Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Great Clarifier

[Jeremiah 7]

I like knowing where I’m headed.
And what’s more, I prefer to know how to get there.

That’s not always a reality though. And when it isn’t, I wonder why…

"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 
Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?"

One possible (Biblical) cause for confusion and indirection? Self-service.

The service of Christ directs, clarifies, confirms, and comforts.

Whose servants ye are.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Something Deeper?

[Jeremiah 6]
"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord."
Neither could they blush.

I have a question. (an honest wondering, not a rhetorical one.)

When I was little there were lots of words we wouldn’t even whisper. No, not the expletives. I’m talking about words with legitimate use in the english language, but which in our young minds fell well below the standard for polite company… So we’d be rattling along in a sentence, and suddenly stop short, and be like “You know… THAT.” [insert deeply loaded knowing look here.] And sagacious little playmate would stop to stroke his smooth chin, widen eyes a bit at even the implication of THAT, shake his head slowly as if to say “Be real careful there, partner!", and…
The sentence would finish strong. Right around said placeholder. No further articulation necessary.

Hey, it worked, didn’t it?
Don’t tell me we were the only ones…

My question is, what happened to that?
What happened to cheeks that would suddenly flame crimson at the hearing of a “naughty" word? Or boys who thrice filtered even innocent children’s talk when around “a lady.” Or, girls that would blush when uncovered? Or that held a graceful line carved in stone that said thus far and no further? 

Or was that all just old-fashioned?

Has this generation, obsessed with being “comfortable in our own skin” gained a "higher level of self-awareness,” and self-confidence, but lost something deeper?

Friday, July 11, 2014

For The Sake Of Just One

[Jeremiah 5]

The ancient city has filled her cup. Vice runs down the streets like sewage, and the dishonor is enough. Love will mercifully let her go in a storm of raining fire. And her ashes may never be positively identified. Such is the lot of Sodom.

One man stumbles out though, one man and two daughters, themselves tainted by the derangement of the place. The wife they leave just outside the city, a saline statue perfect in detail, with the longing eyes of a woman torn from her treasures.

More amazing to me than the epic destruction though, is the fact that God would have saved the city, if He could have found nine more men. Just nine.

And more amazing yet; that as history progresses, so grows His mercy.

Ten men would have saved Sodom. A booming metropolis wreaking with vice. I don’t know how many people lived there, but I know this: 10 men would have been the remnant of the remnant.

But run through the crowded streets of Jerusalem, generations later. “The joy of the whole earth,” where vice runs in the gutters, and children are offered as sacrifices to the gods, and incense burns, and chants are heard, and all is iniquity. All that should be music to the ears of God is turned to blasphemy.
"Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof,
if ye can find a man
if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth;
and I will pardon it"
Never underestimate what Divinity will do for the sake of just one.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thy Fallow Ground

[Jeremiah 4]

Before the rain, must come the harvest. I’m reminded every time I’m home on the farm, and either farmer brother or father-in-law is late to supper, because a storm is coming…

Harvest is not the only thing timed for the rain though.
Before the rain must come the plowing, the planting…

How else is Heaven’s blessing to be received deep?

Before the blessing must come the breaking.
Before the planting must come the plowing.
Before the green shoot, the steel blade.
Before the crowning, the cutting.

"Break up your fallow ground... Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart.” Jer. 4:3, 4

The rain is coming.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Cost of Fidelity

[Jeremiah 3]
She stumbles in again, after the night of wandering. (Yet another.)
Like always, He’s been sitting up, waiting. She’s defiled the ground under the last tree on on the mountain, with another relationship that only lasted an hour. He’s been waiting outside His front door, staring into the starlight. She’s not the kind of person any of us would want to spend our lives with, but He is not like us

She returns with a torn soul,
He awaits with strong arms.

And His words aren’t what she deserves.

"I am married unto you.

...and I will bring you to Zion" 
(Jeremiah 3:14)

For God, fidelity is not a response. It is an identity.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Chasing a Dream

They wander as though blind, hands out front to meet the future. They go down to Egypt to drink; leave full of fluid, but thirsty still, have to try Assyria. Their pursuits are without profit. They feel the dread throb of guilt, but they stubbornly claim innocence.
Shall these live? Are these even alive?

“My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13

They have forsaken the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
And built themselves a counterfeit.

Have we?

We who would consult contemporary culture when interpreting an Ancient Script? Is this the Way?
We who would bend truth (if we accept the concept of truth at all) to the hearer, instead of bending the hearer to Truth?
We who think to pursue meaning and fulfillment on our own terms, instead of recognizing that defining purpose is a Designer’s prerogative. Can this wandering really be called life?

Or is Christendom chasing a dream?

We are warned.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Destiny [Jeremiah 1]

Before you were formed, you were known.
Before you were born, you were sanctified.
You were ordained a prophet to the nations.

Say not, I am a child.
What you are is an ambassador.
And when you are distressed, you are delivered.

Be. not. afraid.

I'm setting you over nations. Over kings.
You'll root out, pull down, build up, plant...

- - -

So, this is how the Almighty handles destinies.
He doesn't wait for evidence to determine who you can become.

He already knows. 
He stubbornly loves. 
And He calls you His own.

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