Bible Reading: Ezekiel 38

“I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.” – Ezekiel 38:23 NASB

In the 37th chapter of his book, Ezekiel described how the Spirit of the LORD “set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.” There God showed him important things that eventually would take place on the earth. He talked about dry bones, saying that breath would enter these bones and they would come to life. All of this would happen that “you will know that I am the LORD.” There’s no question of what God meant, for He stated that “these bones are the whole house of Israel.” Yet, for centuries, many people felt certain that this prophecy could not literally be fulfilled. Israel had not been a nation for many centuries, and no one could imagine the possibility that it would become a nation again. But, in our time, the “impossible” has happened, and Israel has been reborn as a nation. The prophecies of Ezekiel and other Biblical writers have been literally fulfilled. Today, God continues to fulfill His Word in ways that sometimes are surprising. People may doubt that His Word is true. They may defy Him and deny that He is God. But, as He told Ezekiel, the day will come when everyone “will know that I am the LORD.” God will act in sovereign ways to demonstrate that He is who He says He is. If you believe the Bible, you know this will happen—the only question is when. In your life, remember to trust in God and His Word. Remember that someday, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess “that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). Make sure He is the Lord of your life today.

Second Chances

Bible Reading: Luke 17

“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” – Luke 17:3 4 NASB

Born in Moscow in 1821, Fedor Dostoevski became one of the world’s most influential novelists. But his life almost ended before his writing career was recognized. In 1849, he was arrested and imprisoned along with others suspected of having radical ideas. Previously, he had advocated radical, socialistic ideas. But while in prison, he has a crisis of faith and embraced Christianity.

After spending four years in prison, Dostoevski was sentenced to be shot. Then, a miracle took place and at the last minute, his life was spared. This experience changed him in many ways. He realized that he had been given a “second chance” and dedicated himself to fulfilling his God given potential.

God wants us to realize that He is a God of “second chances.” If we have sinned or made mistakes in our lives, He offers the opportunity to be forgiven, if we will just confess our sins (1 John 1:9). In the same way, we must be willing to forgive others and give them a second chance. But, in every area of our life, God also offers each of us the opportunity to start afresh. He can open up new doors, turn defeat into victory, and even create a way in the wilderness where there did not seem to be a way (Isaiah 43:19-20).

Today, ask God to help you become sensitive to sin. Confess your sins, and receive His freedom. Remember to forgive others who might have sinned against you. And don’t give up if you have experienced failure or frustration. Trust God! He can turn your defeats into victories!