Friday, September 5, 2014

Ezekiel 29-31

God is turning to Egypt in Ezekiel 29-31, and boy is that nation in trouble with Him.  God's basically telling the Egyptians they don't mess with God's people and get away with it.  Egypt is going down.

God compares Egypt to Assyria, once strong and beautiful like a cedar tree.

It was majestic in beauty,
  with it's spreading boughs,
  for its roots went down to abundant waters...

I made it beautiful
  with abundant branches,
  the envy of all the trees of Eden
  in the garden of God.

I can't help but notice that in God's own words, God is reminding us that He is the source of the abundance and beauty and life we experience here and now.

Egypt's problem, it seems, is that they mistakenly credited themselves with their strength and power.  They got caught up in their success.  They didn't give credit where credit was really due, to God for His glory.

Jesus explains it even more to us in His teachings.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

We need God in our lives.  We can't find and know abundant life without Him.  

I see a huge difference illustrated in today's passages between just going through life on our own, working as hard as we can to make our own way versus living in and relying on the abundant life God promises us.  

The first route looks good temporarily but falls apart.  This way of life doesn't last because at some point our human limits are completely exhausted.  The other way of living is guaranteed to be just as messy and unlikely at times but relies on an awesome and limitless God who loves us, always.  This way of life finds it's beauty not from being perfect but from knowing God's grace and power first hand.  

I started thinking about this abundant life God promises us.  I don't think it's as clear and simple as series of "either or" black and white decisions.  The world makes decision making so difficult and confusing for us.  It's no wonder we get lost.

But, Jesus came to show us the way, to be with us every step of the way.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for making all things beautiful in Christ.  I give You thanks for the ways You are constantly at work in the world.

Forgive me for getting confused at times, even lost along the way of life.  Your grace is sufficient for me.

I pray that You will guide me by Your Holy Spirit to know abundant life not only for eternity but here and now.

You are sovereign, Lord, and the source of all our blessings.  I pray for people, communities, and nations everywhere that your greater purposes would be carried out and Your will be done "on earth as it is in heaven." 

In Jesus' name I pray,

Grace and peace of Christ,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.


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