Thursday, 30 November 2006

Turn and live

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” - Ezekiel 18v31-32

While Ezekiel 18 appears to be a chapter full of God’s wrath I am touched by the depth of love He shows in the chapter. One call almost sense His compassion as He pleads with people to forsake their sin and turn to Him. While God says the death of His saints is precious, He has no pleasure in the death if the wicked for He knows their final fate.

In the chapter His pleads with people to turn to Him. The options are clear, continue on in your way and face destruction, or “turn and live.” Obviously. God’s will is clear – He loves the world so much that He gave His own Son to die for it. He begs and pleads with people to turn to Him and be delivered from destruction.

What an amazing, loving God. The Creator of the universe begs mankind to turn to Him. Those who do can have a new heart, a new spirit, and they can live forever with Him.
What an amazing God we have!

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

A degenerate heart

“How weak [degenerate (NKJV)] is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;” - Ezekiel 16v30

The first part of Ezekiel 16 is a beautiful picture of all that God did for His city Jerusalem. He wooed them, He clothed and He loved them to Himself. He met all their needs and adorned them as His bride.

After all of that Jerusalem chose to reject Him and committed spiritual adultery, going after others gods and other idols – they rejected His love and all that He did for them to satisfy their own lustful hearts. The next few verse go into detail about why Jerusalem did what she did.

At the end of the day the reason was a weak and degenerate heart. Why do God’s people act like an “imperious whorish woman?” Simple, because they have not dealt with their weak, degenerate hearts. Everything can look perfect on the outside, but if the heart is not right, spiritual adultery will result.
Let us guard our own hearts against weakness’ Lets make sure that our hearts are degenerate regarding the things of God.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

I have done nothing without cause

“And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.” - Ezekiel 14v23

It was difficult for God’s people to understand that He still really cared or that He even really was still there. Judgement after judgement was being poured out on them. The enemies seemed to be prospering, it looked to them like perhaps God was just letting things take their course and He had forgotten all about them.

God never leaves His people comfortless. He here reminded them that although judgement was falling He would preserve a remnant and that they would know that “I have not done without cause all that I have done…”
One of the key things we must do in our relationship to God is to realise that He has a purpose for everything He does – there is a cause behind everything. Just like He was working is a way that the people could not see in Ezekiel’s time He is working today. There is a cause in all that He does, we may always see it or know it, but by faith we can rest that there is indeed a cause!

Monday, 27 November 2006

Idols of the heart

“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?” - Ezekiel 14v3

In the time of the kings one the key indicators of how much the king followed God was the extent to which the tore down the idols. When they did not break down the idols, trouble always remained and the sin of the land would rear its ugly head again. A pattern developed that a king would come in, make all kinds of reforms and changes, but he would not knock down the altars or the idols.

In Ezekiel’s time some men came to him for advice and for God’s word. God replied – “these men have idols in their hearts, because of those stumbling blocks I will not hear them.” Just like the kings of Israel and Judah made all kinds of religious reforms and tired to sort things out, so man can make all kinds of changes if he does not deal with the idols of his heart then he will never succeed.

As we examine our hearts today we need to look carefully and see if there are idols in our own hearts. What kind of idols might there be? If we are honest we can all identify idols or potential idols. Here is a partial list of idols which might be hidden there.

The idol of covetousness
The idol of discontent
The idol of sensuality
The idol of lust
The idol of self-centredness
The idol of greed
The idol of pride

Any of these idols and any number of other idols can be harboured in our hearts. If they are can we possibly think that God is going to hear us and bless our efforts? Do we have the cheek to ask Him for anything we have these heart idols hidden on the “god-shelves” of our hearts?

What are the idols of the heart that we are not dealing with/ May we, by the grace of God, do a thorough cleansing of our hearts and rid them completely of the idols there.

Sunday, 26 November 2006

I will do what I say

“For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.” - Ezekiel 12v25

The people of Israel had gone so far in their sin that they acted as if God was not going to act. They read God’s word, they heard the prophets speak, but they really did not seem to think it made any difference.

