Wednesday, September 28, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES WARNING THROUGH HIS PROPHETS

Ezekiel chapter 4 verse 11 says this;

Also measure out a sixth of a hin of water and drink it at set times.

Chapter 4 of the book of Ezekiel records the commands that the Lord gave to Ezekiel to enact a siege against the city of Jerusalem in symbolic gestures in the sight of the people.

Ezekiel was instructed to take a block  of clay, draw Jerusalem on it and then mount a siege against the representation of Jerusalem. He was to erect ramps, build encampments against it and deploy battering rams around it.

Ezekiel was then instructed to lie on his left side in front of the model city for 390 days to bear the sins of Israel which were for 390 years.

After that was completed, he then was to lie on his right side for 40 days to bear the sin of Judah which were for 40 years.

The Lord then instructed Ezekiel to prepare the food and drink he was to consume during the enactment of the seige of Jerusalem. He was to measure out rations of grains and lentils of 230 grams a day to represent the hunger that the people in Jerusalem would experience under siege.

For water, he was to measure out about a sixth of a liter of water for each day. This tiny ration of water per day was to represent the thirst that the people of Jerusalem would experience under the approaching siege.

The Lord commanded that Ezekiel's elaborate enactment be in full view of everyone so that everyone would have fair warning of the upcoming judgement.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

OUR FATHER PREPARES FOR THE WEDDING OF HIS SON (2)

Our study of the book of the Song of Songs continues with verses 11 - 13.

They start with the man promising to make earrings of precious metal for his beloved.  She responds by calling the object of her affection a king. She recalls how her fragrance wafted across the table to capture his attention.

The passage reads this way;

We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.

While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.

My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.

The woman, having captured the attention of her beloved with her fragrance, says that, to her, he was like a bundle of myrrh on her bosom.

Myrrh is a fragrant plant resin harvested for perfume and medicine and it was used in large quantities to wrap Jesus' body for burial after His crucifixion.

As such, this reference to myrrh by the bride, associates the king, who is her beloved,  with Jesus.

The Lord Jesus is the king in chapter 1 of the Song of songs.

He loves His bride and will make precious jewelry to adorn her and she adores her bridegroom and her sacrificial life in His honor is the perfume that reaches His table and gains her His attention.

Amen.

Monday, September 26, 2022

OUR FATHER PREPARES FOR THE WEDDING OF HIS SON

The book of the Song of Songs chapter 1 verses 9 - 10 says this;

I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.

Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,  your neck with strings of jewels.

The first chapter of the book of Song of Songs is a conversation between a man and a woman with some interjections from friends who are listening in.

The two conversants are attracted to each other and describe each other in glowing terms of beauty, fragrances, adoration, precious articles and love.

Among these exchanges is the passage found in verses 9 and 10 which is spoken by the man to the woman telling her how attractive she is to him.

With the term of endearment, 'darling', he compares her to a mare among the chariot horses of Pharaoh.

The chariot horses of the king of Egypt would have been splendidly arrayed and trained to move with grace and aplomb even under pressure.

The man, by invoking the sight of Pharaoh's  horses, was praising the woman for being regal and poised and striking to look at.

He comments on the beauty of her cheeks that are accented by earrings and her neck by jeweled necklaces.

This is the attraction of the beauty of the woman to the man or a bride to her bridegroom.

The church, being the bride of Christ, is to rise in beauty, poise, aplomb and the fragrance of praise and sacrifice as she prepares for the return of her Bridegroom.

Amen.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO WILL LAY WASTE THE STRONGHOLDS OF DARKNESS

Isaiah chapter 34 verse 15 says this;

The owl will nest there and lay eggs,  she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of her wings; there also the falcons will gather, each with its mate.

This passage describes the natural activity of wildlife taking over the ruins of the kingdoms of darkness that will have been judged by the Lord and laid waste.

When the armies of this world mount up against the Lord, He will respond in anger.

The spiritual cities controlled by the kingdom of darkness and the earthly cities that they overlay will be torn down and left as smouldering rubble in the face of the anger of the Lord.

The strongholds and citadels of darkness will be destroyed so that there is nothing left of their kingdoms and the princes thereof will vanish.

The abandoned wasteland will experience a revival of nature as jackles and hyenas and wild goats traverse the land and find homes and places of rest.

Owls build nests, lay eggs and raise their young. Falcons gather and form pair bonds in the vacated land.

The Lord establishes His order in the land and His Spirit gathers and allots to those whom he has assigned an inheritance forever.

Amen.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO DEMONSTRATES THE QUALITY OF HIS SERVANTS

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 9 says this;

For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 

The Roman empire had a cultural celebration that occurred when a conquering general returned to Rome with his army. 

A triumphant parade marched through the city of Rome displaying the might of her military. The treasures pillaged from the conquered lands and the people who had been captured were shown to the people of Rome as they exulted in their victories.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, compared the condition of himself and the other apostles with the people who were in the church at the city of  Corinth.

While the Corinthian believers were honored and strong and wise, the apostles were dishonored  and weak and foolish.

Paul felt that the Lord had consigned all  the apostles to a life of hunger, danger and humiliation as a spectacle for the whole universe  to look upon along with their misfortunes like the captured prisoners who the Romans paraded through their city.

