Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 10:44 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the songs “I Do Not Seal My Lips” and “Listen! Listen!” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Jeremiah 13:15-27 (NASB). Listen and Give Heed (vv. 15-17) Listen and give heed, do not be haughty, For the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, Before He brings darkness And before your feet stumble On the dusky mountains, And while you are hoping for light He makes it into deep darkness, And turns it into gloom. But if you will not listen to it, My soul will sob in secret for such pride; And my eyes will bitterly weep And flow down with tears, Because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive. When our hearts are filled with pride and arrogance, we may resist instruction and godly counsel. We may even resent it, and may despise correction from the Lord. We may scorn and/or manipulate his word, thinking we have it handled, or we may convince ourselves that we are really “good” and are thus above the need to be told by God and his Word, and even (or most especially) by his servants and messengers, that there is something in our character, attitudes and/or behavior that needs to change. Pride, as well, may lead us into all sorts of sins of rebellion against God, and against those whom God has placed in our care, because we may think to ourselves that no one, not even God, is going to tell us what to do, because we may believe that we are the king or queen of our own lives and destiny. Or, we may imagine our own god who just pats us on the back and who tells us everything is ok, and who never gets on us about our sins, but who is ok with us continuing in sin. The counsel (urging) here is for us to give glory (praise and honor) to God by repenting of our sins in all humility before him, by believing what he says, by listening to him speak his truths to our hearts, and by obeying what his word teaches us we must do. Then, we must walk humbly before him in the fear (awe, honor and respect) of the Lord, submitting to his will and purposes for our lives, and by surrendering our wills to his will. If this is where you are presently, i.e. living in pride and resisting God, the counsel here for you is to repent of this before judgment comes from Almighty God. Repent of your sins while there is still time, before it is too late. You may be living a lie, convincing yourself that you are in relationship with God when you are not; hoping for heaven while headed to hell; living a fantasy created in your own imagination in order that you might continue in willful sin against God. Although you spend time reading the Bible and praying, and singing hymns of praise to God, and attending church fellowships, you show enormous contempt and disrespect to God by your willful and continued sins against him and against others. Your expressed religious sentiments toward God may be nothing more than disgusting and pathetic garbage. You are an actor, playing a role, i.e. someone who is living a double life, keeping your sins a secret, while giving off an image of living righteously for others to see. Humble Yourselves (vv. 18-22) Say to the king and the queen mother, “Take a lowly seat, For your beautiful crown Has come down from your head.” The cities of the Negev have been locked up, And there is no one to open them; All Judah has been carried into exile, Wholly carried into exile. “Lift up your eyes and see Those coming from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, Your beautiful sheep? “What will you say when He appoints over you— And you yourself had taught them— Former companions to be head over you? Will not pangs take hold of you Like a woman in childbirth? “If you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things happened to me?’ Because of the magnitude of your iniquity Your skirts have been removed And your heels have been exposed. God is judging, and he is going to judge his idolatrous and adulterous people. He is judging, and he is going to judge the people of this earth and the false shepherds of the people who are leading his people astray. And, he continually disciplines (corrects, punishes, scourges) his children, whom he loves, so that we may share in his holiness. “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (See: Heb. 12:3-11). In judgment he will humble us and will bring our pride low. All the things of this life in which we have taken pride will be gone. They will vanish like smoke. All that we have worked for in this life, for this earthly kingdom, will pass away, and will bring us no comfort or help. We will be destitute, and forsaken and abandoned by those we trusted, and stripped of all our treasures and worldly possessions and trophies. Many of us will lose homes, properties, friends, fortunes, 401Ks, retirement pensions, and the like, and we will all be in the same boat, i.e. not one of us will be above the other. And, this will come because of the sins of our nation, the unrepentant sins of God’s adulterous church, and so God can revive his church, purify our hearts, make us holy, and conform us to the image of Christ. For Your Adulteries (vv. 23-27) “Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil. “Therefore I will scatter them like drifting straw To the desert wind. “This is your lot, the portion measured to you From Me,” declares the Lord, “Because you have forgotten Me And trusted in falsehood. “So I Myself have also stripped your skirts off over your face, That your shame may be seen. “As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, The lewdness of your prostitution On the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean?” When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, without hope, without God, and destined to spend eternity in the fires of hell in eternal torment. We, by nature, are sinners. We are incapable of changing that in our own flesh. We are slaves to sin, captive to do the will of the devil, and to satisfy our own sinful cravings. This is why Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to earth, and died on a cross for our sins, so that we could be set free from slavery to sin, and so we can become slaves (servants) of his righteousness. When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we die with Christ to sin, we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we are resurrected with Christ to new lives in him, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). All this is the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as we yield control of our lives over to God, and we submit to God’s will for our lives. By his grace we are saved, through faith, and not of ourselves, lest we should boast. It is the gift of God, by his great mercy (Eph. 2:8-10). There are those who don’t yet believe in Jesus, some of whom refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, and who make no claims to faith in Christ/God whatsoever. There are also those who claim to know Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, but their confession of faith is shallow - some out of ignorance, because they believed a lie, and some out of willful deception. Their faith is not genuine, because it never really took root. It was surface only. And, so they just go through the motions and pretense of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, but no heart transformation ever took place. Then, there are those who had a heart transformation, were filled with the Spirit of God, and who walked with him in obedience for a time, but who have since fallen back into their sinful ways and are living in spiritual adultery and in a backslidden condition spiritually. Although they know God, they do not honor him as their Lord, but they are going their own stubborn way. They are living as though they have not been cleansed of their sins. Only God knows, though, who is genuine and who is not. Some of these who are living in slavery to sin are so bound by sin’s deceitfulness that they sin in secret, so as not to be found out, and they will use people, and manipulate and take advantage of others in order to feed their addictions, whatever they may be. They will sell out members of their own families in order to satisfy their addictive cravings. They show enormous contempt for God and others, and will betray even their closest companions if it means feeding their addictions. Our government, I believe, takes advantage of such people, knowing that they will sell their own souls in order to have what they want, and thus the government can utilize such people to turn against family, friends, and neighbors, etc. The government may pay them for their services or for information provided, which then is just used to feed their addictions and their pride. They may make a pretense of being Christians in order to gain access to Christians so that they can sell them out for a price, like Judas did to Jesus. Their professed faith in Christ is thus artificial and is used to spy on believers in order that they might hand them over to their enemies to be persecuted and killed for their faith and testimonies for Jesus Christ. These people are despicable, who fool many with the double lives they lead, yet God can save them, too, for Jesus died for all. Listen! Listen! / An Original Work / December 20, 2011 Weep and wail o’er your sins, children. God is calling out to you: Be ye honest; tell the truth, And it will set you free. Harken to Him calling you to Bow on bended knee today. Don’t delay to let Him in, And He’ll cleanse your hearts; Pure within. Sinners, won’t you listen to Him Calling out to you today? He died so that you would be free Of your sins always. Turn from your sin. Turn to Jesus. Obey Him in ev’ry way. He wants to set you free of All your guilt, For which He did pay. Listen! Listen! Don’t close your hearts To His voice speaking to you. He will give you all of His peace, If your hearts be true. He longs for you to come to Him Humbly now and repentant. Obey all of His commandments. Live with Him eternally.