A note from Jeremiah on our children’s suffering

When God’s people no longer “seek first the kingdom of God and his justice,” they begin devoting time, talent, and treasure to unworthy pursuits. Those things become idols in our lives. We worship those idols by attributing worth to them — worth greater than the pursuit of God’s kingdom.

On behalf of Almighty God, Jeremiah asked the families of Israel: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves.'” (Jeremiah 2:5)

The preachers quit asking “Where is the Lord?” and devised their own strategies and programs. Those who taught God’s Word began to do so in a merely intellectual manner that was divorced from the one speaking the Word, as though he were not right there in the room with them. (2:8)

Jeremiah cannot fathom such foolishness: “Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this? Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!”

That the people God redeemed from slavery would give their hearts to worthless pursuits is so shocking the heavens “shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord. “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me — the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” (2:12-13)

And if our hearts are so hard that the horror of our idolatry does not dismay us, consider v.9 — “Therefore, I will bring my case against you. I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come.”

Our children and grandchildren are today paying the price of our idolatry. Look in any direction and see the chaos we have unleashed. Is that not enough to turn our hearts back to the one who created us and stands ready to set us free?

Jeremiah isn’t finished: “You have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the Lord your God, even though he was leading you on the way! … Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him.” (2:17-19)

What will it take for the people of God to return to the mission of God in their communities?

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This is ‘what’s next’ for me

NEW YEAR’S DAY 2018 — On Christmas Eve, I heard a pastor say that a person’s life falls into two stages. In the first stage, we achieve goals. In the second, we need connection with others.

For six months, I had been struggling with a sense that I didn’t have any idea what my next project would be. For 40 years, I have moved seamlessly from one project to the next. As I finished each one, I knew immediately what to engage next. As I moved into this past summer, however, I didn’t have a sense of “This is what’s next.” It left me feeling a bit adrift.

The word about moving from achievement to connection was a good one. Below is a summary of what the Lord has said to me through the projects. I’m at a point where I have nothing else to add, and I turn my attention now to connection — looking for the opportunities to live out in relationship the things I have learned in the journey thus far. I covet your prayers and fellowship.

God’s Revolution God’s work in the world is revolution: bringing his creation full circle to the peace and harmony he created it to enjoy. God’s people are the ones who give themselves wholeheartedly to his revolution.

Journey into Justice Redemption, salvation, discipleship, and mission can be understood as a journey into justice: the restoration of peace and harmony for each individual and community, in keeping with the Creator’s original and eternal intention.

Multiply Justice God’s mission is restoring to his creation the justice he created originally. For that mission, he calls a people. He brings justice into their lives and uses them to multiply his justice into the lives of those around them. A clear process can be followed to join God’s global movement to multiply Kingdom justice.

The Better Life Many Christians fail to live out consistent, effective discipleship because they continually stumble over the same obstacles. The Better Life outlines a 26-week “pre-discipleship” micro-group journey to help believers take hold of life the way God designed it to be lived.

Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt Establishing a just, civilized social order requires an external, objective standard of justice. Subjective morals can only lead to anarchy and tyranny. The only basis for just social order lies in the objective truth of Christian faith, for which God has provided proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Divorcing Christ When God’s people trust him for salvation and walk in his ways, they can be completely confident their ultimate salvation is eternally secure. The Scripture warns, however, that those who divorce themselves from Christ will never enter his rest.

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