They Will Try to Get Rid of Sacred Worship

At Brianna’s bridal shower, she heard an old wives tale. “The number of bows you break opening gifts is the number of children you will have.” She was fearless –

“Does anyone have a pocketknife?”

Weddings are full of symbols, traditions, and hidden meanings. Apocalyptic writings are the same. Daniel 7 and 8 are apocalyptic texts.

“…Apocalyptic texts usually presented symbolic versions, with every detail appearing to have a specific hidden meaning, though not always explaining it. The primary purpose of apocalyptic writing was to comfort those who were persecuted for their faith. Such comfort was found in knowing that all the kingdoms of earth, however powerful they might appear, would one day be crushed and replaced by God’s eternal kingdom, in which the faithful would be vindicated (Daniel 2:44; 7:27; 8:25). …” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Alexander the Great fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 8. Some things never change. What Daniel wrote about that time is true today.

Daniel 7:25, “Then he will blaspheme the High God, persecute the followers of the High God, and try to get rid of sacred worship and moral practice.” The Message

Jeremiah 29 tells us how to live regardless of the political state. We are to marry, have children, build houses, plant vineyards, etc. Through it all, we are to cling to our convictions.

“When a Roman soldier was told by his guide that if he insisted on taking a certain journey, it would probably be fatal, he answered, ‘It is necessary for me to go – it is not necessary for me to live.’ That was true depth of conviction, and only when we are likewise convicted will our lives amount to something.”

“Streams in the Desert,” September 9

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God Wants to Help You

Melinda, my sister-in-law, went shopping with us today. David was hunting for shoes and she needed a white dress shirt. Our nephew, Brayden, is an usher in Derek’s wedding. Brayden is 6′ 2″ and built like a football player. There are not a lot of shirts in his size.

Isaiah 44:1-2, “…listen – yes, you…my personal choice. (2) God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you.” The Message

She looked for the shirt at Kohl’s because “Apt. 9” brand is stretchy. She was down on her knees digging through the stacks for his size. Finally, she looked up and saw the display shirt was the correct size.

Isaiah 45:15, 19, “Clearly, You are a God who works behind the scenes, God of Israel, Savior God. …(19) I am God. I work out in the open, saying what’s right, setting things right.” The Message

Meanwhile, I was going through the jewelry. I wanted a pair of white earrings.

Last spring, I picked up a pair of white floral earrings. I put them back because I didn’t love them enough to pay full price. I found them again on the clearance rack for $2. And there was a matching necklace on the same rack. That’s why God prompted me to put them back before.

Isaiah 45:21, “…Who made sense of things for you? Wasn’t I the one? God? It had to be Me. I’m the only God there is – the only God who does things right and knows how to help.” The Message

I carried the cards from the church in my pocket. I’m such a chicken. I’m not brave enough to hand them to strangers. I left one in each store until they were gone.

Daniel 10:19, “Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace. Everything is going to be all right. Take courage. Be strong. …” The Message

Today I learned:

  • We are God’s choice.
  • He wants to help us.
  • He works behind the scenes.
  • He works out in the open.
  • He says what is right.
  • He sets things right.
  • He makes sense of things for us.
  • He knows how to help.
  • We need never fear.
  • We can live in peace.
  • Everything will all right.
  • Have courage.
  • Be strong.

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Farm the Land

My indoor garden failed. It only got 4 hours of sun and it needed 6. I pulled the 1″ plants in June and moved the pot to the basement. When I read today’s verse I felt guilt.

Ezekiel 48:19, “Workers from all the tribes of Israel will serve as field hands to farm the land.” The Message

All my windows, but one, are “Low E.” They do not let in the ultraviolet light plants need. Growing vegetables inside is not an option. I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to turn David into a farmer.

“There is a sweet joy and a real value in difficulties, for He regards them not as difficulties but as opportunities.” “Streams in the Desert,” September 7

I see many opportunities.

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Leaves for Healing

It has been a rainy week and each day I battled a sinus headache. Today nothing is working. What should I do?

Ezekiel 47:12, “…Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” The Message

The diffuser is running with eucalyptus and peppermint oil. The extracts from those leaves normally break a headache. They have not worked today. Maybe I need a boost of Vitamin C. It looks like I will be eating fruit.

“…You are called to overcome difficulties. There’s a purpose in your pain….” The Word for You Today

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Change the Sacred Garments

I am in my house 92% of the time because it is allergen free. You would think I would lay around in my pajamas and slippers all day. After all, I’m not going anywhere and no one is coming over.

I bet you have an image of me in a pony tail and pajama pants. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I get dressed, with my shoes on, every day before 7:00 a.m. Shocking, since no one will see me!

