Category Archives: Jeremiah

Facing Hurricane Irma

Obeying God when it suits me

“Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God.”  Jeremiah 42:6.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 42-44, Psalm 48, and Revelation 13.

Wow, does that sound good!  Whatever the choice we are all in on it.

But reality was a different story.  The choices were to turn themselves over to the Babylonians or flee to Egypt.

Jeremiah returned with God’s answer: turn themselves over to the Babylonians.

This wasn’t the choice that those in Jerusalem wanted, so they reneged on their “we will obey whatever” declaration.

When God closes a door in our lives, do we get angry with Him?  Do we assume that He doesn’t care?  Do we avoid His company thereafter?  Too often we do, don’t we?

God is in ultimate charge.  He has the Master plan.  Our task is to be sure that we are doing what He wants us to do.

In the midst of the threat of Hurricane Irma, what are the Godly to do?  Use the wisdom that God gives.  Seek His directions.  Be prepared to help others.  Know that God knows about our predicament.  Know that He loves them.  Know that others are interceding before God on their behalf.

Limiting our association with God to good times is a sure sign of a misguided relationship with Him.  He is the God for all seasons.

“Lord, I stand in the gap for the folks in the path of Hurricane Irma.  Spare them, I beg.  Comfort them, I beg.  Empower them to trust You.  You are ultimately in charge of the weather.  You are my God, the God of all seasons.”

Is your God bigger than Hurricane Irma?

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Do you cry when you pray?

“’In those days, at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.’”  Jeremiah 50:4.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 50-51, and 3 John.

Why would the people of Israel and Judah approach God this way?  I believe that they realized Who He was and who they were.

God is not a neighbor.  He is not a buddy I call up to play golf with.  He is almighty.  He is above and beyond anything I can imagine.

If I approach God casually then I am misunderstanding Who He is.  I must be in awe of Him at the start of every interaction with Him.

Did you ever cry before God?  Not often.  Sounds like a hardened heart to me.  Sounds like someone, and I surely include myself, who has minimized his/her own performances.  I am a sinner before God and so are you.  We stand “amess” not all-good like Him.  We are out of place in His presence.  We don’t belong to be there BUT He tells us to come.  He tells us He loves us.  He listens to us.  We should be crying more, either because we recognize our sinfulness or because we are overwhelmed by our opportunity to be in His presence.

“Lord, forgive me for my sinfulness.  I am indeed unworthy of conversing with You.  I deserve to be banished from Your sight forever.  YET You changed our relationship by sending Jesus to die for my sins.  I am in the clear now on Judgment Day.  I have a new life.  I can be in Your presence.  Forgive me for forgetting Your awesomeness.  For being casual about our relationship.  How can an earthling have a relationship with God?  A wonderful mystery!  I love You, Father.”

Wouldn’t crying during praying suggest that you know Who He is and who you are?

 

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Who do you think you’re talking to?

“I prayed to the Lord, ‘Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.’” Jeremiah 32:16-17.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 31-32, and 1 John 4.

Today’s verses are how Jeremiah started one of his recorded prayers.

In his prayer start, Jeremiah recognized who God was by citing some of God’s deeds.  Jeremiah added that nothing was beyond God’s capabilities.

Do I realize Who God is?  Am I limiting Him by my approaches to Him?

Am I approaching Him as I would Santa Claus?: Here’s my list, but I doubt you are capable of getting them for me.

Maybe I should approach God as young children approach Santa Claus.  They truly believe in Santa.  He has a great history and they can’t wait to be in his lap and tell him what they want.  Santa’s ability to deliver is a certainty.

My perception of God improves if I am more mindful of Him.  As I lose connectedness to Him, I unwittingly minimize Him.

I look out the window and notice sunshine.  I see a blue sky.  I feel a breeze.  My computer is working.  I had a nice breakfast.  That’s God in the details of my life.  And that doesn’t even reference the greatest thing that He did for me; removing my sin problem.

God is flat-out awesome.  Like Jeremiah, I can make assumptions about my future: There is nothing too difficult for Him in the seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/years ahead.

“Lord, You are amaze me.  Forgive me for downsizing You in any way.  You are great and I have Your Holy Spirit within me.  You are in my life.  Help me to live accordingly.  To live in confidence of Your Presence.  To rightly represent You in my midst.  What a God you are.”

Is God amazing to you or remote from you?  There is a huge difference!

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Evil scares me

“you trust in your riches and say, ’Who will attack me?’” Jeremiah 49:4.

“The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you.” Jeremiah 49:16.

“I will chase Edom from its land in an instant.” Jeremiah 49:19.

Note the sequence: I’m not afraid. I have everything under control.  I’m gone in an instant.

