Worship in Spirit and Truth

Many times in the Old Testament Prophets there is a reference to the unsatisfactory nature of the sacrificial system. The point God is makes by bringing this up is that the sacrificial system was always designed to only be a picture of two things. First, to show the guilt of sin in the lives of His people, and second, to clearly depict the appropriate price this guilt required to be paid. Therefore, to participate in the sacrificial system at this time, without fully seeing and understanding these two things was to strip the whole process of its God intended purposes. Not much has changed today, as human beings we are tempted with the same thing, namely, to lose sight of the ultimate purposes of God in our lives for the sake of the various activities designed to point to them. We tend to believe all is well in God’s eyes as long as I keep doing the “right things” even though what is going on in my heart is a disaster. God is after our Spiritual worship of Him (John 4:24) and if we lose sight of this because of our focus on mere physical action we are not where He wants us to be no matter how good we become at doing the “right things”. I believe we must ask God to grant us the proper understanding of what He desires to work in our hearts that goes far beyond merely changing outward behavior. -Pastor Andrew

Idol worship has soaked in

In Jeremiah 7:16 God clearly commands Jeremiah to no intercede, bring supplication, or mediate between Him and His people Israel. This is a unique verse because this is not a usual command of God. The “foreknown” Messiah, Son of God, is sufficiently serving these roles currently for His people. God has provided all that is needed for His people to live with Him in eternal relationship. The question for today is what were the circumstances of the time that God gave this unusual command to Jeremiah? The issue was not idolatry alone, although this was happening and provoking God’s anger, it was the nature in which the idolatry was taking place. God points out that the idolatry involved the whole family, and it involved everyday activities formerly designed for the enjoyment and worship of God, but now these activities were being used for the worship of other gods. The evil, sin, and wrongdoing permeated into the fabric of the foundational things God created for the continued worship of His name. As we look around today I pray we are challenged to step in and end this same process from happening in our lives. I pray we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, begin to redeem the things God created for good and use them for the purposes He intended them. -Pastor Andrew

Awakening of Worship

God often reminds us so very clearly of the teaching of His word in the exact way it is needed most. As chapter 7 of Jeremiah opens up God makes the case that through the actions of His people the phrase “this is the Temple of the Lord” became deceptive, for it is the people and nothing in the building that constitutes or defines Christ’s Church. As we reflect upon the Truth of these words in our lives and their relevance among our current context and circumstances, verse 16 of chapter 7 provides an opportunity to study an essential attribute of God separating Him from each one of us, and talk about the sufficiency of Christ in our lives today. As we discuss these things I pray an awakening of worship will result in each of our hearts. Let us stand amazed today as we look deeply into God’s foreknowledge and the satisfaction of all our needs by our great Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. -Pastor Andrew

Saying "I will not" to God

The final week of investigation of verses 16 and 17 of Jeremiah 6 reveal’s yet another phenomenal Truth. As we have mentioned already, the honest and humble investigation of our path requires hard work and tough questions, yet it is through this tough work that we have revealed for us the good path, the one that endures throughout the test of time. Having this path revealed to us leads to God’s command to “walk in it”, but God goes much deeper and greater than simply giving us this command, I believe God makes the case in the following verses that all the evil, despair, anguish, and pain comes from the willing decision to not follow these ways. Everything we read in the rest of chapter 6, the beginning of chapter 7, and beyond all stems from a singular place, the phrase “But they said, we will not…” If this is true, and I submit that it is, it is good news in the fact that the brokenness and disobedience we experience in our lives can be traced back to one place instead of a variety of many places. What or where have you said “I will not” to the path and way of God Almighty? A heavy dose of repentance, Christ’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace is needed here to produce obedience. I pray we would all experience this process in our lives beyond anything we would understand or fathom. -Pastor Andrew

The contemplative life is hard work

God says there is value in the contemplation of my path, where I am going, who I am listening to, where I want to be in the future. He says there is laid before us a great guide in the good way that has endured the test of time and promises to carry us through as well. God’s teaching through His prophet Jeremiah “Stand by the roads, and look,…” certainly falls under the category of easier said than done. Unfortunately the work that is necessary to accomplishing this task is harder and greater than we are willing to go through in most cases. Careful study and consideration of this teaching reveals the process to fully contemplate the path of our feet involves a humility and honesty in some of the toughest areas for us to display these two characteristics. I believe the prize or motivation for going through this work is given among the same verse, namely, “rest for your souls.” As disciples of Christ let us fix our eyes on the glorious gift of God, his rest, rather than the tough tasks He asks us to go through in order to obtain it. I pray the Holy Spirit will not only provide us with His rest but also be the strength by which we take the practical steps of “looking” at the path we are following with our life.  -Pastor Andrew