Because of Mercy

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Daniel 9:18 – We do not make requests of you because you are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Because we are saved, we are considered righteous in God’s eyes. Righteous because of the blood of Jesus. Nevertheless, when we approach God with requests we should understand we are able to do so because of His mercy.

My Advice – Do not be self-righteous when asking God to answer your prayers. Be humble and recognize that it is only because of His mercy that you can ask for anything in the first place.

Fault By Association With God

Daniel 6:4, 5At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find charges against Daniel…but they were unable to do so. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges…unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – What a tribute to Daniel that the only thing they could find fault with was in his obedience to and worship of God.

My Advice – Consider it an honor when people find fault with you for being a Christian and for serving Christ.

Even If Not

Daniel 3:16-18 – “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – While they knew that God could save them, they did not make their obedience conditional upon it. He is always able to deliver us, but there will be times when His plans are better served by not saving us, but rather by allowing us to go through the trial. The true measure of our convictions lay in how we respond to the times that He does not deliver us.

My Advice – Make your service and obedience to God unconditional. Trust Him to do what is best, even if it will not always mean that He will do as we please.

Careful & Close Attention

Ezekiel 44:5 – “Look carefully, listen closely and give attention to everything I tell you.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We need to study God’s Word, not merely for general knowledge, but to hear what He may be saying to us, so that we can act on it to improve our lives and character.

My Advice – Do not just be a casual reader of God’s Word (look carefully). Consider how it might be speaking to you personally (listen closely) and then apply what you’ve learned (give attention).

Inconsistent Profession

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Ezekiel 33:32 – “My people come to me, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Our profession of faith in Jesus Christ needs to result in changed lives and changed behavior. We must not profess devotion with our lips and then act (or fail to act) in a manner that is inconsistent with our profession.

My Advice – Make sure that your actions are consistent with your profession.

What Pleases God

Ezekiel 18:23 – “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign Lord. “Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their wicked ways and live?” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – There are two ways we can turn from sin. One is to first fall into sin, then later repent (turn back from). The other is to be confronted by sin and to refuse to give in (turn away from). To turn away is better than to turn back, but God is pleased when we do either.

My Advice – Make it a goal of your life to please God.

Standard Bearers

Ezekiel 16:26 – “I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – As Christians, we are to be the God’s standard bearers on how to live and conduct ourselves. When people cannot distinguish us from the world around us, or worse are shocked by our conduct, then something is seriously wrong.

My Advice – In the various circles that you frequent, make sure that your conduct cannot be questioned on moral grounds. You do not want to do anything that might tarnish the Gospel.