Note: After resting my hand for a week, it’s back to sharing. I think it helped!
2 Peter 2; Jeremiah 43-44; Psalm 140
It’s a saying among many in the church that many people seek the will of God only to consider whether or not they will do it. Jeremiah experienced people like that again and again. It’s a truism, but perhaps the only reason Jeremiah was still alive after Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah was that everything he said came true. The Babylonians wouldn’t kill him because of what he prophesied. Those in Judah were afraid to kill a prophet of the Lord. More amazing is that the remnant of Judah still sought God’s word from Jeremiah. When they sought guidance on whether they should stay in Judah or flee in exile to Egypt, Jeremiah gave them the word of the Lord that they should stay in Judah and prosper. They promptly left for Egypt. When he confronted them about their adulterous worship practices, they went into a real tizzy. “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you!” (Jeremiah 44:16) They sought the word of the Lord; when it contradicted their own ideas or their own desires, they threw it on the ash heap. Yet Jeremiah stayed faithful to his call and continued to proclaim God’s word to these rebellious people. We look on these people with incredulity that they would so deliberately reject God’s word. Imagine knowing God’s will so clearly and yet rejecting it. Yet, we have God’s word provided for us very clearly and could easily be accused of the same thing. God tells us to proclaim the gospel and we are silent even when presented with golden opportunities. We are told to care for the widows and the orphans and we indulge ourselves with luxuries while looking down our noses at those in need. Rather than extending grace and mercy, we look on them with judgment and derision. God’s plan includes the idea that we are all to minister to others. As we begin this week of Thanksgiving, take time to give thanks to God for His blessings; then look for an individual or a family that you can minister too. Find a way to use the blessings that God has given to you to help others. You will probably find that God blesses you more that way than when you focus on the material blessings in life.
Lord, it’s so easy for me to focus on myself and ignore the needs of others. Remind me when I covet my neighbor’s car that many don’t have cars and need dependable transportation. Remind me when I can’t find the snack I want that others are going hungry. Give me a heart to see the needs of others and to be Your minister to them.