Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Reason To Cry

Ezekiel 9:4 KJV
And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

The New Testament teaches a Christian to rejoice. And we have a lot of reasons to rejoice.
We can rejoice in the salvation Christ provides us
We can rejoice in the promises God has made to us
We can rejoice in blessing of hope for the eternal future


We could list many more reasons to rejoice so as a believer, I want to have joy in my soul and I want it to show in my countenance.

But underlying that spirit of joy there should also and always be a sense of heartbreak, tears and sighing.
Sighing for those who do not know Jesus Christ as Saviour
Sighing for the corruption sin has made in this world
Sighing for how the sin nature so often dominates us
Sighing for the abominations of Satan and man, dishonoring Almighty God

We are not to sign so much
Because the economy is not what we wish it was
Because things have not gone our way like we wanted
Because has injured or hurt us


Or tears, our burden, our grief ought to be that God has not been glorified and worshiped among men. That is a reason to mourn.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Holy Ghost

Romans 5:5 KJV
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

I question whether today's Christians (I am not speaking of the Charismatics who I do not believe to be true Christians) place enough consideration of the importance of the Holy Ghost in our Christian experience.

The Holy Ghost seals the believer's salvation
Ephesians 4:30 KJV
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our salvation
Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.


The Holy Spirit is the witness of our salvation
Romans 8:16 KJV
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And then, from our passage this morning, the Holy Spirit emboldens our salvation with love.

If there is any area of the Christian life that we have been trapped in head knowledge but not heart knowledge it is probably in this area. We know doctrinally that the Holy Spirit is real and that He has done these things for Christian, but whether we have ever fully sensed these works of the Spirit on our behalf is another question.

God help us be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Ghost and to know His presence.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Abraham's Faith

Romans 4:2 KJV
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

This entire chapter is an illustration of the truth that justification and salvation are the result of faith and not of works. Abraham is set forth as the great example (though David is also quoted in this chapter).

But it is important to keep in mind that, while his works did not justify him, Abraham did work.
He left the Ur of Chaldees
He offered sacrifices to God
He offered Isaac as a sacrifice when requested to do so by the Lord


The Bible does not teach lazy faith. The Bible does not encourage a kind of faith that claims to believe but then lives just as if one did not believe.

Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness, but also Abraham believed God and it was evident in his action.

There is a caution here; it is so easy to change the evidence into the substance. It is so easy to put our faith in our activity rather than our God. But that said, though faith saves and not works, faith does work.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Ministry of the Spirit

Ezekiel 3:12 KJV
Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

Ezekiel 3:14 KJV
So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

Ezekiel 3:24 KJV
Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.

Ezekiel's example is a picturesque one to the preacher of God's Word. He begins with images that will not be fully understood until we get to heaven. From there God gives Him the Word of God. He is to eat it and preach it to his own people; a people God says will not hear. God tells him that if he had been sent to preach to a people of a strange language they would have heard.

But what caught me this morning is that three times in this chapter the Bible associates his ministry with the Spirit of God.
The Spirit caused him to know the glory of God
The Spirit caused him to sense the horror of the sin of God's people and
The Spirit caused him to withhold his message for a time


Notice that
The Spirit took him
The Spirit lifted him and
The Spirit entered him


The lesson here is that the ministry is supposed to be one of submission to the Spirit of God. It is not that we are in any way able, educated or even gifted enough to do the ministry. It is strictly this, that God's Spirit uses us.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Praise...of God

Romans 2:29 KJV
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

It is never a bad idea for a believer to remember this main rule of real faith, "...whose praise of not of men, but of God." We can win the praise of men for all sorts of reasons.
Some win that praise for acts of heroism
Some win that praise for their skills on the acting screen
Some win that praise for their athletic abilities
Some win praise for being kind souls
Some win praise for being generous

Some only seek the praise of one or two people
Some seek the praise of a nation


But the problem with seeking the praise of men is that it so often is at the expense of the praise of God. God's thoughts are not our thoughts and God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. What people believe to be praiseworthy is frequently and abomination before the Lord.

The cure? Always seek only the praise of God. Sometimes those who also seek the praise of God will praise you for it, but even then be careful; you aren't looking for their praise either.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Two Revelations

Romans 1:17 KJV
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

I could not help this morning but to see that there are contrasting revelations in verses 17 and 18. God's Word reveals to man

The wrath of God
It is against all ungodliness
Not just some ungodliness and not just what man has determined is the worst of ungodliness.

