Author Archives: cazehner

About cazehner

I'm a woman who loves God's Word, the Bible. And I love sharing what it is God reveals to me through his Word. I pray that everything I write is consistent with Scripture, and that everyone who reads this blog will be drawn closer to the Savior. I am praying for you.

September 3; Don’t Assume

Daniel 8:1-27, 5:1-31, 9:1-27; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23

I’m very thankful for the truth God laid on my heart yesterday. He is such a patient God. He’s always working in hearts, always revealing Himself in so many ways every day. And He lovingly breathed His Words into what we call the Bible to encourage us, convict us, give us hope, and warn us about the price of disobedience. He laid it all out there so there would be no question.

Yesterday we saw God warn Nebuchadnezzar, then gave the king a whole year to come around. When the king still refused to repent, the events God had warned him about came true, and Nebuchadnezzar paid the price for rejecting God.

Today God is reminding me another aspect of His Holy judgment. Nebuchadnezzar’s son was king now. Belshazzar, like his father, defied God, worshiped idols, and “set (himself) up against the Lord in heaven.” (Daniel 5:23)

So God warned him in a very direct, very dramatic way. God wrote the writing on the wall. “You are going to lose, Belshazzar.” And that very night, Belshazzar died. The end. The beginning of a devastating eternity without God.

Here is where God has directed my thoughts this morning; He has revealed Himself to every one of us whether or not you want to acknowledge that, so that no one has an excuse. No one can say they didn’t know He is God. He has even put in writing His demands and His plan of rescue. God is very clear: it’s His way or we pay severe consequences. Let there be no misunderstanding. He will be worshiped.

And as patient as God is, there comes a time when He gives people what we want. You want an eternity with Him? Accept His Son and you’ve got it. But if you want life without Him, He’ll give you that. And you’ll be without Him for eternity, too.

Here is a stark reality: God did give Nebuchadnezzar a year to humble himself after the warning. Belshazzar wasn’t given a year to obey. He died that same night God wrote the warning on the wall.

Friend, you aren’t guaranteed a year, a month, a day, not even a next breath. The fact is God has been tugging at your heart, maybe shaking your shoulders trying to get you to look at Him, to hear and accept Him on His terms. You have been warned about what is ahead.

Don’t assume you have time to listen to Him later. You have this minute. Right now.

I certainly don’t know your heart. But if you have been putting off obeying God, hear Him today tell you how much He loves you, that He died to save you. Hear Him tell you you are lost without Him, that there is no other way. No other way. Humble yourself. Ask Him to forgive you. Repent of your sin and invite Him to be Lord of your life.

Don’t assume you have tomorrow.

September 2; True To His Word

Daniel 4:1-37, 7:1-28; 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34

It wasn’t like he hadn’t been warned. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream, and the interpretation to Daniel. In essence, God told the king to repent. And if he refused to repent, he would lose everything.

Nebuchadnezzar didn’t repent. He was prideful and self-satisfied, and he liked it that way.

Now here’s what spoke to me this morning. God gave the king a whole year to repent. I’m thinking the man must have thought about what Daniel had told him during those twelve months. He’d already seen proof of God’s power before, so it wasn’t like he could just blow it off.

But a year after his dream, Nebuchadnezzar lost everything because he didn’t heed God’s warning. He lost his kingdom, his wealth, and his sanity. God was true to His Word.

The truth is, God is always throwing out warnings to people. We hear the urgency in His voice as we read His Word. We see His fury in a storm. We witness his tenderness and mercy in the face of a new born baby, and in the face of a new born Christian.

And God is patient. He will continue to work to get our attention, to demonstrate that He alone is worthy of worship. Do not take Him lightly.

Daniel had told Nebuchadnezzar that eventually the king would bow down to God. And after seven years of living like a wild animal, Nebuchadnezzar did just that.

God will be worshiped by you, too. Philippians 2:10-11 tells us ,”that one day, at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

One day you will know God is True, that Jesus is the Christ, and that He was trying to get you to love Him all your life. I pray you will come to that belief during this lifetime, before you look into His eyes for the first time. I pray that when you do bend your knee on that day in acknowledgment of the truth and glory of God, you will do it out of a heart that has been redeemed by Jesus’ blood, and not out of a heart that refused to accept him while you had a chance.

Please heed God’s warnings. He is true to His Word.

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Another hurricane, another evacuation from this island. Please continue to pray for all who are in the path of Dorian. We thank you.

September 1; The Lord Is There

Ezekiel 47-48, 29:17-30:19

God has one goal. Whether He is fighting monsters or positioning city gates, if he’s doling out acreage or making salt water sweet, He is revealing Himself to the world. He is reaching out to the only part of creation created in His image.

Us.

God can be seen in every circumstance of life. He can be seen in nature. He can be seen in a transformed life, or in the peace an aged saint has at the end of life. God wants us to know Him.

I love that the city in Ezekiel’s vision is named: The Lord Is There. I believe that’s what He wants us to know yet today.

I pray you will not miss the many ways God is revealing Himself to you every day. If you are His child through the blood of Jesus, He wants you to know Him better and better. If you have not yet accepted His grace, He wants you to know Him for the very first time.

Look around. The Lord is there.

August 31; Every Day

Ezekiel 44-46

I can’t read about the rules God gave Israel for worship and sacrifices for sin without thinking about all that blood. Especially when I understand none of that blood could do what Jesus did when He shed His own blood on the cross. I hope I never read passages like these in Ezekiel without stopping to thank God for His Son.

