Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jeremiah 15-18

I, yet again, am struggling to get through our reading today.  It's difficult to hear God so angry, so harsh, and so destructive in Jeremiah 15-18.

It's brutal; and quite honestly, I don't like reading it. 

God tells His people, through Jeremiah,

"You have rejected me," declares the Lord.  
"You keep on backsliding.
  so I will reach out and destroy you;
  I am tired of holding back."

Poor Jeremiah.  Can you imagine being the one sharing that message with a mob of lost people?

No matter WHAT the details were involved with this rejection for individuals, for families, for the community, and for the larger nation, let's just put it simply (although I know it can be oh so complicated and confusing).  

WHATEVER they were doing at the time and over time, these people definitely didn't make God the center of it all, and that's where He needs to be in order for us to realize the awesome wonders He works in our lives.

Deep down, we know we aren't so unlike God's people back then because we all backslide in our faithfulness.  We aren't perfect.

BUT, there's one really big saving grace of a difference between us and them.

We know Jesus, and they didn't.  

Jesus walked among us, died, and lives for eternity, for us.  And now, God has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and help us each and every day.  All of this is because God so loves us. 

As believers in Christ, we have an advantage in the world.

That's not to say we don't mess up.  That's not to say believers are any better than non-believers.  We aren't for sure.  We're just normal, ordinary people made extraordinary in Christ.

When we mess up, we have hand that will get us going in the right direction.  

Believing in Jesus means we are forgiven for backsliding.  And even better, God works in our hearts to make us more and more like Christ every time we repent.

We are like clay in the potter's hands.  God holds us and shapes us (Jeremiah 18).

So, as hard as it is to read Jeremiah, even though it's brutal, and I don't like the "hard stuff", these words are the truth.  

Because you know what?  Life without God is brutal.  

It's worth our every effort to accept Jesus into our hearts and lives.  What does that really mean in your life?

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
  whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
  that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
  its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
  and never fails to bear fruit.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for sending Jesus to be my Savior.  He makes such a difference in my life, Lord.

Forgive me for the ways I backslide.  Hold me in Your arms and shape me.  Take my ordinary life, Lord, and make it extraordinary in Christ.

Guide me with your Holy Spirit to be better at sharing the love of Christ in the world.

I especially have ___________________ on my heart.  Show me what to do for You.  

My confidence and trust are in You, Lord.

In Jesus' name I pray,

In Christ's love,
*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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