November 14

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“And the day will come when I will cause the ancient glory of Israel to revive, and then, Ezekiel, your words will be respected. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 29:21 NLT).

From: November 14, 2018

PREACHING FOR GOD’S APPROVAL ALONE
Ezekiel, like many of God’s prophets, was not respected by his contemporaries. He was tasked with making known God’s future plans for men and nations that would soon come to pass. Yet, no generation wants its comfort disturbed. They would rather risk the warnings of an approaching hurricane than leave their beach vacation early. Today, Ezekiel is respected. His prophecies have been borne out. But people have not changed. God’s Word is still warning us to get ready, while much of humanity continues in its deafness to His voice. This does not excuse us from being like Ezekiel and warning them anyway. We do this for God’s approval, not theirs.

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11 NKJV).

From: November 14, 2017

Don’t waste the pain. God cares more for your character than you comfort. His “chastening” may be painful, but it yields Christlikeness in you when you submit to its training. One day, you will look back on your life and see how God has disciplined you as His own child for your sanctification. He is conforming you to the image of Christ. Stop rebelling and start submitting. Pray as Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40 ESV)

From: November 14, 2016

The saints of the Old Testament longed to see the promised fulfillment of their faith in the coming of the Messiah, but they passed from this world before that day came. That which they longed for, we have received, that is–– the good news–– that Christ Jesus came, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead for our justification (Rom. 4:25). Yet, God has not failed to keep His promise to them. It will be fulfilled on that day when Christ returns and the dead in Christ will rise together. The former will not precede the latter, nor the latter the former. Abraham will rise together with Paul, Moses with Peter, and Isaiah with John. For the Old Testament saints will not be “made perfect” (“complete”) apart from the saints of the New. And now, we long for that day, when we will all be raised together, the perfect and complete Church, with Christ as its Head.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV)

From: November 14, 2015

This is one of the purposes of fellowship: mutual “sharpening.” The life of faith is to be lived out in community. First, to be in communion with God and then, with other believers. The life lived in a community of faith offers accountability, so that spiritual growth is encouraged. Sure, when iron strikes iron the sparks may fly, but those committed to the family of God do not pull away, rather they cling to one another, knowing that this is the will of God. This verse is the motto for our church’s men’s ministry, which we call the “Ironmen Ministry.” But the verse is appropriate for all that would desire to live out their faith in community as God commands.

“And the day will come when I will cause the ancient glory of Israel to revive, and then, Ezekiel, your words will be respected. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 29:21 NLT)

From: November 14, 2014

Ezekiel, like many of God’s prophets, was not respected by his contemporaries. He was tasked with making known God’s future plans for men and nations that would soon come to pass. Yet, no generation wants its comfort disturbed. They would rather risk the warnings of an approaching hurricane than leave their beach vacation early. Today, Ezekiel is respected. His prophecies have been borne out. But people have not changed. God’s Word is still warning us to get ready, while much of humanity continues in its deafness to His voice. This does not excuse us from being like Ezekiel and warning them anyway. We do this for God’s approval, not theirs.

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:3)

From: November 14, 2013

When we get tired or discouraged we can look to Christ’s example. Many a pastor, missionary or Christian worker has quit because of the complaint of one or two people. We tend to over-estimate the number who complain and under-estimate those who encourage us. We say things like, “Everybody is against me” when there are only a few. Looking to Jesus, who endured even unto the cross is more than a model to emulate. He is the risen Lord and therefore able to live in and through us, so that we have His indomitable life and resurrection power available to us. Consider this Jesus who never gave up the next time you feel like quitting.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1)

From: November 14, 2012

A reminder that we are running a race that many faithful have run before us. They endured. They finished well. How will we run life’s race? Will we “strip off” worldly weights that slow us down? Will we avoid the sin that trips us up? There is a crowd of faithful finishers watching and waiting for us to cross life’s finish line! How are you running life’s race of faith?