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Devotional - 1-800-j-e-s-u-s

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ - Jeremiah 33: 3 (NKJV)

    We all have favorite Scriptures. Verses the provide us with an extra sense of comfort or assurance. Jeremiah 33: 3 is such a Scripture for me. Twenty words; in one short verse. Yet so much power and information for us as believers. Things we need to hold tight to in this crazy world. The Word of God is forever beloved. It does not change with the shifting times. It does not change in the face of cultural transformations. It has not been edited, updated, or modified - ever. That is because it does not need to be altered. It is just as relevant for people today as it was in the 1600's or the 600's. That is because God Himself is above all time. He is above all culture. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Amen and hallelujah!

    Working backwards in the verse the first thing we learn is that we do not know everything. This may sound like a strange assurance but if we were to be honest, our flesh does tend to think it knows it all. But there is a lot of pressure with omniscience. Mortal shoulders can never bear the weight of being God, no matter how much we try. And we do try don't we? Whenever we charge ahead into the battle without consulting God and come out of it beaten and bloodied we sure were trying to be our own God. This is essentially what atheism is; at its core. It is man deciding to be God. Refusing to be ruled. Refusing to bow down. Refusing to submit to the Lordship of another. If those three things take you by surprise then you may not have a correct grasp of Christianity. The brand of Christianity being sold today in many churches is simply not real. It is not this seeker friendly, purpose driven lie that sells the notion that God is here to serve man. Real Christianity begins with the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives. It is wholly about bowing down our sinful self before Him and allowing Him to rule in every area of our life. Not to perfection. We all struggle. The areas we struggle with however are those very areas which we have refused His Lordship in. Pride is a very dangerous thing. It usurps what belongs to God. It is a prideful, human thing to think that we know it all. Just look at the approach science takes against faith. Only human arrogance can come up with a theory and swear it is fact, while denouncing faith. Science is faith. It is faith in man. Jeremiah 33: 3 reminds us that there are things we do not know. Many, many things we do not know. The fantastic part of this is that God wants to show them to us!

    However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of manThe things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. - 1Corinthians 2: 6-10 (NKJV)

    Not the wisdom of this age beloved but the wisdom of God! God wants to show us the things we do not know. The very deep things of God.

    Next in Jeremiah 33: 3 we see that God also wants to show us great and mighty things. Well that sounds simple enough but let's dig a little bit. The dictionary defines great as "wonderful, first rate, and very good." These are the things God wants to show us beloved. The world wants to show us all of the negative things in life. The world wants to show us all the things that can go wrong. The darker side of humanity. Just turn on the news and what do you see? Just turn on network television and what do you see? God however wants to show us great things. Things of first rate character. Things that are wonderful. The very good things life does have to offer. This may not be our best life because heaven still awaits but that doesn't mean this life is supposed to be miserable. It is a matter of where our own focus is:

    Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4: 8-9 (NKJV)

    We hear people lament all the time the lack of peace in their lives. Christians are hardly immune from it as well; although they ought to be. Look what Paul is teaching here. What we meditate on will determine the extent of the presence of peace and God in our lives! What are we focusing on beloved? Is is true and noble or false and ignoble? Are the things our thought life is centered on impure and unjust? Good report, praiseworthy, and virtuous. Meditate on these things. Because these are the things God wants to show us as well. For every negative thing the world tries to bombard us with, God has something great to show us. For everything impure the world tries to sell us, God has some purity to show us. For all of the injustice the world doles out daily, God wants to show us that He is just. For all the darkness in the world cannot compete with the light of Jesus Christ. All the falseness in the world cannot overcome the truth of God's Word. He wants to show us but what are we focusing on?

    Additionally, God wants to show us mighty things. The dictionary defines mighty as "having superior power and strength." You must understand that the things God wants to show us are not just for show! They are to be used. The things He wants to show us have power and strength. Power and strength to overcome the enemy. Power and strength to overcome the world. Power and strength to overcome the flesh. How many Christians do you know who are basically crawling into heaven? Free in Christ but bound horribly by this world? No strength. No power. Listen, the world is a dangerous place. The devil is a real threat. Do not fall for the feel good sugar coated sermons being preached today. The enemy to our souls crouches waiting to attack us. I have watched him devour Christian friends of mine. We see it every day on the Christian news. Another mega church pastor falls from grace. Scandal after scandal as the witness for Christ is damaged. There is power to overcome such things. There is power to combat such things and prevent such things. There is always power that God wants to show us:

    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, - 2Corinthians 10: 3-5 (NKJV)

