Repent and Live!

I finished reading Ezekiel this week, and while most of it was obscure and almost incomprehensible for me, there is one theme I saw over and over which is God’s heart towards his people and sin. One question I think about that I’ve heard from people who doubt God and question him is the idea that God is not good because he sends people to hell or that maybe God even delights in sending people to hell, or at least doesn’t mind. Then those people stray away from God. I mean if God delighted in the death of the wicked, I think I would be hesitant too. Seems a little twisted.

However, that’s actually not how God feels at all.

Ezekiel 18:23-32. You can see that what God delights in, is not in the death of the wicked or unrighteous, but rather he delights in those wicked and unrighteous people repenting.

He asks (vs 23) “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? […] Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Then he goes on to declare about how if righteous people pursue wickedness they will not live, but if the wicked turn from their evil deeds and pursue righteousness they will live... so may we always pursue righteousness! 

And then “Therefore, oh house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “Repent! Turn away from your offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone. Repent and live!”

God is not concerned with our list of acts of wickedness or righteous deeds. He concerned about our heart of repentance. That we would turn from our offenses and not allow sin to cause our downfall.

I don’t know how you come to the Lord today. Whether you are burdened with guilt from your sins or wallowing in self righteousness and pride, but what God wants for you is to continually come back and turn from your sin, to leave it behind, and to look towards Jesus to give you a new heart and a new spirit.

It’s interesting to think about how these verses apply today since most people think that accepting Christ once is all it takes, as if you don’t have to listen to God’s word any more now that you’re saved. We’re righteous now right, covered by the blood of the lamb? I might encourage you to stop and think about your salvation if you’re not living a life with a repentant attitude. Verse 24 says “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.” Are you a “righteous” man and doing wicked deeds and not looking to Christ and the Holy Spirit to help you overcome? You just may die. And I mean that to question how seriously you’ve taken your salvation and to encourage you to reconsider what you’re living your life for. There will be more hope for a wicked man who repents than that righteous man who continues in wickedness, trusting in his own righteousness (Ezekiel 33:13).

And God pleads with you “Why will you die?!”

So repent, repent and live! And trust in the righteousness of the Lord!


The Glory of Zion


We have walked these crooked roads
and we have known no paths of peace.
Justice is a distant thought
and righteousness we cannot keep.

Darkness has come upon us, all around
though a brightness we hope to seek.
But fearfully we grope as blind,
stumbling we cannot see.

We are crawling, growling bears
moaning mournfully like doves.
Waiting for a day of justice,
waiting for when our salvation comes.

But it seems too far away.

We acknowledge our iniquities
our rebellion and our treacheries.
Our many sins that block out truth and honesty.
Uttering lies our hearts conceive.

Who will intervene?

Arise, shine, for your light has come.
His own he will redeem.
His glory, the Lord, rises upon you,
and darkness will not be seen.

Lift up your eyes and look about you.
Come near, even if you’re now afar.
Look and see your radiance beaming;
darkness covered by the blood of God.

Arise, shine, for your light has come.
Jesus, with power, has redeemed.
With joy your heart will swell and throb,
proclaiming His glory, the Risen King!

My Porcelain Wall

This was going to be a song, and then it turned into a long poem, and now I think its more of a short story… but a true story of my life that comes from Isaiah 30:12-22 and details my sin in doubt and unbelief and the mercy of the great High Priest who for some reasons always comes to rescue me. His reason is love, but I have yet to understand it. Hope you enjoy it!

I’d been building these wall bricks at a time. I thought they were special; made of porcelain.
Someone suggested I’d stop because of the carcass I’d started enclosing in.
Be careful of the sin it will bring and the doubt it will king. You’ll get used to the flavor and all the songs it will sing
will erase all memory of any bleeding savior. The stench becomes spice and further away falls the meaning of life: to die is gain, to live is Christ.

But these porcelain bricks built up so nice.

Once my walls were built complete, I sat on my throne; proud, a king.
My fears were safe, my memories in keep… no one disturbed
yet there was no peace and there was somebody screaming “I want to be free”.

I started searching for this little lost soul held captive inside.
I began roaming my kingdom, just hoping to find
from where they were hiding and why from my eyes.
This is the kingdom I built, you’d think I would know every crevice, every hole.
Yet, there were those places I was unwilling to go.

While I was searching someone knocked on my gate and asked if they could help me find my soul.
Being afraid to admit my weakness, hidden, He stayed outside my porcelain wall.
His voice was gentle, but I couldn’t give in, not with the missing soul within.
He may have come back, day after day, leaving with warning; but, the speaking was screaming and I knew not the way.

So in a pile of shame I started digging a grave.

This neighbor approached me as a friend a long side me.
His name was company and the sweet words he spoke to me slowly made me forget.
I could no longer hear screaming, knocking or fear or remember the taste of regret.
So I delve into his presence, growing weak in my sentence as king,
unaware of the knocking, unaware of its stings.

My porcelain walls began cracking, my kingdom was shattering. My friend led me to a mirror too see the king that I was
was now this monster too fat to protect all the sin I’d kept in.
The pounding was louder, fear encroached on my friend who’d left me to tarry- and no friend he was
so the screaming began much louder than ever.

I could hardly move to find these fetters until the shattering glass began
to cut my skin, releasing this monster, releasing this king
who’s face beheld every picture of loneliness, doubt, and sin
to die in the ground and never seen again.

Once the dust had scattered from my shattered high porcelain wall,
a figure before me gently emerged, holding out his hand and not speaking a word.
No words of condemnation, no nods of grief.
I knew from His face and I believed from His side,
it was the little girl He heard screaming inside “I want to be free”
so quiet, so weak that He had come now to take hold of and release.
We walked out together, porcelain crackling beneath our feet like old, dried up autumn leaves
but had really been melted beneath the summer heat, and covered in snow by the one who redeems.
And yet treasures in broken jars of clay are all of we.