The Illness Has A Purpose

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #13:

Ezekiel, chapters 33-34
Job 12
John 10:22-42
1 John 3:1-10

“Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered” (Ezk 34:11-12). It’s amazing that this text in Ezekiel comes in the reading schedule at the same time as John 10.

Behold, the God of the universe: “With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open. If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools. He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips. He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty. He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong. He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away” (Job 12:13-23).

“The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep” (Jn 10:25-26). Belief is apparently something that results not from a certain kind of hearing or a certain kind of preaching but rather a certain kind of BEING.

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1Jn 3:9). “Makes a practice of sinning” is different than simply sinning.

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #14:

Ezekiel, chapters 35-37
Job 13
John 11:1-16
1 John 3:11-18

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them… And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezk 36:22,26-27). Today’s text in Ezekiel brings out themes from previous chapters (The Lord acting on behalf of his name, hearts of stone turned to flesh), and then links the two themes in a cool way. And so, yet again I will pick on the free will folks. Does God’s action in verse 27 threaten the free will of those he is addressing? How can he say that he will CAUSE them to obey?

“Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15). I have heard the first half of this verse quoted many times, as if Job is saying something admirable. Within the context of the second half I’m pretty sure that Job is rather just spewing double talk.

“This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Jn 11:4). The illness… it is FOR something: “that the Son of God may be glorified.”

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1Jn 3:17). Pretty self-explanatory verse. It’s not a popular verse, that’s for sure. But it’s not confusing either. The straightforwardness of it is probably why it isn’t popular.

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