    There is that word mighty again! The weapons God has given is are mighty in Him! But we are either disarmed or unarmed. The disarmed Christian allows the world and the enemy to lower his shield. To put down his sword, which is the Word of God. The unarmed Christian never bothers to grow in their Christianity. No Bible reading. No prayer life. Too many Christians are Sunday morning Christians. The problem with that is the devil works seven days per week. The first piece of the armor of God is the belt of truth. The Bible protects us from the lies of the enemy. It has power. It is mighty. But we have to put the belt on and refuse to take it off for anything or anyone. The Roman uniform, which Paul based the armor upon, has the breastplate being held in place by the belt. Thus as long as the belt is properly in place, the breastplate would be secure. Paul refers to the breastplate as our righteousness. Walk with me now...as long as the belt of truth is in place - the breastplate of righteousness is secure. As long as we hold to the truth of the Word of God, our righteousness will be secure. People wonder how these larger than life men of God could fall from grace so definitively? They took off the belt of truth. Once they do that, the breastplate of righteousness falls to the floor. When David saw Bathsheba, he knew what the truth was. He couldn't claim ignorance. He knew the belt of truth said that adultery was wrong and against God's commands. The devil presented it, his flesh wanted it, so he took the belt off. What we choose to wear is always our choice:

    Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. - Colossians 3: 12-15 (NLT)

    There is the peace of God again! What we choose to focus on. What we choose to clothe ourselves in. It is amazing that we can spend so much time deciding what to physically wear today but give little to no time at all to what to clothe ourselves in spiritually. God wants to show us mighty things beloved. Things that will tear down strongholds in our lives. Things that will protect us in this journey. These things are mighty in that they have power and strength.

    Jeremiah 33: 3 continues with the simple promise from God - "I will answer you." Simple yet profound. We have access to the Creator of the entire universe beloved! David said that he always saw the Lord at his right hand. God is not some distant detached God. If you feel more distant from God today I guarantee it was you who moved. That's what we do. We drift. Even the terms we use such as "backslide" or "fall away" indicate a gradual progression. This happens more often than not when we either stop seeking God or we do not like the answers we receive. You see, God is sovereign. That means He rules in our lives. That means He gets to make the decisions. Now the good news is we can always trust what God is doing:

    And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. - Romans 8: 28 (NLT)

    Even in that difficult work situation? Yes in everything. Even in the face of my medical report? Yes in everything. Even when the answer I got from God was no? Ouch, now we get closer to the problem. God essentially has three answers. Yes, no, and wait. The problem with the bless me theologies being preached today is that Christians are becoming conditioned to think that only a yes answer is a blessing. Romans 8:28 teaches us that in all things - yes, no, or wait - God is working it together for our good. When God becomes our own personal ATM however, we start to confuse who is the decision maker. God can say no and we can still force the issue. We do it all the time. This is normally where we find ourselves in grave trouble. We come back screaming at God - why! I'll tell you why. Because we didn't accept His answer the first time! God will always answer us. We just have to be better about seeing His will and sovereignty as being superior to what we think we "want." Sometimes, God has to protect us from ourselves.

    Lastly, we see the opening of Jeremiah 33: 3. Call to me. The call is free beloved. 1-800-JESUS never has a busy signal. Twenty little words in one little verse but so many great promises contained within. So much waiting for us if we would just make the call. The sad truth is that too often we treat this as an emergency phone line only. We try to live in the world we are supposed to walking through. We pitch our tents toward Sodom and then are shocked when we find ourselves living there. We do not call to God when we are faced with our decisions - only when we are dealing with our consequences. God will still answer. God will always answer. We can save ourselves so much heartbreak and pain if we would call to God first, not last. He wants to be the God of our decisions not just our consequences. If David had called to God that night on the rooftop, he would never had taken off the belt of truth. He would not have lost his son and kingdom. God is waiting with the great, the mighty and the unknown to show us but we have to make the call. Don't believe preaching that sells you on the notion of lazy Christianity. We have a role. We have responsibilities. God does all the heavy lifting but we must pursue. When we are faced with that "harmless" flirtation in the office, we need to stop and call to God. When we are faced with that temptation to cut corners in business, we need to stop and call to God. In every life situation, in every waking moment, in everything we do - we must stop and call to God.

    Call to God beloved. He will always answer. He will show you great things to counter the things this world wants to show you. He will show you powerful things to help you overcome. He will show you things you do not even know. The hidden, deep things of God. The call is always free. Make the call.

    Reverend Anthony Wade - August 10, 2013

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