Monday, April 30: Ezekiel 16 - .

A word about Ezekiel

    Ezekiel’s ministry as a prophet began in Babylon speaking to the Jewish exiles during the last days of Judah, just prior to the fall of Jerusalem. Until the fall of Jerusalem, Ezekiel's message was to show the people their sin, and the inevitable judgment that would come as a result of their sin. After the fall of Jerusalem, Ezekiel began to stress God's intention to restore Jerusalem and the temple. God will remain faithful to his covenant with Abraham and David.



Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you (60). I spent my meditations on this verse. For me it is a mind-bender.

God spent the first 59 verses excoriating Jerusalem, calling her a harlot and prostitute, worse than her older sister Samaria. Paragraph upon paragraph God lambasts Jerusalem as unfaithful. Then out of the blue, with no warning, comes verse 60, Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

My mind and senses are not sure what to do with this. I have no earthy or human scenario with which to relate this.

God will NOT forget His covenant! His word is His bond.

I realize one place I cannot go is to presume upon God… “Oh, I am in the covenant, I have no fears. In the end God will save me no matter how I live or what I say or how bad I become…” And yet, I cannot dismiss the fact that once God gave His Word in covenant, He would fulfill it.

In the end I sit and marvel at the faithfulness of the Lord. God is so totally other and I am driven to my knees in humbleness………….

Oh, God, how is it You called me? I deserve nothing. In Jesus You gave everything. My only response is, “Oh, Oh, praise Him. Oh, Oh, praise Him.  Alleluia! Alleluia! Allelu-uia!”


Saturday, April 28: - Ezekiel 15 - How do you say good for nothing?.

How do you say ‘good for nothing’? Ezekiel paints a word-picture of a wild vine. Any grapes it might produce are uneatable and its wood is useless, except for a fire. What if it was tossed in a fire and charred, but not consumed/ Now the charred piece is even more useless since it isn’t even good for the fire any more! That’s Ezekiel’s word-picture for useless.

The useless vine is Jerusalem.

My heart is sad. This once great and beautiful city, the home of God on earth, is useless.

Jerusalem be warned, that which is only good for the fire will eventually end up in the fire!

My own heart hears a warning, “Don’t grow complacent in faith. Continually seek after the Lord. Grow in faith, in love for God and others, in good deeds.”

Think about this…

Oh, God, may I never presume upon You or the state of my faith in You. May I continually be seeking after You. Through Jesus, my Lord. Amen.


Friday, April 27: -Ezekiel 14 - The heart of God for the People of God.

Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. Then the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols' (1-5).

The words I bolded leapt off the page. Immediately other verses from previous chapters chimed in (3:23 is one example: …. And then you will know that I am the LORD.). The punishments, the correction, the exile, all come from the heart of God trying to get the attention of His people so that they will return to Him! In other words, they are redemptive!!!

God is not vindictive, capricious, or despotic. God is redemptive. God is constantly calling His people home. God’s desire, through these judgments, is that His people will turn to Him and repent.

I thought about that. It doesn’t make God’s discipline feel any better. I have never liked correction from God or my parents or anyone in authority over me. However, to know that God’s correction comes from a heart that longs to live in relationship with me and I have broken that relationship so the desire is that I change so that the relationship can be restored.  Well, that means a great deal to me.

I sat with this thought rummaging through my mind… it brought and was bringing life to me. God loves me and longs to live in relationship with me, with you!

Think about it…

O Jesus, O Jesus, how I love You…

My Father, O my Father, how I love You…

Holy Spirit, Comforter and Counselor, how I love You. Amen


An additional thought: No comment simply an observation. "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments--sword and famine and wild beasts and plague--to kill its men and their animals! Yet there will be some survivors--sons and daughters who will be brought out of it. They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled …" (21-23).

Interesting isn’t it, that Ezekiel will recognize those who will not face God’s correction by their conduct and their actions. I thought about that, too… Happy meditations.


Thursday, April 26: -Ezekiel 13 - Harsh words to false leaders.

God through Ezekiel goes after false prophets, men and women who say they have heard from the Lord but haven’t. The net effect is that these prophets are leading the people into disobedience and error.

God is angry with these deceptive leaders, very angry.

