Saturday, August 09, 2008

Boast in the Lord

August 9: Jeremiah 7-9

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.


8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations?
Jeremiah 7:1-10

12 Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13 And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, 14 but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.

23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Jeremiah 9:12-14 & 23-24

Boast in the Lord

God made a covenant with Israel. What were the conditions that Israel needed to fulfill to keep their side of the covenant? They were to serve the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind. However, they continually left the Lord, and served the gods of the nations around them. Again and again the prophet cried out to the Israelites calling them to amend their ways.

5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

Remember, God was speaking to His own children; today God still speaks these words to the church. Just as the Israelites could not trust in the temple, so, too, we must not rest in a "decision for Christ." True Christians are called to live a holy and upright life before the Lord, knowing that their calling is to serve Christ. If a "decision" has been made, and yet there is no change in the heart, one must always ask themselves, "Was my decision real?"

We will never be able to serve the Lord perfectly in this life; this life is a continual war against sin, especially our own sins. Yet, as we go to Christ for strength and help, the normal Christian life should be one of growth. By the grace of God, we should see ourselves becoming more and more like Christ, and becoming more and more uncomfortable with the things of the world.

So, what is our ultimate goal? Look at Jeremiah 9:23 & 24:

23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Pray that God will help you to boast in the Lord!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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