God let them know in no uncertain terms that He was going to do all that He said He was going to do. In their case the notice was that now it was time, He was going to act on what He had said.

There is a lesson here for us as well. That lesson is simple, God will do what He says He will do. For Israel, and for some today that means that God will have to pour out his judgement. For others, like those of us who are saved, we can rest assured that God will fulfil all His promises to us – He will do for us all that He has said He will do.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

A heart of stone

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh:” - Ezekiel 11v19

In spite of their sin God kept calling His people back to Him. As He called them back, they had two choices.

On one hand they could hold on to their sin and not repent, going on their way. If they did that God said that they would suffer all the consequences of their actions. “ I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD,” God said. Those who will not repent will get what they deserve.

Yet, God still gives hope to those who will repent and put away their abominations do have hope. God said that He would give them a heart of flesh, a tender heart that is able to serve Him in place of a cold, hard, stony heart.

When we get saved God does the same thing for us. He replaces our lost, cold, stony heart with a new heart that has the capacity to serve Him in love. All we do for Him is only because of the soft new heart He has given us.
By God’s grace may we respond to God with the heart of flesh instead of the heart of stone.

Friday, 24 November 2006

Hidden sins

“Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.” - Ezekiel 8v12

What do we do when we are going through tough times and in our flesh we do not sense God’s presence? Sometimes it can be tempting to just say – “Well, if He is not going to pay attention anyway then I can go ahead and do whatever I want. Things can’t get any worse than they are now.

This is what God’s people were doing to Ezekiel. God gave him a vision of what was going on out of site, behind the walls and in the hidden chambers. Horrible sins were going on in the hidden places, unspeakable things. And what was the reason? God doesn’t see us – He has forgotten all about us.

The dark days should bring us into closer fellowship with Him, not drive us into sin. It was said of Job that “in all these things he sinned not.” May we NEVER use the trying times as any kind of excuse to sin.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

I am broken with their whorish heart

“And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.” - Ezekiel 6v9

There is not a whole lot to say about this verse, but one little phrase sticks out and makes me think about the depth and enormity of sin. “I am broken with their whorish heart.” The New King James translates this, “I am crushed with their adulterous heart.” Either way it is obvious that sin, at least as much as we can understand it, breaks God’s heart because it is spiritual adultery. It has an impact on God because it is similar to a spouse going off into adultery.

The word “whorish” is such an ugly word – it is almost disgusting to think about rushing off into whoredom, but that is what we do when we replace our love for God with our love for the idolatry of sin.

We can never take sin lightly. I read the following recently in “The Valley of Vision” –

“Thou does not play in convincing me of sin,
Satan did not play in tempting me to it,
I do not play when I sink in deep mire,
for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies
not so much in the nature of the sin committed,
as in the greatness of the Person sinned against.”
Oh God, remind me daily of how my sin affects You!

I am broken with their whorish heart

“And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.” - Ezekiel 6v9

There is not a whole lot to say about this verse, but one little phrase sticks out and makes me think about the depth and enormity of sin. “I am broken with their whorish heart.” The New King James translates this, “I am crushed with their adulterous heart.” Either way it is obvious that sin, at least as much as we can understand it, breaks God’s heart because it is spiritual adultery. It has an impact on God because it is similar to a spouse going off into adultery.

The word “whorish” is such an ugly word – it is almost disgusting to think about rushing off into whoredom, but that is what we do when we replace our love for God with our love for the idolatry of sin.

We can never take sin lightly. I read the following recently in “The Valley of Vision” –

“Thou does not play in convincing me of sin,
Satan did not play in tempting me to it,
I do not play when I sink in deep mire,
for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies
not so much in the nature of the sin committed,
as in the greatness of the Person sinned against.”

Oh God, remind me daily of how my sin affects You!


Wednesday, 22 November 2006

A watchman

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” - Ezekiel 3v17

The charge to Ezekiel was simple enough – he was to be the spiritual watchman for the nation. The watchman’s job was to stand on the wall and to warn the city of any dangers or threats to the city. All he could do was warn, the town was then responsible for what they would do with the warning.