God values leadership, men and women of integrity who lead people honorably and honestly, who lead people to live lives that follow God faithfully. The issue is not one of mistaken judgment or bad decisions.  The issue here is prophets who lie, saying they have a word from God but don’t. Prophets who speak from their own imagination (17) and have not heard from God. Leaders who say, “this is what God wants us to do,’ but haven’t consulted God in the first place. Leaders who use religious language to lead, but aren’t honestly in relationship with the Lord!

God says He will punish you and save my people, I will ensnare you and free my people (20-23).

Leaders are judged more stringently! Leaders of God’s church are judged most strictly.

If you are a leader in any venue, think deeply about how you lead. This is doubly true if you are a leader in God’s kingdom.

For those in the church or kingdom ministry, evaluate your leaders with these questions, “Are your leaders walking in relationship with the Lord faithfully? Are they speaking and leading in line with God’s Word, the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments?”

Leadership is a serious calling…

Lord, may I lead as You would lead. Help me to lead faithfully, to speak honestly about what You say and what Your Word teaches. I pray for ever increasing filling of Your Holy Spirit, that I may lead and guide others in the way of Jesus Christ. To You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honor and glory. Amen.


Wednesday, April 25: Ezekiel 12 - Are you willing to change?.

God instructs Ezekiel to perform another series of prophetic actions.  He prepares for exile and leaves the city in a dramatic way. This is yet another call from God for the people to change their ways. Will they listen? Will they change?

The answer came in verses 26-27: The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, 'The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.' I read their response again and again… 'The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.'

The people understand Ezekiel is a prophet, but they are so stubborn and so unwilling to change their lives that they interpret this word from the Lord as a distant future word.

Think about what is playing out in this chapter. The people recognize that Ezekiel’s words are true and will happen. Yes, God will judge and send Jerusalem into exile, BUT not now, sometime in the distant future, which means we don’t have to change. It won’t affect us!!!

I’m incredulous at their response…

Without noticing, a still small voice within me spoke up, “Bill, don’t get to smug. How many times have I spoken to you, asking you to do something and you didn’t do it? How many times have I prompted you with a nudge to make a call or reach out to someone and you never got around to it? How many times have you read something in My Word that connected with you but yet you closed The Book and by the time you got into the rest of your day, the life-change thought was gone? Bill, that is no different that Israel’s actions…”

That word stung, God had me…

Oh, God, I am sorry for avoiding not doing or changing as You have shown me. Words are not present. I am a sin-filled man. Please forgive me… Amen.



Tuesday, April 24: Ezekiel 11 - Promises of God.

Amidst the stern words and judgments, God often sprinkles promises, which give hope and comfort. We received one of those sprinkles in today’s chapter.

Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.' They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God...’ (17-20).

This promise is actually a glimmer of the work of Jesus. Faith in Jesus makes us a new creation, the old is gone and new has come (2Corinthians 5:17). And with Jesus comes the fulfillment of the many promises about the Holy Spirit being given to all who follow Jesus.

This promise, given through Ezekiel, was a word of hope to exiles in Babylon. God had not forsaken them. But this word was ultimately and fully fulfilled in Jesus who, together with the Father, gives the Holy Spirit to all who believe. 

I pondered these matters and thought how blessed I (we) are to be living in the age when God’s promises are being fulfilled.

Before I prayed, I glanced back and locked on to one more image…the giving of a heart of flesh replacing a heart of stone. This became a prompter for my morning prayer…

Oh, God, a stony heart is cold and hard and calloused. It is absorbed with self, uncaring toward others. A heart of flesh is supple and warm, beating with love and compassion for others and love and devotion for You. Oh, Lord, complete Your heart surgery on me. Change my life so that my heart beats in rhythm with Yours, that I see others as You see them and act toward them accordingly. Through Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.


Monday, April 23: Ezekiel 10 - The radiance of God.

This chapter was a head scratcher for me. All the imagery left me a bit empty. After reading I wondered, “Lord, what’s here for me today? What can build my faith?”

The imagery was a brick wall for me.

I scanned the chapter a second time. My eyes lighted on verse four… I was drawn to the radiance of God. Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD.

I found myself trying to picture the court of the temple filled with the radiance of God. What would it actually be like to see the radiance of God, I wondered. My heart sputtered… to be in the presence of God and to see God. I don’t think I would have words to describe it. No wonder the chapter is filled with imagery, how else could mere man explain what it is like being in the presence of the radiance of God?

