Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.” 10Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
Wow! Everything old is new again…truer words were never spoken—though happier words have been recorded. Here’s Ezekiel, told to share truth with a people mostly uninterested in what he, or God, has to say. But what does God say to Ezekiel? Don’t be dismayed. Receive into your heart all my words. Go to the captives. Speak to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse. Isn’t that my commission, too?
In considering the decisions our church is working through now, I am encouraged by the thought that fruitfulness is not dependent on finding the “right” answer. Fruitfulness comes through the blessing of the Holy Spirit on a work we have committed to the glory of God. We will not fail in meeting the spiritual needs of our congregation by the implementation of an imperfect plan. Imperfection is inevitable BUT Christ is the Shepherd of all and has the power to care for His own. Those of us who are in the position of laymen can rest in this knowledge.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong for them whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger….
What a thought! God had ordained, decided ahead of time, to use the new generations to do His work in sharing His truth and love with the world. There will always be new minds and hearts ready and able to do a work of good in the world. How awesome! Evil will never go unchecked 🙂
25And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. — NKJV
I love how timely this reading is! (I’m following the readings in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.) Californians voted down tax hikes we were told we needed to “save us”. According to the politicians, we are headed for bankruptcy now. These are the most turbulent economic times I have lived through in my short life, so I’m not sure what to expect. However, I am told not to be anxious by God Himself. Even our best efforts at self-preservation are relatively innocuous. Only God can really provide for our needs. I’m glad I’m His!
At our last lecture for BSF, one of Myrna’s main points was that the greatest legacy we can give others is the assurance of God’s continued presence and help. I had never really thought about how I might accomplish this for my children, above what I tell them of God day to day. I met one mother who annotates a special Bible for each child with the lessons she has learned as she goes along. Hmmmm. Any ideas?