READ: Ezekiel 13-15
THINK: These 3 short chapters of prophecy are not the most comforting section of the entire Bible. They are very clearly a call – a wakeup call – from God to his people. The people have put words in his mouth and passed messages of peace and self-indulgence that run counter to his commands. The people have set other things above God in their hearts and pursued them more passionately than they have pursued God. And chapter 15 sums it up pretty succinctly with the analogy of the vine. In the words of the great 18th Century theologian and pastor Jonathan Edwards, Ezekiel 15 can be summed up in 3 short thoughts:
1. That it is very evident, that there can be but two ways in which man can be useful, either in acting, or in being acted upon and disposed of.
2. That man can no otherwise be useful actively than by bringing forth fruit to God.
3. That if he bring not forth fruit to God, there is no other way in which he can be passively useful, but in being destroyed.
ASK: Spend some time today considering your own life – particularly given the cultural setting in a land that is just as, if not more, guilty as Israel of the things God is charging in this passage. Ask the following questions:
1. Have I bought into messages about Christianity that run counter to God’s law because they made it possible for me to feel okay about doing what I want to do instead of living in radical obedience?
2. What are the things in my heart that I want more than I want God? What are the things I’m chasing after?
3. Am I actively, purposefully, and intentionally bearing fruit for God and his glory and his kingdom? Am I actively, purposefully, and intentionally showing his love and sharing the gospel with those around me?
4. Given the answers to those questions, what steps do I need to take this week to make sure that my only usefulness to God is not my own destruction?
PRAY: Thank God for his mercy. Thank him for equipping you to bear fruit. Ask him to help you throw off the sin that so easily entangles and pursue him completely!