I went back to imagining being in the presence of God. I felt like God could see through any pretense I might have. That He could see into the depth of my being. And yet His glory is beyond what I could describe. Oh, the glory of the presence and radiance of God.

Lord, some day I will see You face to face. How wonderful that will be. In that moment all doubt will fall away. Lord, hold me and keep me safe until that day. Fill me with enough of Your presence that I can function here on earth to Your honor and glory. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


Saturday, April 21: - Ezekiel 9 - Grieving when God's will is not done.

Often my times with the Lord are introspective regarding my behavior and life. Today through verse for, God lifted my eyes first to the whole of His family and after that to my response to their behavior.

In verse four, God sends a census-taker throughout Jerusalem to record those grieving over faithless living. "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it."

This verse caused me to consider my response to faithless living within the Church in my day. I see things that make me scratch my head. I cannot fathom how people justify certain actions from scripture.

The text asks me, “Have I grieved over these things?”

Probably not. I can get self-righteous (not something I am proud of…) but I am not sure my heart breaks with the broken heart of God.

Ugh, re-reading verse four, I realize that I fall short of God’s Gory. I lack the heart of God, a heart that grieves and laments when His children do detestable things…

Lord, I see so much spiritual need in my life, so may areas that need healing and growth and transformation. Woe am I, I am a man of unclean heart…

Cleanse me that I might be clean. Wash me that I might be whiter than snow. In the name of my Savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.


Friday, April 20: -Ezekiel 8 - What do you do in secret.


He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, 'The LORD does not see us… (12). Priests were doing despicable things in secret, and God shows Ezekiel a vision of these things.

Hmmm… God sees what we believe to be secret!?!

I sat with this thought for a while before I could capture my thoughts. I believe this; I believe God is all-knowing and omnipresent. And yet, there was something about this scene… God revealing to His prophet that men are sneaking around doing things they know to be contrary to the way God wants them to live.

It struck me how easily we can dupe ourselves into thinking we can ‘get away’ with this or that. Maybe other people won’t discover what we are doing, but God knows.

You can guess where I went in my meditations. What do I do when no one is watching? What do I think, say, scheme about … when alone? What do you do behind closed doors or late at night when no one else in the family is up and watching? The fact that God knows is jolting.

Think about it…

Oh, God, I feel laid bare. You see and hear the worst me. Oh, how much I need a Savior.

Thanks be to You, Oh God, that You sent Jesus to be my Savior. Thanks be to You, O God, that Jesus paid the perfect price to atone for my sins.

Thanks be to You, Oh God, for Your salvation plan and Your great love.

Praise to You, Oh God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.



Thursday, April 19: -Ezekiel 7 - Does a rope have an end?.

Frightening words… “The end had come.” Six times that phrase or one saying the same thing is spoken in the first ten verses. This is not a pretty picture.

Yes, a rope has an end, and the Lord God has reached the end of His rope with Israel. The end has come! The end has come! It has roused itself against you. It has come! (6).

Those words frighten me. They are words I never want to hear. They carry the Lord’s anger. His patience has run out. Israel has rejected and rejected and rejected every overture by God, wooing His people to return to Him. Instead they persist in their run after other gods… foreign gods, money & wealth as god, anything but the one true God.

But these other gods will do them no good now. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the LORD's wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin. They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them (19-20).

How sad that anyone might run out of rope… spiritual rope.

It happens when people die without having turned to the Lord Jesus for Salvation. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Oh, God, thank You for opening my eyes to the salvation that is by faith in Jesus Christ. I pray, Lord, use my words, use my actions, use my life, use me Lord as Your instrument to open the eyes of people still blind to Jesus…

I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Wednesday, April 18: Ezekiel 6 - So you know I am the Lord.

Here is another judgment against Israel for unfaithfulness, for doing detestable things (11). This Word from the Lord concludes, Then they will know that I am the LORD (14b).

God is bringing this judgment, this calamity, so that Israel knows that the Lord is God, so that they understand God does not threaten in vain (10).

As I read and reread this chapter, the thought crept into my mind, “What will it take for you to know the God of the Bible is the Lord? What do you need to be convinced that what God has said in His Word He will do.  That God is for real? What will it take?”

