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

A Question of Ownership

I remember my two brothers and I feeling the need and the urge to separate ourselves from our parents and become our own independent man. There is a lot of beauty in this pursuit and I believe it is a righteous goal from God’s Word (Gen. 2:24). Yet in the midst of this what we could not do is deny or abandon the Truth that we were our parent’s sons. They were intricately involved in bringing us into this world and they nurtured us to the point that we could become individual men. Nothing we could ever do would change this fact. Similarly, as we move through Jeremiah let us remember how the prophecy began, namely, God claiming ownership on Jeremiah AND all other created beings (Jeremiah 1:5). Nothing we could ever do will change the fact that we are owned by our Creator. Every human life is known by God before they even began to be formed in their mother's womb. He claims complete ownership on our lives. Even more amazing, like the prophet Hosea shows us, God paid the price to buy what he had originally owned back from the penalty and punishment of sin by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die the death you and I rightfully deserved. No matter how we look, who else we run to, or our earthly possessions, we are owned by God and True, abundant life can ONLY be found in Him. -Pastor Andrew

Both Righteous Judge AND Merciful Savior

Let the day of Jeremiah’s prophesy teach us a lesson in the midst of our day. The only difference between the time of Jeremiah’s day and ours is their relationship with God depended on the future coming Messiah, our relationship with God is based on the Messiah who has come. At this point in Jeremiah 4 God knew there would be no repentance from his people and thus proclaims the judgment that is to come from the North to leave his people and their land desolate. An amazing Truth about God here is that even though this judgement has been passed down from God He still proclaimed a sincere calling of repentance and stood ready to extend incredible grace. Both, the righteous judgment and the incredible grace are realities of God’s nature and therefore will never change. This is how he relates to us today as well. Jesus says in John 3, everyone who does not believe in the Son of God is condemned already, yet each day is filled with the most compassionate opportunity for repentance as an extension of God’s grace which means the only question that matters in light of the fact that God’s people from Jeremiah did not repent is… what is our response to God’s gracious calling of mercy in the midst of our guilt?  -Pastor Andrew