Having been given the high responsibilities of apostleship, these servants of the Lord were brought low before the eyes of men and angels as a demonstration of the quality of men they were because to the end, they responded with grace to those who slandered them, patiently endured persecution and blessed those who cursed them.

Amen.



Friday, September 23, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO MOVES TO DELIVER US FROM OPPRESSION AND BONDAGE

Isaiah chapter 19 verse 3 says this;

The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.

In the prophecy of Isaiah chapter 19, the kingdom of Egypt stands in for the oppressive powers of darkness that will move to take over the whole world and enslave God's people.

But at that time, the Lord, moving on a swift cloud, will come to the oppressive regime and bring judgements upon them that will overwhelm them and bring down their rulership.

When the Lord arrives, the Egyptians will lose heart and all their carefully laid plans will fall apart and add up to nothing.

Because they will understand that the forces working against them are supernatural, the Egyptians will turn to the spiritual advice of spiritists and mediums. They will invoke idols and spirits of the dead for counsel but these will not help them.

At every turn, the Egyptians will be thwarted.

Their unified front will collapse as they turn on each other and begin fighting amongst themselves.

To try to keep their evil ambitions viable, a harsh and cruel leader will be installed over them but he will bring even greater disunity.

Their economic support systems will fail and their supplies of provisions and materials will be disrupted.

All their wise men and advisors will utter foolishness and a spirit of dizziness will be put on them so that all their counsel will be that of drunkards.

That day approaches and now is when the Lord rides on a swift cloud to Egypt to bring their oppression and bondage of God's people to an end.

Amen.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

OUR FATHER CREATES IN US A PURE HEART

Psalm 51 verses 12 - 14 records some of the words that king David wrote after Nathan the prophet confronted him with the matter of his affair with Bathsheba and the coverup attempt after that. The passage reads this way;

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior,  and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

King David was a man after God's own heart defined as such by the Lord himself in Acts chapter 13 verse 22;

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

So David, being a man after God's own heart, when brought face to face with his sins, shed his defences and humbled himself before God and acknowledged his transgressions and  asked for mercy for his actions. 

He pleaded with the Lord to cleanse him from his sins  and blot out his iniquity so that the Lord would remember them no more. 

He asked the Lord to create in him a pure heart and renew in him a steadfast spirit that would not easily fall into the traps of sin.

David then asked God to fill him with the joy of the Lord's salvation.

He promised the Lord that if the Lord did these things for him, he would teach transgressors the ways of the Lord so that sinners would return to God.

For the guilt of bloodshed regarding the death of Bathsheba's husband Uriah, David asked the Lord to deliver him as a saviour and the result would be that David would be able to sing of God's righteousness.

If we were to be people after God's own heart and we were caught in a sin, we would acknowledge our transgression, ask for mercy, ask to be cleansed, ask to be made steadfast and then we would press forward in pursuit of the things of the kingdom of God and rejoice in the righteousness of God.

Bless our God who can restore us from the despair of sin and renew in us a pure heart that  can rejoice in our salvation.

Amen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO HAS A PURPOSE FOR EACH OF US TO FULFILL.

Jeremiah chapter 13 verse 4, a record of the Lord's words to the prophet Jeremiah,  says this;

“Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.”

This passage captures the instruction that the Lord gave Jeremiah of what to do with the new linen belt that the Lord had told him to buy.  

Jeremiah was instructed to take the belt and hide it in a crevice in a rock.  

Many days later, the Lord told Jeremiah to go back and retrieve the belt and when he dug it up, it was badly damaged. Verse 7 puts it this way;

So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

The Lord spoke to Jeremiah to explain the meaning of the object lesson.

The belt around Jeremiah's waist represented the people of Israel and Judah who were supposed to be wrapped around the Lord's waist so that they were close to Him as His honored people. Jeremiah chapter 13 verse 10 says it this way;

For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’

Instead, the people rebelled and refused to listen to the voice of the Lord and stubbornly pursued other gods and thus the Lord declared them as useless as Jeremiah's ruined belt.

Let us strive to stay near to the Lord; always listening for His voice to do as He instructs so that we can be useful servants in His kingdom and He can, as He said in Mathew chapter 25 verse 21, say to us 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!

Amen. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO SUPPLIES HIS PEOPLE WITH WATER UNTO LIFE

1 Corinthians chapter 10 verses 3 - 4, speaking of the children of Israel in the wilderness, says this;

They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 

The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, explained that the rock from which the children of Israel drank water in the wilderness was Christ who travelled with them and gave them water.  

In the new covenant, Jesus, speaking to the woman at the well in John chapter 4 verse 10, said this;

 “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Here, Jesus, in the context of asking for drinking water out of the well, said to the woman that if she had known who it was who was asking her for water, she would have asked Him and He would have given her living water from which she would never have been thirsty again as it says in verse 14; "whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

So Paul says that the rock in the wilderness that continuously supplied water to the children of Israel was in fact Christ. 

Then, the Apostle John, in John chapter 4 verse 10 and verse 14, recorded Jesus, the Christ, the rock of ages,  saying that He could supply living water.