Many in Israel never got it. In good times or hard times, in the face of a miracle or calamity, they paid no attention or rationalized God away, or did what ever they did in order to avoid believing and following God.

Please, I beg you, do not be like those in Israel

What will it take for you to believe in the Lord God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the God of the Old and New Testaments? What will it take?

Lord, I pray this morning for people who do not yet believe in You. Lord, I pray that, by Your grace, they do not harden their hearts beyond repair. I pray even more that they be motivated to seek You and that You reveal Yourself to them.

Lord, I offer myself to play any part in the process that You desire… so that people presently disconnected from You will come to know, love, and serve You asLord and God and Savior. Through Jesus, the Lord, I pray. Amen.



Tuesday, April 17: Ezekiel 5 - Living witnesses.

In verse five, God painted a telling picture for His people Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. Historically, this is very true. Israel and its capital, Jerusalem, was the center of the Middle East. You might not notice this if you look at a map, but understanding the topography and travel routes, it is accurate.

From Egypt to Assyria/Babylon, Israel was the center because to travel from one to the other you traveled through Israel! Israel and Jerusalem were prime real estate. It was as if they were situated along a key stretch of commercial highway. People from East, West and North traveled regularly through their land!

Israel was in the perfect position to ‘witness’ to their God simply by living faithfully.

I thought about our churches. Most of us are part of churches that are viewed by people of our communities regularly. What do they see in us? What do they hear from us? Are we faithful witnesses to Jesus? Would our lives, as we live them, attract people to consider Jesus?

Israel and Jerusalem sadly were not faithful. God’s Word through Ezekiel continues, Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees … (6a)

Lord, I pray that it is not so of us, Your Church of the 21st century. But Lord, I am fearful that we are drifting ever faster from Your Word.

Lord, I may not be able to impact or alter the drift of others, besides being a watchman like You mentioned in chapter three, but I can attend to my faithfulness. I can continue to hold myself to the plumb line of Your Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

Lord, I pray that by the instruction of Your Holy Spirit, I will grow to know and obey more and more thoroughly Your Word. And that my witness to You will grow correspondingly more and more clear to those who observe my living. Through Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen.


Monday, April 16: Ezekiel 4 - I am to do what?!?.

I cannot wrap my head around what God has asked Ezekiel to do! For a year plus, he is to lie where everyone can see him, tied up on one side eating next to nothing, cooked over cow dung; a living sign of what God will do to Israel and Judah. I don’t have words or thoughts….

Little wonder, a thought sparks, that God gave Ezekiel such a dramatic vision as his call. Surely Ezekiel must have held on to that vision of the Lord as he lay on his side in front of all the people.

How can I dare whine and complain about anything God has asked me to do, compared to what was asked of Ezekiel?....

As sovereign Lord, God calls the shots. Period. End of story.

Lord, forgive me for ever complaining about anything You have asked me to do. I am ashamed at my lack of dedication, resolve and fervor to serve You. Ezekiel, every bit a human as I am, puts me to shame. His dedication and faithfulness causes me to see my lack…

Forgive me, I pray, and strengthen me so that my life might be a living witness to Your sovereignty. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


Saturday, April 14: - Ezekiel 3 - Watchman.

For years this word-picture of God making Ezekiel a watchman has been a powerful image for me. Whenever I come to this chapter it confronts me. I feel as if I, too, am called to be a watchman.

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and 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, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.

"Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself" (17-21).

In this picture, individuals are always accountable for their own actions, whether warned by a watchman or not, they will be judged accordingly.

The watchman’s task is to watch and warn people when he sees people turning to wickedness. Their response to the watchman is always their choice. The watchman’s fate depends on his obedience. If he warns them, then no matter their choice, he is not held responsible. However, if he doesn’t warn them and they fall into sin and judgment, the same judgment they receive, he will receive.

Obedience for the watchman is a two-edged sword; personal obedience to live as God wants a person to live and watchman obedience to warn people, both righteous and unrighteous, when they turn to sin.

My sense is that:

·         as parents we are watchman for our families,

·         as bosses we are watchman for our departments,

·         as elders we are watchman for our churches

·         as pastors we are watchman for our churches and denominations

As Christians, could it be that we are watchmen for our circles of influence?  Think about it.

