Friday, April 4, 2008

Words of Encouragement

Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? – Jeremiah 7:8-10

The Message. The Prophet Jeremiah – God’s judgment. If you have ever read the book of Jeremiah, you know he continued to give the same type of message again and again to the people of God, yet they would not listen. Instead of listening to Jeremiah, they continued to do as they were doing.

The question Jeremiah asks in this scripture is how long will you continue to trust in words that will not profit. How long will you run after things of the flesh and then come into the house of God as one that should be clean? How long will the flesh be able to rule is the question Jeremiah is asking the people of this time.

There is a message for us today in the words of this prophet. He talked about the judgment of God coming upon the people because they refused to turn to God and away from those things that were an abomination to God. Are we hearing the call today? Are we sitting Sunday after Sunday but not really walking away with a clearer understanding of the message of God? Or a changed life?

God’s message for yesterday, are clearly messages for today. God is still calling for us to be willing to be messengers of righteousness. Just as God called Jeremiah from his mother’s womb, he is so calling us today. Just as he sent word of the promises of Jesus as the savior through the prophet Isaiah, those promises are still for us today. The savior is still the savior today. Jesus is still the only way that we can have power over the flesh so that we do not sin against God.

Let us not be like the reluctant prophet, Jonah and refuse to do as we are instructed and setting ourselves up for a “downward” trip. Let us also remember from the words of Nahum about the mercy of God. Even when he corrects us, it is done because of his mercy. The message from Jeremiah is do not allow flesh to dwell within you and then feel comfortable coming into the house of God to praise. Do not be fooled into thinking that because hands are raised that God overlooks the sinfulness of the life we live. Yet, we can rejoice and know that if there be anything in us that needs to be removed, God is the one that can remove it. He has the power over all that would hold us and keep us from being what God has called us to be.

So when you go to worship this week, God with a humbled heart seeking God to show you what needs to be laid at the altar. What needs to be released and what needs to be strengthened in you. Go having heard, received and willing to live out the living message of God’s word. Go telling God, I am listening, speak.