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>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.

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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.

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Jeremiah Journey Wk 7

Hear this, people of the earth:

I am going to bring disaster to the people of Judah!

It will happen because o the evil they plan.

They have not listened to my messages. They have rejected my teachings.

Jeremiah 6:19 (NCV)

The Lord shared His displeasure with Israel, particularly Judah, multiple times and multiple ways.  He stated it over and over again.  He pointed out the idolatry and refusal of the people to repent and restore their relationship with the Lord.

Multiple Times

The Book of Jeremiah is ripe with God expressing both is displeasure with and His desire for Israel.  It starts as early as the first chapter of the book.  It evolves into a flurry of frustration filled with the fiery wrath of God’s prophecy against the people.

Multiple Ways

The Book of Jeremiah uses metaphors, object lessons and just plain old prophetic talk.  The message was released but it was not received.  The message was revealing but it was rejected by the people.

bible

Read Jeremiah chapter 7 this week.

Jeremiah, you will tell these things to the people of Judah.  But they will not listen to you! You will cll to them, but they will not answer you.

Jeremiah 7:27 (NCV)

As we continue our reading of the Book of Jeremiah, let us keep in mind that God is offering a message to the people through His chosen vessel- the prophet Jeremiah.  Sadly, as the Lord stated: They have not listened to my messages. They have rejected my teachings (Jeremiah 6:19, NCV).

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LifePath_hoody

This week we begin to make a shift in our journey.  As you turn the pages and explore chapter 6 of Jeremiah, look at where we have been so far.  The Jeremiah Journey continues. . .

Jeremiah journey

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And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”  – Mark 6:4 (ESV)

. . . A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.  – Matthew 13:57 (NLT)

A Prophet is Without Honor

Jesus said it.

He stated it in simple and straightforward.

The position of the prophet is peculiar.

The prophet is from among the people but has the “burden” of carrying God’s message to the people.  The prophet stands out from everyone else while speaking out against the social and spiritual wrongs of the people against God.

That is a peculiar position, even a complicated calling, for anyone.

Why the Jeremiah Journey

Jeremiah was a prophet who is known among the “major prophets.” He is known for both the Book of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  His prophecy was unpopular among both the priest and other prophets, even the people.

Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet.”

Imagine being God’s vessel and voice with a message that put you odds with your peers and fellow tribesmen.  That would definitely bring about some emotional conflicts.  You would surely question what God was truly trying to do through you and with you.

That was Jeremiah’s journey.

How the Jeremiah Journey Works

  • Read a chapter of the Book of Jeremiah week by week during 2018
  • Check the midweek Bible study questions to further explore each week’s chapter
  • Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for inspiration on reading
  • Visit this blog week by week to get insights and reflections on the weekly reading, even comments on the journey

What we can expect through such a Bible reading and study program:

  • A thorough reading and study of one of the most dynamic characters of the Bible
  • A chapter by chapter reading of one of the prophetic books of the Bible
  • A deeper relationship with God’s Word through consistent reading and study of the Bible, especially if you do not have any other Bible study or devotional reading that you are currently reading

Join the Jeremiah Journey. #JointheJourney

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The Jeremiah Journey Promo Slide

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In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

As promised, I have included a Black Friday free resource for you.

Let Your Light Shine: Share It & Show It

My hope is that this resource might serve as an impactful part of your reading.  It serves as a foundation for some other work that we have coming up but it also stands out as a simple reminder of our root cause and calling as a believer.

Faith Impact Training is about inspiring hearts, minds and souls, particularly for outreach/ evangelism and service through good works.  Our mantra is making a difference today, while leaving an impact for life.  Part of our work includes the development and distribution of publications and trainings.

Stay tuned.  There is more to come.

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