Posts Tagged With: Witness

An Attitude Of Bitterness Is No Excuse.


You know it’s been a while I wrote a blog post, when I had to use my password protect app to locate my WordPress username & password to login 😕

So here I am again, with a quick thought taken from my general reading through the book of Ezekiel. Have I ever mentioned that I love the books of Jeremiah & Ezekiel?

Do I understand everything from them? No…..but the more you read, the more God opens your heart to his Word.

As I read through Chapter 3 of Ezekiel, the verses 12-17 stood out to me. In these verses, you get a glimpse of the attitude of the prophet Ezekiel! Drawing in the immediate context of what is going on at this period, we understand that the captivity of Judah had already taken place; Nebuchadnezzar has besieged Judah & rounded up the choice men & women for Babylon. King Jehoiachin who was the king of Judah at the time, was also taken to captivity, Nebuchadnezzar instilled Zedekiah as the last king of the remnants of Judah. (2Kings 24:10-15)

Ezekiel who was one of the captives of Judah is called of God to be a prophet as he & the captives are dwelling at the river Chebar in the land of Babylon (Ezekiel 1:1-3)

​Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. Ezekiel 1:1-3

The commands of God to Ezekiel are clear,

1: Go preach to my people

2: Warn them to turn back to me

3: Tell them I have not forgotten them

4: Warn other nations of my judgments

Now prior to Ezekiel leaving to preach to the remnant of those captive, this is what is said of Ezekiel in terms of his attitude to the command of God “So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.” Ezekiel 3:14

Now bare in mind, Ezekiel had lived through some of the rebellious years of Judah, & grew up during the reign of King Josiah to Jehoiachin, so he had legitimate reason to be upset with his people for how they had disobeyed God.

Let’s not forget also that God makes it clear to Ezekiel that whilst he will have the ears of the people, they WILL not listen to him “But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.” Ezekiel 3:7

So Ezekiel was aggrieved & bitter in his spirit towards the people, but the Spirit of God was still strong on him as he took him to the captives. Showing that Ezekiel had a heart of obedience, even though he himself did not particularly like the task at hand, nevertheless he obeyed God.

Now whilst Ezekiel left in bitterness & anger to the people, his attitude changed during a period of 7 days as he sat amongst them “Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. Ezekiel 3:15

Ezekiel, once he had been amongst the remnant, no doubt seeing the state in which the people were in, his heart softened to the cause. This reminds me of Christ’s surmisings & compassion he had for the people in Matthew 9:36 that they were scattered like sheep with no shepherd.

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36

Ezekiel would go on for 48 huge chapters obeying God, sometimes undertaking some of the most difficult tasks God had ever given to man, solidifying himself as a great prophet of God & a giant of the faith, but that was not how he started.

All of this to say this one simple fact; sometimes God calls us to obey him, when we may have our own reservations as to why we should not. Maybe a past hurt, or fear, past disappointments, disillusionment, doubts, inadequacy etc but regardless if we have these thoughts, just like Ezekiel, it should not stop us from obeying the command of God, in whatever capacity God has called us to. God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Amen

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No More Heroes?

be-a-heroContinuing the vibe from my last post about reflecting on the past year, I wanted to write this post to discuss a trend which sees no respite as we step into 2014; THE FICTIONAL HERO TREND!!

Goooodnight! We had a plethora of fictional heroes this year to complement last year’s haul of fictional heroes. We had new entries in the Iron Man series, Thor, Wolverine, Superman, Hunger Games to name the big hitters this year. With 2014 looming, there will no doubt be additions to these titles, along with new fictional heroes to add to the foray. Now this post is not really to bash fictional heroes, I just really want to highlight the trend in 2013 on the big screen, and how at times these are the heroes we idolise and attempt to emulate.

This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself if the portrayed hero has inherently good virtues, but it’s a shame that we cannot point to real life people who have done extraordinary or just selfless things and emulate them. They are out there….we just have to read more non-fiction books.

Better yet, many of these heroes on the big screen all have certain attributes that are terribly reminiscent of Jesus Christ, which is one of the reasons I find the cinema boring! You see, regardless of what the anti Christian media would like portray. The character of a hero, in order for it to be successful and resonate with the audience, must have certain key attributes which elevate him above the norm. Characteristics like selflessness, sacrifice, boldness, faithfulness etc. these attributes all but appear in each and every heroic stock character. Add to that the sweeping idea that the said hero was destined for “great things” since childhood, and you have your manufactured  icon, ready for the masses.

The problem is, these are all attempted carbon copies of Jesus Christ…without the spiritual aspect to it or the significance of his death for mankind. They are just hollow examples basically of the holy example. If the heroes we have are only alive in the pages of fiction books or on the big screen, then we are getting watered down versions of a Saviour who is infinitely more greater, whose real life and death is the single greatest heroic story in humanity.

One that has spurred on millions of other non-fiction heroes to pick up their cross and emulate Christ. If we struggle to find real heroes to emulate, why don’t we by emulating Christ’s example of living a righteous life, and obeying him be heroes for the next generation who are quickly growing up in a world where heroes are only within the pages of comic books or fiction books.

Sal

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Witnessing From a Makeshift Barbers Chair!

The definition of a captive audience is a person sat at a barbers chair for 45 minutes! There is no escape! I find myself as the definition of this form of captivity at least once a month, as I go to have my hair trimmed by an elder gentlemen I have known for the better part of 3 years now.

He does not cut hair as a business anymore, so whenever I need a haircut, I have to cycle to his house, where he sets up his kitchen with bedroom mirrors and places a firm chair in-between the mirrors to get every angle of my head. Continue reading

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