I am glad that I am no longer reading Jeremiah and Lamentations. If you want to get low…I mean real low…then read those books for a while. It is about God’s warning upon warning upon warning to Israel to get their eyes off of the world and back on God. And then it talks about the horrific destruction of Israel and it’s captivity…but also woven in to the story is that it won’t last forever. In fact to THIS DAY….Jews use the book of Lamentations in their religious calendar to mourn the destruction of Jerusalem….~2500 years later!!! Maybe the U.S.A needs to spend some serious time in Jeremiah and Lamentations…because we are being warned…BIG TIME! BUT….the great thing about those depressing books is that God was true to His word…as He always is. Huh?
Be encouraged….God gives us warnings, and He means them. Okay Dan…you are losing me. Think about it. What if God just schwacked you with no warning BECAUSE of what you have done….with no warning? There would be people like me just walking around getting struck by lightning intermittently. While it would definitely be something to talk about on the way to work…it would seem a bit unfair. It would go something like, “I hear that Dan got struck by lightning today, and then hit by a bus, and then a tree fell on him…he must have really messed up.
But no! We have a God sets the standard, and then reminds us…pleads with us…warns us, sometimes over and over again to do what He says or there are consequences. Now we automatically think, that ain’t me…because I haven’t killed anybody, committed adultery, stolen anything….or any of the big ones.
Warning…what about what you would consider the little ones? Oh yeah, well I guess I did watch “that movie” that was a little racy, and my computer has some pictures on it that it shouldn’t, and I haven’t gone to church for 30 years because I can’t find one without hypocrites, and I kind of chuckle when I hear dirty jokes. Oh yeah, and I don’t go visit my friends and tell them about Jesus because I am a little embarrassed because I don’t know anything about anything because I never read my bible…or pray…or mention anything when my golf partner always screams out G** D***it, or Jesus Christ!!! anytime that he/she misses a putt… And I really haven’t forgiven those idiots who did me wrong years ago, and I haven’t spoken to my parent in years because they were cruel, and I have told some “white lies” over the years, and I have been really jealous because EVERYBODY else has what I DESERVE. I mean God has really given me a raw deal…compared to… Sound familiar?
See it is not just about sinning…but it is about putting up with sin…or worse enabling sin. God hates it ALL! God wants us to be salt and light. Well what does that mean.
- Salt – makes things taste better. Preserves things. And oh yeah…when put on a cut to help it heal…IT STINGS…but it helps it heals…just like telling someone the truth. That is being salt in the world. By the way….salt is only good if it does its job.
Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.(NASB)
Matthew5:13 – “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.(NASB)
- Light – chases away darkness. Light and Dark can’t coexist. Turn on a light switch….and poof, the darkness is gone. That is what we are supposed to be. God’s ambassadors. Telling them the good news of Jesus Christ!
Matthew 5:14-16 –14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.(NASB)
So Be encouraged…God doesn’t ask you to be perfect…He just wants you to be an example for all. By the way…what is the good news? Well Jesus came and lived a perfect life…and that is good. Jesus died for our sins…and that is really good. And Jesus rose from the dead to overcome death for us…and that is really really good. But the GOOD news is that Jesus is alive today! And we have the opportunity to let Him live through us so that we can be His hands and feet, and eyes and ears and mouths…NOW THAT IS GOOD NEWS! HE IS ALIVE!!! IN US!!!
Matthew 5:17-19 – 17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
And like He says…He keeps His promises. And that is Good News as well!
Grace and Peace….and Salt, Dan