It is worth noting that Proverbs 18:2, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Imagine if the Sacred Writer saw how social media is today, eh? 🤪)
Convicting? Maybe! Possibly!
I think we can put that on a t-shirt or a pillow somewhere
That is so often where we find ourselves
“I don’t necessarily need to know, I just want to let you know what I think!”
Ok that’s really important apparently 🤔🙄
But here we are with a podcast and Fr. Mike is telling us what he thinks 😉
But he isn’t just telling us what he thinks, but what has the Word of God been speaking to us?
As we go through these last chapters of Jeremiah, it is almost anticlimactic
Here are the judgments of the Lord against the nations surrounding Israel
We know that Israel received the judgment of God through Nebuchadnezzar and the Kingdom of Babylon
We have the judgment against the Philistines and Moab today
We are coming to the end of the prophets in a pretty significant way
We will still hear prophetic words
We are still going to encounter God’s conviction
It is very important that the words of the prophets that call for REPENTANCE
Or Jeremiah who calls for BRACING
That the words of the prophets ARE NOT KEPT DISTANT FROM EACH ONE OF US
When we are conscious of having REBELLED AGAINST THE LORD
Even if it means TAKING HIM FOR GRANTED
Even if it means BEING INDIFFERENT TO THE LORD
Even if it means there are some things in our lives that we pick and choose
God is ALL ABOUT MERCY and we will be all about that
GOD’S JUSTICE…I just kind of ignore that part
Or here is GOD WHO IS LOVE and that is so good!
Then it’s really difficult about how God actually declares JUDGMENT AND CONDEMNATION about people
So many people write to Fr. Mike and say, “I can’t believe a good God would ever judge someone.”
“I can’t believe a good God would ever allow destruction.”
“I can’t believe a good God would ever allow someone to choose Hell.”
OH MY GOSH!
As we listen to God’s Word, he LOVES HIS PEOPLE SO FULLY
WE KNOW THIS!!
HE LOVES PERFECTLY!!
HE LOVES INFINITELY!!
THERE IS NO STOPPING HIS LOVE!!
HE IS FAITHFUL!!
HE IS TRUE!!
HE IS SO GOOD!!
He calls people to REPENTANCE if they DON’T SAY YES!!
IF THEY DON’T CHANGE THEIR LIVES!!
HE ALLOWS THEM TO GET WHAT THEY HAVE CHOSEN!!
Now again, God ALLOWS pain in people’s lives
God ALLOWS suffering
God ALLOWS Nebuchadnezzar to come along and try and wake us up
God will ALLOW us to GET WHAT WE HAVE CHOSEN
What I need to do is I need to look at MY life and say, “Ok God, I have been reading the Prophets for more than 90 days. Have I repented? Have I picked and chosen the places I want to repent and ignored the places that I want to repent? Or have I surrendered and said, ‘God, my whole life. You get my WHOLE life. What are the things that I am doing that I need to stop doing? What are the things that I am NOT DOING that you NEED ME TO DO for me to be YOURS?”
This is the reality
Lamentations is just like we’ve had Job and other moments of HONEST GENUINE AUTHENTIC PRAYER
Jeremiah is praying and talking to the Lord about what he is seeing
He recognizes that GOD IS INVOLVED IN THIS
EVEN WHEN THERE IS JUDGMENT
EVEN WHEN THERE IS CONDEMNATION
EVEN WHEN THERE IS DESTRUCTION
EVEN WHEN THERE IS DEATH
“Ok God, you are involved in this. You are part of this. And it’s not your fault, but you, O God, who are good, have allowed this to happen. In fact, you have brought it about so you can save our souls, so you can save the people of Israel.”
And I just wonder sometimes, “How long is the Lord going to give me? How long is the Lord going to give our culture? How long is the Lord going to give us as a people, both as a Church and as a people on this planet?”
Billy Graham once said, “If the Lord doesn’t bring judgment to the United States of America, then he owes Sodom and Gomorrah a huge apology.”
Yeah, we can be like Jeremiah
“Lord, I am an unclean person living among people of unclean lips.”
That’s not to look at the PEOPLE AROUND US
It is to look at OUR OWN HEARTS and say, “Ok God, where do you need me to convert?”
We are coming to the end of Jeremiah and we are kind of in the middle of Lamentations so just a couple of days left where we can allow the Lord to CONVICT OUR HEARTS before we reach our next Messianic Checkpoint
We are so grateful to allow the Lord to speak and say, “You know what? Come back to me with your whole heart.”
We are so grateful to allow this story of Jeremiah and to allow his poem of Lamentations to not just be something from way back when
This is a MERCY OF GOD and He is calling ME to repent to Him before he needs to extend to me the SAME SEVERE MERCY
Kind of a downer, bro!
At the same time, IT IS REAL!
We are not going to make light of something that is the challenge from the Lord’s Word today
It’s not Fr. Mike’s word today
IT IS THE LORD’S WORD
For us to LIVE IN GRACE as we REPENT
For us to LIVE IN GRACE as we COME BACK TO THE LORD
For us to LIVE IN GRACE as we LOOK FOR OUR BLINDSPOTS AND ASK THE LORD TO REVEAL THEM TO US
WE NEED HIS GRACE
WE NEED HIS HELP
WE NEED EACH OTHER
SO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE