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If a man divorces his wife
and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
and would you return to me?
declares the Lord
– Jeremiah 3:1 (ESV)

 

Recap of Week #2: God expects us to go and proclaim what He has set aside for us as our assignment.  God expects obedience from us in doing so.

Reflection on Week#2:  Jeremiah was called on to do some hard work.  He was to deliver a controversial message to his own people.  Not many men could do so in the face of rejection and ridicule.

God speaks in a straightforward tone and gets straight to the point. You have played the whore with many lovers (v. 1).  God does not pull any punches.  He just comes out with a metaphoric scenario about divorce, and then calls His people the equivalent of harlots.

If God calls you names like that. You need to rethink your next move with God.

This was not the first time God called out Israel, though.  He used Gomer to demonstrate the harlotry of the people of God and their strained relationship with Him.  In Isaiah, the Lord’s accusation against Israel is clear: How the faithful city has become a whore (Isaiah 1:21, ESV).  Don’t be shocked at the language.  God was in a rightful position to call out Israel.  After all, He knew them well and the ways of men were beneath Him.

Do you repent and turn back to God again? Or, do you simply take it all in and spend a moment alone with the thought of what God really thinks of you?

Make sure you review the Week #3 Bible Study Guide.

#JeremiahJourney2020

NOTE:

Due to a change in digital download providers, our latest work has been hours upon hours comparing services and pricing to continue to offer FREE downloads of our weekly study guides.  While this has thrown off our journey’s pace a bit, we do have an answer.

Find the Week #1 Bible Study Guide and Week #2 Bible Study Guide as well as all other future guides and FREE downloads via Scribd.

Thank you for your patience and we look forward to continuing to deliver more along the journey.

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,  “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord. . .  – Jeremiah 2:1-2 (ESV)

Recap of Week #1: God’s calling of Jeremiah was met with some resistance on Jeremiah’s part.  However, God used object lessons to grab Jeremiah’s attention and to show him the coming fate of Israel.

Reflection on Week#1:  Jeremiah was young and not chief among the priests or prophets of his times.  His message was a direct order from God, but it was definitely not going to be received well by his fellow brothers in the ministry or his countrymen.

What we find to be the call to action by God in our lives is usually something that calls us to take a step outside of our comfort zone.  With such a task at hand, Jeremiah should have been comforted by God’s assurance that He would supply and support Jeremiah all along the way, no matter who or what he faced while on assignment.  Jeremiah reveals the human infallibility buried deep within us all to still want more than what God offers, clinging to what we know rather than what we could possibly experience and have with God’s blessing.

If God calls you to it, God will see you through it.

Go and Proclaim

Once you have accepted God’s calling on your life, marching orders are bound to follow.  Just from the opening lines of chapter 2, you can see that God wants Jeremiah to get to work immediately.

There is no extensive training program.  No mentor prophet lends his wisdom and sage advice to Jeremiah.  It’s just God’s calling and an immediate assignment of “Go and proclaim…”

Thus Says the Lord

You can only imagine the gravity of Jeremiah’s message.  He was called as God’s messenger to deliver an unpopular message to God’s people.  Also, he was to go and proclaim what the Lord had to say to Israel.

As you read this week, check out God’s intense message to Israel.  Hear the words of the Lord delivered to Israel through Jeremiah in this initial message.  Get a feel for what weighed heavily in the heart of the Lord when it came to His beloved Israel.

Make sure you review the Week #2 Bible Study Guide.

#JeremiahJourney2020

Why engage in a year-long study of the Book of Jeremiah?

That’s a reasonable question. I get it.

There’s a reasonable answer.

Jeremiah offers the believer an opportunity to read and reflect on a chapter of the Bible weekly.  There are 52 weeks in the year.  Jeremiah is 52 chapters. Voila! There it is.

Yet, Jeremiah also offers a character study beyond the prophecy.

Jeremiah was known as “the weeping prophet.” Look at Lamentations, written by Jeremiah, and tell me if the name doesn’t fit.  The experiences of Jeremiah as a major prophet of the Bible include the rejection and ridicule of both the messenger and his message.  We even get a glimpse into Jeremiah’s own personality and tendencies.

Have you ever started on a path with God and were ready to quit? Jeremiah was in the same boat at one point.

Have you ever considered yourself not qualified for God’s assignment? A young Jeremiah felt the same way upon his calling.

Have you ever had to face family or peers who just did not get you or where God was taking you? Jeremiah lived with the same issues in his life.

Why Jeremiah?

Jeremiah offers us more than a look into a biblical character’s life or the prophecy for Israel.  Jeremiah gives each and every one of us an opportunity to do a spiritual gut check of our own.  God has a plan, and it is a privilege to be called by God to be used as part of His plan.  However, God prepares each and every one of us differently.  He sets us up on our own path.  Jeremiah might just help you get comfortable with the discomfort of your calling to live your life differently.

Read the first chapter of Jeremiah this week.

You can read your Bible.  You can listen to it via an app.  You can read it online via tablet or other mobile device.

Just read the first chapter, and then reflect on what you have read.

Read it multiple times if necessary.

Let it soak in, and then try to unpack what God is saying to your spirit through this opening chapter.

Use the Bible study guide to help you retain the chapter’s key points and dig deeper into your journey.

Journey through the Book of Jeremiah with us as we search and study the Scriptures, seeking to learn more about Jeremiah as well as ourselves.

Make sure you review the Week #1 Bible Study Guide.

#JeremiahJourney2020

Active Faith Sports

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ – Luke 18:11-12 (ESV)

Prayer provides us with the possibility of purging ourselves.  We can simply empty our spiritual cup and pour out our deepest worries and fears.  We can hang on with the hope that God provides us through prayer.

Prayer is about making the powerless more powerful.  Prayer is about trust.  Prayer is about telling on ourselves and spilling it all to God, hoping that He will hear us and help us.  Prayerful people are powerful people.

But there is a problem when one’s prayer life becomes powerless.

Stacy Adams

Prayer becomes powerless based upon a few factors such as:

  • Attitude: I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get (v. 12)
    • Boasting is considered prideful.  Don’t get beside yourself and lose sight of your true focus during prayer.
    • You do not have to say a lot about you since the Lord knows your innermost intentions and desires, especially your sins and trespasses.
    • Act like you know that God knows you intimately and wants your submission.
  • Approach: God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector (v.11)
    • You can become powerless by placing the focus on the wrong thing.
    • Your focus needs to be on the Savior, not yourself
    • Approach Him and His throne of grace with humble submission
    • Approach the Lord with your own issues, not comparisons to others
  • Actions: For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (v. 14)
    • Your actions within prayer lead to how God handles your situation and supplication.
    • Do you truly believe that God heard this man’s prayer as humble and honorable?
    • Allow your actions to show your readiness to receive from God, whether it be rebuke or reward.

Prayer has the power to help us hold on for a little longer and endure our current circumstances.  It has the ability to power us and keep us going throughout the day to day.  Prayer can help us continue to have an everlasting hope of the eternal.

We will continue to look at the power of prayer over the next few weeks.  Look at some Prayer pointers offered through our other posts.

Active Faith Sports

“The dream starts us on the success journey.” – John C. Maxwell

The success journey, as Maxwell calls it, is a daily thing to do.  Place it on your daily agenda.  Jot it down in your daily journal.  Put it your weekly planner.  Write it on your whiteboard in your office or cubicle.  Add success steps to your to-do list.  Scribble it out on a post-it that you place on your dashboard.  Make each and every single day count by seeking out success, endeavoring to make dreams turn into reality.

“Know where you are going.” – Norman Vincent Peale

If you are starting out on the journey, you need to have some idea of where you are heading on it.  Unless you have been endowed with a divine conversation like Father Abraham while he was still Abram of Ur, you cannot just simply take a walk of faith without any direction or destination.  You need to know where you are going and remain certain of that continually along the way.

“An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan.” – Warren Buffet


The road to success is paved with execution of a well-designed plan.  Whether it is losing weight or dropping the burden and baggage of addiction for recovery, you need to have a plan.  Success requires a plan.

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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To become successful, you need to develop your plan and stick to your plan.  What I want you to truly understand is that all of your planning will require some adaptation along the way, but you will need to remain dedicated to your destination.  Your success will depend on your stamina and stability for staying the course. If you cannot endure the hardship and heartaches that come along with making moves to make your life better or the lives of others better, then you will not have enough fuel to finish the race to the end.

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We cannot finish the journey and reach success unless we get started.  We get started by thinking through the opportunities and the obstacles, weighing out the pros and the cons.

Active Faith Sports

Who is My Neighbor

>Praying with Purpose

27 And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.  28 And He said to him, You have answered right; do this and you shall live.  29 But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor

Luke 10:27-29

 But he, willing to justify himself… (v.29)

What is the point of questioning the Lord’s answer? What do we expect to get out of it? It seems irrational to rationalize with God.  We cannot change an unchanging God, particularly if His ways and thoughts are not like ours.

The response of this man was to justify himself.  In other words, he sought to make himself look good among others.  By challenging the Master, he sought to bring His authority into question while making himself look good.  Such an attitude leads to pride and problems; pride because we think more highly of ourselves than we should and problems because we are not looking to the Lord for our answers.