Bless the Lord Jesus who was the spiritual rock who supplied water to the children of Israel in the wilderness and now, is the rock that was struck and  supplies the children of God with spiritual water that wells up to eternal life.

Amen.

Monday, September 19, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO PROMISES A CROWN OF LIFE IF WE PERSERVERE IN THE TRIALS WE FACE

The book of James chapter 1 verse 9 says this;

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.

In other words, the Apostle James tells us that a believer in a lowly position in this world is elevated to a lofty position in the spiritual realm.

This precept parallels the words that  the Lord Jesus spoke in Mathew chapter 20 verse 16;

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Conversely, in James chapter 1 verse 10, the Apostle  James gives this advice to the believers who are rich;

But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.

Here, humiliation is the place that the rich should take pride in for their lives are as fleeting as a vapour. The Apostle James brings out the truth that riches can easily give the illusion of permanence but we must remember that our earthly lives are temporal and we can wither as quickly as a wildflower in the sun.

For believers, if we are poor, we should glory in our high position in the spirit and  if we are rich, we should glory in our humble position in the spirit.

James advises both the rich and the poor  to persevere in whatever trials their stations in life aim at them for if they endure their trials, they shall be awarded the crown of life promised by the Lord as recorded in James chapter 1 verse 12.

Amen.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOSE TERRIBLE DAY APPROACHES

Isaiah chapter 13 verses 9 - 10 says this;

See, the day of the Lord is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.

The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light.

The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.

The prophet Isaiah prophecied of a day of great judgement that would be a time of destruction and desolation of the land. The stars would not shine and the sun and the moon would not give light.

In this pitch-black night of anger, the fierce wrath of the Lord would wreak havoc on the land and bring total catastrophe to the kingdom of darkness.

Joel chapter 2 verse 10 echoes the astronomical signs this way;

Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

The prophet Joel, in Joel chapter 2 verse 3  adds more context to the darkness of the day of judgement by describing a fearsome army that has been prepared for that hour;

Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.

This unprecedented army systemtically overruns the fortified positions of the kingdom of darkness bringing its military capabilities to an abrupt end.

The book of Revelation verses 12 - 13, also mentions this distinctive phenomena;

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

The Apostle John, writing the details of  a vision of the judgement of God that he was shown, brings a broader context to the darkening of the sun, moon and stars.

These phenomena are part of the opening of the sixth seal in a series of seven seals that are opened upon the earth. These seven seals of judgement include the four judgements of the four horsemen, the martyrdom of the saints which is the fifth seal.

The seventh and final seal triggers the judgements of the seven trumpets that the angles blew to first bring hail and fire, then a catastrophic meteor strike on the oceans, then the poisoning of all fresh water, the darkening of a third of the sun, moon and stars, the plague of the scorpion locusts from the abyss, the angelic destruction of a third of mankind and finally, the seventh trumpet which heralds the revelation of Jesus in his glory.

This terrible day of the Lord where His army moves against the kingdom of darkness, is unparralled in all of history and takes its place among the sequence of events that must happen before the God of heaven and earth is revealed in His glory.

Amen. 


Saturday, September 17, 2022

OUR LORD WHO GUIDES US TO RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS NAMES SAKE

Psalm 19 verse 13 says this;

Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

Here, the psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and save him from committing willful sins so that they would not dominate him. If he is kept from willful sins, he reasons, he would avoid committing great transgressions.

Verse 13 asks for help to avoid external sins but the next verse speaks of that which is cultivated in the psalmist's mind. Psalm 19 verse 14 says this;

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

What is in our private words and even in our secret thoughts are always before the Lord and the prayer here is that the God who knows all things would be pleased by the thoughts of our minds and the words of our mouths.

May our outward conduct and our inner lives be pleasing to the Lord our God.

Amen.


Friday, September 16, 2022

THE HEAVENS DECLARE  (Psalm 19)

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF THE LORD

THE SKIES PROCLAIM THE WORK OF HIS HANDS

DAY AFTER DAY WORDS POUR FORTH QUIETLY

NIGHT AFTER NIGHT  KNOWLEDGE SHOWN SILENTLY

THE STARS THROUGHOUT THE EARTH THEY SPEAK

THEIR WORDS THE ENDS OF THE WORLD TO REACH



Thursday, September 15, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO RESTORES US FOR HIS PURPOSES

Jeremiah chapter 15 verses 10 - 12 says this;

Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth, a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!

I have neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me.

The Lord said, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress.

“Can a man break iron—iron from the north—or bronze?

This passage captures a conversation between Jeremiah the prophet and the Lord.

Jeremiah tells the Lord that he regretted being born because the whole land was against him and even though he was not financially entangled with anyone, he was cursed by everyone.

The lord responds to Jeremiah by saying that he would deliver him from his enemies for a good purpose; a time of disaster and distress would come and his enemies would be forced to plead with him.

The Lord asks Jeremiah, can a man break iron from the north? Or Bronze? The question is asking whether men can successfully contend with a person who is protected and  fortified by God.

Even though Jeremiah was among people who sinned, the word of the Lord came to him in Jeremiah chapter 15 verse 19;

Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you  that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.