Oh, God, give me strength as a watchman to speak when I should speak and to NEVER shrink back when I see people in my sphere of influence turn into sin. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


Friday, April 13: -Ezekiel 2 - God's call.

What an incredibly dramatic scene. What a dramatic call. One day Ezekiel is going about his normal life when God breaks in.

Most of me cannot relate with Ezekiel’s experience. Being swept up in a vision, seeing things for which you have no context. Hearing the voice of Almighty God issuing you a call to go and do something. This is so beyond anything I have experienced.

I wondered if God choose a dramatic call for Ezekiel because God knew Ezekiel would have a difficult assignment and would need to lean on this life changing moment during the hard times to come. I wondered?

This prompted meditations on God’s call. God’s call to follow Jesus and God’s call to each believer to do the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). These calls are equally life changing…

Lord God, I pray that I live out my call to follow Jesus and to do the good works You have for me to do with the fervor of Ezekiel, like someone who was taken up into heaven and heard from You in person. May this be so, Lord. Amen. 


Thursday, April 12: -Ezekiel 1 - Beyond description.

I don’t really understand this picture… living creatures with four faces; wheels within wheels, next to each creature. When the creature moved, the wheels moved. Honestly, I don’t get it. It all seems so fanciful, as if someone were attempting to describe something beyond their understanding.

Ezekiel continues to paint his picture with words… ‘then there was a voice and the appearance of a man but a man that defies description, though Ezekiel tries’. The reader has the sense that we are peering into heaven and the figure is the Lord. The chapter concludes, This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking (28). It is the Lord and immediately Ezekiel falls on his face.

I latched onto Ezekiel’s response.  Confronted with God, he falls prostrate before Him.

I wonder sometimes what it will be like when I meet the Lord. I have so many questions. But when I read about Ezekiel’s encounter with God and I think about others in Scripture graced with even the slightest glimpse of God, my imagination about what I might say or do when I meet God, stops.

I have come to believe that like Ezekiel, I will simply fall on my face in humility, reverence and awe. God is so big, so great, so holy and powerful and… that I suspect the only response this mortal human will have will be to fall before Him.

What a day, what a marvelous day that will be…

Lord, I ask that as I read Your word, that as I live for You, that as I worship You daily by myself and weekly with the people of God, that just once this side of eternity You would grace me with a glimpse, a glimmer, of Yourself. Lord, there is part of me that trembles to even ask, to see even a speck of Your likeness, because I know that in that instant I will be forever changed.

As You will, Lord God Almighty. Amen.


Wednesday, April 11: Hebrews 13- Jesus.

In a chapter with so many practical statements for living faith in Jesus, I wondered as I read, where to spend my meditations. The entirety of verses 20-21 won my hearts reflections for this morning.

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I first noticed and mused over the whole of this sentence with its descriptions of Jesus… blood of the eternal covenant; Lord Jesus; great Shepherd of the sheep; Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Each phrase laden with richness fed my thoughts about my Savior Jesus. Blood reminding me of what He did for me and for the world. The title, Lord, telling me that Jesus is God. If He is the great Shepherd then I am one of His sheep.  This took me to the 23rd Psalm, and so, on my time with the Lord went…

With Good Friday and Easter still fresh in my mind, this morning was a beautiful time with my Lord and God.

Praise be to You, Lord Jesus. Glory be to You, Lord Jesus. My heart sings, my heart delights in You, my God. Please equip me with everything good so that I might do Your will and in so doing, bring glory to Your name and to the name of my triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Tuesday, April 10: Hebrews 12- Endure hardship as discipline.

Verses sparked thoughts like bubbles erupting from a bottle of Champagne .

·         Verse 7: Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.…

·         Verse 14: Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

·         Verse 16: See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless …

These are only three of the sparkling verses that caught my eye.

With so many verses vying for meditation, verse 7 stuck fast, Endure hardship as discipline…

I am in a season where a number of friends are enduring hard times; finances and relationships top our lists. Life is not ‘fun’ right now. As I said to one friend, “crawling into bed and pulling the covers up (emotionally ‘running away’) seems like a viable coping option.” Difficult seasons of life…

Then I read those four words, Endure hardship as discipline. My mind is spinning. Is my tough time God’s discipline? Is God trying to show me something? Is God attempting to work some selfish attitude out of me or trying to work some godly attitude into me, as a baker who kneads dough making sure the yeast and ingredients get disbursed?

