Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Word-Filled Wednesday ~#9~ 9/29/10
Join Nancy at A Country Mom & myself & enjoy other Word-Filled Wednesdays! Be sure to let us know, in the comments, if you are joining us!
PASSAGE: "The people to whom I [God] am sending you are obstinate & stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' And WHETHER THEY LISTEN OF FAIL TO LISTEN - for they are a rebellious house - they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM or their words. DO NOT BE AFRAID...DO NOT BE AFRAID of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. YOU MUST SPEAK MY WORDS TO THEM, WHETHER THEY LISTEN OR FAIL TO LISTEN, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth & eat what I give you." ~~Ezekiel 2:4-8 [emphasis mine ~KW<><]
"When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' & you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, & I WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS BLOOD. BUT IF YOU DO WARN THE WICKED MAN & HE DOES NOT TURN FROM HIS WICKEDNESS OR FROM HIS EVIL WAYS, HE WILL DIE FOR HIS SIN: BUT YOU WILL HAVE SAVED YOURSELF." ~~Ezekiel 3:18-19 [emphasis mine ~KW<><]
LESSON LEARNED: Remember when you were a new Christian? When you felt so light & free & CLEAN?! You wanted to tell everyone about this Savior that you had met...how He forgave ALL of your filthy sins & set you free...how He paid your sin-wage & had made it possible for you to spend eternity w/God! ("Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" ~John 3:29) What happened to that zeal?
Now, let's be honest...didn't it break your heart when those you told either poo-pooed everything you had to tell them, told you that 'Well, that's OK for YOU', or were even greatly offended at everything you were telling them & walked away from you...forever? I was a wicked, foul person who hung around w/wicked foul people &, after the day of my salvation, I lost many friends. Yep...it's kind of a buzz-kill when one of your favorite bar-hoppin'-party-people becomes a Jesus Freak. Yep...it can break your heart.
And what about family members & other relatives that you love so much? Now...THESE people have known you all your life! They KNOW you. And now, you...you...have the nerve to come to them & tell them that the Bible says they are sinners?! Isn't it something that no matter how lovingly you tell them, how sweetly you timber your voice; no matter how beautifully those words in red are written...the receiver can be so offended - so duped by the Deceiver - so rebellious against the things of the Lord? Yep...it can break your heart.
But what would REALLY break my heart would be not even having the opportunity to share eternity in heaven, kneeling around the Throne of God, w/my loved-ones! Admittedly, it can be heart-breaking if they do not heed the Spirit's call & are deceived into thinking, "I'm a good person, I've never killed anyone, for Pete's sake. There's no reason for God to keep me out of heaven."
But I am responsible, before God, to TELL them. As much as it breaks my heart, I can't make them accept Jesus as their Savior & Lord. How I wish I could. But God puts 'the ball' in our court & requires us to place it squarely in the lap those we tell. I am responsible to witness, the hearer is responsible to act - or not act - upon what they heard. If I don't tell them, God said, "I will hold you accountable for his blood." I am called to obey & proclaim God's truth; if who I'm telling it to doesn't listen, unfortunately, I can't help that...my job is to tell them. "But if you do warn the wicked man & he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself."
Once again, a paradox of God: as much as we rejoice in our own salvation & try to be obedient, in the mere act of our telling someone about how they can receive the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus, we have given them information that they are now eternally held accountable for. THEY have now become accountable before God to act - or not act - upon what they now know!
I have a family member who, in the 28 yrs I've been a Christian, I have prayed for & the Lord has allowed us some really good 'talking sessions' about once every yr-to-18 months. About 3 yrs ago, I showed him this Scripture during 1 of our talks, & I told him that very thing I just related to you in the paragraph above. I told him that "you now know that YOU are responsible for everything you've ever heard someone obediently tell you about the Lord. For your sake, if I were you, I would hate to think that if I wait too long & my life is over, that NOT ONLY would hell be eternal separation from God, weeping & gnashing of teeth & torment, but that part of that torment might be some sort of eternal 'video' running that showed EVERY time I had the opportunity to accept Jesus as my Savior & turned it down...forever."
Yep...it can break your heart.
I don't mean for this devotion to be a 'downer,' but sometimes that's how the truth of God's paradoxes work...there's a good side & a bad side depending upon the decisions made. We are called to tell them...THEY are responsible to heed or deny the call. We both have a responsibility before God. But also remember...God's Word NEVER returns void (empty)!! "...so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire & achieve the purpose for which I sent it." ~Isaiah 55:11. And it will be accomplished in God's good timing! I often tell our daughters to not give up...be gracious but be frank; as long as there's breath in their body, they have the opportunity to accept salvation through Jesus!
And THAT causes my heart to rejoice!
Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><