gone forth for their ruin, the piety and prayers of the best men shall not prevail with God to end the controversy.  We are encouraged, though, to keep our own integrity in times of common apostasy, that, if we do so, we shall be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.    

Son of man, when a land sins against Me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out My hand against it and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it and cut off from it man and beast…or suppose I were to pour out my fury by sending a plague into the land, and the disease killed people and animals alike.  As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters!  They alone would be saved by their own righteousness.  When My judgments come upon the Earth…when I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or when I command locusts to devour the land [as is happening right now in Kenya] or when I send a plague among my people [as is happening even now worldwide]…the people of the world learn righteousness.  Even so, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. [Ezek 14:13, 19, 20; Isa 26:10; 2 Chron 7:13-15] 

All who take refuge in the shelter of the Most High are filled with gladness; I shall ever sing and shout for joy!  You spread Your protection over me, that I who love Your Name may continually rejoice in Your Presence!  For surely, O Lord, You pour out blessings upon the righteous; You surround me with Your unfailing Love as with a shield! [Ps 5:11-12]

C  Instruments of Worship

C: 1] Spirit: Glorifying God through the devotion of my heart:

  • a] Affections
  • b] Attractions
  • c] Desire
  • d] Purpose
  • e] Controversy

C:1 Spirit

a] Affections: Glorifying God through devoting the affections of my heart to Him:

b] Attractions: Glorifying God through devoting the attractions of my heart to Him:

c] Desire of my heart: Glorifying God through devoting the desires of my heart to Him:

d] Purpose for my life: Glorifying God through devoting the purpose for my life to Him:

e] God’s controversy with His people:

I made you for Myself, in My Own image and in My Own likeness, to be joined together with Me in a Sacred Covenant relationship…a living union of oneness…the very crown jewels of My Creation, and that, as a mirror of the Almighty, you would reflect My Glory to the created Universe!  I purchased you, by Myself and for Myself, with the precious and priceless Blood of My Divine Son Jesus, that you would declare My praises…the praises of the One Who called you out of darkness into My marvelous light!  I made you to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, consecrated and set apart to the worship of God…consecrated and set apart to worship Me!  But no…instead, you are like an unfaithful, adulterous wife, having intimacy and love affairs with the world and thereby breaking your marriage vows to God!  Your sweetest, most tender affections are not reserved for Me!  I am not the choicest, most precious treasure of your heart!  You have no longing to linger in My Presence, just sitting at My feet!  Yes, I know that you honor Me with your lips…but your heart is far from Me!  “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot…not willing to give up your pretension and claim to My name, yet having too much love for the world to stand steadfast and immovable with Me!  I wish you were either one or the other…make up your mind, would you, please!  So, because you are lukewarm…neither hot nor cold…I am thoroughly disgusted with you and am about to spew you out of My mouth!  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and am in need of nothing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked!  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white garments to wear, to cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so your eyes would be opened and you can truly see!  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So, therefore, be earnest, and repent!” [Rev 3:15-19]
“Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” says the Lord!  O, spiritual adulteresses, untrue to God your husband, do you not know that your friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore would desire after mature consideration to be a friend of the world is thereby constituted an enemy of God!  Or, do you think that the Scripture says in an empty manner and to no purpose, “The Holy Spirit who has been caused to make His permanent home in us has a passionate desire to control us to the point of envy of any control indwelling sin may have over us?” [Jer 3:20; James 4:4-5]
“But you have played the harlot against Me with many lovers…yet would you now return to Me?” says the Lord…or do you even think to return to Me?  “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see.  Where have you not been adulterously lain with?  By the wayside you have sat waiting for lovers, eager for idolatry, like an Arabian desert tribesman who waits to plunder in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your vile harlotry and your wickedness…your unfaithfulness and disobedience to God!” [Jer 3:1b-2]
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  If I am your Father, where is the honor due Me?  If I am your Master, where is the respect due Me?” says the Lord Almighty. [Mal 1:6]
To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: “Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love!  Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first!  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” [Rev 2:1, 4-5]
To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: “Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  Repent, therefore!  Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth!” [Rev 2:12,14-16]
To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: “Nevertheless, I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.  By her teaching she misleads My servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways!  I will strike her children dead!  Then all the churches will know that I am He Who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds!” [Rev 2:18, 20-23]
To the angel of the church in Sardis write: “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead!  Wake up!  Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of My God!  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent!  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you!” [Rev 3:1-3]

Friends, brothers and sisters…

There is one absolutely necessary preparation for every living soul on the face of this Earth, for the soon coming and imminent return of Jesus Christ…the one preparation that will irrevocably determine in which neighborhood you will spend all eternity, whether in Heaven or in Hell.  You must be a born-again child of God.  I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s Kingdom.  I tell you the truth, no one can ever enter the Kingdom of God unless you are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at My saying you must be born again. [Jesus…John 3:3-7]

If you have never been born again,
or you are not sure whether you have been born again,
or you have been living your life as a lukewarm Christian and would now like to recommit your life and enter into a deep and intimate relationship with Christ Jesus in preparation for the soon coming marriage supper of the Lamb…
then I counsel you to get alone with God, read the solemn marriage vows you must make to become the bride of Christ and thereby be born-again, [https://preservechristianfamily.org/2019/01/21/bride-of-christ/], and with sincerity of heart from within the depths of your being, acknowledge before God, “I DO.”

He walks with me and He talks with me:

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