Discipline usually comes to mind when I think of punishment for wrong. Hardships seem much more generic … everyone has times of hardship. And redefining hardships as God’s caring discipline is a mental challenge…

Yet, there it is in Scripture: Endure hardship as discipline.

Obviously some ‘reformation of my thinking’ still needs to happen… 

Lord, this Word stings. It will take significant work to understand and more so submit to this Word. Thank You for continuing to work on me and with me. Continue refining me and disciplining me so that my life will more and more reflect You, my Lord and King. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Monday, April 9: Hebrews 11- FAITH...


The message of this chapter is obvious… faith! Faith in God, faith in His Word and Commands. Faith that declares itself by action not mere mental ascent.

I recently read Stephen Hawking’s book, The Grand Design. Honestly there were parts of the book that where beyond me. For a ‘layman’s’ book, the physics ran deep at times. As I read it, it seemed quite obvious that Hawking was searching for an answer to the universe’s existence that did not need God in the equation. Without belittling faith in a creator, Hawking seemed to say that belief in a creator was a lesser intellectual position. Hawking’s final conclusion, which does not need a god to explain the origins of life, is supported heavily on a unifying physical principle called “M Theory”, a theory scientists do not yet even have.

Throughout the read, I kept feeling that having faith in a creator-God subtly attacked. Then this morning the text professes, By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (3). It hit me plain as day, belief in a God the creator will always take faith. Yes, my faith is reasoned and I believe in places at least it is supported by current science.  However, in other places current science or at least aspects of it (i.e. Hawking’s) undermine faith. Be that as it may, belief in the Creator-God will always be built on faith. And I choose to say ‘yes’ to God as Creator!

Lord, in the world of ideas and concepts, be it science or law or behavior, help me to hold on to faith… faith in You and faith in Your Word. Lord, when my life comes to its earthly end, I want to be commended like the men and women in this chapter and that Lord I know is built on FAITH and faith in You alone. Amen.


Saturday, April 7: Hebrews 10- .

I sit here between two great events of our faith, Good Friday -the day of ultimate sacrifice- and tomorrow Easter Sunday- the day of ultimate vindication. Today feels like limbo, a day of waiting.

As I turned to the text, the non-biblical heading for chapter 10 in my NIV started meditations whirling. It reads, “Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All.”

Immediately I began to consider Jesus’ gift on Calvary. Then almost as if I had been primed, my eyes lit on verse 10: And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. I heard Jesus’ cry from the cross, “It is finished” as He breathed His last (John 19:30).

No longer are bulls and goats needed for sacrifice, Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient. It was once,for all, forever. It fulfilled God’s demand for atonement perfectly in every way.

What a perfect way to spend the day between Good Friday and Easter… contemplating the perfect sacrifice of Jesus and all that His sacrifice gains for those who believe.

Do you believe in Jesus? Do you?

Lord God, fill my thoughts and soul with images, feelings, impressions,and truth about Jesus’ gift on the cross today. Allow me to stew in it, to steep in it, to be saturated by Jesus’ great gift of atonement. Fill me with wonder that Jesus would do this for me… through Jesus, I pray. Amen



Friday, April 6: Hebrews 9- Saved to serve.

Jesus is the perfect mediator. He fulfilled the requirements of the law perfectly. As I read Hebrews it is like gazing at an art masterpiece. The longer I gaze the more detail I see and the fuller and richer my appreciation of the masterpiece becomes. Jesus is the masterpiece the book of Hebrews is painting for me.

Verse 14 caught my attention: How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! The perfect sacrifice of Jesus clears the way so we can serve God.

Too often I look simply for my benefits from salvation… peace with God, eternal life, and so forth… things that benefit me. Verse 14 instructs me that I have been saved to serve. “So that” is a verbal connector suggesting that the first item leads directly to the second. I am cleansed from my sin so that I can serve God. Service of God is to be my end result, is to be what I do now that I am cleansed. Cars are built to transport people and goods. Bridges are built so that people and commerce can travel easily and quickly from one side of a river to the other. I am cleansed so that I can serve God.

The nudge of the Spirit comes, “Bill, examine your life.  Are you honestly oriented to serve Me?”

