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Posts Tagged ‘prophet’

Have you not brought this upon yourself

by forsaking the Lord your God, when he led you in the way?

jeremiah 2:17 (ESV)

Week 1 Recap:

Jeremiah is called by God and given some anointed actions to go along with his appointment, and God offers Jeremiah both warnings and assurance.

Week 1 Summary:

God’s calling on your life can change everything.

Photo by Joshimer Biu00f1as on Pexels.com

You Played Yourself When You Turned from God

Jeremiah is directed to “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord. . .” (v.2), and that gets the ball rolling on a windfall of complaints against Israel from God about her conduct as one who was at one point “holy to the Lord” (v. 3). It is almost as if you hear God’s thunderous voice bellowing with anger as He directes Jeremiah. Israel has no ground to stand on as God lays out His complaint against them.

What Wrong Did Your Fathers Find in Me?

God points out that the issue isn’t a new problem. This is generational, passed down from father to children over time. He shares that it is a problem with the priests, the shepherds and the prophets as leaders, but it is the entire nation that has provoked God. “Therefore I still contend with you. . . and with your children’s children I will contend (v. 9).”

Have You Not Brought This Upon Yourself?

Don’t go blaming the Devil who supposedly entrapped you with enticements that you just could not handle. You got yourself into this one. God claims in verse 13 that he has charges against his people since they “committed two evils.” He further explains Israel’s self-imposed wrath in verse 19, plainly stating: “Your evil will chastise you , and your apostasy will reprove you. . . the fear of me is not in you , declares the Lord God of hosts.” Verse 22 provides an image that even washing with the strongest of detergents and soap won’t help cleanse this nation. “You have all transgressed against me, declares the Lord” (v.29).

Saying You’re Innocent Only Angers God More

With all of the evidence God stated against them, Israel was bold enough to try to claim innocence. But it is a if Israel’s claim of innocence angered God even more. In verse 35, Israel’s pronouncement of innocence causes God to speak vehemently: “. . . Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying,’I have not sinned.’ ” God speaks of the nation being put to shame by both Egypt and Assyria. God will give His children that whooping out in the front yard like old school God-fearing parents used to do in the community right where all of our neighbors could see, much akin to the Law where it speaks of “before his tent”

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Taking the First Step on the Journey

  1. Read the first chapter of Jeremiah (Do not take notes, underline, highlight, etc.; JUST READ)
  2. Download and review the mini guide for chapter 1
  3. Go back to chapter 1 of Jeremiah again and feel free to use any notetaking technique during your reading
  4. Pick a verse or passage that you feel is key to chapter 1 of Jeremiah
  5. Walk away and focus on any key verse or passage that you selected as you go through your day
  6. (Day #2) Return to reading Jeremiah chapter 1
  7. Do you still feel that verse or passage is the key to this chapter? If no, select another as your daily focus.
  8. Try to answer the questions from the mini guide and write a 1 sentence summary of the chapter in your own words.
  9. Share your verse or passage on social media with #JeremiahJourney
  10. Tune in on Wednesday at 9:30 AM PST for our Live @ Lunch Bible Study discussion on Jeremiah chapter 1 and to get a sneak peak ay next week’s guide.
TUNE IN WEDNESDAY AT 9:30 AM PST

God Gives Us Beyond Second Chances: Be Humbled

“Every Christian has a choice between being humble or being humbled.”

c.h. spurgeon

My heart is filled with hope along with humility. In 2017, I embarked on launching this study as an extended blog series for 2018. Circumstances got the best of me. Again, it happened to me in 2019 and 2020. God saw fit to never whisper that I had done enough or send a sign that I must move on, so I am sticking with my assignment and making the best effort to bring it to fruition again.

This time I have more working for me. I have the experience of previous trial runs with this and I have enough experience posting regularly doing shorter blog series recently for week-long seasonal projects and 10-day projects that required a daily postings. With much prayer and focus, I hope to see this through by posting weekly and hosting our Live @ Lunch Bible Study livestream to discuss the chapter and its message.

I am also humbled by God not snatching it from my hands. He has nurtured me. He has matured me. He has continued to develop me. All the while, unbeknownst to me, He was preparing me to come back and try it again. Even if I make a biblical donkey of myself in the process, I will have acted in obedience and I will have stepped out on faith. And someone else needed to witness that in order to gain what they need. And I am humbled to be used as a vessel by Him even for that.

