Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 6:16-8:7; Colossians 2:8-23; Psalm 78:1-31; Proverbs 24:26
God has offered us great advice on how to get the most out of life with the least amount of strife, but people ignore it (Jeremiah 6:16-17). We want what we want. We don’t want to listen to what God has to say. Too many people think the Bible is outdated, bigoted, and useless in today’s modern world. They think that anything new is automatically better than anything old. This is not only wrong but illogical.
Jeremiah prophesied that a great invasion would come from the north to attack and obliterate Judah (Jeremiah 6:22-23). Sure enough this prophesy came true when Babylon conquered Judah just a couple of decades later.
No one should be fooled. God sees all that is going on (Jeremiah 7:11). Not only does He see our actions but He sees our intentions. Many people (including ones I know) think that they can “trick” God into thinking they are good enough to enter heaven because they do good things in life. But if they are only doing them to get into heaven then their intentions are purely selfish. And God knows it.
Those of us who are Gentiles should remember that God severely disciplined His chosen people, the Jews, for their moral failures (Jeremiah 7:12). There is, therefore, no reason to think He won’t discipline us at least as severely. Especially considering that we have been lovingly-warned by God repeatedly (Jeremiah 7:13) but have ignored Him.
When we disobey God we are hurting no one but ourselves (Jeremiah 7:19). All we have to do is follow God’s instructions – instructions He gave us because He loves us and wants the best for us (Jeremiah 7:23). But we are too proud. We don’t want anyone else – even God who made the universe and who knows best how to live in it – to tell us what to do. The results of such stubbornness never end well.
Its common to change course when we realize that we are going in the wrong direction, either literally or figuratively. But not when it comes to our eternity. People tenaciously hold to ideas that they cannot prove and conclusions that have no basis (Jeremiah 8:4-6).
They stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that a loving God, who created them, has given them all the direction they will ever need. Instead they insist on plotting their own destructive course through life – including eternity – that has no chance of ending up anywhere good.
There are, and always have been, many approaches to life. These may sound good but they are really empty foolishness (Colossians 2:8). Many modern day “philosophers” like Oprah, Dr. Phil, Steven Hawking and others who have no understanding of God are “capturing” the minds of many likewise lost people and are leading them astray to the wrong side of eternity.
Jesus, who was completely God in a human body (Colossians 2:9), taught us how to live. If any teaching contradicts what Jesus taught then it is false and should be avoided.
Everyone is born with a sinful nature, as we have learned by reading the Bible this year. We are slaves to sin – we can’t help sinning. And every time we do we chalk up another charge against us in God’s ledger. But when someone repents of their sins and asks for and receives forgiveness from God He cancels that debt immediately (Colossians 2:14). This is the mercy that God is offering to every human being.
It is very dangerous to put limitations on God. Many people think God can do only so much, just like the Israelites thought when they were in the desert (Psalm 78:19-22). Because of their doubts the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness getting to the Promised Land. The trip should have taken about two weeks. In the end the majority of these disbelievers died in the desert without accomplishing what they set out to accomplish.
The same is true for us today. When we place limits on God we are really limiting our own lives. We prevent ourselves from receiving all the blessings that He has to offer. I am quite possibly the most guilty human being on this issue ever. Its something I’m working on and can say that the times I have let God out of the box I’ve placed Him in He has shown me things that were quite amazing.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.