Lord, as I go through my day, help me to be cognizant of You and the things You might have me do -a word to speak, a deed to do, a prayer to pray- those activities that serve You and Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Thursday, April 5: Hebrews 8- God's way today is Jesus.

The message of chapter 8 is clear; the way to God today is Jesus. The way to God today is through the New Covenant, which is Jesus.

Notice how this thought is emphasized:

·         Verse 6: But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

·         Verse 8: But God found fault with the people and said: "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

·         Verse 13: By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

It is no longer by sacrifices of lambs and goats.  It is no longer through circumcision.  Now the way into relationship with God is through faith and belief in Jesus…

Have you connected with God through Jesus?  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).

Lord God, show me how to best introduce people to Jesus… Amen.



Wednesday, April 4: Hebrews 7- The perfect offering.

This very Jewish chapter about Jesus ushering in a new order of priesthood, culminates with a grand pronouncement, Therefore he [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself (25-27).

Able to save completely: the grand statement of our faith; salvation through Jesus is complete and permanent. We add nothing to our salvation. Jesus does it all. His sacrifice is perfect, fulfilling all law and righteousness. And since salvation is a work of God -a complete work of God- once received it cannot be undone.

He always lives to intercede: Jesus lives to pray for you and for me.  Oh, what a thought! Jesus is before Almighty God’s throne interceding for us! The Perfect One praying the perfect prayer for you and me! Hallelujah!

Sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself: the sacrifice Jesus offered was not goats or rams; it was himself on the cross of Calvary. The perfect One offered the perfect gift -Himself. And this is why salvation in Jesus is perfect and complete.

Wonderful meditation to begin my day… thank You, Lord.

Lord Jesus, I sit awestruck again by the wonder of Your grace and love and sacrifice for me. You gave Yourself for me. What can I say?

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation. O my soul sings, for You are my health and salvation. All you who hear, now to His holiness draw near. Join me in glad adoration!



Tuesday, April 3: Hebrews 6- Don't become lazy.

The opening of this chapter is always a challenge for me spiritually… and it was again this morning. It puts a bit of the ‘fear of God’ in me, which is not a bad thing.

The writer, under Holy Spirit inspiration, brings his argument to its conclusion with verse 12: We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

That’s it! He does not want us to become lazy. Instead he is hoping to inspire us to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

“Don’t become lazy in your faith…” the Spirit pounds that into my skull.

So I began to think about what I do when I am lazy about something…

#1: I procrastinate; I avoid the thing I know I should do.

#2: I do other things, sometimes worthwhile things and sometime innocuous time wasters.

#3: Another trick I use to procrastinate is to slow work. I kind of start what I should do and I get ready to do what I should do. However, I don’t put my mind and heart into it, which means I don’t actually get anything accomplished because I run out of time.

#4: I have other ‘lazy’ tricks like, “Oh, I am tired, or I need time for myself, etc.”

Bottom line is that I can be lazy about things including my faith. The message of Hebrews 6:12 hits again. Instead of falling into my ‘lazy mode’ I should imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Lord, help me to become as good at imitating giants of the faith as I am about being lazy in my faith. Lor,d grant me the perseverance to put my heart, soul, mind and strength into my following of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.




Monday, April 2: Hebrews 5- Jesus as priest.

A priest stands between people and God. They offer sacrifices, hear requests and speak for God to people. Jesus Christ filled the position of priest standing between us and Almighty God. Interestingly, Jesus Himself is God, God who took on human flesh.

Meditating on Jesus as our High Priest took me to the wonder and gift of the sacrifice He offered, the sacrifice of Himself on the cross.

As we enter this Holy Week, I find myself meditating upon Jesus’ incredible gift and what it means for Jesus, God in human flesh, to offer His life in my place on the cross. As high priest, Jesus offered Himself as the sacrifice for my sins, your sins, the sins of the world. All we have to do is acknowledge Jesus and receive His offered sacrifice and we are free from sin and granted eternal life to boot! What a deal! I hope and pray you have accepted Jesus’ deal.

Jesus, thank You for all You do and all You have done for me and for others. Thanks be to God that You gave us all this gift. I pray that this week, in particular, I spend time thanking and praising You for the gift of salvation through faith in You. Alleluia. Amen.