It is against all unrighteousness of men
And that unrighteousness is defined as holding the truth in unrighteousness. Every generation of mankind in every race of people hold some portion of the truth. Thousands of years ago the Chinese people developed their written language. When it was developed, though they were miles away from the culture of the Jews, they developed a symbol for the word peace which involves a man with and sheep and a lance. The gist of the symbol is that peace (with God) comes from bring a lamb in our hand to slay. That is straight from God's Word. They knew that before the Bible was written. God had given them that truth.

The righteousness of God
The righteousness of God is revealed in contrast tot he unrighteousness of man. And it is more than simply that God shows us that He is righteous and we are unrighteous. The great truth of the righteousness of God is that it is available to sinful men, through faith.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Positive Words

Lamentations 3:40 KJV
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

Right in the middle of one of the most solemn and mournful books in the Bible are found some of the most inspirational and hopeful verses in the Bible.

The book of Lamentations is written as a series of poetical pieces, each piece is twenty two lines long with the except of chapter three, which is a series of three twenty two's; sixty six lines in all. Not all the chapter is positive, but much of it is. And one of those verses that lifts and inspires is this one.

As far away as a man can become from the Lord he always has this encouragement,

  • He can stop in his tracks
  • He can search and
  • He can try his ways and
  • He can turn again to the LORD

There is no one whose sin has taken him so far that he can't be back in the presence of the Lord with just a simple turn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Whose I Am

Acts 27:23 KJV
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve

There are three components to this verse;
The presence
"there stood by me...the angel of God"
There could be little that would give as much assurance as knowing that the angel of God stands by us.

But before that assurance can be reached the other two components of the passage must also be true

The possession
"whose I am"

I am not ashamed to be possessed of the Lord. Worldlings want to make themselves their own gods. Let them do it! I am more than happy to be possessed of the maker of the universe.

The passion
"and whom I serve"
Paul was more than a professor of religion. He was a practitioner of faith. His life was wholly given up to the service of Christ.

May the same be true of us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Now I Stand

Acts 26:6 KJV
And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

This year our church theme is "Standing on the Promises of God." It has been a blessing so far to preach the promises of God in His Word. One of the things I have come to realize in the study for these messages is that there is really only one promise as given in Genesis 3:15; the promise of a seed, the promise of a Saviour. All of the other major promises simply build upon that one.

This is the promise upon which Paul stood. and
This was the promise upon which Paul was judged


Sometimes we Christians make up our own promises for God to keep. When we stand upon them we find they are insufficient. No wonder; they are not real.

If we stand upon this one promise, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. (1 John 1:7) Then we will have an anchor for the soul steadfast and sure!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Pleasure

Acts 25:9 KJV
But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

Acts 24:27 KJV
But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

I am reminded that it is more common that the people of the world will "shew each other a pleasure" than it is they choose to do the right thing. Felix had been under conviction. He knew that Paul should have been released and he knew that the message he preached was powerful and true. Still he was more influenced by the pressure of the crowd than the truth of God's Word.

The power of God is infinite and God can do anything. But God does not do everything we think He ought. Paul's treatment by the Romans seems so wrong. He had done nothing worthy of bonds. Still he was bound. God could have done something about it and did not.

Faith trusts that God is good anyway.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So Worship I

Acts 24:14 KJV
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ even though it was "a way which they call heresy."

True Christians have always been a small and even hated people in this world, mostly because false Christians call their way heresy. We ought not shrink at the accusation of heresy. While we want to diligently search the Scriptures so that our way of worship in not heresy, that those in this world would accuse us of it is no real problem.

The problem would be to conform to this world's kind of worship and face instead, the future wrath of God on this world.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who Was the Greater Leader?

Acts 23:4 KJV
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?

It struck me this morning that Paul is not the only one who "wist not that he was the high priest." Though Paul did submit to the authority of the high priest in this case, if it were not for the Apostle Paul we would not even know that this man existed!

Mankind has such poor priorities. This man was revered in his day (at least he was by his little band of Jews - a people who would be nearly annihilated before this man passed from life) but Paul, whose earthly presence seemed so small that even the minority Jews appeared to overpower him.

