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Monthly Archives: July 2009

A favorite piece of scripture (Hebrews 10:23-26) speaks to me today. On days like today, I am ready to throw in the towel and turn to the perverse ways of this world, not out of temptation but rebellion. There’s anger and discontent in my heart and I know I need Christ more than ever today. Today, more than ever, I need to hold tight to the promise of God. I need to not neglect meeting and communing with those believers that know the truth. I must not deliberately sin. I need to persevere. I need to finish the race (Hebrews 11:40).

As I sit here and ponder these chapters, I am reminded of the truth and the importance it has on all interactions. Misconceptions, deceit, and lies fill this world. Discernment from God and listening to his Word keep us from drifting away (2:1). If we are deceived by the evil one, we may become harden to God. We become exposed to the wrath of God and are subject to this world. Our saving grace is Christ who “understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin,” says Hebrews 4:15. As “he learned obedience from the things he suffered,” so can we. Lord, I pray for maturity in our lives to know what steps to take, what doors to open and what circumstances to avoid.

“I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.” – Hebrews 8: 10

I pray that this be true for us…that Christ’s law of love be written in our minds and on our hearts.  Think of what this world would look like if this were true of us always 🙂

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily , as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”  -Hebrews 3:12-14

How can we better encourage each other?  I too often all my unbelieving heart to believe in the deceitfulness of the lies and half-truths Satan feeds me.  May you be encouraged today to realize that nothing you can think of or fathom has slipped the mind of God.  There is nothing he has forgotten about.  He is faithful and watching over us…directing our steps.  May we be mutually encouraged by each others’ faith and spur each other on to live more faithfully, humbly, abundantly, and obediently in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I started to get antsy reading all of God’s messages and judgment for the nations that surrounded and oppressed God’s people.  Let’s just say, God wasn’t too happy.

It seemed like war was going on everywhere.  Destruction, fire, rape, murder, torture, wailing, tears, blood, dirt, smoke, starvation, greed, power.  Sounds apocalyptic.  It also sounds like today.  Watching today’s news can make me equally antsy.  It seems like all around are depressing stories of horror and affliction.  The difference is, CNN leaves you with the image of bloodshed in Iran.  God leaves the readers and listeners of the book of Jeremiah with hope. After all of his declarations of judment and promises of destruction, God offers hope and restoration.

I am blown away by God’s love.  Despite all the crappy things that go on in this world, God is still trying to use them to make his point and draw us nearer to him.

This is small, but meant something to me. In  Jeremiah 42, the army officers of Judah come to Jeremiah asking him to pray to God on their behalf and ask for direction.

I guess I always assumed prophets had The Big Man on the other end of the prayer phone at all times.  God always hears our prayers and petitions, but we expect that because he hears them right away, that he will answer right away.  Sometimes he has already given us the answer days, months, or years before we made that prayer and were foolish in ignoring his answer because it wasn’t what we wanted to hear.  But God works things out in his perfect timing.

May our impatience slow to a halt and may we not stop all our works for Christ in waiting for one answer.

This section of the book was overwhelming with comfort, challenges, and visions of God’s love and redemption.

29:7- “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city…pray to the lord ofr it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

29:11-“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

29:13-“You will see me and find me when you seek with all your heart.” (DANG!)

31:3-“I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

31:13-“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

31:18-“Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast.”

31:33-“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

31:34-“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

32:17-“Nothing is too hard for you”

32:19-“Great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds”

32:39-“I will give them singleness of heart and action.” (We need to pray for this hardcore)

33:3-“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Read over these passages. Pray over them. And may we reflect the reverence, fear, understanding and love of God illustrated in these verses. May we have singleness of heart and action and pray for God to speak to us.

I have prayed for the past couple of years for the gift of prophecy.  There is a verse (possible several) that speak of praying for spirirtual gifts, and the gift of prophecy is the one that seems most prized.  And it makes sense.  Prophets deliver messages, whether good or bad, to God’s people to guide them in the journey.

As I have been thumbing through Jeremiah, I see how sucky it must have been to be a prophet.  Let’s just say, your spiritual rewards are great, but no one else really likes you.  I can’t fathom the quality of faith it required to stay true to the Lord through all the persecution the prophet Jeremiah suffered.

In chapter 23:28, the Lord says, “Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully.”

Dang.  I have spent more time praying for the gift of prophecy and waiting around for a dream than I have of merely speaking the Word faithfully.  Christ has already spoken.  He is the Word.  What more do I need?  My message has been here all along and it is, “HOLY HOLY HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!”

May we dive deeper into the word and speak it faithfully.

“Can people make their own gods? The gods they make are not real gods at all!”- Jer. 16:20

The literal-ness of this verse distracts us from the figurative-ness. In our country we do not carve cows out of god or statues to bow down to but we worship money, sex, power, thrills, excitement daily. We dress to impress others, buy cars worth more than people’s homes, and scheme to make a buck. Why? Because we created gods in the image we desire. Dang it, recognize that they choices you (I) make today, I will have to answer for tomorrow during judgement. Man up and do right.

Jer. 9:24 “Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

This is what we should boast in. Not position or power, money or wealth. Just that we serve a LORD who is just and righteous. What is unfailing love? It is easier said than done. It is easier to talk about than perform. It is something we preach to others in church but fail to demonstrate in our own homes. Lord I apologize. Please correct me but please be gentle – Jer. 10 24.