As a spiritual watchman Ezekiel was to warn the nation of the coming judgement from God. He was to warn them of the consequences of their actions. He knew that if he warned his hands would be clean whether or not they heeded his warning.

There is a sense where God has called us to be watchmen to the people around us. We must warn them of the doom that is to come if they reject God’s offer. If we don’t do that then they might have an excuse to point a finger and say they never knew so that we share some of the responsibility. On the other hand, if we have done what we can to warn the people that we can wash our hands of the results if they do not choose to hear.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

The hand of the Lord was strong upon me

“So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.” - Ezekiel 3v14

When God first told Ezekiel to consume His word and Ezekiel “ate” it, he found the taste as sweet as honey to his taste. It was a wonderful experience and a pleasure.

Later on however he realized that the word of God could be a bittersweet experience – now, when he had to go and preach judgement he found it a “bitter pill to swallow.” He did not want to do this task, he was something that did not please him or his own desires. Yet, as he went out he gave testimony to the fact that he did not have to do it by himself. “The hand of the Lord was strong upon me,” he said.

Ezekiel learned a key lesson that we all must know – whether the message from the Lord is sweet or bitter the hand of the Lord is strong upon us. Let us go out in the strength of the Lord.

Monday, 20 November 2006

Whether they hear or not

“As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” - Ezekiel 3v9-11

Ezekiel could not say that God did not warn him about the task that lay ahead of him. He knew that he was going to a stubborn, or a “stiff-necked” people. But, God gave him some encouragement – in a sense he said “I am going to make you even more stubborn than they are. We use the term “hard-nosed,” but the Bible uses a different term – “ forehead like flint.”

With this forehead like flint Ezekiel was simply told to go and preach, whether they hear you or not. The same task is ours – we are not responsible for how they respond, we are only responsible for doing what God tells us to do. As we do so, we had better go prepared with “foreheads harder than flint” because the job may no be easy!

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Don’t be rebellious like them

“But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.” - Ezekiel 2v8

God gave Ezekiel a tough job – go and preach to a rebellious people who are not going to listen to you. What a discouraging task! The job was so discouraging that God gave had to remind of something in his own life.

“When you go Ezekiel, do not be rebellious like the people you are going to. You take what I give you and take it in to your very soul.” God knew that in the midst of rebellion it would be easy for Ezekiel to slide into the same rebellious spirit as the people he was living amongst. We all tend to take the path of least resistance, which is usually the one that requires the least effort.

God’s command to us is the same as He gave Ezekiel – open your mouth and receive all that I have for you. Take it in, make it a part of you. The word picture is very clear – we are to internalise the word of God in our lives. It is not enough just to clothe ourselves in God’s word, it must be absorbed into our very essence.
Instead of rebelling against the word of God may we always do what Ezekiel did – open our mouths wide and let Him fill us.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

They will know that a prophet has been among them

“And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.” - Ezekiel 2v5

I can’t even imagine being given a task like Ezekiel was given. God told him that he was going to go and preach to people who were not even going to listen to him. Why in the world would God send a man to a place where the people were going to be stiff-necked and rebellious and refuse to hear about it?

Part of the reason is to show that God loves mankind and wants man to hear His message of salvation. He offers that gift to all men and even those who choose not to hear it have a chance. Everyone must be given the opportunity, and that is why we are sent into the world to share the gospel.

Even though they were not going to listen something was going to be accomplished – the people there would no beyond a shadow of a doubt that a prophet had been among them – they would know that they had a chance and rejected it.

We are still called to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Just like in Ezekiel’s time most people are not going to listen, they are going to refuse to hear what they have to say. But if we are faithful to God and His word and live a Christ-centred life everyone we come in contact with will know that there has been a believer among them.
The question is - How faithful are we in doing this? Do people in our schools, estates, sports teams, and workplaces know that a child of God has been among them? They may not, many in fact will not hear, but they must know that a “prophet” has been among them.

