DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-08-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 7:21-23
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 21 The Lord, the God of Israel says: Away with your offerings and sacrifices! 22 It wasn’t offerings and sacrifices I wanted from your fathers when I led them out of Egypt. That was not the point of my command. 23 But what I told them was: Obey me, and I will be your God and you shall be my people; only do as I say, and all shall be well!
OBSERVATION: If we reflect on why we perform some of the rituals that we do in our churches, we may need to look no further than back to what our ancestors did. But along the way, we should be careful to reflect on whether God was pleased with what His people did in an effort to please Him. Our Scripture today shows us how displeased God was with the Israelites because they chose to ignore His commands and do their own thing. Do you feel like you are doing any better than that today?
APPLICATION: I bet that one of the worse pet peeves of parenting is, hearing our children respond to us ‘but I thought…..’. You told them to complete a certain chore, and you wanted it done a certain way. However, it was not completed to your satisfaction. Regrettably the child will respond ‘but dad, I thought ……’ And we know that means that they thought they knew a better way! For those who have been a student of the Bible for very long, you have probably found, like I have, that God has done an awesome job at providing instruction for every area of life in His precious Word. However, way too many times we try all of our own ideas before finally conceding to the Bible to see what it has to say. Generally it’s after we have messed up, that we concede and turn to God for help! Friends, our personal ways are filled with selfish ideas about what might please self. But notice how simple God’s commands to the Israelites were: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people’. Very simple, but recognize the value in this short command. God performed miracle after miracle to change the mindset of Pharaoh, to willingly let God’s people go. The Israelites were present and impacted by all that our God miraculously did, so they had proof of His awesome power. They knew that He was in control of this earth and that nothing is impossible with Him. However, as they journeyed, and when things got tough, they immediately resorted to their old habits and to their former gods. Are we any different today? I believe that God not only said these words through His servant Jeremiah for the good of the Israelites, but I believe that He truly wants us to understand this today, that all He wants from us, is that we obey Him. In fact, this is confirmed in John 14:15-16 where Jesus reiterates that if we love Him, we will obey Him and His commands. Friends, when we truly love someone, we will make every effort to do what they want. God showed us how much He loves us. How far are we willing to go to prove our love for God?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, You gave Your very own Son so that we might be saved and enjoy eternity with You in Heaven. There is no greater love! As we look for ways to say thank You Jesus, we realize that You have already told us how we might show our love for You – simply obey You and the commands You have set out in Your Word. Because of Your love for us, I am convinced that every command given for us to follow were given in love, and for our own good. But Lord, we are so stubborn and selfish, so please tender our hearts once again today so that we may willingly obey and desire to please You in all that we do or say. Please fill us with so much of Your love, that it will overflow in everything we do and it will stand behind every decision we make, so that You will be glorified. Thank You Jesus for first loving us. May our obedience to Your commands show the extent of our love for You, today and every day. 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!