This week I decided to sort through all my “stuff” in the walk-in closet, going through the clutter and no longer needed clothing for a fresh start in the new year. It’s a rotten job, but someone’s gotta do it!
I grabbed what I thought was an empty SHOE BOX tucked behind some old sweatshirts hanging up that I’ll never wear again and when I removed the lid from the shoe box–SURPRISE!
Inside was a wrinkled twenty-dollar bill staring at me. “How did THAT get in there?” A better question might have been, “How did I forget that it was there, and was I getting forgetful in my old age? A lost twenty-dollar bill?” And, was what I found in the shoe box even salvageable–would anyone still accept what I found in this condition?
A Lesson Learned!
The next day while reading God’s Word in my bible, I asked the Holy Spirit, “Might there be a hidden message for me in that forgotten shoe box?” I often get ideas for Blogging For God with questions that arise in my daily walk with Jesus. How about you?
HEAVENLY ANSWER: If I tried to alter what I found in the shoe box, it may no longer be accepted and would be worthless.
- God’s WORD is worth much more than the twenty dollars. Altering it can cost many people Heaven itself!
- Unaltered, that WORD will accomplish what God wants.
BIBLE TEXT: EZEKIEL 2:1-5 New Living Translation (NLT):
 “STAND UP, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.”
 The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.  “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day.  They are stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’  And whether they listen or refuse to listen–for remember they are rebels–at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.
AS CHRISTIANS, you and I need to see ourselves as much a sinner as those outside the church environment to whom we can speak God’s WORD. And when we do get the Holy Spirit opportunities to speak God’s Word, we need to fight against every ounce of self-righteousness in ourselves. Maybe we haven’t committed exactly the same sins, but your sins and mine are just offensive against God as their sins, if not more so since we ought to know better.
HUMBLY see your SIN and then see JESUS, your Savior, who takes away your SIN.
Maybe the idea of the SHOE BOX might help you, as it did me, to be HUMBLE in speaking God’s Word. The shoe box isn’t worth anything–it’s easily crushed.
What gives the shoe box value is what is inside. Apart from God, we are but empty shoe boxes–worthless, and powerless.
BUT GOD has placed His WORD into your heart. As you speak that Word, HUMBLY remember that your strength comes from the Lord, not from yourselves.
WE ARE JUST SHOEBOXES! SPEAK His Word Faithfully, Knowing It Will NOT FAIL!
What God said proved to be TRUE.
The people would know that the prophet was speaking for God when the WORD came true. That’s what God tells him, “And whether they listen or fail to listen–for they are a rebellious people–they will know that a prophet has been among them (Ezekiel 2:5 NIV).
Many would REJECT Ezekiel’s message, but he wouldn’t change it to make it sound more acceptable to the people.
There’s a principle for churches today to glean from and the New Testament gives a great reminder and a WARNING:
2 Timothy 4:3-4 New International Version (NIV)
 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
How do we do that?
Through reading your Bible, coming to worship, joining a bible study group, and… keep on learning more and more what God’s Word has to say.
Don’t give in to pressure compromising God’s Word, because someone might not like it.
UNALTERED, that WORD will accomplish what God wants!
SPEAK HIS WORD FAITHFULLY!!!
Finally, SPEAK GOD’S WORD BOLDLY–
The LORD wants us to SPEAK His Word BOLDLY!
He makes it plain to Ezekiel that he will face opposition. The LORD tells him,
(Ezekiel 2:4 AMP)
 And the children are impudent and hard of heart.
I send you to them and you shall say to them,
‘Thus says the Lord God.’
Knowing this ahead of time, it still didn’t stop Ezekiel. He was to speak God’s WORD BOLDLY, regardless of the circumstances.
So, what gave Ezekiel the BOLDNESS to speak?
I have asked myself the same question after SHARING Christ with others: “Where did I get the “boldness” at that specific moment? And I always receive the same answer from the Holy Spirit–
(Philippians 2:13 AMP)
 “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who
is all the while effectually at work in you [ener-
gizing and creating in you the power and desire],
both to will and to work for His good pleasure
and satisfaction and delight.”
As fellow Christians, we are bold to speak because we KNOW His Word won’t fail.
ISAIAH 55:11 says it best:  “so is my WORD that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I declare and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
This should give us BOLDNESS even in the face of surrounding opposition and rejection. There had been many times that opposition and rejection intimidated me when opportunities to share God’s Word arose. My confidence began to dwindle, fear would begin to raise its ugly head…and then I would remember the words in Philippians, “Not in your strength for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you…”
Each one of us, in our own private lives, has been CALLED OUT of the darkness of SIN to FAITH in Christ Jesus. So, SPEAK HIS WORD!
With your TRUST in the Lord and the AUTHORITY, He has given each one of us as believers the CONFIDENCE to SPEAK HIS WORD!
Let me leave you with this message found in 2 Corinthians 5:20 in the New Living Testament (NLT):
 So we are Christ’s AMBASSADORS; God is making his
appeal through us. We SPEAK for Christ when we plead,
“Come back to God!”
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV) and the Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.
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