Friday, 17 November 2006

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him

“The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” - Lamentations 3v25

It seems like every time we turn around we find the Bible talking about waiting. Waiting is obviously a part of the believer’s life, but it is something that none of us really like to do.

What us good for is however is not always easy. After he decided that the Lord would be his portion Jeremiah decided that he would put all of his hope and confidence in Him.

Then he realised something else – God is good to those who wait on the Lord and that it is good to learn to wait on Him. It does not seem to make sense that waiting is good – but God says here that it is. Waiting is a sign of faith, confidence, humility, and submission.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord – for that means he has learned to trust Him

Thursday, 16 November 2006

The Lord is my portion

“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” - Lamentations 3v24

I love this little phrase from Lamentations because it says so much and if grasped properly it is the key to contentment. “The Lord is my portion,” that is my share, my piece of the pie, my inheritance, my partaking, my allotment. That being the case I an say the rest of the verse – therefore I will hope in Him. In reality, if I truly see Him as my portion, there is nothing else I need.

I am reminded of the song that says “Jesus Christ is all I need.” He is indeed my portion, He is all I need, I can put all my hope in Him. When I can do that I have learned the blessed lesson of contentment.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

God’s daily compassion

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” - Lamentations 3v21-23

Jeremiah was pouring out, well, lamentations in the first three chapters of Lamentations. Problem after problem and sorrow after sorrow filled his mind. In the middle of chapter three he made a decision – he was going to recall some things to mind to help him stop sorrowing. What did he choose to remember? The first three things were:

It is only by God’s mercy that we are not totally consumed
It is because of His compassion that He extends this mercy
His compassions are fresh every morning

Praise God for that fact. I need His fresh compassion every morning, for often I could express myself in the words of the Puritan who said -

“I am always going into the far country,and always returning home as a prodigal,always saying, Father, forgive me,and thou art always bringing forththe best robe.”

God is always bringing forth His robe in compassion for me. I don’t understand how He can do that apart from His love. I pray that my response to His daily compassion would be that expressed by the same writer regarding the Father’s robe:

“Every morning let me wear it,every evening return in it,be married in it,be wound in death in it...”

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

The Lord is righteous – I have rebelled

“The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear… for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death.” - Lamentations 1v18-20

The book of Lamentations is basically a record of the God’s judgement on sinful Jerusalem and the reasons for that judgement. Jeremiah alone seems to have figured out the only solution to sin. It all boils down to this – “The Lord is righteous, but I have rebelled.” As a result of rebellion there was the sword of judgement on the outside and death at home.

There really is no one to blame, there is no excuse for our sin – God is righteous and we are rebellious.

Monday, 13 November 2006

God’s power and wisdom

“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” - Jeremiah 51v15-16

Sometimes it is hard to figure out why we thing the way we do. When we face hard times, difficulties, or challenges we often can wonder if God really knows what is going on or if He really understands. We are totally off base when we get that way. After all, God:

Made the earth by His power
Established the world by His wisdom
Stretched out the heavens by His understanding

Not only that, He did not stop there. Today He:

Controls the clouds and rain
Controls the water cycle
Controls the storms
Controls the wind.

Doesn’t it just make sense that the God Who can do all of this can take care of my little problems?

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Their Redeemer is strong

“Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.” - Jeremiah 50v34

For several chapters God poured out present and future judgement on the nations. Even Judah was going to be judged for their sin, but they had a reason for hope. God told them that He would send them a Redeemer named “the Lord of hosts” who would be strong, who would plead their case, who would give them peace, and who would subdue their enemies.

This may at first seem like good news only for Israel and Judah, but when the Redeemer, Jesus, came and died He tore down the wall that separated the Jews from the rest of the nations. Praise God that there is a Redeemer for all mankind, that He is still the Lord of hosts, that He is still strong, that He still pleads our case before the Father, that He still gives peace, and that He still subdues our enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil.


