Ezekiel 37: 1- 14 1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1
It was never God’s intention for His people to live in bondage. However, we live in a fallen and sinful world. Without the cross through the sacrifice of Jesus, we would not have the opportunity to receive eternal life through salvation.
Through that one selfless act that Jesus did, we are set free.
Whatever has you wrapped up in bondage, there is a way out through deliverance.
The Lord wants you free from addiction, free from poverty, healed from sickness, released from your mental, emotional or psychological prisons and released from guilt, shame, and condemnation.
You don’t live there anymore. There is a place called grace and mercy. It’s full of compassion and love. You can’t get lost on the way there because Jesus will meet you exactly where you are.
You may have traveled a long, hard road with many detours along the way but God is faithful and just. He waits patiently at the door waiting to embrace you, teach you and bless you with His abundant promises for your life.
The Lord’s ways are sure. His path is straight. Nothing is too hard for Him to handle.
There will be tests of your faith, lessons to be learned and transitions in life that are unexpected. The ultimate plan is in God’s hands. Are you willing to surrender? Are you ready to pick up your cross and follow him?
Just take one step of faith. He is waiting at the door for your arrival.
When we reflect upon the Resurrection, we celebrate the triumph of Jesus overcoming the grave and sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. We celebrate His victory and all He has done for our Salvation. He is alive and lives in our hearts and we await for His return. He will reign upon the earth as He did once before.
As followers of Christ, we must remain steadfast knowing that we should walk as Jesus and live as an example. We should pick up our cross daily and follow Him. Mark 10:21
What exactly does that mean? Jesus requested the apostles to leave all they had to follow Him. In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of giving up everything to follow Him. He commanded to give riches and treasures to the poor and to put Him first in every area of our life. In Mark 10:25, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus want to know your heart is pure and that you can be content in all circumstances. Nothing should stand in the way of relationship with Him. Of course, our Father gives us good pleasures, but He wants us to delight in Him. He wants us to honor and obey Him. He does not want us to be persuaded or enticed by glitz, glamour, fame and fortune. Neither does He desire the church to become a den of thieves.
Picking up your cross also means to be obedient to what the Lord ask you to do. When we follow and surrender to Jesus, we desire to please Him. He will also fulfill the desires of our heart. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
Moses answered the call to lead the Israelites through the wilderness to the promise land. Joseph was obedient to endure betrayal and be thrown into a pit, despite the jealousy of his brothers, and still blessed them in spite of their evil ways towards him. Jeremiah was obedient to prophesy over disobedience in the land.
It is not always easy to be obedient to the Lord. In many cases, it can be tough. However, the Lord supplies everything you need to overcome the challenges, obstacles and surprises life brings. God is not looking for perfect people. He calls the misfits, the outsiders, the prideful, the unqualified, and the sinful. Mark 2:13-17
When we pick up our cross, we are not carrying the burdens of life on our shoulders. This may be a misinterpretation of what the verse means and easily misunderstood. Jesus already paid the price for the penalty of sin for all of us. He carries our burdens. The greatest love of all flows from the heart of Jesus. By no means, we are to believe that we are to carry the cross like Christ did. Our works or deeds on earth does not open the doors to heaven. Salvation does. That is the whole reason Christ died for us. Without the crucifixion of Christ, there would be no sacrifice. Nevertheless, our works will be rewarded once we enter into the Kingdom. “Through faith and patience we will inherit the promises.” Heb 6:12
All that you search for in this world is null and void and does not satisfy. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
Pick up your cross and follow Him daily. Be a disciple of Christ. Share the Gospel. Uplift and encourage others. Ask for wisdom, discernment and understanding and walk as examples of Christ.
Just a few things to think about…
What can you do to welcome others who have a different lifestyle than you or do not have the same faith or values that you have? How do you react or respond to stress, worry, doubt or fear? How do you act when you’re angry, tired or frustrated? What can you do differently when emotions take over? How do you lead by example in the workplace? How do you share your testimony with others when they don’t know Christ?
You’re welcome to leave your comments. Thanks for your support.
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Additional Scripture References:
6 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,
3 And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.
4 And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
5 And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
7 And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
8 Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
9 And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whoring heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
10 And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.
11 Thus saith the Lord God; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
12 He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remained and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.
13 Then shall ye know that I am the Lord, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols.
14 So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 6:1-14 King James Version (KJV)
King James Version (KJV)
“Brethen, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Phil 3:13
When you look through a rear view mirror, you cannot see a specific area when you are backing up a vehicle. If you assume or estimate the distance without really knowing if anyone or anything is behind the blind spot, it can lead to imminent danger if you are not cautious.
