Near or far?

“But can you name even one of these prophets who lives close enough to God to hear what he is saying?” Jeremiah 23:18

Proximity to God correlates with how Godly I will live.

The prophets God is talking about in today’s verse were telling the people that they had nothing to worry about.  Jeremiah, saying what God told him to say, was saying just the opposite.

Who could you trust?  Obviously, the one closest to God would hear/tell what God said best.

I apply this to my own life.  I cannot expect to accurately do what God wants if I have distanced myself from Him.  Absence from His presence is a mistake.

Walking with God takes discipline.  I must pay attention because His “walk” may have a different pace than I had planned.

Think of your day.  Sometimes things come up that redirect you to things you hadn’t planned for the day.

If I chose my own “pace,” I could well miss out on His plans for me.  I could even find His plans troubling.

I do not know what He has for me to do.  I dare not pre-determine that this is what I’ll do or won’t do.

My best posture is to stay close to Him.  Close enough that I can talk to Him.  Close enough that I can hear Him talking to me.

The false prophets in Jeremiah’s day told the people what THEY thought was going to happen.  These prophets had little or no contact with God although they professed otherwise.

Jeremiah was tight with God.  His words, though unpopular, were true.  There was trouble coming he said.  All wasn’t well.  Jeremiah’s proximity to God enabled him to get right what he was supposed to do and say.

I crave His insights.  I must preserve in staying close to Him.

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Speaking His Words

“and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate.  There proclaim the words I tell you……” Jeremiah 19:2

God has words that He wants said, and as His representative I must be saying them.

How am I doing at it?

Judging by reactions, sometimes better than others.

Why the inconsistency?

I think that the “inconsistency” starts with my way of getting His Words.

How often have I spoken first and regretted it later?

In much of my life I prepare in advance.  I check my wardrobe.  I check my schedule.  All before I set out.

Without planning, my day can be thrown off.

I want to use God Words, but I must have His timing when I speak.

Certainly, there are times to speak immediately and there are times to wait.

Certainly, there are times to say nothing, even in obvious situations.

To generate words that He would like, I must have stored up His words in advance.

The first Person I should speak to each day is God.  I must declare His place in my life, and I must ask Him to give me His Words and His Timing with those words.

Jeremiah was so filled with God that he had to say what God wanted him to say.

May I have that same divine enabling today.



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God on Vacation

I’m away from home.

Those quiet times aren’t quiet and there never is time or opportunity to deliberately spend time with Him.

The Bible studies and church gatherings I love are in the rear-view mirror.

And my Godly behavior slips away.

I think, “I can’t wait to get home and restore my Christian life to what it should be.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “But blessed in 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.”

That “tree” is not going to change, no matter what happens.  It is developing roots and has a good chance of handling anything that comes along.

When my conditions change, my relationship with God doesn’t have to change.

As a believer, I have the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit didn’t stay in Amesbury.  He travels!

“There’s so many people around and my “schedule” is all messed up!” Would I dare to think that the Holy Spirit ducks out when things get chaotic?

I need to get it into my head that the Holy Spirit is ALWAYS with me.

I cannot use my away-from-home setting as an excuse for disconnecting from Him.

Vacations are a test of my “root structure.”

I struggle with it.  How about you?

And what do you do about it?

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Love them?

Matthew 5:43-48

Do you want to get rid of your enemies?  Pray for them.

You just can’t pray for someone and hate them at the same time.

The current President seems to bring out the worst in so many people.

He tosses insults like some of us toss frisbees!

Many want to respond in kind, but today’s verses expect otherwise.

This does NOT mean that we condone evil behavior.  What’s wrong is wrong no matter who is doing it.  We must separate them from the wrongs they are doing and see them as God’s creation.  He made those folks!

I cannot love my enemies unless I am filled with God.  I don’t have the natural capability to do it.

When I am frustrated with the behavior of others, I need to glance behind their behavior at them and see them as God’s creation.


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You have heard it said……..but I tell you

(Matthew 5:38-39)

Jesus came to earth to straighten things out.

I am unable to function in a Godly fashion unless I am overwhelmed with Him.

Many of the things Jesus told us to do are flat out impossible.  They go entirely against natural instincts.

And this is the point of today’s entry: the natural man gets it wrong.

I want to avenge those who wrong me.  It wasn’t deserved.  They over-reacted.

But Jesus says that I must.

The teachings of Jesus were painfully clear at times.  I say, painfully, because the reader doesn’t want to believe what he/she is reading.  You want me to do what??

But back I go to recognizing that in my own strength (naturally) I can’t perform at the level He would require of me.  Therefore, I am drawn to my need for His help.

I must live my life in a tight relationship to Him. That relationship must be ongoing.

If my relationship to Him is loose than surely things will come along to reveal that looseness.

I like to ask God, “What do You want me to do?”

But it behooves me to also ask, “Will You please give me a strength this day that is embedded in You?”

I can do it His Way if He is in charge of everything I do.


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Open mind

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”  Luke 24:45

We do not have the capacity to understand the Bible without God’s help.

It may be that a Godly-anointed preacher gives us explanation.

Jesus took an initiative of that sort when He explained how the Old Testament told of what He was now involved in.

The beauty of Godly insights!

You read a section of the Bible and suddenly see it in a new way.  You wonder why it has taken you so long to see it that way.  Could it be that God has now opened your mind as He did with His disciples?  I think so.

When we read Scripture, we should beforehand ask Him to please open our minds to what we’ll be reading.  I refuse to believe that He would not honor such a request.

The Scripture has much to say to you and me, but we need help to gain understanding.  We must ask Him for it.

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Getting right with wrong

“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action.”  Luke 23:50-51

The Godly in this world shutter at the choices being made.

That which conflicts directly with the New Testament is not only considered right but is protected from correction attempts.

So how do we live in such a godless environment?

I am currently working my way through “God Guides” by Mary Geegh.  My reading today brought me to a story of how Mary dealt with wrong.  Like many of us, she was initially quick to condemn and quick, as a result, to drive someone away.  God later brought this Scripture to her: “I have not come to condemn the world but to save it.”  God told Mary to repent of condemning someone else……….and she did.  Ultimately, a relationship was restored.

How easy it is to condemn evil.  How difficult it is to see the bigger picture.  If God is doing all He can to save people, I need to find ways to do that as well.

This does not mean that I am to condone evil, but instead I need to see in that evil-doer someone God loves and wants to save.  I must do all I can to function within His framework.

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