But consider today. In the year of our Lord 2010, Paul's name is still spoken and his influence felt
Day after day
All over the world and
In every class of people

Paul's influence? It was all because he had given up the things of this world in order to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baptism

Acts 22:16 KJV
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Matthew Poole's Commentary says
"as washing causeth the spots to disappear, and to be as if they had not been, Isa_1:18; so does pardoning mercy, or remission of sins, which accompanieth baptism, as in the due receiver, Mat_3:11 1Pe_3:21,22. Where true faith is, together with the profession of it by baptism, there is salvation promised, Mar_16:16. In the mean while it is not the water, (for that only signifies), but it is the blood of Christ, which is thereby signified, that cleanseth us from our sins, as 1Jo_1:7. Yet sacraments are not empty and deceitful signs; but God accompanieth his own ordinances with his power from on high, and makes them effectual for those great things for which he instituted and appointed them."

This verse does not say that baptism washes away sins. It is the calling on the name of the Lord that does that.

No man has to be baptized in order to be saved. The thief on the cross proves that. However, I cannot conceive of a Christian who does not want to follow the Lord in believer's baptism. When we have an excuse such as the thief's then we may well miss baptism. But having opportunity to be baptized in obedience to the Lord, any true believer would naturally follow His Saviour into the water.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Small Number

Jeremiah 44:28 KJV
Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.

I think we sometimes forget that the principle throughout the Scriptures is " a small number." True faith in the Lord will not be embraced by the majority, the crowds, the masses of people. It will always be "a small number" who come to genuine faith in Christ and follow Him into eternity.

Israel was, in comparison to the rest of the nations, a small number on this earth.
Of them, only a small number were not taken into Babylonian captivity.
Of those that escaped that captivity (and from there went to Egypt for what they thought would be safety) a small number would escape the sword and return to God's Promised Land.

Faithfulness is the measure of real Christianity, not success in numbers. To preach the Word of God in fullness is the goal, not to reach the largest numbers of people possible.

Of course we want to reach people, but if reaching people becomes the goal then we are too tempted to tweak the message in order to get them. The goal, the priority must be the truth, come what may.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All The Counsel Of God

Acts 20:27 KJV
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

It happened that my devotions took me to both this passage and
Jeremiah 42:4 KJV
Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.

In the Jeremiah passage, he did declare all that the LORD said, but they did not obey or follow. In fact Jeremiah preached it to them knowing that they had dissembled and would not obey.

We need to hear all the counsel of God's Word even if we don't obey it. Of course the right thing to do would be to submit and follow God's message, but even if that isn't what we do, it is still what we need.

I wonder how many people will attend services today that are designed in a way to promote and keep high attendance rather than to proclaim all the counsel of God?

God gives us men who will preach!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Persuasion

Acts 18:4 KJV
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Acts 18:28 KJV
For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

I found the word persuaded several times in chapters 18 and 19 of the book of Acts. Someone said that the only real leadership a Christian has is the leadership of persuasion. We persuade men and through persuading them, we lead them.

But there can be more than one way to persuade.
Some persuade through intimidation
Some persuade through skillful speaking
Some persuade through charisma


The only godly way for a Christian to persuade men is through the Scriptures and, specifically by showing "by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ."

Anything else is wood hay and stubble.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Assurances

Acts 17:31 KJV
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

The term that caught my attention is the word assurance.

God has given assurance, the Bible says, unto all men. That assurance is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The proofs of that resurrection are indisputable. While so many in our world today (and apparently they did the same in Paul's day) simply scoff it off, not willing to do the homework to discover the truth of it for themselves, those who have researched and considered it have come to the position that Christ's resurrection is irrefutable. My purpose here is not give any of those proofs but simply to acknowledge they exist.

The resurrection of Christ from the dead, according to this passage, provides assurance unto all men. I see that assurance as having two applications.

First, the world may be assured that the judgment of God upon this world will happen. Revelation 19 describes Jesus Christ coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Also described are
The seven year Tribulation period
The 1000 year reign of Christ followed by the final battle with Satan
The Great White Throne Judgment
The destruction of this earth and the creation of a new one
Any who cares to consider the truth of Christ's resurrection and then compare it with this verse will find he can be assured such judgment is coming.

Secondly, Christ's resurrection provides assurance for the believer that, though this judgment is sure, we have escaped it.
We have no need to fear, who have fled to Christ for safety. Though the judgment is real, Christ has already suffered that judgment and any who come to Him have assurance of absolute rest and shelter from it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hearing

Acts 16:25 KJV
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Two things struck me this morning.
Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises.
These are not the best of circumstances. They are in prison, chained to the stocks. They have been beaten and mistreated. They do not know what the outcome of all of this will be. It could mean the end of their lives.
Yet the prayed and they sang praises unto God.
And they are vocal enough that the second thing that struck me happened

The prisoners heard them
It is midnight. I do not imagine that everybody wanted to hear them, at least at first. But the word here means more than that they simply were in earshot. The word means they listened intently.