And who is my neighbor? (v.29)

A good Samaritan? Not just a Samaritan, I’d say, but a good Samaritan. With all of what Samaritans were to the Jews, Jesus used a Samaritan as an example of being a good neighbor.  He shared from an unlikely source an example of what God expects of His people.

The truth is that this man had stepped out and did not appear to be ready to step away, back or even down.  Thus, Jesus takes this man and his attitude into account and begins a parable of loving your neighbor.

“To love anyone is nothing else than to wish that person good.”
-St. Thomas Aquinas


 

Love Your Neighbor 2019

A Christian crusade for community change through connection and compassion.

Life Path Mobile Ministries & Faith Impact Training (F.I.T.) work in conjunction with Life Path Multimedia to present a week-long campaign of Love Your Neighbor.   Explore and experience showing the love and spreading the love throughout Passion Week and Good Friday, all the way through Easter Sunday worship.  Let love provide the fuel for you this week and beyond as we evangelize and reach out with compassion and seek to make deeper connections with others through our love for Him towards others.

Jeremiah Journey Wk 8

Jeremiah is a challenge to the status quo.

Jeremiah is a challenge to our comfort zone.

I want us to get real about this before we drift and wander into other areas of biblical study.

I want us to get comfortable with the reality of what Jeremiah bith represents and presents throughout this journey.

7 Weeks into the Jeremiah Journey 

After 7 weeks, I wonder about this journey together.

Jeremiah is 52 books.  An entire year is 52 weeks.

By simple calculation, we should complete our journey by the end of 2018.

However, Jeremiah is more than a book of the Bible.  Jeremiah is more than a biblical character.  Jeremiah is beyond a prophetic figure preached and taught Sunday by Sunday in churches around the world.

Jeremiah is a Challenge to the Status Quo

For many of us, we tend to favor the contemporaries of Jeremiah more than the prophet himself.  We rest on the laurels of our good works and the good vibes of how good things are going with God’s grace and His countenance shining upon us.

We need a wake up call.

We are too aligned with the status quo.  We are too attached to traditionalism.  We are far too conservative in our approach to ministry.  We are way too complacent with our attack on social issues.

We have to see the challenge for us in Jeremiah’s calling to call out things as they truly are in God’s eyes.  The prophetic voice is oftentimes called upon to stand up to authority, to speak out against watered-down spirituality disguised as religion rather than routine, and to simply say “Thus sayeth the Lord” with boldness before the people.

We need to face the challenge to the status quo.

Jeremiah is a Challenge to Our Comfort Zone

We need to see Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet,” as a scriptural mirror held up before our very souls.   We need to see how much of ourselves can be seen in Jeremiah.  We need to see how much of our spirits reflect a similar spirit to that of Jeremiah.

  • Jeremiah Speaks Truth to Power: He dealt with fellow ministers of the Lord who wanted him to shut up and shut down the prophetic calling out of Israel and its leadership.  It got him bound in chains.  It got him on the wrong side of society, even his own kin.
  • Jeremiah Struggled with His Message: Any preacher, missionary, minister, evangelist or other type of servant of the Lord understands this.  Some of what we are called to say and do in the name of the Lord takes us to a place where we find more struggle and strife than we find comfort.  We are forced to seek the Lord repeatedly, especially when we realize what we have as our obligation to the Lord.  We struggle with it because we understand cause and effect.  We struggle with it because we can see the end result of how our sermons, Bible lessons and messages will be received by the people.
  • Jeremiah Submitted to the Lord: Despite what his calling took him through, Jeremiah faced the challenge.  He struggled but he submitted.  He struggled with his own qualifications to even be a prophet but he submitted to the Lord.  He said he would not share the Word of the Lord any longer but he came around in the same breath and submitted to the Lord.  He submitted to the Lord and faced the prophetic challenge.

Jeremiah represents a challenge for us to get out of comfort zone and to get more comfortable with what God is truly calling for us to do with our lives, our voices, our purpose.

Our Journey Continues. . .

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. – Jeremiah 7:5-7 (ESV)

Chapter 7 gave Israel a challenge to once again to repent.  It addressed the nation’s idolatry, its wickedness, its injustice and its depth of transgressions.  It offered Israel an out.

As we move into chapter 8, keep Jeremiah’s predicament in mind.  He was not an outsider.  He was from among this same nation of people.  These were his countrymen.  These were his kin.  These were his own people.  Look at the depth of emotion that arises from Jeremiah in chapter 8.  See how he is personally touched by his challenge to preach prophecy to his people.