We like to look our best, but sometimes God requires more.

Ezekiel 42:14, “After the priests have entered the Sanctuary, they must not return to the outside courtyard and mingle among the people until they change the sacred garments in which they ministered and put on their regular clothes.” The Message

No one ever saw them in their consecrated garments. They dressed up for God. I wonder how our wardrobes would change if we truly realized we are dressing for God.

Would they be:

  • Less frumpy?
  • More modest?
  • Not as tight?
  • Cleaner and neater?
  • More attractive?

We need to remember God is our mirror and our appearance should reflect Him.

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With Palm Trees

When my children were young, my life was so busy that I used to say, “Stop the world; I want to get off!”

I was like a desert traveler: hot, dry, worn out, and looking for an oasis. My eyes constantly scanned the horizon for a palm tree.

A palm tree signified an oasis. At the oasis there was water, food, shade, and a place to rest. How appropriate, God carved palm trees into the only entrance to His temple in Ezekiel’s vision.

Ezekiel 40:26, “It also had seven steps up to it. Its porch opened onto the outside courtyard, with palm trees decorating its gateposts on both sides.” The Message

God’s oasis is church. Only in church can you be fed spiritually, drink living water, and find perfect rest.The seven steps reminded me of the seven days of the week. At least, once a week we need to climb those steps to church.

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Out of Their Dwelling Places

Today we read the chapter on dry, dead, disjointed bones. If there ever was a word picture depicting hopelessness, this would be it.

For several years, I groaned when it was time to read Ezekiel 37. It was just a grim reminder of my hopeless situation.

That changed in the spring of 2011 when Pastor Monte preached a sermon on Ezekiel 37. Hope was reborn.

I took a few, small steps of faith and God intervened. In the fall of 2011, the doctor released me to leave the house, for a few hours each week, to attend church. By Easter, these dry bones not only attended church, but I played for the service and sang a special number with my husband.

Again today, God reminded me He sees me. He knows exactly where I am.

Ezekiel 37:23, “…but I will save them out of their dwelling places…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Can these bones live?…thou knowest – implying that, humanly speaking, they could not, but faith leaves the question of possibility to rest with God, with whom nothing is impossible (Deuteronomy 32:39).” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

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They’ll Realize That I Am God

Ezekiel 35:14, 15, “This is the verdict of God, the Master: With the whole earth applauding, I’ll demolish you. Since you danced in the streets, thinking it was so wonderful when Israel’s inheritance was demolished, I’ll give you the same treatment: demolition. Mount Seir demolished – yes, every square inch of Edom. Then they’ll realize that I am God.” The Message

God judges us, not only on our actions and motives, but on our reactions.

When our friends are blessed, are we happy for them or just envious?

When our enemies are hurt or suffer a financial set back, are we happy or do we pray for them.

Let it never be said that the Christian walk is easy!

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In Spite of Their Vaunted Greatness

I was listening to Creflo Dollar who was preaching on grace. Rules and regulations are the law and it brings death; but grace brings life. I may think I am okay because I am following the law, but today’s verse shows that thinking is wrong.

Ezekiel 32:29, “Edom is there, with her kings and princes. In spite of their vaunted greatness, she is dumped in a heathen grave with the others headed for the grave.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“The Edomites observed the rite of circumcision, but they were not spared because of that.” Amplified Bible Notes

The Edomites followed the rules, but their hearts were not following God. Being a good person is not good enough. Doing everything right will not save you. You have to accept the grace offered by Jesus Christ and then follow Him wholeheartedly.

Prayer: “Dear Jesus, I accept the fact that I am a sinner and I cannot do enough good things to erase my sin. I believe that you paid that price when you died on the cross. I confess that you are now, not only my Savior, but also the Lord of my life. Thank you for your free gift of grace. Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, then tell someone! Find a good, Bible-based church and become a part of it. The things God has in store for you will amaze you. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s your birthday; you were born again!

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Disobedience After Disaster

Jeremiah 44:8, “And why do you deliberately make me angry by what you do, offering sacrifices to these no-gods in the land of Egypt where you’ve come to live? You’ll only destroy yourselves and make yourselves an example used in curses and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“The group of Jews who had fled to Egypt were still involved in idolatry. These people somehow thought that their well-being depended upon their worship of the ‘queen of heaven’ (44:17, 18). It took seventy years in exile to finally cure Israel of idolatry. The Jews had problems with legalism and Pharisaism after the exile, but never again did idolatry become prevalent.” English Standard Version Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible Notes

When disaster strikes, God gets the credit; but we give everything else credit for the good things in our lives. We have it backwards, every good gift comes from God.

James 1:17, “Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.” The Message

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