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Sunday December 9 – Refined to be a blessing

I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. – Ezekiel 37:26

Scripture reading: Ezekiel 37:15-28

Sometimes when God punishes us, we wonder if God still cares or if He can still use us. The Bible has wonderful accounts of God showing He cares for His people, even though He punishes them.

When God sent His people out of the promised land and exiled them to Babylon, He was punishing them; however, at the same time, He was refining them so that He could bless them and make them a blessing to the world.

In the early chapters of Ezekiel, God tells His people that He would allow the temple to be destroyed and, in a way, temporarily abandon them because of their wickedness. Yet, God said He would make an everlasting covenant of peace with them. God was promising that, from their suffering, He would raise them up in order to bless them and fulfill His promises through them. He would do this in order that they would be a blessing to the world and increase in number. In this way, the nation of Israel foreshadowed what Jesus would do in His earthly ministry. God punished His Son with death on the cross and raised Him up so that through Him people from all over the world would be blessed.

If you believe that Jesus died and was raised for you, you have peace with God. Ezekiel’s prophecy has also been fulfilled in you. But God is not finished fulfilling this promise; He is still increasing the numbers through His people. Therefore, you are to have an urgency to work for the increase of His Kingdom by being a salt and light in your community.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would be used to spread the gospel so that the great harvest would continue to be gathered in.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Richard Bultjes is pastor at a church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, called River of Life.

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