Many times in life, you may face a blind spot. The blind spot is a very uncomfortable place. You feel stuck. You don’t know which direction to go. You don’t have clear vision. You may not even understand how and why you got yourself in such a predicament, situation or circumstance. It’s a lonely place. It’s a temporary place. It’s an unpredictable place.
In the blind spot, people’s approval or opinions does not matter. It’s a place of solitude. You do not care about seeking advice or listening to a circle of friends, but you are in desperate need to hear from God alone.
The blind spot was designed to remove you from your comfort zone. It was created to stretch your faith. It is a place and moment in time where God gets your attention by calling you to a new place either spiritually or physically. It’s a place that you’re yet to discover. It’s also a place where you can’t force things to happen on your own terms, in your own way and on your own timeline. You must trust God in knowing that He is working behind the scenes.
Although it’s beautiful to hold onto joyous memories, it can slow you down or hold you back if you continue to hold onto the past or feel that life will never be the same. Due to unfortunate circumstances such as a death of a loved one, an illness, a sudden disability, or even surviving a natural disaster, it’s possible that life will never be the same, but God has much more promises and dreams to fulfill in your life. He has much more people for you to meet. He has many more opportunities to receive. Many more mistakes to learn from and many places for you to visit and explore. He has much more love for you to share. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11
You can’t continue to go in reverse and keep dwelling on past mistakes, bad experiences or memories. You must forge ahead with assurance and confidence knowing that you have much more to experience, learn and understand. You can’t move forward if you continue to look backwards. You have to give the Lord the driver’s wheel and trust that He will lead you in the right direction.
“Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1
Many years ago, I went shopping with a close friend with her two-year old child. As we casually picked out outfits, we watched her daughter dash between the racks of clothing playing peep- a- boo. When we decided what to purchase, we got in line.
However, we could not locate her daughter. She was suddenly missing when we called her name. We frantically rushed through the store asking people if they had seen a small child describing her in extreme detail. With alarm, no one had seen her. They sent out an announcement over the intercom as we raced through the aisles searching for the child.
In a panic, my friend headed towards the courtyard inside the mall where she passed the security desk where she found her child sitting on top of the desk with a security officer gently holding her. It was the most rewarding and gratifying moment ending in a sigh of relief.
It definitely does not feel good to get lost. I can remember several times being lost when I was driving to a new location. As I desperately searched to find the right direction, I usually became extremely panicked to make it to my destination. Then, finally I would find my way which provided me with comfort. Of course, this experience was long before cell phones and GPS systems!
When you’re lost spiritually, you may not even be aware. There is no warning or immediate danger involved. You may travel through life freely taking no precautions or direction in life.
You don’t have any fear about salvation or eternal life. Possibly, you may simply be at a crossroad in the midst of confusion about what you believe. No matter what road you travel, the Lord’s grace and mercy will find exactly where you are if your heart is open to receive His love. God’s love is profound.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-1
This is the foundation and the basic substance of truth found in the Word of God. Once you start to follow your spiritual GPS (God’s Power Saves) which is directed by the Holy Spirit, you will find comfort and security.
You will find out the empty, lonely place where you are constantly searching to fill a void in your life does not sustain peace or satisfaction.
When you begin to fill the space with such things as alcohol, drugs, sex, money, power, material things and other feel-good possessions and remedies, you begin to realize that it only last for a moment before you begin to search and search and search for something else that satisfies and fills the void. Eventually, you find out that you spent a lifetime seeking something that does not exist or that you cannot find.
When you put your faith in Jesus, you begin to receive a wholeness that does not compare to worldly expectations. Seeking a relationship with Jesus consists of daily prayer (simply communicating or having a conversation with Him), worship and praise, reading the Gospel and surrounding yourself with other believers and finding a Bible-based church. You will begin to transform yourself and your life. However, it’s a gradual process and it’s not done in your own power. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zech 4:6
The growth process is never-ending with no destination in sight. It is an exciting journey with lots of surprises along the way. Living a Christian life, is by no means easy. You will still face obstacles, challenges and problems, but you will not have to carry the burdens and pressures of life on your shoulders.
When you walk by faith, you are “Trusting the evidence of things hoped for but the evidence of things unseen.” Heb 11:1 and Romans 8:24
This is the same faith you will use when you acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior who has died and resurrected for your sins. You must come to Him by faith.
What makes the relationship so special? Each person will never have the same exact experience. You are a designed original and the Lord desires to have an intimate relationship with you because He created you for His pleasure. It’s just like the lost child who wandered through the mall.
Our Father welcomes you into His loving arms when He finds one of His lost children and desires to build a relationship that will be everlasting. How can you miss out on that opportunity?
“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another comforter: that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but ye know Him: for He dwells with you, and shall be with you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:16-18
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4
“But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Corth 4:3