Seeds of the Kingdom 1 February 2022
TOPIC: The Power of God’s Word
SCRIPTURE: “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.” – Ezekiel 33:31, NIV
Seeds of the Kingdom 1 February 2022 MESSAGE
There are times when certain Scriptures seem to jump off the page and scream out for attention! Recently I was working my way through the book of Ezekiel when these words did just that. Here, God is speaking to Ezekiel, a prophet whose calling was that of a watchman over the nation of Israel, and God speaks to him about the people of the land who come and listen to his teaching as a leader but who, on the outside, look as though they are faithful followers of the Lord whereas, in reality, their hearts are at variance with their external behaviour.
There are numerous places in Scripture which display a similar message. Such as when Samuel was looking to anoint a new future King of Israel and God said to him, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Kings 16:7). And when Jesus spoke about adultery and said that “anyone who looks on a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 6:28).
Verses such as these are deeply challenging, cutting right through to the secret motives of the heart. In Hebrews we read that it is the Word of God which “judges the thoughts and the intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). God intended Scripture to have a cutting edge, so that it would do the Lord’s work in challenging our motives, convicting us of sin and bringing us to repentance.
The words of our Scripture for today were of huge relevance and significance for the nation of Israel. For their whole future depended on whether or not God’s people were living out a life in right relationship with the Lord. The further their hearts were from the Lord the more danger they were in as a nation of losing their spiritual protection. They went out from under the covering of God’s loving provision. And, in this respect, nothing has changed for the nation, the church or the family.
The farther we depart from God’s Word, as the plumbline of truth which underpins our heart’s motives, the more vulnerable we are to the attacks of the enemy and the consequential spiritual undermining of one generation after another.
These words brought me afresh to my knees before the Lord and I pray that as you dwell on them in your spirit, you will allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about whatever is on God’s heart for you today.
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the cutting edge of Scripture and for the way it speaks right into our hearts, exposing inner hidden motives and intentions. Help me, Lord, to respond gladly to the touch of Your Holy Spirit on the steering wheel of my life so that my focus will remain firmly fixed on walking on the King’s Highway for all of my days. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.