DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-08-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 11:14-15
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 14 Therefore, Jeremiah, pray no longer for this people, neither weep nor plead for them; for I will not listen to them when they are finally desperate enough to beg me for help. 15 What right do my beloved people have to come anymore to my Temple? For you have been unfaithful and worshiped other gods. Can promises and sacrifices now avert your doom and give you life and joy again?
OBSERVATION: In my early years of life, I remember when my mom got tired of all the whining, she would say to us kids ‘Enough is enough, and too much is good for nothing at all’! That phrase may not make it into the smartest English professors’ new book, but I though of it this morning as I meditated on our focal verses from Jeremiah! I see a lot of parallels in what God shared with Jeremiah, compared with what all is going on around us today and I wonder how much more God will take before taking similar action to what He did with the Israelites. Meditate with me as we look deeper into this.
APPLICATION: It is unfortunate, but there is an old saying that reminds us that many people don’t look up to God until they are flat on their backs in a serious form of illness and have no other choice but to look up. You may have the same sort of friends that I have, and also like the ones that surrounded Jeremiah in his time. You know, the ones that want absolutely nothing to do with God, or His people, until there is a need in their lives. But let’s put aside our personal feelings about these friends, who still ask us to pray for them in their time of trouble. Let’s think about how God must have felt about the Israelites and how He must feel in our situations today. You see, the God who created us, saw how badly mankind was wandering away from His commands and His commandments, so He miraculously brought His Son into the world to provide a means for us to seek forgiveness of our sin; to cleanse us of our unrighteousness; and to help us see the portals of Heaven. Don’t you see that the thing that God wants most, is that His children would set aside the desires of this world and seek a close relationship with our Master more than anything else in this world? Unfortunately, we are very much like the people of Jeremiah’s day, for we ignore the wonderful grace of Jesus, and the love of our Savior who sacrificed His life for us. However, when troubles come, or unbearable pain, loss, or desperation of life is imposed, the vilest offender – the one who absolutely refused to recognize God in all aspects of life, they suddenly crave to communicate with Him and seek His help. This is why we hear so much about death-bed confessions. While God hears the prayers of forgiveness, and requests for salvation from a sinner, I believe that very much like in the case of the Israelites, He is opposed to the wheeling and dealing we may try to do when we look Him up on an as-needed basis. Because we then tend to continue our life of sin and separation. It is obvious that God was totally opposed to this with the Israelites, and I have no reason to doubt that He is just as upset with sinners today who feel like they could manipulate God. You see, God sent His Son to be our everlasting Savior throughout all of eternity. I believe God expects nothing less from us when we say with our lips that we confess our sins to Him, yet we go on living like the world. He wants us to live up to our commitment throughout eternity. Please let it really sink in: (1) He told Jeremiah not to pray for the wicked people of his time – and this is something that no person alive would want to hear, no matter what they believe, or don’t, for we all want others to pray with us about our troubles and our pain; and (2) In verse 23 of this same chapter God declared that those same wicked people would be destroyed. We have always been taught and encouraged that as long as there is life, there is hope. So we absolutely can’t imagine that while we feel like we could ask God’s people to pray for us, God might be declaring our demise – because of our stubbornness, unbelief, selfishness and determination to live life under our own terms. Friends, we serve a very strong and loving God who is full of grace and mercy, but He is also a JUST God and will do what He says. I believe His desire is that you would accept Him and know Him intimately for as long as He allows you time here on earth. Rejecting Him will lead to destruction, for He will eventually declare that ‘Enough is Enough’. May you make a well informed, choice today, that is pleasing to our God and that will last throughout eternity, for this is my sincere prayer for you.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, it is challenging for us to comprehend the love that You showed on Calvary for us, because here on earth we tend to be so selfish and we desire only things that will benefit us or our loved ones. But Lord, I pray today that You would use Your Word to speak truth into the lives of my friends and I that will impact us for eternity. Please help us to draw so close to You that Your love will flow through us, especially to those who have yet to recognize You as King. May this be a day that many will come to know You personally, and without any side distractions or urgencies that may hinder them from looking for a ‘higher being’ – a God who loves them sincerely. You are God, and besides You there is no other. Oh that we may have a personal, real and intimate relationship with You here on earth so that You may accomplish Your work even through us. Lord, we want to see You! Please bless us and use us for Your glory, while we wait for Your call to join You in Heaven! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!