Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-One


Ezekiel 33:10-16

Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? And you, mortal, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not save them when they transgress; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, it shall not make them stumble when they turn from their wickedness; and the righteous shall not be able to live by their righteousness when they sin. Though I say to the righteous that they shall surely live, yet if they trust in their righteousness and commit iniquity, none of their righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, though I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” yet if they turn from their sin and do what is lawful and right— if the wicked restore the pledge, give back what they have taken by robbery, and walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity—they shall surely live, they shall not die. None of the sins that they have committed shall be remembered against them; they have done what is lawful and right, they shall surely live.

This is a hard text in many ways. It contains a fair amount of judgment, doesn’t it? But for me, the primary takeaway is what I’ve highlighted above: beware of ever trusting in my own righteousness.

We are all prone to this one, I think — at least, I certainly am. I can so quickly began to keep a tally in my head of all the great things I’ve done recently and then hold up that little list before the throne, saying, “See, see?? I’m a good girl. Yes, I am”

Well, yes, that is true. But is it not true because of what I do, but only because of what Christ does in me. Thankfully, God sees my potential! And Jesus came to show us all what grand potential we have, simply because we are children of a good God. And then . . . and then  . . .  Jesus enters the scene, often unexpectedly, even sometimes uninvited, and begins to move things around a little bit on the inside. Remember the old classic, “My Heart, Christ’s Home?” A fine little booklet that uses the picture of our heart as a home, with Christ moving in and cleaning it up for us.

I like that picture a lot! Even when I’m not quite sure I want him to move that particular chair over to that particular corner. . .

Lord of our hearts, Lord of our homes, Help us to welcome you, day after day after day. Help us to give you free rein to do whatever it is that needs doing in us and through us. And then, help us to remember that NOTHING that is fully good and righteous is even possible for us to do without your kind assistance. Thank you!

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  1. Margie Bicknell says

    This reminds me of the bible studies I have attended throughout my life, the repeats of Ephesians, Philippians, and Acts, Romans, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Esther, Psalms…..The first time through, insights, and then you rearrange your mental and heart room. The second time through, more insights, and you realize that what you adjusted before needs more depth or introspection or a clean sweep. The third time through, just when you think you have it nailed, Jesus rearranges not only the chairs, but the lamps, the rug and the books on the coffee table.
    Let me never sit quietly as you rearrange my heart and mind, oh Lord. But let me be still and open hearted once the rearranging is finished, so I can see with new eyes and love with a new heart all that you have placed before me.
    Blessings and shalom for you and you mama.

    • Yup, it takes multiple readings, reflections, experiences to see even parts of the layers contained in our scripture. And it takes multiple life experiences, too. Thanks for your blessings, Margie.