January 19, 2023
Bishop, W. F. Houston, Jr.
***C H O F Ministry Bible Study Reading:
*C H O F Ministry Focal Verse:
Ezekiel 33:32- They hear your words but do not put them into practice.
Many Christians define success in terms of numbers, such as the number of likes or love reactions on social media platforms, the number of people who are converted, the number of churches planted, the number of church members who regularly attend services, the amount of money raised, etc. If a ministry posted anything like this, would you respond to it? "Wanted: A person to speak on behalf of the Lord. All material and information are provided. If the numbers or popularity are not there this is Guaranteed to fail because no one will respond to it.”
As for my social media reputation or reactions, I will not talk about them today. (LOL!!!); Today, I'm talking about the position of "Old Testament prophet – Ezekiel." God sent Ezekiel to the exiled Israelites. (v. 33). After being subjected to the judgment of God in the form of the Babylonian conquest, one would assume that they would have been willing to listen and obey at this point. Instead, they "listened" to the prophet as though he were a popular actor or recording artist (v. 32), After that, everyone did what they wanted to do. The words that came out of their mouths were correct, but their emotions were wrong. They said Amen, shouted HALLELUJAH, and screamed PREACH PREACHER!!! Yet their intentions were entirely off. Their motives were wrong. (v. 31). They ignored God's teachings. They did nothing to put God's instructions into action. (See Bible Study days 9 and 10).
Why were they unable to accomplish their goal? They did not regard sin as a significant matter. To them, sin was not a big deal. Because of the "abominable acts" they had done, Jerusalem had to be destroyed, and they were forced to flee their city. (vv. 27 - 29). Because they didn’t prioritize adhering to the law, it’s reasonable to assume that they didn’t regard sin as a significant issue. Moses had frequently instructed the Israelites that if they kept the covenant with God, they would be blessed, but if they broke the promise, they would be judged. (see, the example in Lev. 26:14 - 45). They didn't take sin or breaking the law seriously; therefore, they also didn't consider or take seriously what God's prophet had to say. They rejected and ignored God's prophet! They may have counted on God's grace and hoped their punishment would end quickly. As a direct consequence, they "listened" to Ezekiel in a disingenuous manner while concentrating not on sin and repentance but rather on "unjust gain" or their personal profit (v. 31).
Ezekiel's ministry was not a failure, even though God knew the people would not respond appropriately. Because of his unwavering obedience, his achievements were measured by God's standards rather than our own; he was deemed a success by God.
*Beloved, when you achieve something in this world, how much of your sense of value comes from that achievement? Because of the way our culture is structured today, it can be challenging for us to avoid focusing on these things. Our culture places emphasis on popularity and infuses social reactions. Always keep in mind that God sees things differently!
Let Us Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, knowing that our obedience is more important to you than our effectiveness brings us great peace. "Let us not become tired in doing good, for at the correct time we shall reap a crop if we do not give up," the Bible says. "Let us not become weary in doing good." (Gal. 6:9).
In Jesus’ Name, Name We Pray, Amen.
If you need to talk, we are here for you.