Bless the Lord who restores us when we repent of our sins so that he can use us for his purposes. We must reflect the Lord and not the people to whom he has sent us.

Amen.


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO RESTRAINS HIS ANGER FOR THE SAKE OF HIS PEOPLE

Isaiah chapter 64 verse 9 (19 X)  says this;

Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever.

Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people.

The prophet Isaiah writes chapter 64 as a representative of God's people asking the Lord for mercy and consideration.

Isaiah, on behalf of God's people, confessed to the wrongdoing they had  participated in.

They had sinned against God and prolonged their sinful activities. They were ceremonially unclean and they got carried away in their wrongdoing and sin and did not restrain themselves.

They did not call upon the Lord nor did they stir in the night to seek fellowship with Him.

As a result, God widthdrew from them and hid His face from them and turned them over to the destructive power of their sin which caused them to wither and decay like a leaf.

After being in this miserable state for a protracted period of time, the people turned to God and ask Him not to be angry without limit and to remember that they were His people.

As they looked at the smouldering ruins of their kingom, they realised that they had neglected the One for whom all the splendor of their kingdom had been built to honor. 

Now, having squandered their favored position with the Almighty, they asked the Lord if He would be able to keep Himself from helping them and if  He would remain silent forever and continue humiliating and oppressing them.

The Lord is great and full of mercy and does not ruin all His people but He does make a distinction between those who serve Him and those who rebel against Him.

As Isaiah chapter 65 verse 14 says;

“Indeed, My servants will shout for joy from a happy heart,But you cry out with a heavy heart, And you shall wail and howl from a broken spirit.

Let us humble ourselves and pray.

Amen.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO PROVIDES WARNING OF THINGS TO COME THROUGH HIS PROPHETS

Joel chapter 1 verse 9 says this;

Grain offerings and drink offerings are cut off from the house of the Lord. The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the Lord.

The grain offerings and drink offerings are no longer coming into the temple because the economy of the nation has fallen under severe judgement and every resource has been devoured and exhausted.

Joel chapter 1 verse 4 puts it this way;

What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; 

what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten;

what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.

The ministers of God lose all the offerings that came into the house of God and they are in mourning.

The land is ravaged by an invader who strips bark off trees with teeth like a lion. All the grain and vines are destroyed along with all the fruit trees. Joel chapter 1 verse 6 says it this way;

A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.

In response to this, the Lord instructs His people to gather in solemn assemblies, to fast, to pray and to cry out to the Lord.

This invader sounds like the invaders from the bottomless pit in Revelation chapter 9 verse 7 - 8 which says;

The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.

The invasion described in Joel chapter 1 is parallel to the woe of the bottomless pit with both having locusts with lion fangs bringing destruction.

In Joel, the locusts focus on destroying the agricultural output of the nation.

In revelation, the locusts are focused on bringing direct harm to the human race by stinging them and making them languish between life and death for 5 months.

Bless the Lord who provides a way of salvation.

Amen.

Monday, September 12, 2022

OUR LORD WHO WAS TEMPTED YET REMAINED PERFECT

Mathew chapter 4 verse 9 says this;

“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

This verse records the words of Satan trying to temp Jesus into doing what was wrong.

Satan had taken Jesus to a very high place and had shown Him all the kingdoms of the world.

Satan then made an offer to Jesus saying that all the kingdoms of the world were his to give to whomever he wanted and he would turn them all over to Jesus and all Jesus would have to do to get the title deed to the earth, would be to bow and worship Satan.

This option presented an easier way for Jesus to gain the kingdoms of the world without dying on a cross for them but this would be a sin against God and if Jesus had yielded to the temptation, it would have made Him a subject of sin rather than master over it and so Satan would have been the ultimate ruler over Jesus and over the whole world.

Jesus, responding to this temptation, quoted scripture in Mathew chapter 4 verse 10, saying;

“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Thus the Lord Jesus rebuffed the tempter with scriptural rebuttals to the logic of sin as He did with all the other temptations brought to Him. 

When the time of testing came, Satan searched and found nothing in Jesus as it says in John chapter 13 verse 30;

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,

Bless the Lord Jesus who remained spotless and perfect as the Lamb of God who would lay down His life for our sins.

Amen.



Sunday, September 11, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOSE KINGDOM WILL THRIVE

Ezekiel chapter 17 verse 3 says this;

Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar, 

Verse 4 continues with these words;

 he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted ij.it in a city of traders.

Verse 7 introduces a second eagle this way;

 “‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.

The prophet Ezekiel was given this parable to give to the people of Israel.

First, there was a great eagle who came to Lebanon and plucked the topmost branch of a cedar tree. He took the sprig and planted it in a land of merchants and traders.

Then there was another great eagle to whom the planted seedling grew toward and it stretched out to him so that it would find water and grow and produce fruit.

The Lord then asked these questions in verse 9, "Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers?"

The Lord explained the parable when no one was able to  understand it.

The first eagle represented the king of Babylon who invaded Israel and took away the nobles of the land back to Babylon. This group of people is  the topmost branch that the eagle plucked and took back to his kingdom where  they were planted to bolster the industry and  commerce of Babylon.

