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EZEKIEL 36 (CEV – Contemporary English Version)

22
so tell the Israelites that I am saying: You have disgraced my holy name among the nations where you now live. SO YOU DON'T DESERVE WHAT I'M GOING TO DO FOR YOU. I WILL LEAD YOU HOME TO BRING HONOR TO MY NAME
23
AND TO SHOW FOREIGN NATIONS THAT I AM HOLY. THEN THEY WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD GOD. I HAVE SPOKEN.
24
I will gather you from the foreign nations and bring you home.
25
I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be clean and acceptable to me. I will wash away everything that makes you unclean, and I will remove your disgusting idols.
26
I will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart and a desire to be faithful. You will have only pure thoughts,
27
because I will put my Spirit in you and make you eager to obey my laws and teachings.
28
You will once again live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
29
I will protect you from anything that makes you unclean. Your fields will overflow with grain, and no one will starve.
30
Your trees will be filled with fruit, and crops will grow in your fields, so that you will never again feel ashamed for not having enough food.
31
You will remember your evil ways and hate yourselves for what you've done.
32
PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, I'M NOT DOING THESE THINGS FOR YOUR SAKE. YOU SINNED AGAINST ME, AND YOU MUST SUFFER SHAME AND DISGRACE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. I, THE LORD GOD, HAVE SPOKEN.

NOTE:
1. Thank God for His Kindness! Verse 32 highlights that we do not deserve His Kindness! If I feel I have anything for which to be thankful, may I always pause and thank the Father for His Kindness!

2. HIS KINDNESS IS THE ONLY BASIS FOR REPENTANCE. Without His Kindness, there would be no OPPORTUNITY for repentance.
Romans 2
(CEV – Contemporary English Version)
4
You surely don't think much of God's wonderful goodness or of his patience and willingness to put up with you. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT THE REASON GOD IS GOOD TO YOU IS BECAUSE HE WANTS YOU TO TURN TO HIM?
Amplified Bible
4
Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience?
Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will)?

3. “The mind set on the flesh is death. The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
The mind I choose to have—to allow God to reveal Himself and His true character to me—will determine if I enter into the inheritance Jesus paid for me to have.
AS I SEEK GOD WITH ALL MY MIND, HEART AND WILL—then God will come to me and reveal Himself to me. God is not available to the casual seeker.

Convicting… encouraging…pressing through thoughts.

Vance

Vance, in regard to this statement made by you: "God is not available to the casual seeker." If you have time, I would strongly recommend you reading a book that I have yet to get through, it is so rich with revelation about our Love Walk/Relationship with Him. It is "Finding Favor With The King" by Tommy Tenney. Here is what I use for my private signature:

PROTOCOL of the PALACE...
1. Never underestimate the potential of one encounter.
2. Seek the heart of the King, not the splendor of His kingdom.
3. One day of favor can be worth more than a lifetime of labor!
4. Worship is the protocol that protects the King & qualifies the visitor.
5. Influence flows from intimacy & access comes from relationship.
6. If you learn what the King favors, you can become a favorite.
7. If your enemy is the King's enemy, then your battle is the King's battle.
"Whatever impresses you attracts you. Whatever you pursue becomes your purpose. You are chosen for potential but kept because of passion. The deeper you go into the palace, the fewer the people. Position & petition often shout their demands, but passion need only whisper! Intimacy preempts intruders! Sometimes worship releases its sweetest fragrance when offered from the fires of trial & adversity. Intimacy with Christ is more powerful than petitions legally presented. Relationship is cultured, not automatic. Whispered words from the palace of intimacy can be more powerful than shouted petitions from the court; words whispered from the pillow of royal intimacy can literally rearrange the future. Worship your way to a place of intimacy. One well-placed whisper could change your life. Sometimes the King makes you wait just to purify the outcome. Passion cannot be programmed. If you would become a queen, you must first court the King. Don't flirt with lower lovers--save yourself for the King. God is no respecter of persons, but He does play favorites! Favor comes to those with a teachable spirit! Refuse to prostitute the King’s riches for private advantage. Put on worship & wear it well. The King loves worship, especially when combined with one of His favorite fragrances—humility. One of favor’s most frequent traveling companions is jealousy. Favor comes with another partner—purpose. Pain without purpose is like pregnancy without delivery. If you move the heart of God, you move the hand of God. One nod from God & destiny is altered. Continual favor flows to those who understand purpose." Tommy Tenney from Finding Favor with the King

This is a wonderful book about a wonderful story of loving the King like Esther was made for...such a time as this.

jano

Mike,
Interestingly enough, in the Keathley link you reference on the "Non-Pauline Epistles", he indicates that the likely author is not James the Lesser, but rather James the half-brother of Jesus.

I want to give God all the praise & glory for what I'm about to say in this post: I have a wonderful job where I can listen to the Bible on Radio (which is linked on this site); I can listen to Christian music, read my word, witness, pray...whatever God leads me to do...I am able to do here on this job. BUT, I will tell you this, according to the scripture which is part of today's reading: James chapter 1 verses 2 – 4 we read: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I went through many trials & tribulations to get to where I am today. I laid down my life to give others His life at my last job & was terminated for doing such, but oh...the reward has been beyond my imagination. I have such freedom on this job (my first private office); I can listen to the Word of God being preached & His music being played without fear of offending or losing my job for doing such. I have pictures of Jesus & a woman praying on my walls. I truly have freedom to worship & tell the Good News in this place & to others that come in this place of business. We are not a Christian business per se, but God has given me great favor & blessing here; but I did go through hell before I was terminated from my last job. I even worked at a private church university & was terminated for witnessing (go figure that one)! There is such a thing as the spirit of religion that is alive & well on this planet with us & it stinketh to say the least.

jano

Jeff, I think that is what Mr. Dooley says on his comments on the Daily Bible Radio reading today also in regard to James the Lesser.

jan

Jeff - good catch! I think "the Lesser" and the brother of Jesus are the same - check out this Catholic site for their take -
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=356

and then here's the "Greater" - http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=59

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