God is in charge whether we know it or not.

Evil exists.  Powerful evil, in fact.  North Korea has missiles that can reach us.

But if you follow the sequence you can see North Korea.  However, can you also see the United States?

We have no special immunity from disaster.

We live in a culture that trusts in counterfeit gods.  But those counterfeits are anything but secure.

We need note that Edom is removed in an INSTANT.  Their so-called defenses were useless.  Their pride in their own capabilities was similarly useless.  And they went down the drain in a hurry!

They were helpless before God.

The enemies in our midst are known to God.  No matter what evil they generate, they will not overpower the God we trust in.  We have chosen the past, present, and future Winner.

“Lord, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the forces of evil that inhabit earth.  They are everywhere and at times are in our neighborhoods.  We scare easily and when we do it reveals that our trust in not in the Almighty God but in the gods we, instead, trust to keep us out of trouble.  Forgive us for minimizing You.  In You we have the only trustworthy One.  The God for all seasons.  Keep us active in resisting the Devil.  You have promised that the Devil will flee from us is we submit ourselves to You.  I submit to You now.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Has the evil in the world got you down?  God is in charge.  Evil flees before Him.  We win in the end!  Live confidently in Him.

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Perhaps

“Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways.”  Jeremiah 26:3.

“Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn from their wicked ways…..” Jeremiah 36:3.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 26,35-36, and John 20.

God is offering a way out.

These folks are being told, now it’s up to them to respond.

God is like that.  We have choices.

If I chose to continue down a wrong road, I will surely get to a wrong location.

God loves me.  He wants me to change for the better and He gives me insight into my wrong and a viable solution.

Sounds simple but how often we resist.  The folks in the Jeremiah story heard and heard and heard that captivity was in their future.  The consequence was clear unless they changed their ways.  Spoiler alert: They don’t change their ways!

Each of us has at least an inkling in almost every situation of what will happen if we do certain things: If I drink coffee at night I will have trouble trying to sleep later on.  I reap what I sow.

I must keep my connection to God tight.  I cannot let it slip or get loose.  If I mess up the connection, then I will get into assorted difficulties.  It always works that way so, why do I keep going there?  I’m a sinner and so are you.

Paul lamented similarly when he asked no one in particular, why he continued to do the things he didn’t want to do.

How will we react after waywardness.  We must recognize it, ask for forgiveness, and do better at getting things right in the future.

“I thank You for Your Word.  I thank You that You wait patiently for me to turn my life over to You.  Forgive me for getting so easily disconnected from You.  I reconnect to You now.  Take me over, I beg.”

God is waiting for us to recognize our waywardness and change our ways.

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You didn’t think I’d notice?

“’Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the Lord, ‘and not a God far away?  Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?’ declares the Lord.  ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:23-24.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 23 & 25, and John 19.

Our view of God is often so human.  So limited.

We imagine Him as one of us but with special powers.

We think of God as the Jesus of the Bible.  But God is not the Jesus of the Bible, He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.

Thinking you can get away from God……..forget about it!

If I know that God is always listening and watching, I am certain to behave better.  Sometimes when I am on the computer and seductive sites show up on the sidebars, the temptation at times is strong to take a quick look.  But if I instantly realize that Someone is watching, I quickly move on.

We need the awareness of His presence.

Also we need to know that God is tuned into things going on elsewhere.  People are having surgery.  People are traveling.  God is with them and we can thank Him for it.

“Lord, how blessed I am to have You close and to have You elsewhere.  We are truly under Your care.  Forgive me for trying, at times, to act as if You weren’t around.  That’s sin.  What a great God You are.”

God is always with us.  We must act accordingly.

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What does it take to get God to change His mind?

“If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.”  Jeremiah 18:7-8.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 18-20, Psalm 96, and John 16.

Can the Bible be believed?  I certainly hope so!

God is telling Israel and Judah the way out of the disaster He has planned for them.

How does this fit in our lives?  We can do something about impending disasters: Repent of the evil we’re committing.

If I am living in sin, I can be fairly certain that there will be consequences.  If I repent of my sins, God can change the result those sins were leading me into.

He can turn the storms of live away from us.

If I want God’s protection, I must be right with Him.  Am I guaranteed a life of happy times?  Certainly not.  But I must not resign myself to disasters.  Instead, I must get myself clean before Him and claim this “turning around” Scripture.  In today’s verses, God was willing to change His mind about an upcoming disaster if the intended recipients of that disaster would get clean with Him.

“Lord, I must never underestimate You.  You love me so much that You provided a way for me to escape my sins’ consequences.  Help me to fully trust You with every part of my life.  I want that cleanness before You.  You amaze me, Father.”

God can change His mind if we will change our ways.

 

 

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