I love reading the prophetic books of the Bible. If you want to be inspired by people who were willing to do absolutely anything for God, read the prophets (Isaiah – Malachi); God asked them to do some difficult and crazy stuff. One of my favorite prophets to read is Ezekiel and recently I started reading his book again.
Just a quick note: If you’ve never read any of the prophetic books before but you’d like to, I recommend starting with one that’s slightly easier to understand, like Isaiah, Jeremiah or Daniel. Ezekiel is heavy on symbolism and can be one of the more difficult prophetic books to read. It also helps to read prophetic books from an easy-to-read translation or paraphrase Bible like the New Living Translation.
As I began reading, I came across an important message in Ezekiel chapter 3,
Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from Me, warn people immediately. If I warn the wicked, saying ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved your life because you obeyed Me (Ezekiel 3:17-19, NLT).
Do you see what God is telling Ezekiel? If God gives Ezekiel a message for the people and Ezekiel fails to deliver the message, people will die and God will hold Ezekiel responsible for their deaths! At first glance, this seemed very unfair to me. What if something really important happened and Ezekiel just wasn’t able to get the message delivered?
Then God reminded me of His priorities with a simple question. Is there anything more important to God than the hearts of people He created out of love? The answer is simple: No. There’s nothing more important to God than the hearts of people; that’s why 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. Some people may choose to ignore the message, but God wants everyone to at least have the chance to hear the message.
In the Old Testament, Ezekiel’s warnings had an impact on the physical life or death of the people to whom he prophesied. Something similar is true for us today. The responsibility to spread the message that God has entrusted us with is ours and the eternal life or death of others rests on our decision to deliver a timely message.
It might feel like there are some things more important to us than spreading the gospel, calling people to repentance and keeping God’s people accountable in righteousness, but I can assure you girls, there’s nothing more important to God. That’s why it’s so important to be obedient when God asks you to do something, even if it’s scary.
Girls, have you ever shared the gospel with someone?
Jesus came and told His disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:18-20).
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