The king of Babylon then took one of the nobles and after signing a treaty, installed him as king of Israel to rule over those who remained there. This noble was the second great eagle who was left to rule over Israel to make it a profitable client kingdom for Babylon.

The second eagle rebelled against the king of Babylon with whom he had a treaty and who had put him on the throne.  He tried to make a treaty with Egypt to get horses and an army to fight off the king of Babylon and declare independence.

The Lord's question in verse 9 was in response to this state of affairs. Would such a rebellious act thrive?

The answer, given by the Lord, was an emphatic, "no". Ezekiel chapter 17 verse 18 says this;

He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Because he had given his hand in pledge and yet did all these things, he shall not escape.

This declaration by the Lord pointed out that the noble of Israel, who was installed as the King of Israel, had signed a formal treaty between himself and the King of Babylon.

For breaking the treaty, the Lord judged the noble and he was taken to Babylon where he was killed.

This uprooting of the rebellious tree in Israel  is contrasted at the end of chapter 17 in verses 22 - 23 with the tree that the Lord Himself planted.

The Lord said that He would pluck the topmost sprig of a cedar and plant it  on a lofty mountain of Israel and it would grow and thrive and bear fruit. 

This tree that the Lord Himself plants will become a splendid cedar  and birds of every kind will find shelter and nest in its branches. Verse 23 says it this way;

On the mountain heights, of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.

This final tree planted by the Lord sounds like the one likened to the kingdom of heaven by the Lord Jesus as described in Mathew chapter 13 verse 31. With Jesus as the subject, the verse says this;

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

 OUR FATHER WHO MADE A WAY FOR US TO HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE IF WE TURN TO HIM

John chapter 3 verse 14 says this;

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

The Lord Jesus, speaking to a teacher of Israel named Nicodemus, told him that the event of Moses lifting up the snake in the wilderness was a prefiguration of the Son of Man being lifted up in the same way.

The recounting of the earlier event described the children of Israel sinning while in the wilderness and they were judged and snakes entered their camp and bit people and made them sick. 

The Lord instructed Moses to make a bronze snake and place it on a pole and then stand the pole up so that people in the camp could see it. Anyone who looked to the snake was healed of the snake bites and lived.

As the Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus, just as Moses lifted up the bronze snake and people who looked to the snake would be healed and not die, the Son of Man, who is described in Daniel chapter 10 verse 6 as having arms and legs like burnished bronze, would be lifted up on a cross and take on the sins of the world and anyone who looked to Him and believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.

Bless the Lord who underwent death on a cross to save us and give us eternal life.

Amen. 

Reference resource: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com


Friday, September 09, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO HOLDS ONLY THE GUILTY TO ACCOUNT FOR THEIR SINS

Ezekiel chapter 18 verse 14 says this;

“But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:

This verse is a bridge between the descriptions of two people: A father and a son. 

The father sinned in aggriegeous ways while his son, having seen the evil things that the father was doing, nevertheless did not do such things.

Should the son suffer judgement for the sins of the father?

In this chapter, the Lord counters the cultural belief at the time that said; "The parents eat sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge". The meaning of this proverb was that the judgements for the unrighteousness of parents were visited on their children.

The Lord, in no uncertain terms, asserts in this chapter that the sins of each person are strictly upon their own head. Righteous fathers do not confer their righteousness on their unrighteous sons and unrighteous fathers do not confer their unrighteousness on their righteous sons.

This clear statement of principle set a  precedent for justice systems up to modern times not to hold family members of a criminal  responsible for infractions committed by that person.

Bless the Lord who wisdom brings justice and fairness.

Amen.



Thursday, September 08, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO GAVE US THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH

Ezekiel chapter 19 verse 4 says this;

The nations heard about him, and he was trapped in their pit, They led him with hooks to the land of Egypt.

The princes of Israel, equated with lionesses in this chapter,  are the spiritual powers and rulers who govern the spiritual Israel and exert influence over the earthly Israel.

These rulers of Israel raised up the nation of Israel to be a powerful and assertive lion but the nations trapped him and led him with hooks into bondage in Egypt.

Seeing their plans wrecked by the enslavement of the one they hoped in, they raised another lion who was powerful and strong and who tore down strongholds  and devastated towns.

The nations also rose up against this lion and trapped Him in nets and this time, held him in bondage in Babylon where he could no longer be heard in the highlands of Israel.

The princes of Israel could not raise a lion to be an overwhelming power and when they tried, they lost their hope to the surrounding nations.

However, the Lion of the tribe of Judah arose by the power of God and conquered sin and death and brought the name of the God of Israel to the whole world.

He ascended into heaven and was given a throne above all thrones and made King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Lord Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is the true hope of the world.

Amen.


Wednesday, September 07, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO WILL BRING THE ULTIMATE VICTORY

Isaiah chapter 7 verse 50 says this;

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

In this passage, the Prophet Isaiah wrote of the judgement that came against the enemies of the people of God.

Those waking in the gloom of darkness saw a great light.

In bringing His people's oppression to an end, their nation enlarged  and their joy increased. They celebrated like those bringing in the harvest and like conquering warriors dividing the plunder.

