Sunday, August 9, 2020

Are You Brave Enough?

 Hey Friend,

I was having a discussion with Anosh, the Director of Redeemer Christian School in the Middle East.  Click HERE to visit RCF website  He asked me why so many awful things are happening in the US?  In his country, where only about 1.5% of the population is Christian, he said that they see the United States as being a country favored by God.  When I asked him why he thought we were favored, he said because the US is based upon Judeo/Christian values.  Interesting...

He was surprised when I told him that there's been a 12% decrease (just in the last decade) of the people who identify themselves as Christians.  We talked about how there has been a falling away from faith and that many have totally turned their back on God.  What he said next stopped me in my tracks...

"Then you need to be a Jeremiah!"

Jeremiah was an Old Testament prophet toward the end of the reign of King Josiah of Judah (609 BC).  King Josiah initiated major reform, turning the nation of Judah away from idols and back to God's Word.  Sadly, the reform proved to be superficial for the people of Judah, and soon after King Josiah's death, Jeremiah prophesied a great destruction was coming, unless God's people repented.  You can imagine that Jeremiah's message was not very popular!

Jeremiah's prediction of destruction, however, was was not without forewarning.  This was the message Jeremiah shared with God's rebellious people:

"Return, unfaithful Israel,"

this is the Lord's declaration.

"I will not look on you with anger,

for I am unfailing in my love."  (Jeremiah 3:12a)

Time and time again, Jeremiah encouraged the people to repent and return to the God of their ancestors. Correct your ways and God will allow you to continue living in Jerusalem.  Jeremiah admonished them for being rescued by a loving God yet continuing to commit detestable acts such as stealing, murder, adultery, swearing falsely, burning incense to Baal, and following other gods. 

If you obey God, then it will go well with you, was Jeremiah's perpetual exhortation, but it fell on deaf ears.  Finally the Lord said:

"It (destruction) is because they abandoned my instruction, which I set before them, and did not obey my voice or walk according to it.  Instead they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and followed the Baals (idols) as their fathers taught them."  (Jeremiah 9: 13-14)

Does this sound at all familiar?  Is God trying to get our attention right now?  Are we continuing to try His lovingkindness and unfathomable patience?

Even as Jerusalem is destroyed and God's people are dragged off in exile to Babylon, Jeremiah continues to be the voice of hope.  He prophesies of God's plan for eventual restoration and wholeness and he foreshadows the coming of the New Covenant. 

Jeremiah has words of warning to share, but he also has words of hope and restoration.  Are we to be sharing those words?

Anosh's words hit home to me.  Am I brave enough to be a Jeremiah?  

Am I brave enough to say (write) that we need a serious religious awakening, or revival?

Am I brave enough to share the Good News of the New Covenant that has been handed to me by God through His Son, Jesus?

If God would be merciful enough to hand you the gift of a vaccine that would wipe out coronavirus once and for all, what would you do?

I would bet that you would share that gift with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, everyone, and anyone.  It would be your joy to share!

God has already handed you His Word (the Bible) and the gift of salvation through Jesus.  Are you as enthusiastic to share those gifts?

I have been asking myself the same questions.  God is convicting my heart, and I have been praying that He would give me the right words to say when He opens the door of conversation with non-believers.  I am praying that, in the words of Anosh, I will be brave enough to be a Jeremiah.  How about you?

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my disobedience in turning away from your holy commands.  Renew a right spirit within me that I would be brave in sharing your love and the Good News of the Gospel.  Let me be the bearer, not only, of news of warning, but news that gives hope and encouragement.  Let there be a revival in our land and let me be an instrument of your peace and love.  Give me strength to be a Jeremiah.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  What do you see happening in our world today?  Do you feel God's calling to do anything about it?  If so, what are you being led to do?  How can you tangibly share the hope that is within you this week?  Will you share...

Be blessed...

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