Today I started reading in Ezekiel 3 and I came across this little gem:
17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die ford his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. 20Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. 21But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”
I have heard this preached a couple of times but always in a context to stir fear so that I would go out and knock on doors or stand on a street corner and try to rescue those passing by form the fire. That may have even worked in a time where morals and character where something to be expected; sadly that is no longer true in this society. How many times have I heard all politicians lie or what’s in it for me? When and why has that become acceptable? Now I am told evangelism has changed because people are busy and don’t want strangers encroaching on their down time but that is not what I see. The switch is in what stands out in society and I am bothered by the facts that being kind and truthful are the things people notice and wonder about. The commandment to go still applies and hell is still a real punishment and I will stand before God and give an account of every spoken word, (that in its self is terrifying), so how do I live and stand out to the people around me. Through the years God has brought many ladies into my life and the most common thread is always the same we are all looking for love and acceptance but who among us can live up to the expectations of the perfect woman? The answer is always none. We are one body, the bride of Christ, so in completeness we are perfect!! With that I am wondering how much of societies values become the norm in church and not God’s word? Ephesians 4:
17Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22to put off your old self,f which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil. 28Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you
The only answer and hope for reaching the next generation is letting God be first and living what I say I believe fearlessly. Will I be judged by others that forget “love your neighbor as yourself” yes, but should I remember “love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind and soul”? God has called me and His church to look for the beauty in others, forgive their shortcomings, and let Him be my only judge. My society looks at vulnerability as a weakness but it truly is the first step in connection, in learning empathy for others, and for being set apart and that takes courage. So the answer to who will go first “hear am I Lord send me” it truly is a small sacrifice considering what I have received. “The Lord is my God”, and I am His.