Bible Reference: Jeremiah 32:26–31
Bible Text: 26 Then this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 27 “I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? 28 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will capture it. 29 The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring out liquid offerings to other gods. 30 Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. They have infuriated me with all their evil deeds,” says the LORD. 31 “From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it.
Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
I know that many would prefer to see the positive spin to scripture than the negative, so perhaps I could have titled this blog “Pleasing God invokes His blessings”! However, part of my study this morning took me into Romans 7 where Paul was pleading with God to help him overcome a very big problem that he had. Paul realized that he often did those things that he was determined not to do, and he always seem to do those things that he knew he shouldn’t do. So because of this same dilemma, which I am convinced that we still battle today, I felt like I should just present the challenge by Jeremiah in the light that it is presented in the Bible! Friends, I believe it is time that we stop and ‘call a spade a spade’. Let’s be honest with ourselves, how hard are we trying to please God in our personal lives, or in our families, among our friends, in our workplaces, our churches, cities, states, or countries? I know, our pet answer would probably be that we are doing better than our neighbor next door, or that our church doors are still opened and occasionally we see some numerical growth, so we assume that we must be on track. Friends, I would like for us to take a moment and look at our specific country from God’s perspective, and see if you can come up with a few things that you could brag on before God. Consider this: in His Word, God detailed the reason He made us and the reasons He would allow us to continue on as His children. He provided beautiful landscapes for us to enjoy and He provided food for our nourishment. Would you consider that most of the other things that we have brought into the equation, serve to enhance our worship of the Master, or to promote the ministry of the gospel to the lost and dying in our communities and the rest of the world? If God was to send in His forces to destroy our towns, which parts of the town might you be able to defend before Him as being holy and totally in place for the benefit of the gospel? Please don’t automatically go to the churches, for I am not convinced that they all serve the purpose for which they were intended. Furthermore, can we really present our churches as effective messengers of the gospel message? If they were, don’t you suppose that they would be more effective in attracting the lost and/or the un-churched? Friends, I believe that we are probably worse off than the Israelites were at the time that God declared (in verse 31) that He was so angry He would totally get rid of everything they built – everything that distracted them from the purity of their hearts and their worship of Him. In the case of the Israelites, this included total demolition of the city. Would our situation be any better off? We have so many personal idols and/or ideals and/or beliefs that it is often very challenging to remove the ‘cobwebs’ so that we could clearly see the face of God and know what He desires of us. Some who will read this devotional will be faced with country-wide general elections soon. May I remind us that while this is an important part of our earthly obligations to vote, it is secondary to all that I have shared with you this morning. God will not ask us if we voted, or who we may have voted for. He is more concerned with the purity of our heart and our everyday decisions, and how they align with His will for our lives. Let’s keep that part in order, then I am assured that God will direct us to the right candidate to vote for, so that He may be honored, praised and worshiped by His people.
Father, thank You for being patient with us. Thank You for providing Your Word as direction for our daily path. Lord, please forgive us for allowing so many things to interfere and distract us from the actual path that You have set before us, especially our selfish and personal ideals. It’s not about us, so Lord may our lives be so in tuned with You that our decisions will be based on Your desires and Your heart. I admit that this may not always be the popular thing to do, but our desire is to please You oh Lord, and not the general public looking to feed their fancy. We need You every minute of every day Lord. Please touch Your children today in ways that we may recognize Your voice and be reminded of Your power. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, my Rock, my redeemer and my soon coming King, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 could 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at 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!