One of the more interesting things in the Bible to me is that, though it is obvious that God was doing powerful things in the world through the Christians, it was not as if God was making it easy on the Christian. Life was hard, and it was even harder if you were a Christian. But they persisted cheerfully through their hardships and God used them in powerful ways. Perhaps the reason why we see so little real spiritual power today is because we want that power to make us comfortable, not to make us useful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Great and Mighty Things

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

This is a wonderful promise in God's Word and one that I believe every Christian can claim. I did, however, find myself interested in its first application to Jeremiah personally.

Jeremiah finds himself, in this chapter, in a prison cell. All he has done is preach God's Word faithfully, but the price has been heavy. God begins His promise to Jeremiah with a statement concerning Himself:
Jeremiah 33:2 KJV
Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;

The "it" of the passage is anything God wills.
God has made the prison Jeremiah found himself in.
God had permitted Jeremiah to be imprisoned.
God can do as He pleases and always does what He does for His own glory and for our own good.

Now for the promise; God told Jeremiah if he would ask that God would show him great and mighty things. And those things are then shown him in the following verses.

First there is a revelation of judgment
vs 4-5

Secondly there is a revelation of peace
vs 6

Thirdly there is a revelation of restoration
vs 7

Fourthly there is a revelation of pardon
vs 8

Fifthly there is a revelation of joy and praise and honour
vs 9

There are no greater things than those that God does to bring sinners to a place of peace, pardon and praise before God.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It's Our Own Doing

Jeremiah 30:15 KJV
Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

Although I find a lot to be hopeful of in chapter 30 of Jeremiah, this is a passage that slaps us alongside the face. This is a generation of Jews who had begun and were about to go through some very difficult days. Of course they complained about them; nobody enjoys affliction. But God confronts them is blunt terms that ought to wake us and cause us to take note.

God said they had no good reason to cry. All of their sorrow was the result of their own iniquity and sins. It had come upon them because they had not obeyed the Lord at all.

This passage does not make going through sorrowful times any easier for us, but it is still the truth. Our sorrows come upon us first, because we live in a world that mankind allowed sin to enter, secondly because we so often choose to sin rather than to do the obedient thing ourselves.

Whenever we go through times of sorrow we need to use that experience to pull us back into a walk with the Lord. Rather than crying over our troubles, lets instead turn to the Lord in our troubles.

Monday, February 08, 2010

His Thoughts Toward Us

Jeremiah 29:11 KJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

This is one of those passages that a person ought not ever let themselves forget.
When things get tense
When life has been discouraging
When dreams have not been fulfilled
When the heart breaks
When we are persecuted
When a friend has forsaken us
When God seems distant
When our sins are being chastened


No matter how long these low times may go on still this passage holds true; God's thoughts toward His people are of peace and not of evil.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Smitten of the Angel

Acts 12:7 KJV
And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

Acts 12:23 KJV
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

I noticed this morning that two men were smitten of the Angel of the Lord in this chapter. But the results of that smiting is much different between the two. The Greek word is even the same in both verses. The word has a huge difference in meaning; either, to knock gently or to strike fatally. We see both extremes in the chapter.

Neither is pleasant, but the purpose of each is far different and it goes to remind us of the difference of facing God's chastisement or His judgment.

God's judgment is fatal and eternal.
It condemns the soul to eternal hell and is horrible in both the short and long term impacts.

God's chastening is temporal and gentle.
Its purpose is to bring the intended into a right relationship with the Father. It is not pleasant but yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

God's judgment has been met in the person of Jesus Christ. Any person who trusts Christ as Saviour never need fear the fatal blow of judgment. God's chastening is only for the child of God.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Lord Our Righteousness

Jeremiah 23:6 KJV
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

I have been studying the names of the Lord for a few weeks now and I was glad to see this one in my devotions for the day. While the Hebrew name, Jehovah Tsidkenu, seems to be popular among some teachers, I prefer the English of the name.

The is no righteousness except it come from the Lord. He not only makes us righteous and gives us righteousness (which would still mean the righteousness has not become a part of our own character) no, it is much better than that, He is our righteousness.