Saturday, 11 November 2006


“For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.”
- Jeremiah 39v18

Ebed-Melech is one of those rare Bible characters whom we learn only a little about, but makes a great impression. We first read of Ebed-Melech when he has the courage to go to the king to beg for Jeremiah’s release from the muck pit. He then leads a team of thirty men to gather rags and haul Jeremiah out of the pit.

Finally, as Jerusalem faced destruction, Ebed-Melech was afraid. Jerusalem fell and the Babylonians were wrecking havoc on the city, but God had a message for this man from Ethiopia. Ebed-Melech not only trusted God, but he showed his faith by acting to help Jeremiah. In the midst of all this trouble, here was a man, a foreigner and outsider, who had chosen to trust in God.

What was God’s message? Thought he city was going to be destroyed God chose to protect him. In the midst of a day of wrath, God showed His mercy on an individual. God cares about people, individual people. Praise God for the example of Ebed-Melech, who had faith in God when the whole nation had turned against Him.


Friday, 10 November 2006

Jeremiah’s faithfulness

“So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.” - Jeremiah 38v13

There was a time earlier in the chapter where Jeremiah wanted to quit the ministry. He couldn’t stop because God’s word burned in his heart like a fire so that he could not keep his mouth shut about the Lord.

From that time on it seems that his confidence and his faithfulness grows. Nothing will stop him. He was threatened by the authorities that if he did not give better prophecies he would be imprisoned – yet he had to be faithful to God’s word and say what God gave him. Eventually he was thrown into a muck filled dungeon, yet still he would not relent. They finally pulled him out, but he still remained in the court prison.
I wonder how far we would go in staying faithful to God? What would it take for us to compromise our message? Could we stay true and faithful even if thrown in to a muck filled dungeon? Does God’s word truly burn like a fire in our hearts?

Thursday, 9 November 2006

The Rechabites

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me forever.”
- Jeremiah 35v19

The Rechabites are not one of the most common groups of people in the Bible. They are in fact only mentioned a couple of times. They were not Judahites, but were strangers in the land.

Jeremiah invited the Rechabites to treat with him and drink wine with him in the Temple. When invited they refused his wine and said that their ancestor Jonadab had instructed them not to either drink wine or live in houses, but to always live in tents in the land. There were nothing special in the rules that were set down, but what is noted in the Bible is their obedience to their ancestor. God promised to bless them and preserve their people forever for their faithful obedience to Him and even promised that there would always be a man to stand for God from the Rechabites.

Obedience is a great part of living for God. He has established the importance of obedience to authority. If we cannot learn to obey man we will never really be able to obey God. May we learn, as God tells us, and from the example of the Rechabites, the blessings of simple obedience.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Call unto Me

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” -
Jeremiah 33v3

There are certain things that we can take for granted if we are not careful. One of these is pray, apart from neglecting prayer we too often do just as much damage by taking prayer for granted.

When we think about it though the very concept of a prayer answering God is astounding. He is perfect, holy, sinless, and righteous. We are flawed, sinful, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

It is only by His love, grace, and mercy that He says what He does in Jeremiah 33v3 – “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” This is a passage of great comfort. God does not say here that if we call on Him He will do whatever we ask, but that He will do great and mighty things that we can’t know. Not only does He invite us to pray, but He lets us knows that what He does will be great and mighty and we will not always understand them.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Is anything to hard for me?

“Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” - Jeremiah 32v26-27

Jeremiah found himself in a situation like many of us. He knew who God was, he knew what God could do, he knew enough to pray, He had faith, but when he looked around it did not seem that God was doing any of these things. The Chaldeans were still in control, the land still belonged to Babylon. In the midst of this God tested Jeremiah’s faith by telling him to purchase a plot of land that he had “ho hope” of using.

God answered Jeremiah’s question with something he already knew deep down. “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, is anything too hard for me?” God’s questions was clearly rhetorical, He knew the answer and He knew that Jeremiah knew the answer – nothing at all is impossible for God.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the same things Jeremiah needed. No matter what we see in our circumstances we must trust God enough to know that there is NOTHING that He cannot do. Therefore, in His perfect plan, He is allowing our circumstances to be there to work out His purpose. Our perspective is not enough, God can do anything and He acts according to His perfect will.

