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Your Own Heart First

Your Own Heart First

28 August 2009

Scripture:

10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.” (Ezekiel 3:10-11 NLT)

Ezekiel had been carried away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon along with Daniel and many others just over ten years earlier. When Ezekiel reached age 30, God began to speak to him with important messages for God’s people.

God required Ezekiel to not only speak, but to act out his warnings to the people. Ezekiel was often isolated by the demands of his calling and was certainly not a popular speaker on the conference and convention circuit!

God told Ezekiel to first let the messages sink deep into his own heart before he preached them to the people. I think this strongly influenced Ezra, a young priest born in exile, whom God used almost fifty years later to lead the first wave of exiles returning to Jerusalem when Jeremiah’s “seventy years” prophecy was fulfilled.

Ezra was successful in leading the exiles to Jerusalem from Babylon for the “gracious hand of his God was on him.” This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the law of the Lord and to teach those laws and regulations to the people of Israel. (Ezra 7:10 NLT)

Whatever God has for you and me to say or do to influence others, we must let his Word and his words sink deep into our own hearts first. We must listen to God carefully for ourselves first. Like Ezekiel and Ezra, we must first study and obey the words of God ourselves before trying to preach them or teach them to others.

Prayer:

Father, Whether your Word and your words are sweet or bitter to my taste, I determine to eat them, to let them sink deep into my own heart first. I purpose each day to listen carefully for myself to hear and to obey. Then let me graciously and humbly pass on to others the truth I’m learning to live. Amen.

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