But God laid something else on my heart this morning. The sacrifices I read about here in Ezekiel occurred every day. Every day bulls and goats and lambs were laid on the altar of sacrifice. Every day.

There are things I do every day. Shower, eat, brush teeth, get dressed, read my Bible. But then I pretty much spend the rest of the day doing what I want to do – or not doing what I don’t want to do. I’m retired. What can I say?

This morning God is asking me what kinds of sacrifices I make in my worship of and service to Him. Not sacrifices to gain His forgiveness or approval, but sacrifices in response to the sacrifice Jesus paid for me.

Maybe I should get in the habit of laying my day on the altar, and let God have it. Maybe I should give my day to God, then be sensitive and obedient when He nudges me toward serving Him. Maybe I shouldn’t spend my day doing what I want to do, but doing what He wants me to do.

Every day.

August 30; The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Ezekiel 40:28-43:27

There is so much symbolism in the description of the temple in Ezekiel’s vision. This temple that represents worship, the church, you and me, and reveals God’s grace is intricate and beautiful. But today the thing that stood out to me is Ezekiel’s description of God.

Ezekiel heard the voice like the roar of rushing water, saw a radiance that lit up the whole land. I love that our Savior Jesus, during His earthly ministry, described Himself as the Living Water, and the Light of the World. Coincidence? I think not!

God’s glory filled the temple and He told Ezekiel, “This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.” Doesn’t that thrill your soul? We, as God’s children here in 2019, are God’s address on this earth. I am overwhelmed!

The Triune God is in these verses. God, who speaks from within the temple, the Spirit who lifted up Ezekiel, and Jesus who stood beside Ezekiel tell me that God lives in me, directs me, and stands with me as I am obedient to Him. I praise Him.

Today I want to just meditate on the fact that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are here right now in this room where I sit. I want to enjoy His Presence, to be in this moment, to worship Him like He deserves to be worshiped . I want to love Him, and tell Him so.

August 29; Saving Grace

Ezekiel 31:1-33:20, 40:1-27

God tells us, “The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys…” (33:12) That’s an important truth. It would be like getting stopped for speeding. The officer walks up to your car window and asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No, sir, I don’t.”

“Well, Ma’am, you were going 60 in a posted 35 MPH zone.”

“My bad,” you reply. “But last year I made dinner three times for people in my church who had surgeries.”

What are the chances the policeman would ignore your offense just because you did some good things in the past? Not likely.

Verse 12 goes on to say, “and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it.” In fact, God later says this:

None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live. (verse 16)

Sometimes I think we need to be reminded of both these truths. First, we need to know and understand that no amount of good deeds will ever earn us a free pass when we disobey God. Our past righteousness is unable to save us.

But neither is our past sin able to condemn us once we’ve asked God to forgive us. I think that’s often the harder of the two truths to grasp. God will never use the sins washed by Jesus’ blood against us at any time. Ever.

We remember our past – but God forgets our past when we repent, when we turn from our sin. That promise is straight out of God’s mouth. Those sins are buried in the deepest sea as far as God is concerned. Gone. Forgiven. It cost Jesus a lot to make that happen. But He did make it happen.

God is reminding me today that Satan is a master at throwing up our past sins, to keep us chained to the past, ineffective in service to God when we let our past paralyze us. Guilt over a sin God has forgiven is a feeling that doesn’t come from God.

Our past has shaped us into the people we are today. Even our past sins have contributed to who we are, and can be instrumental in how we are used by God to reach others. But I believe God would have us consider our past forgiven, our lives redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

I believe God would have us repent, allow Him to forgive our sins, then have us move on from there to serve Him without guilt, without apology, without hesitation as people who can’t do enough for the One who has saved them.

Have you sinned? Ask God to forgive you. He will. Then move on and be the man or woman God can use to lead others to His saving grace.

 

 

August 28; Spiritually Speaking

Ezekiel 37-38

God is speaking to Gog, an enemy of Israel. He tells the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal that He is going to bless His children. The Jews will live in peace, have riches livestock and goods – and Gog won’t be able to handle it.

In fact, God who sees the future, sees Gog look at the blessings that are Israel’s and an evil thought will come to his mind. His jealousy will reveal itself in an attack on the Jews. God tells the enemy prince that will cost him his own life.

It’s true that when some people see others prosper, jealousy and anger rear their ugly heads. The blessed become a target, “If I can’t have those things, neither can they.”

Now as often happens, God diverts my attention from the material to the spiritual when I read His Word. Spiritually speaking, God blesses His obedient children with peace and joy the world cannot understand. Our genuine smiles are like salt in wounds to people who are holding onto their sin, and are under the convicting hand of God.

Their attempt to drag us down to their level might start out as name calling: “Goody Two-Shoes,” or “Holier Than Thou.” It might progress to slander when they call us bigots, racists, homophobes. It can escalate to lies, law suits, discrimination, even bodily harm because unhappy people resent happiness in others.

Jesus said we can expect to be hated because people hated Him, too. Hated. Not ignored or disliked. Hate is a powerful, active emotion that leads to trouble. Expect it.

But God also has laid on my heart this: if we are genuinely His, God will fight our battles for us and we will have the victory. He will never leave or forsake us, we will continue with His peace and joy and strength and love no matter what is thrown at us.

However, if we are hated because we are hypocritical, untouchable, unloving, then their hatred of us just might be the discipline God will use to get our attention and draw us back to Him.

Spiritually speaking, we are in a war zone. Spiritually speaking we are targets of the enemy. And spiritually speaking, we who know the Lord are on the winning side.