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

A Proven Path

Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted that God can speak to you, or at least longed to be sure that He had spoken to you? I believe that the key here when we are in this situation is to focus more on what God has already said than on what we expect Him to say in the here and now. We can find these things in His Word. For anybody who doubts that God has communicated to us or even doubts that He exists at all, Jeremiah clearly points out beginning in chapter 6 that God speaks up. Seven times in this chapter Jeremiah makes reference to what the Lord says. Honestly, many of the things God says here is a repeat of what He has already spoken to his people about the coming discipline caused by their actions of disobedience, but one specific thing God says is infinitely valuable for anybody in the circumstance described above. 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. I assure you the benefits of this path are too priceless to miss out on them, even if it costs you. -Pastor Andrew

An appalling and horrible thing

Out of all the things God points to that is happening in the land in verse 8 and verses 21-28 of Jeremiah chapter 5, God stops and declares in verse 30 that an especially appalling and horrible things has happened in the land. The answer to what this thing is might be somewhat of a surprise to our eyes as we read it in comparison to all the other things mentioned. I believe that this surprise reveals a problem with what we see as most important in this life. This is not to say that the lusty stallions who neigh after their neighbors wife, or the wicked actions of wicked men in the land is not important, surely these things are detestable before God and fully deserving of justice to be done, but the overwhelming message of the Bible and of verse 30 and 31 of Jeremiah 5 is that the things of the Spirit are deeper than the things of the flesh. Certainly the power of the Spirit can overcome the evil desires of the flesh, therefore any wrongdoing in the Spiritual process of God’s people having right relationship with Him bears more significance and weight. I pray the Holy Spirit of God will help us to see it is the Spiritual realities that fully give life and when our life is falling apart it is the spiritual reality of our worship and relationship with God through Jesus that must be addressed first and foremost. - Pastor Andrew

Our God Intervenes

Jeremiah’s prophesy has brought us to the study of a few very deep but real things. Last week we looked at God’s proclamation that there would be desolation as a result of the sin and adultery of His people but God would not make a full end. The picture of this given to us in Isaiah (17:6) is that of the harvest that comes through and wipes out the fruit but there is always some that remain on the branches or in the field. This remnant is what God uses to produce from it something better, filled with more life and fruit than what was there before. To this thought one might ask, “why the destruction at all?” why can’t God just produce better fruit without any desolation?” To answer this question God appeals to the righteous process of discipline and in so doing takes us to yet again another deep and challenging study. Studying the word God uses here that is translated “punish” can enlighten fully what God is doing here and clear up any misconceptions about the process. Even if we have been incorrectly taught from the examples of discipline of our earthly parents, we can see the intent of God here and begin to learn to trust that God’s desire is to intervene in our lives in such a way that He successfully changes our course of action. This is the wonder and gift of God’s discipline.  - Pastor Andrew