Isn't it awesome to serve a God who is totally fair, honest, and true to His word? Okay, maybe it is not so fun sometimes to be on the "fair" side of God's discipline for us, but at least we know that He loves us and is doing it for our own good.
In Ezekiel 36, God finally has some good news for Israel in that He is going to restore them. Again, I note that the reason for God restoring them to the promised land and promising to wipe out their enemies is not because they had been so wonderful. (If you need a refresher, just read Isaiah, Jeremiah & earlier in Ezekiel). He restored them for His name's sake! See Ez 36:22-23 (NKJV) below:
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord," says the Lord God," when I am hallowed in you before their eyes."
I thought of how Jesus died for me and cleansed me from all my sin even though I didn't deserve it when I read this passage. Titus 2:3-5 tells me as a woman to behave in a way that is holy so that I don't make God look bad - so I don't blaspheme the Word of God.
Lastly, the good news is that we don't have to try to live perfect lives on our own power. Through Jesus, we have access to the ultimate Power Source - God. Here's what He told Israel:
Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesth. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Thank You Lord, for the reminder that I do not have work at this holy life in my own strength! It is truly all about You!