Wednesday, August 3, 2022

            Jeremiah was the second of the major prophets in the Old Testament.  He was called the “weeping prophet.”  He spoke God’s Word during some dark days in Judah—the final days of Judah’s existence before the Babylonian exile and then for several more years into the time of exile and captivity.  He called the people out for their sins but also gave them the promise of renewal and restoration.  God was not finished and the last word had not yet been written.  In chapter one, this prophet taught us a lesson about the intimate way that the Lord knows us.  We read, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).  The Lord knows His people and has plans for them.  As Jeremiah would later say in one of his most often quoted passages, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).  We can take consolation today in knowing that our lives and existence are not futile or frustrating.  God does have purpose and meaning that He can bring to any life.
            Seeking the Lord is an important mission in life.  Jeremiah gives us a primer on how to seek the Lord each day.  We read, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13).  Seeking and knowing the Lord are not mere hobbies or pastimes.  To know the Lord is the most pressing or urgent calling in our lives.  And Jeremiah challenges us to seek Him with heart, mind, soul, life and everything.  We learn from Jeremiah that faith in God is rewarded and honored.  Such an investment of faith and trust does not return to us void.  “But blessed is 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.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).  In a turbulent and often changing world, we find our footing and stability in the Lord and the trust we place in Him.  We seek to hear Him and to believe Him above the noise of the world around us.
            Chapter 18 of Jeremiah is the powerful story of the prophet’s trip to the Potter’s House where the Lord taught him that Israel was like clay in His hands.  God could build and shape the people and the nation if they would only trust Him.  The same can be said about us today.  God can work in those who place their trust and hopes in Him.  We might not always see the evidence of His work and hand as immediately as we might like.  But our trust, prayers and seeking are not done in vain. God is at work in all who call upon His Name and place their hopes in His hands.  What could God do in your life today as you look to Him?
            Jeremiah delivered a stark warning about forgetting the Lord.  “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 29:13).  When we turn from the Lord to ANY other thing, we find that we have made a bad and tragic choice.  We have turned to wells and cisterns that are empty and have no life-giving power to offer us.  If Jeremiah spoke to us for a minute today, he might likely tell us to lift our eyes beyond the things around us, to see God and walk with Him and to abandon the ways we have chosen in favor of His ways.  Seeking the vain and empty things is like running until your feet are bare and your throat is dry said Jeremiah (2:25a).  “Your sins have deprived you of good” (Jeremiah 5:25).  But the Lord awaits, like the loving Father He is, for His people to return to Him while the window is open and there is still time.  Consider whatever business you might have before the Lord and quickly attend to it today.  Enjoy this Wednesday that God has made.  And remember you can invite others to worship with us at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.    

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