Monday, September 1, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

I love reading blogs on Monday mornings when someone writes about how God spoke through what their pastor said in Sunday’s sermon. So, I’ll tell you what so touched me yesterday. My new pastor spoke about 2 Cor. 7:10. The kind of sorrow that God wants, it makes people change their lives and heart. Godly sorrow over ways we’ve tried to make life work. It so resonated in my heart. Something shifted that makes me want to change. It was a beautiful Sunday I’ll remember for a long time.

As I did my bible study this week reading the chronological Bible readings, what lingers with me is the story of Ezekiel and the dried up bones. Over and over, God calls Ezekiel “son of man” to show that he is like any other man. The hand of the LORD was on Ezekiel and He set him down in a valley of dry bones. “Son of man, can these bones live?” Prophesy over them and tell them to hear the Word of God. God will cause breath to enter and dry bones shall live. So Ezekiel prophesied and from dry bones an exceedingly great army stood to their feet. I can hardly imagine Ezekiel witnessing that. Dried up bones and our hope is lost. “You will know that I am the LORD when I open your graves and raise you from your graves.” Ezekiel 37:3-14. You shall live. Hallelujah! For A Savior who rose from the grave and raises us up to stand as an army who fights together the beautiful fight of faith. Come alive, o army of God. Stand up. Take hope. There’s hope for me in what I face this day, this moment.
Another passage that gripped me was Jeremiah 30. Why do I cry out over my hurt? My pain is incurable. My guilt is too great. My sins are flagrant. Jer 30:15. I’ll restore you and heal your wounds because you think that no one cares. 30:17. I’ll have compassion on you. 30:18. I’ll make you draw near to ME and you shall approach Me for who would dare of himself to approach Me…and I will be your God 30:22. You survived the sword and found grace in the wilderness. When you sought rest, the LORD appeared from far away and said: “I have loved you with an everlasting Love, therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.” 31:2-3 With weeping you shall come back to Me and I’ll make you walk in a straight path in which you shall not stumble 31:9.
Oh, that I would not lift up my eyes to idols of security, comfort, prestige, approval, entitlement, validation. Ezekiel 33:25. “From all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my Word” - Ezekiel 36:25-27. Oh how I want to cling to this truth! Hold fast to it! Let my beautiful God purge me. It’s the kindness of our God that leads us to repentance. Romans 2:4.

Ezekiel went on to say in 34:2-4 Ah, shepherds who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? Ezek 34:2. Find and feed: the weak. the sick. the injured. the strayed. the lost. (Makes me think of Jenny Hope going to help people at the gas station, at Wal-Mart. We don’t have to look very far, do we?) And I’ll end with the beautiful verse from the Holy One…I Myself will seek you out and rescue you from the places where you have been scattered on a day of darkness. Ezekiel 34:12. “I Myself will be the shepherd of my sheep and I Myself will make them lie down. I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strayed. I will bind up the injured. I will strengthen the weak. I will feed them in justice.” Ezekiel 34:15. Hallelujah!

May God make this sheep lie down today and lead a quiet life, my new life in Austin. May HE bind you up, strengthen you, and feed you in justice. Have a great holiday today!

8 comments:

Mary Lou 9/01/2008  

Bev, you "sound" wonderful. I can sense a difference in you. What kept jumping out at me was that God kept saying "and then they will know that I am the Lord"...He is dealing with me and I'm not sure how or about what. What you wrote has given me a lot to ponder on in the "place" that I am...Praying for you in your new place both physically and spiritually. Love, Mary Lou

annie's eyes 9/01/2008  

I haven't really thought about idols of security and protection and comfort. It sometimes seems the opposite. If I am safe, secure, protected, I am free to praise the God who provides. In God's economy it looks different though. It is in times of our greatest needs, our hurts, our discomfort that we can rest in our God being our provision. In Christ alone. I love these verses that you share. They bring water to a parched soul--with His Word alone, Life thrives again within.
Are you all better yet? I'm praying for you this week as you meet your deadline for edit. Love, Annette

Karen 9/01/2008  

Oh, I am glad to see you posting! I hope you are feeling better and feeling at home. I too loved the thought of God gathering His sheep. None were too weak, injured, lost to be left behind, Praise God!

I am praying for you, sister.
love,
karen

Laura 9/01/2008  

Bev,
your words on Godly sorrow were just what I needed to hear today! Thank you, friend! I celebrate your triumph with you! The pictures for the siesta fiesta were awesome! you look like you are having so much fun. i am so happy for you. Happy labor day!

Ang baylis 9/01/2008  

I'm thanking He HIMSELF for leading me to a better place and for seeking the lost sheep! I hope you are feeling a lot better by now! I am so sorry you had such a hard time! I am glad I had the chance you meet you and worship with you, Bev! You have such a beautiful heart... (and I love love love how you dress)!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

JnL4God 9/01/2008  

Bev,
Glad to see your post, I hope you are feeling better. I haven't had a lot to say about the reading the last couple of weeks so I haven't posted. But the one thing that won't leave me from last week and I'm not sure what the significances of it. "This is what the Lord Says" Maybe I'll start the Post and it will come.
Hows the new home? Looks like you had a blast at the with the Siestas.
Hugs,
Lynn

Lisa 9/01/2008  

Bev, my friend...
Loved seeing your name pop up on my blog. I've missed you and wondered how you were doing with your move. Please email me when you get a chance.

I, too, love the Ezekial "dry bones" passage. One of my favorites. My bones have sometimes been dry and needed his breath on them, so I totally relate. And one of my very fav verses in Scripture is "I have loved you with an everlasting love." That goes right to my heart everytime I read it. Imagine it, Bev. An everlasting love is reserved for you. Not a temporary one. I hope that makes you feel important tonight, because you are.

I love your spirit and your desire to follow hard after God. He is leading you to a deeper place with Him!

Lisa :)

Michelle V 9/02/2008  

Bev,

We have missed your beautiful insights and encouragement! I enjoyed the readings this week and visions of Ezekiel. I have a short post up for the week.

Blessings
Michelle

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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