“God’s Message is like a Fire”

God's message

Jeremiah 20 Today instead of street-corner preachers, we have live-streamed preachers that tell us all is well IF we send in money to keep that program on the air or buy their books. The years may be different, but people still need to hear what Jeremiah’s placard said: “Repent now!” 

The people laughed at Jeremiah’s placard because they didn’t want to hear Jeremiah and his prophecy.  Even the priest Pashur made fun of Jeremiah and had him flogged and put in stocks to become the laughingstock of all passersby. Yes, it was just another “Alexander/Jeremiah terrible, no good, very bad day” for Jeremiah.

As the moon and stars appear, Jeremiah had a tough talk with God.

“I told you I don’t know how to speak; I am too young! Look at where I am!

I AM QUITTING!

Sometimes in the quiet of the evening hours and being alone with our thoughts, we begin like Jeremiah to whine and then to reflect. Our hearts begin to soften, and we tell God; your message is like a fire burning within me. It is locked inside of me, and it burns in my heart and soul. Even though I am so tired, I will continue to warn them.

Can you relate to Jeremiah? He wanted to quit but he couldn’t. He heard himself saying why don’t you hang it up; life would be so much easier. But God’s message was like a fire in his heart?

Is it in yours?

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Treasures…Here Today, Gone Tomorrow…OR???

2peter 3 treasure2sIn the last days blatant scoffers will come into our midst proclaiming that which is contrary to the Word of God. They say time marches on just as it always has from creation but choose to deny the effects of sin upon this earth and mankind. They heap unto themselves treasures of silver and clothes which moths and decay will turn to dust or to be given to charity for another. [Job 27]. Yet, we who believe in the power of the risen Christ are commanded to be heaping treasures which will last for eternity. In reality Peter is telling us what we really already know but need reminding: the only things we can carry into eternity are holiness and godliness for riches are uncertain but good deeds, generosity to others and sharing of the truth of the gospel are untouched by the taint of this world.

In addition the scoffers of this world fail to see the mercy and grace of God’s patience in waiting for them to repent and turn to Him. Sadly one day they will stand before God and will hear “depart from me, I never knew you.” May we yearn instead to hear “well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Beloved, where your heart is are your treasures. Are you sending your treasures on ahead to eternity or heaping them up here in a world of rust and decay?

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From the Inside Out

ImageContinuing on our journey to the cross we stop today on top of a mountain and learn a valuable lesson in transforming power. In this account, the scribe Mark records Peter’s recollection of this amazing story of Jesus’ Transfiguration.

Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John and is supernaturally metamorphosed from his humanity to his divinity thus giving them and us a picture of our heavenly reflections that we will one day receive. 1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Until then we live in our humanness as Jesus did and yet, once we receive the indwelling Holy Spirit we should also be in the process of being transformed from the inside out that the world may see a new “us.” 2Co 3:18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Before this process can begin we must repent of our sins and turn from our sinful ways to He who has the power to change us from the inside out and then live in this way: Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

Beloved, how does the world see each of us …as we “were” or as we “are becoming?”

Photo credit: allyouhavetogive.com

 

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“Happy Birthday Church”

ImageBirthdays are wonderful times of each year, complete with presents, cake and candles. God loves to celebrate as well and today in Acts 2 we see how he sends the Holy Spirit as the present and tongues of fire as the candles. The icing on the cake comes from seeing how God will use this to bring 3000 members to his flock in one sitting. What a party!

The Birthday day was Pentecost. It is the Jewish celebration 50 days after Passover known as Shavuot in Hebrew. It is one of the three feasts when all men near enough to Jerusalem come to present themselves and thus this is why we can ascertain that there were so many Jews present in that city. We remember from Acts 1 that Jesus spent 40 days with his disciples “presenting himself alive with many convincing proofs” and that he commanded that they stay put in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father. Thus we are about 10 days after his ascension. 

God’s “present” to his church was the infilling of the Holy Spirit who is the third person of the Triune God; sent to teach and recall the all things that Jesus taught his disciples. When Jesus was baptized he was anointed with power with the Holy Spirit who descended upon him in the form of a dove. Now God will send the Holy Spirit to anoint the beginning of the church with tongues of fire and power.

God’s “Birthday Candles” were the tongues like a fire appearing to them and rested upon each one. We recall from the OT that God put a pillar of fire to guide his children and now it appears that this pillar has divided into many parts to anoint each part of the body with His power and gifts; one of which was the gift of spoken languages. AQ

Within the city the sound came and “a crowd gathered and was in confusion, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.” They were baffled and responded in two ways which is the same way people respond today. Some were astounded and asked “What does this mean” while others jeered and said “They are drunk on new wine.” Lest they be without excuse God sends his message of love and forgiveness to the listeners through Peter—the one who denied, was restored and now is empowered. That is often our path as well.

God’s “cake,” that is His message, was offered and some partook of what the Holy Spirit revealed which had three parts: (1) Jesus was the anointed of God as the Messiah proven by powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs, (2) He was crucified but raised on the third day according the scriptures, and (3) he ascended and sits at the right hand of God. God then sent his Holy Spirit to prove to them they were  “wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment –“  Peter reiterated: “we are witnesses of it.” As a result 3000 were acutely distressed or pricked in their hearts and asked “what shall we do?”

God’s gift is shared: “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

Beloved this party was not just for a few for remember Jesus’ promise: “and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”   Let’s celebrate together!

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