After the Lord's victory, the government will be on His shoulders and  as it says in Isaiah chapter 9 verse 7;

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. 

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Amen.


Tuesday, September 06, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO BRINGS JUDGEMENT BUT SPARES HIS CHILDREN WHO SERVE HIM

Ezekiel chapter 9 verse 11 says this;

Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded.”

Now the man in linen had been summoned into the spirit along with six other men where they were instructed to carry out tasks by the Lord.

The man in linen was instructed to place a mark on the forehead of all those in the Jerusalem who objected to the detestable things that were being done in the city.

The other men had deadly impliments which they were to use to kill those who conducted  detestable practices in Jerusalem.

The people of Jerusalem had done evil things and denied justice to the afflicted and this prompted heaven to bring  heavy judgement upon them.

Even though Ezekiel fell to ground and interceded for the people of Jerusalem, the judgement was still slated to be carried out.

The man in linen who had the writing kit at his side, returned and said that he had completed the task of marking those who would be spared the judgement of the Lord.

Thus the judgement of God continued on the city and it was at that time that the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and moved to the edge of the city where it stopped at the east gate of Jerusalem.

So evil were the deeds of the people of Jerusalem that a pitiless and deadly judgement was brought upon them and caused the glory of the Lord, which had been above the cherubim in the temple of the Lord, to depart.

A day of dread and grief and mourning.

Amen.

Monday, September 05, 2022

 OUR FATHER WHO FREES HIS PEOPLE FROM THE OPPRESSOR

Isaiah chapter 14 verses 3 - 5 says this;

On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!

The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,

This passage prophesies the reaction that the descendants of Jacob will have when the Lord destroys the power of their harsh oppressors.

They will marvel at how the king of Babylon, who was the author of their suffering and turmoil, was brought to an end and how the rod and scepter of the wicked, that delivered ceaseless blows on them, was broken.

The Lord had compassion on Jacob's descendants and chose them again  and He delivered them out of the hands of those who tormented them and sought to ruin them with relentless aggression.

Amen.


Sunday, September 04, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOSE GLORY LEFT THE TEMPLE WHEN THE ELDERS OF ISRAEL PURSUED IDOLS

Ezekiel chapter 9 verse 3 says this;

Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side

This passage is a somber recounting of what was happening in Israel that caused a great judgement to come to Jerusalem and the glory of God to leave the temple.

In a vision, Ezekiel the prophet was shown the things that were being done in secret that provoked the judgement upon the city and the Lord's departure.

These are the things that the leaders of Jerusalem did: They erected idols to provoke God to jealousy. The seventy elders of Israel offered incense to idols and images of idols in the courts of the temple. The elders also had their personal idols that they worshipped.

The women of Jerusalem were mourning the idol of Tammuz at the north gate of the temple. 

As well, men in the inner courts had their backs towards the temple as they bowed towards the rising sun.

And further to all that, they filled the land with violence and wantonly killed people and filled the streets with blood.

The glory of the Lord rose away from the above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple.

This is the edge of the temple space where the next step is to exit the temple. The Lord, having seen all the things that elders of Israel were doing in secret, began a protocol of the departure of the glory of God from above the ark of the covenant in the most holy place in the temple.

The Lord then called to the man who had a writing implement at his side. The Lord instructed him to mark those in the city who recoiled at the detestable things being done in the city.

As judgement was prepared for the city, the man in linen went and marked each person who would be spared the destruction that the agents of judgement were going to bring to Jerusalem.

The glory of God moved away from the threshold of the temple and stopped at the east gate on the way out of Jerusalem.

The glory of God then went out of the city and stopped above the mountain  east of the city of Jerusalem.

This was how a devastating season of judgement came to Jerusalem and the glory of God left the temple in Jerusalem and finally left the city altogether.

Amen.


Saturday, September 03, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO IS MIGHTY IN POWER

Isaiah chapter 15 verses 3 - 4 says this;

In the streets they wear sackcloth; on the roofs and in the public squares they all wail, prostrate with weeping.

Deshonis and Elealeh cry out, their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz. Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out, and their hearts are faint.

This passage describes the reactions of people when a mighty army overwhelms them and descends on them to destroy them. The outcry is so loud it can be heard from one city to the other and it causes their military to cry out and their hearts to faint.

Isaiah chapter 13 verses 3 - 4  says this;

I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath—those who rejoice in my triumph.

Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together!

The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war.

This passage describes what is happening on the other side of the conflagration. In this case, a mighty army of people who rejoice in the Lord's triumph is being mustered. They gather in fearsome formations and a sound of a great multitude rises.

So on one side, a great and fearless army of those who are follow the Lord arises and  on the other, the forces aligned with darkness tremble in fear as the trained and disciplined army descends on them.

Bless the Lord who is mighty in power.

Amen.




Friday, September 02, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES US ENCOURAGING  MENTORS  

1 Timothy chapter 1 verses 1 - 2 says this;

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 

To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

This introduction by the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy, is a tender greeting of a teacher to his beloved student.

Paul first asserted his own calling and validated it as one both given as a command by God and by Christ Jesus.

He then went on to describe his relationship with Timothy as a father/son bond in the faith. He had seen Timothy converted into the kingdom of God and  Paul had mentored him in the things of the Spirit.

