Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 20 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Read the “0905 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.” (Ezekiel 20:9)
“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.” (Ezekiel 20:14)
“Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.” (Ezekiel 20:22)
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:15-16)
Good morning. How many of you remember Love Canal? It was a small community near Niagara Falls, NY. There was an old abandoned canal there on property owned by the Hooker Chemical Co. They used this abandoned canal from 1942 to 1953 to dump almost 22 tons of hazardous industrial waste. Toxic Waste. So now this small community of about 900 people is sitting on a time-bomb. They were starting to get sick. There were many miscarriages by ladies who were pregnant. There were boils and rashes that popped up too. Twenty-four years later, 1977, the winter was harsh, there was a lot of snow, and it melted. When it did melt, the excessive water caused some of the 22 tons of toxic waste to seep into the water supply, and also come oozing out to the surface. There is now a 70 acre site that is fenced in. The site has been capped, and there is no leakage. Or is there? In 1990, two-hundred and sixty houses outside the contaminated area were given new siding, and roofs. They were sold for 20% below the market value. People bought the houses, and moved in. They started getting sick. Now, in 2013, the lawsuits came pouring in. Will they ever get Love Canal fixed, and cleaned up? It is doubtful.
Let me tell you of another toxic waste site. One that only God can ever fix. In our three text verses from Ezekiel chapter 20, the Lord said that He worked hard so that His name would not be polluted in front of the heathen (or the unsaved). Do you think a good testimony is important to God? Do you think God wants His name dragged through the mud? Do you think God meant it when He told Solomon to write…
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
“A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
What does God want to see happen with His good name? This…
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
How is your witness? How is your testimony? Does God have to work hard with you so His name does not appear as toxic waste among the unsaved?
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: [WHY?] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16)
We get all excited about what is happening in the world. We see by the signs of the times that Jesus may be back soon, real soon. We see all this, and we are ready to be raptured out of here. We see all that is happening, but we forget our original purpose, our work, the work of winning souls to Christ. We need to be ready…
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1Peter 3:15-16)
How do you appear to the unsaved? Do you appear to the unsaved as toxic waste, or have you allowed the Holy Spirit to transform us into the kind of witness you should be? God told us 3 times in Ezekiel 20, that He wrought (or worked hard) for His name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen. Are you working hard to die to self and allow Jesus to shine through? Will the unsaved get saved by seeing you or Jesus? Time is moving quickly and this country is moving further and further away from God. It was just announced that First Baptist Church of Greenville, NC is going to start ordaining gay pastors, and will offer same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Is not homosexuality still an abomination to the Lord?
“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)
He didn’t change, so why should His Word change? The unsaved world is not getting the truth. The unsaved world is getting a polluted picture of God, and not the God of the Bible. We need to change. Allow the Holy Spirit to change us, and help us to stop being the hypocrites that the world sees. He is the only One that can clean up this toxic waste called sin.
(“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45))
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