Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 4:19-6:15; Colossians 1:18-2:7; Psalm 77:1-20; Proverbs 24:23-25
Just like children who think they can deceive their parents, people think they can lie to God and get away with it. They think He won’t see their sin and hold them accountable (Jeremiah 4:22). This is wrong thinking. It interesting that we are smart enough to devise schemes we think will deceive an all-knowing God but we are not wise enough to know how foolish that is.
Recently the President of the United States courted a relationship with Iran, a country that has sworn to annihilate us. Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, appears in public to be open to having better relations with us as well. But President Obama, and anyone else who believes Mr. Rouhani, are being deceived (Jeremiah 4:30).
To date God has certainly tried to get the attention of the United States through natural disaster, enemy attacks, and internal problems. Yet the people of this country refuse to acknowledge Him and repent (Jeremiah 5:3). Even our leaders, who of all people should know and follow God’s ways, have rejected Him and His word (Jeremiah 5:3,5). Since we haven’t repented thus far, we can expect God to send even stronger problems our way (Jeremiah 5:6).
God does all this to get our attention and get us to turn back to Him. Some will reject Him for this every reason, claiming that God should only provide us with “good”. But everything that comes from God is good. He may send difficulty, but that is not necessarily bad as it is only as a result of adversity that we will repent and seek His protection.
Even though God had promised to send an enemy against Israel, He would not wipe her out completely (Jeremiah 5:18). Sure enough, as we know, this is exactly what happened. The Jewish race survived, albeit a remnant. Note that this promise was made to Israel. God never made such a promise to any other nation.
God is very clear in His word. He blesses us tremendously including in many ways we take for granted (Jeremiah 5:24). But we can, and will, lose those blessings if we continue to live in sin (Jeremiah 5:25). The reason the United States and gone downhill over the past several decades – and more rapidly recently – is because we have brazenly and proudly embraced sin (Jeremiah 6:15).
Homosexuality is accepted and celebrated. Same-sex marriages are legal. Abortion is legal. Pornography is legal. Murders are increasing. At the same time our national finances are a mess. Our respect around the world is diminished. Our economy has slowed. Our leaders don’t recognize God or understand His word and therefore don’t see the correlation (Jeremiah 6:10). They come up with “solutions” that don’t fix our problems because they don’t understand the root cause of our problems (Jeremiah 6:14).
Sadly, therefore, the only thing that can happen is things will get worse.
Even though we are terrible sinners God never closes the door to reconciliation. Jesus’ death on the cross was the way that God opened the door to peace between Himself and humanity (Colossians 1:20).
It is our evil actions and thoughts that separate us from God (Colossians 1:21). The more we sin the more distant from God we feel and, in fact, we are. We avoid contact with people that we have hurt. Its no different with God. But God is always willing to take us back because He punished all sin on the cross. So there is no need for anyone to remain outside of God’s love. If one acknowledges their sin and repents God will consider that person to be innocent and without a single fault (Colossians 1:22). You’ll never get a better deal
This is the reason Christians want to tell others about Jesus (Colossians 1:28). Satan has tricked non believers into thinking Christians are simply arrogant and close-minded people who want to push their opinions on everyone else. When I was an atheist I thought this. But its not true. We want to tell others so everyone can experience the forgiveness and freedom God offers.
There is nothing wrong with expressing ourselves when we are going through difficulty. Most of the psalms are this very thing. The key to getting through such times with our relationship with God in-tact or even stronger is to remember all the great things He has done previously (Psalm 77:11). We can recall things He has done in our own life, not the least of which is saving us. Or we can recall the many things He has done that are recorded in the Bible. EIther way, these are the thoughts that we should meditate on (Psalm 77:12)
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