Paul then blessed Timothy by asking for grace, mercy and peace on Timothy from God the Father and from Christ Jesus.

The letter itself continued on with grave issues of doctrine and Christian conduct but its beginning warmly greeted the young man who was being given heavy responsibilities in the body of Christ in keeping with his own calling in Christ Jesus.

For  what Timothy faced in dealing with the issues in the local churches, he needed  mercy, grace and peace from the Lord and his teacher's  blessing and encouragment would also help him to stand firm.

 Amen.



Thursday, September 01, 2022

OUR FATHER WANTS US TO HAVE LOVE FOR OTHER PEOPLE AS HE DOES FOR US

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, having already exposited the nature and function of the inestimable gifts of the Spirit, said this in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13;

And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

Paul went on to say this in chapter 13 verse 1;

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

This 'most excellent way' that Paul wrote about to the  Corinthians was the way of love.

In fact, Paul expressly said that whatever great spiritual gifts a person was able to manifest such as speaking in the tongues of men or angels, without love, all those spiritual endeavors were worth nothing.

Paul compared the supernatural speaking in the languages of men and angels with the annoying clanging of gongs and cymbals if it was practiced with no love for other people. 

In the subsequent verses, the Apostle Paul said that great knowledge and understanding, without love, reduced a person to nothing and those who sacrificed themselves but had no love, gained nothing for their efforts.

Walking in the Spirit, to be of value, must be accompanied by the cultivation of the love of other people even as Jesus set the example for us so that, as it says 1 John chapter 4 verse 19,  we love because he first loved us. 

Faith is what initiates spiritual actions; hope is what sustains spiritual endurance; but seeing how love is what gives meaning and value to any spiritual practice, Paul's conclusion in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 13 is instructive;

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Amen.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

OUR FATHER GIVES US THE POWER TO OVERCOME SIN

1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 2 says this;

And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 

The man to whom the Apostle Paul was referring, was one who was claiming to be a believer while at the same time, conducting an affair with his own father's wife.

The people in the church of Corinth had been tolerant of the man  but Paul was aghast and he excoriated the Corinthians for being proud of their tolerance towards the man's behaviour  while they should have gone into a state of mourning and cut ties with him instead.

Paul took pains to note that there was nothing wrong with believers associating with non-believers who sinned because otherwise, they would have to leave the world to avoid such contact but Paul pressed that believers should not associate with believers who brazenly and unrepentantly  commited egregious sins.

Bless our Lord who gives us the power to overcome sin for He Himself overcame the world

By Jesus' death and ressurection, we can, by faith, die in the flesh with Him and then rise with Him in the newness of life.

Amen.


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO PROVIDES GREAT MIRACLES 

John chapter 9 verses 13 -14, speaking of a miracle that Jesus performed to heal a man who was  born blind, says this;

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath.

This passage captures the moment when the astonishing miracle of a man born blind being able to see came into contact with the religious establishment of the time.

When people who knew the man saw him able to see, they were stunned. They took him to the religious authorities to try make sense of what had happened. 

The religious leaders were split in their understanding of what the miracle meant  as described in John chapter 9 verse 16;

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

This conundrum of who Jesus was vexed the religious leaders because they did not believe in Him but at the same time, there was no easy explanation for the miracles and so some of the religious leaders were more cautious about criticizing Jesus because they did not want to be in direct conflict with God if Jesus was indeed sent by God.

An example of this is when a religious teacher named Nicodemus came to visit Jesus as recorded in John chapter 3 verse 2;

He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Again, the rationale being  brought up is that the miracles being witnessed are so astounding that they can only be accomplished by divine power  and thus any person who is able to perform such miracles must be doing so with the approval of God.

The obverse rationale however, was also brought against Jesus by the religious leaders where the fact that the miracles were done on a Sabbath day when no work of any kind could legally be done. They used this logic to try and besmirch Jesus but earlier in the chapter in verse 4, Jesus hauntingly said;

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work

The Sabbath law strictly forbids anyone from doing work on that day but certain exceptions were made to account for urgent situations.

Prior to the confrontation with the religious leaders, Jesus had declared the urgency of the situation by saying that the window of opportunity to do God's work in the day was still open thus everything that could be done had to be done urgently because night was coming when no one could work. 

Thus the miracle was legally performed and the accusations against Jesus were baseless.

Amen.


Monday, August 29, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO HAS OVERCOME THE DRAGON

Revelation chapter 13 verses 1 - 3 says this;

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. 

The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.

The vision that the Apostle John recorded in this passage is one of the most startling descriptions in the bible.

First, John describes a dragon standing by the sea then he evoques an image of Satan calling forth a beast out of the water.

The beast had ten horns with each horn having a crown.

Horns are generally taken to be symbols of strength or competence and so the beast had ten of these centers of power or special competence. Each horn had a crown which indicates that the strength of each horn was imbued with authority to function unfettered in the realm the beast was given to rule.

The beast is also described as having seven heads which can be understood to be seven beings who run the operations of the beast as a council. Each one of these beings had a name that was blasphemous against God and the whole structure of the beast was designed to be a challenge and an insult to God.

