Toughened For The Battle As We Serve

Thursday, 2016-07-14

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 3:4–7

Bible Text:  4 The LORD said: Ezekiel, I am sending you to your own people. 7 They are Israelites, not some strangers who speak a foreign language you can’t understand. If I were to send you to foreign nations, they would listen to you. 7 But the people of Israel will refuse to listen, because they have refused to listen to me. All of them are stubborn and hardheaded,

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Friends, there are a few substitutions I would like for you to make in the above verses: (1) Substitute the name of Ezekiel with your name, and (2) Substitute the reference to Israel or Israelites with the name of your country. Now re-read the verses with these substitutions. Hopefully you will see why this is just one more reason why God’s Word is so applicable to our current day, because people are still people – just as prone to sin and be hardhearted as indicated to Ezekiel. Although facing the same obstinate people as Ezekiel faced in his day, we may often feel like our country folk today are much worse at times! I believe that there are many times that our pastors and church leaders may often feel like throwing their hands up and saying ‘What’s the use’, until they read a story like this where God told Ezekiel that He would make him as stubborn and hardhearted as the people, but in a good way, so that he would toughen up for the task ahead. Friends, it is easy to cave in to the will of the people so that you may stay on good terms with them, and therefore feel like such a good cooperating citizen, but when we do that we become as bad as they are in their habits and likes and dislikes – in other words, we quickly become just like them in the face of a holy and righteous God. Friends, I am convinced that if God sends us, He will prepare us for the battle, and He will toughen us up to handle the scars of battle. Perhaps you are ready to give up your fight to imitate Jesus Christ in every aspect of your life and ministry, because of the opposition you are facing. Please be encouraged by the words of God to His servant Ezekiel, and know that this is the same God that we serve today. Let me encourage you to call out to God, and watch Him toughen you up for the battle also!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You are holy and righteous, all-powerful and honorable in every way. You have prepared us for the tasks You have assigned us to, so please help us to keep our minds de-cluttered from any attempts by Satan to distract us from Your work/assignment. Many times it appears like there may not be an chance of success, but please help us to trust in You and allow You to do Your part in reaching the lost. We could never ‘save’ anyone. Please help us to do the work assigned to us and then watch the work that You will blossom in those lives. Please give us strength and wisdom every day to do Your perfect will, and may You receive glory for all that is accomplished through us, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Why do you still trust God?

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Job 2:7–10
Today’s Bible Text: So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with a terrible case of boils from head to foot. Then Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape himself and sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to be godly when God has done all this to you? Curse him and die.” But he replied, “You talk like some heathen woman. What? Shall we receive only pleasant things from the hand of God and never anything unpleasant?” So in all this Job said nothing wrong.
The Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take Away: In this life we have choices. We can sit in our corner and cry “Why Me, Lord?” all day long, and we may even write a song about it like the one I linked to. However, when one is totally surrendered to Jesus Christ, and as long as we remain here on this earth, we know that there will be times that God will shower His blessings on us and answer our prayers just like we might expect, and as outsiders looking in might expect from our awesome God. But what if God needs our experience to teach someone close to us something about His grace, or His mercy, or even His stand for perfect, unadulterated holy living? Job was introduced by God to Satan as the finest man on earth, and a man of integrity who truly trusted God, yet God allowed Job to be tested and tried beyond, what appears to be, anything a man could truly bear. But we are still learning lessons from this man even today. Friends, I believe that when we place our faith and trust in God, we have to be prepared to stand firm in that commitment with the faith that proves that we are willing to go beyond the good times and the great answers to prayer that we expect, but we need to also be aware that as God, He might sometimes answer our prayers for our best and His glory, in ways that we didn’t ask for or expect. Think about this friend, why would we ask God about a need, if we think that He only has the same answers as we do? We ask because we want His divine direction and we want responses that will bring glory to God. What has God benefited if answers to our prayers serve to lift us up only? I know of friends who have traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by certain evangelists. Who has been getting the praise in that ministry? Friends, my God is everywhere and He hears the heart-cry of all of His precious kids. In His desire to reach more of His rebellious kids, He may have to test us and allow us to respond to His testing in ways that might prove to the world who our Master truly is. Are you sincere in your relationship with God? Will you uphold the test of fire in your life and still claim Jesus as your Lord? Our military has very stringent punishment for desertion by soldiers, May I encourage you to stand firm in your faith and never face desertion charges by God?

Prayer: Father, way too often pride steps in the way for us and we cave in to popular belief, or worldly expectations. It is so easy to brag on You when everything is ‘going our way’, and when our success is what the world is expecting. I believe that all of this is true when we keep You included, because Lord Jesus, we simply don’t have all of the answers. Lord, we want to be used of You in ways that will help unbelievers to see Jesus. I’m sure that this will not always be pleasant for us, just as we saw with Job, but Lord I pray that we will be constantly reminded of the unpleasant action You took on the cross at Calvary so that we might have eternal life in glory with You. It is so important that we maintain our faith and trust in You Lord. Please touch us today with Your grace, mercy and love for others. We want the world to see the Jesus that we love, adore and trust with all things in our life. You oh Lord, are my King. Thank You from the bottom of my heart for being Lord of all my decisions. Bless my readers to sincerely trust in You for all things, for I ask this in the precious and loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016