Daily D – Ezekiel 18:23, 32
Ezekiel 18:23 “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (NIV)
“For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” (NIV)
“I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!” (NLT)
God is less interested in your just demise and more interested in your full and meaningful life. You’ve had it your way; how about trying his better way?
There is a popular misconception about God strongly reinforced through popular culture across the ages of God sitting on clouds and throwing lightning bolts at rebellious sinners. He is portrayed as waiting for one of us to get out of line so that he can zap us. If that were true, our funerals would be over and our graves marked.
Remember this about warnings of judgment in the Bible: They are warnings. Judgment does not have to be the final word. We can choose life. We can choose the ways of life. We can live full and meaningful lives and help others do the same. This is what God wants. Take a look at what Jesus said in John 10:10:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)
When God told the people of Ezekiel’s day to repent and live, he invited them into the positive alternative to judgment. He invited them to step away from the edge of death and destruction and into life worth living. His invitation is still open.
I will join Team Life.
Our Father, I joyfully receive your invitation to a full and meaningful life. I step into the light. I want to live, really live. Amen.
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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”