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He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Oftentimes, Christians see issues of their days and times and superimpose them into the biblical prophecy of the Last Days and point out the most likely public figure who fits the bill to be the Antichrist. This is usually a futile exercise in trying to give it a name and a label rather than trying to deal with the matters of the day.

Black Lives Matter & Protests for Social Justice

Is it still a question for some who believe if Black Lives Matter or not? I wish that I could say that it is an unfair question, but there are plenty who profess the love of Christ who find it difficult to love all of God’s creation and creatures, including their fellow man.

Look at blog posts from others that speak to the fact that Black Lives Matter has to be defended or justified as a statement. I read posts from folks like Cynthia Reyes and I feel like the depths of the despair experienced by countless people of color has been echoed in the kindred voice of another in the blogosphere. I read Thinking Moon’s post and realize that we both share a love for Toni Morrison (and she picked my two favorite works by her, too), but we both have two entirely different walks on this earth as a person of privilege and a person of color.

Christians do not have to hold a come to Jesus meeting about coming to an agreement about protests for social justice, police reform, and Black Lives Matter. We do need to acknowledge that there is a problem within our communities and across our nation in the United States that has captured our attention in the midst of a major health pandemic. We do need to agree that, despite many of the best intentions of good Bible-carrying believers, many Christians will not act on such matters until the pastor, the shepherd of the local church, has shared spiritual words of guidance on these same matters. The matters of today have come before the altar of the house of the faithful and await a word from on high as heavenly light from above shine upon them like a spotlight.

Doing What’s Right is Right

Seeking social justice is right. It is biblical. It is the Christian thing to do. The words in Micah 6:8 said for us to “do justice.” Naturally, English makes for a poor translation but I think we could get the point. Our measure for our religion is a matter for how we treat others. The question to answer is: Are we doing right by what the Lord calls us to do?

Aretha, the Queen of Soul, said it in a secular sense when she spoke a Do Right Woman and a Do Right Man. Could you be considered to be one who is in the business of doing right, especially doing right by others?

Jesus used a parable to speak about the “least of these.” He pointed out that the way to do right by the Lord was to do right by others. He depicted through this parable a way to do right for those who could not do you a solid and pay you back. He let us get a glimpse of what it truly means to be godly and gracious, by showing that we can show compassion towards and offer comfort for the hungry, the imprisoned, the naked, and the others that life seems to easily overlook.

And What Does the LORD Require of You?

And what does the LORD require of you? It is inserted in a retort in this passage due to the insinuation by the people that the Lord is asking them to do the impossible. The notion that the people presented to the prophet was that the Lord was being too hard on them in what He sought from them.

. . .but to do justice

We can say a lot but our actions speak louder and in greater volume than our words. We can say that Black Lives Matter is trending on Twitter and will fade away like the chants of “No justice, no peace.” The truth is that justice is right and we are called to do right as claim to love our neighbors as ourselves.

. . . and to love kindness

Kindness is like love. It’s all action and feelings. It’s not double talk. It comes down to our interaction with others, especially those who do not look like us, sound like us, or even believe what we believe.

. . . and to walk humbly with your God

Humility is a lost art. It is as ancient as things like respect and righteousness. To “walk humbly” requires us to humble ourselves. I believe C.H. Spurgeon said it best when he is quoted as saying: “Every Christian has a choice between being humble and being humbled.”

What will be your choice today?

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Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”

So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said,

Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.

– 2 Kings 5:5

Sometimes, our problems will cause us to go to extreme measures to get relief.  We will be so desperate for a solution that we will take advice from unlikely sources and end up in unlikely places in hope of a healing.

11 But Naaman became furious, and went away . . .’ 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.

– 2 Kings 5:11-12

What Naaman received did not meet his expectations.  For all of his high hopes for a healing, he received some simplistic instructions.  In fact, he was not even granted an audience with the prophet.  According to verse 10, “And Elisha sent a messenger to him. . .” as he stood outside of Elisha’s doorway.  Naaman had expected some form of royal reception after all that he had gone through to get there.

13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

-2 Kings 5:13-14

Although Naaman was hardened by the reception and the proposed remedy, he responded accordingly after some prodding and pleading by his own servants.  He did as instructed.  His flesh was restored.  he received his healing after all.

What can we learn from this?

God can bless us with something simple that we might try to complicate.  God may not want us to jump through hoops for what He has for us.  He may just want to see our faith in action.

We have a choice today.  We can be hardened or we can be healed.

What will be your choice today?

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