Religion always creates a system whose main focus and drive is to conform its adherents to what they believe is righteous behaviour. Even true Christians can make the mistake of ding that. We urge people to call on the Lord to save them from their sins and then we spend the rest of our time trying to get them to behave how we believe they should. Our followers become confused and frustrated because they just can't measure up to our expectations. This is not at all the plan of God. Our righteousness is not found in how we behave.

Our righteousness is and will always be only Jesus Christ.

Friday, February 05, 2010

That Word...Ye Know

Acts 10:37 KJV
That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

I find it interesting that in two of the earliest efforts to reach non Jews, those they attempted to reach had already been exposed to the Word of God.

In Samaria, Philip's ministry among these people was certainly aided by the ministry Christ had there with the woman at the well. In this case Peter bluntly exclaims that Cornelius and those with him already knew the Word he was about to preach to them. It had been published throughout Judaea and began from Galilee.

This is still the case of much of the world today, certainly of all of the civilized world; very few people do not know something about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps this is the difference between true missions and what might be better called evangelism: Missions takes the message to those who have never heard any portion of the Word of God, evangelism reaches out to those who have heard, with the personal application, "Ye must be born again."

In the world in which I live, though people are becoming less and less "Christianized" still my main work is not to introduce them to the name of Christ for the first time, my work is to bring what they have already heard to life. My task, as was Peter's, is to try to get the message from the head into the heart.

Peter preached the Word of God and Cornelius and those with him responded as the Spirit of God moved upon them.

Holy Spirit, so move among those we take the Gospel to.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Mighty Terrible One

Jeremiah 20:11 KJV
But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

I may be that Jeremiah really entered into his ministry right here; or at least became mature in the ministry here. He had been struggling, even asserting that God had deceived him. The ministry had been difficult, more difficult than he could have ever imagined.

He considered quitting.

But he just couldn't. The Word of God was too compelling. The need of souls was too demanding.

It is here then that Jeremiah comes to the conclusion that marks a ministry born in the Spirit of the Lord and not of man. Though the persecutors were all around him, now he saw the Lord as a mighty terrible One going before him and using him as the Lord saw fit.

Here he began to trust the God he had been preaching for others to trust.

Here is where every preacher of God's Word must arrive.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Pastor

Jeremiah 17:16-17 KJV
As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.
Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.


Though Jeremiah did not believe himself to be "qualified" to be the man of God he had been called to be, yet he was not hesitant to follow the Lord in this calling. Jeremiah could foretell that his ministry was going to be one of trouble and woe and he did not enter into it lightly.

Jeremiah could also foresee that the message he would bring was one of judgment to the people of Israel and he was quick to say that it wasn't a message he was anxious to see come to pass.

A pastor is called of God to preach a difficult message to a stiff necked people, yet:
His ministry must be one of following the Lord
His message must be right before the Lord
His manner must be tender toward the congregants and
His hope must be in the Lord

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It Will Be All Right

Jeremiah 15:11 KJV
The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.

This is a great promise in God's Word.

The Prophet is speaking about the remnant of those faithful to the Lord. Among the Jews, though the most of them had completely turned from a true walk with the living God, still there were some that had remained faithful. To those God promises that it would be well with them.

They were sinners just as the rest of the Jews were. We all are. And as sinners they would also experience the chastisement of God.
They would too be captured by the enemy.
They would too be dispossessed of their land
They would too be carried off to foreign places

But God said of them that, though they were chastened, it would be all right. It would be well with them.

We live in sinful times. And even those Christian who today strive to live for the Lord get caught up in the sins of the present evil world. We do things that are wrong and sometimes we have trouble seeing the error of tem because they are so prominent in our world. For these sins we must be corrected. But it will still be well with us. God's chastening in meant to be corrective on our part and not punitive. Our judgment has been paid; the wrath of God has been revealed for us against Christ Jesus. Yes; God longs to make us Christlike, but He has no intention of destroying us.

Praise God, it shall be well with thy remnant.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Why We Wait Upon God

Jeremiah 14:22 KJV
Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.


The Prophet gives good reason to wait upon the Lord....

First, because the gods of the Gentile world are just vanities.
They are false
They are useless and
They are powerless


The land was in a drought when the Prophet spoke these words. And none of the vanites of the Gentiles could have done anything to correct it.

Secondly, the Lord has made all things
God is real
God is alive
God is powerful and
God is capable to answering the prayers of those who call upon Him


It is obvious why a man would wait upon the Lord. There is no other one upon whom to wait.