Monday, 6 November 2006

Seek God with all your heart

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29v11-13

God has wonderful plans for His people in any generation. Here Judah was in captivity and God told them that His plans for them were not evil, but for good. The problem was that they were not really seeking God and His way. He told them that His plan for them was not for this to go on forever, but that they could have peace if they sought Him with all theirs hearts.

God is not content with half-hearted worship or half hearted seeking Him. God wants His people today, no less than in Jeremiah’s day to seek Him with all out hearts. The problem comes when we try to sort things out ourselves. When we do that we never have the peace God wants us to have. The peace of God reigning in our lives comes when we bring everything to Him with prayer and thanksgiving.

We can have the peace of God in our lives when we seek His will and His ay with all of our hearts.

Sunday, 5 November 2006

Diminish not a word

“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:” - Jeremiah 26v1-2

When Jehoiakim became king on the death of his father Josiah Jeremiah received a new prophecy from the Lord. God told him to go into the Temple and proclaim the word of God. He told him to speak all of the words that God gave him and not it leave anything out. God’s word is important, but it is obvious here that His very words are important.

Jesus reiterated this concept when He said in Matthew, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We are told later in the New Testament to proclaim the whole counsel of God.

God’s word is not a smorgasbord where we can pick and choose what we want to take and what we want to leave. His entire word in important and every word is also important. We may not always perceive why everything we read is there – sometimes they just don’t seem important to us, but God tells us that every single word is important and nothing can be left out. May we always remember that nothing from His word can be diminished.

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Can anyone hide themselves?

“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” - Jeremiah 23v24

Judah had convinced herself that she could go on in her sin and that no one would see it. Even the prophets were falsely prophesying that they could go on in their sin, follow the dictates of the own wicked hearts, and God would not do anything about it. She acted as though God would not see or act on her sin.

We as Christians can be tempted to do the same thing at times. We would not necessarily admit it, but at times we can sin with impunity when there is no one else around to see us. Knowingly or unknowingly we act as though even God can’t see us. We seem to forget at times the message that God gave Judah.

God points out that He is both close by and far off. Though we can geographically distance ourselves from others who might see us sin, we cannot distance ourselves from God. He fills heaven and earth, we cannot run from Him and we cannot hide our sin from Him.

Friday, 3 November 2006


“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” - Jeremiah 23v6

God makes it clear throughout His word that His standard for man is absolute righteousness. An older form of the word was “rightwiseness.” Perfect righteousness means that everything that is done is done rightly.

When we look at what God says about righteousness we could become discouraged – “All of our righteousnesses are but filthy rags…there is none righteous, no not one.” It is clear that no man has any hope in his own righteousness, or lack of it.

Earlier Jeremiah said that God is an awesome God. Praise God that He is awesome. In His “awesomeness” He chose to solve the conundrum. Because man has no hope of righteousness He provided One to be our righteousness – the Branch of David. When Messiah Jesus came He was our righteousness, His righteousness took the place of my righteousness. The Lord is my only righteousness. When I received His righteousness by faith my record was clear, God does not see my righteousness, He sees the Lord as my righteousness!

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

As seemed good to the potter

“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” - Jeremiah 18v4

God sent Jeremiah to a potter’s house to give him an object lesson. When Jeremiah went into the house the potter was making something from clay on his wheel. The potter decided to do something else with the clay, smashed it, and started again. The potter was going to make what seemed best to him.

God used the object lesson to tell Jeremiah that He was the Potter and Judah was the clay. God was going to do what was good according to His plan and His dictates. Judah would like the clay moulded by God.

Today we too are like that clay. Sometimes God may reshape us and mould us to be what is best according to what He knows is good. That lump of clay never knows what it will be, or what God will make – but at the end of the day it is for good. So it is with us – God is shaping us “as it seems good to the Potter to make it.”