Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. And when they ask you, “Why are you groaning?” you shall say, “Because of the news that is coming.” (Ezekiel 21:6-7)
Judah’s sin had exhausted God’s patience. Now punishment was coming in the form of the invincible Babylonian army, and Ezekiel was tasked to deliver the news.
I and my fellow pastors often have to speak a heavy word. How we speak this word may make all the difference in the world in how it is received. We cannot speak brashly nor robotically. The Word of God should break our own hearts first, just as it did to Nehemiah.
I must tell people about the consequences of their sin, but I must tell them with groaning.
I must warn people of the horrors of hell, but I must warn them with bitter grief.
I must confront a wayward brother or sister, but I must do so with a broken heart.
I hope all my fellow pastors will join me in praying this: Holy Spirit, help me! May Your word break my heart before I open my mouth. May tears always lubricate the painfully loving words I must speak!
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