Be The One

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

John Maxwell was right: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” 

As the leader goes, so goes the family, the neighborhood, the business, the church, the country. Just as Israel’s leaders fell into sin and took the people down with them, so too the religious and political leaders in America are leading people to sin. 

God told Ezekiel, “See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood” (Ezekiel 22:6). These ungodly leaders were described as:

  • disintegrating the family 
  • mistreating orphans and widows 
  • despising God’s holiness 
  • slandering the righteous 
  • promoting idolatry 
  • living lewdly
  • winking at sexual depravity 
  • being dishonest in their business dealings
  • defrauding their neighbors 
  • treating people like possessions 
  • pursuing immoral gain
  • whitewashing evil (vv. 6-12, 25-28)

The bottom line: God says, “You have forgotten Me” (v. 12). 

This kind of evil must be punished by an All-Righteous God. 

But God is still merciful. He is still looking for just one who will turn away from the sins of the culture and live righteously. He is looking “for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it” (v. 30). 

God is looking for just one leader who will seek God’s glory and not personal gain, who will stand for righteousness even if he has to stand alone. 

Will you be that one? 

I pray I may be that one! 

I pray for godly leaders to stand up! “Holy God, may we stand for You in this evil culture. May Your Holy Spirit strengthen us to stand unmoved against the onslaught of depravity. Strengthen us against the evil one and against evil people, knowing that greater are You in us than the evil that is in the world. May we be the ones that refuse to bend our knee to anyone or anything but You. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray this. Amen!” 

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Thursdays With Oswald—No Show Business

Oswald ChambersThis is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

No Show Business 

     We are not here to be specimens of what God can do, but to have our life so hid with Christ in God that our Lord’s words will be true of us, that men beholding our good works will glorify our Father in heaven [Matthew 5:16]. There was no “show business” in the life of the Son of God, and there is to be no “show business” in the life of the saint.

From The Moral Foundations Of Life

It is amazing how loudly a life lived for God speaks!

We don’t have to be on TV or have a YouTube video go viral for people to notice. Jesus made it quite clear that simply living a godly life was attractive enough. So don’t try to put on a show, just be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and your lifestyle will speak volumes. And, even more importantly, God will be glorified!

No!

Do you have a hard time saying “No”?

How about saying “No” to temptations? Perhaps this thought will help.

For the grace of God… teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2:11-12)

How does grace teach me to say “No”?

The more I realize how much it cost Jesus to extend grace to me, the more I will realize what I can do to show gratitude for this amazing gift. I show my appreciation for this inestimable gift by saying “No” to ungodliness, AND saying “Yes” to godliness. 

Saying “Yes” to my sinful passions is like a slap in the face of God. It’s saying that what I want to indulge in is somehow more valuable than Christ’s death on the Cross.

To live a self-controlled, upright, godly life is the bare minimum I can do to show my gratitude to my Savior! Grace is not a license to live as I want to live. Grace teaches me to say “No” to anything that would offend Jesus Christ.

Think of the love of Jesus and let that love constrain you to keep near unto Him. —George Whitefield

Benefit Package

See if you can spot the common theme in Proverbs 10:

The Lord will not let the godly go hungry (v. 3)

The godly are showered with blessings (v. 6)

We have happy memories of the godly (v. 7)

The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain (v. 11)

The earnings of the godly enhance their lives (v. 16)

The words of the godly are like sterling silver (v. 20)

The words of the godly encourage many (v. 21)

The hopes of the godly will be granted (v. 24)

The godly have a lasting foundation (v. 25)

The hopes of the godly result in happiness (v. 28)

The godly will never be disturbed (v. 30)

The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice (v. 31)

The lips of the godly speak helpful words (v. 32)

I may not be a genius, but it seems like living a God-pleasing life has quite a few desirable benefits. What do you say we give it a try?

(For another look at Proverbs 10, check out this post.)

Guard These Bones

Here’s an odd one. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt for a long, long time. God does these miraculous things, culminating in the death of every firstborn child in Egypt who’s not in a house covered by lamb’s blood. Pharaoh has finally had enough, “Quick!” he shouts, “Get out of here now! Leave this country!”

So the Israelites pack up as quickly as they can to leave before Pharaoh changes his mind. And then this odd statement appears, “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him.”

Seriously? Bones? We’re kinda in a rush here!

Well, they’re not just any bones. It’s not like they’re just loose bones lying around. They’re in a mummy case.

Yeah, and…?

They were the bones of Joseph. The one who foresaw the coming famine. The one whom Pharaoh put as second-in-command to make preparations for the famine. The one who saved the Israelites from starvation. That Joseph. Just before he died he made his family take an oath that when they left Egypt, they would take his bones with them (Genesis 50:25-26).

They took the oath. And for the next 430 years someone had to watch over the bones. Through about twelve generations, from father to son, from son to grandson, from grandson to great-grandson, the oath was passed: “Guard these bones. When we leave, the bones go with us.”

So when they left Egypt, Moses took the bones with him. But then the Israelites sinned and had to wander in the wilderness for another 40 years. Another whole generation died, and still the oath was passed: “Guard these bones.”

The Israelites finally re-entered their home land, but had to defeat their enemies that had taken possession of their land while they were in Egypt. For about 30 years the Israelites fought. And still the oath was passed: “Guard these bones.”

Finally as a postscript to Joshua’s account we see Joseph’s bones being buried in Shechem, nearly 500 years after Joseph died!

For 500 years they kept the oath; they guarded the bones.

Do you realize that the way you are living today could be the answer to a 500-year-old prayer? Just like the Israelites who kept their eyes on God, you and I must live today with a purpose and with a mission. When we live godly lives, we are guarding the bones of prayers that were prayed, the bones of petitions that were made, the bones of oaths that were requested and honored.

What are you doing today to guard the bones of your ancestor’s prayers?

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