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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Jeremiah: Down at the Crossroads

October 8

(Jeremiah 1:14-16 NIV)  "The Lord said to me, "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. {15} I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms," declares the Lord. "Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah. {16} I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made."

(Jeremiah 6:16 NIV)  "This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'"

(Jeremiah 15:16-19 NIV)  "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty. {17} I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me and you had filled me with indignation. {18} Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails? {19} Therefore this is what the Lord says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them."

In this day of popular preachers with millions of followers, it’s hard to imagine a great prophet of God delivering an almost unanimously unpopular message. But that’s Jeremiah’s story. God sent him to confront his people because they had become spiritual prostitutes. Jeremiah was assigned to preach a message that no one wanted to hear. The people hated him for it. He had no fan club encouraging him. Christians, stop looking for gratitude when speaking God’s difficult truths. You are not the cowboy with the white hat, riding into town to save it. You will likely hear a lot more boos and hisses, than you will hear cheers. That’s because God’s truth rattles the gates of hell and most people don’t like the sound. Stop expecting pats on the back and nods of approval. Just deliver the message. God will take care of the rest. The applause will probably have to wait until heaven. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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