Satan then imbued this administrational entity with power, political rulership over the earth and great authority. This was the same authority he had promised to give Jesus in Luke chapter 4 verses 6 - 7 if Jesus had bowed and worshipped him. As a reminder, the passage reads this way;

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

As the passage continues, one of the members of the council of seven seemed to have the scarring of a fatal wound but somehow had miraculously survived as the wound was seen to be healed. 

The whole world was awestruck by the recovery of the beast and they turned to follow him and people become enamoured by the beast and readily accept his authority over them.

Bless the Lord who has overcome the dragon by the blood of the Lamb.

Amen.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO LIGHTS THE WHOLE WORLD

Genesis chapter 1 verse 3 says this;

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Preceding this statement by God is the prologue of Genesis chapter 1 verses 1 - 2 that says; 

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 

On the first day of creation, against this backdrop of a roiling, pitch-black, water world, God said, "Let there be light."

And there was light.

The dark and foreboding realm of earth suddenly became a bright blue planet bathed in the light that gleamed off the roaring waves that stirred the global ocean.

This first light that poured onto the primordial earth was not from the sun nor from any celestial body but was the light that came from Jesus who is the light of the world.

As John chapter 8 verse 12  says; 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The Lord Jesus is the one of whom Isaiah, in chapter 6 verse 3 wrote;

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

The light of the refulgent glory of the Lord Jesus that filled the whole earth in the beginning of the world will once again light up the earth as it says in the book of Ezekiel chapter 43 verse 2 ;

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory.

Bless the Lord whose glory lights up the whole world.

Amen.


Saturday, August 27, 2022

OUR FATHER  WHOSE REST WE ENTER BY BELIEVING

Hebrews chapter 4 verses 9 - 11 says this;

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

When God finished making the heavens and the earth in six days, He rested on the seventh day from His labours.

When God called the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and into the rest of the promised land, they fell into disobedience and unbelief and it was then that the Lord swore regarding the children of Israel in Psalms 95 verse 11;

So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’

Thus the rest that the children of Israel were being offered but were unable to receive because of unbelief, is still available for God's people  if we sustain a believing heart.

If today we enter God's rest by believing and obeying, we rest from our labour even as God rested from His. We are therefore in a state where we no longer labour but rather we rest from those efforts for our salvation is freely given to us by believing in Jesus Christ.

As the writer of the book of Hebrews says, "Let us make every effort to enter that rest so that we do not perish by following the example of the children of  Israel in the wilderness of  disobedience and unbelief."

Amen.

Friday, August 26, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES HIS PEOPLE RELIEF FROM THEIR SUFFERING

Isaiah chapter 4 verse 11 ( X ) says this;

Isaiah chapter 14 verses 11 -12 says this;

 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!

God's people will be under the oppression of Spiritual Babylon.

The Lord will come our rescue and on that day, God's people will take up a taunt  as it says in verse 4.

The king of Babylon will be crushed for his unrelenting harshness and repeated blows against God's people.

The Lord's people will rejoice at the suddenness and totality of the removal of Babylon and will take up a taunt against Him.

Bless the Lord who rescues us.

Amen.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO REWARDS THOSE WHO EARNESTLY SEEK HIM

1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 15 says this;

If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, told them that the work that they do for the kingdom of God must be built on the true and sure foundation of Jesus Christ.

What is built on this foundation is then measured for quality. Whether the work one does is of gold, silver, gems, wood, hay or straw, these works will be tested by fire and the works that survive the test will be the basis for rewards. 

The works that are destroyed will be to the loss of the ones who did them though they themselves will be saved but only very narrowly.

In Mathew chapter 7 verses 22 - 23, Jesus Himself said that there will be many people who will come to Him on the day of the Lord expecting that the works they did in His name would be the basis for their reward but instead, the Lord will reject  them because He never knew them and because they practiced lawlessness. 

This seems to refer to the fact that the works that were done by them were burned up in the test of fire leaving them with no basis for entering the Lord's reward. The passage reads this way;

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

People will be shocked when they realise that the things they had done in the name of the Lord were considered by Jesus to be acts of lawlessness because they were unauthorized by God and as such, there was no reward. Even though they were saved, they were made to depart from Jesus and they would stay separate from Jesus in eternity. 

This sobering point leads one to ask the question: How can a sincere believer do the work of the kingdom in such a way that it does not burn up in the test?

At least part of the answer to this question must be  in what is said in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6 that reads this way;

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The unequivocal statement, 'without faith, it is impossible to please God', hints that the people whose works were burned up were those who did not have faith because  they did not approach God to seek Him because they did not really believe that He existed nor did they believe that He was a rewarder of those who earnestly sought Him.

They went through the motions of doing things using the authority in Jesus' name to prophesy, cast out demons and do miracles which likely gained them attention and fame but they did so without earnestly seeking the Lord personally and thus they did not know the Lord nor did He know them.

We should seek the Lord earnestly and believe stridently in Him and do the things that He asks us to do believing that He is a rewarder of those who trust in Him and obey Him.

Our works that are done in faith at the Lord's  direction will endure the test of fire for they are initiated and sustained by Him.

Amen.