September 29, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE US GOOD OPPORTUNITIES

Jeremiah 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. 8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

We discussed last time what had happened that made God’s people, who had been given a wonderful opportunity by God, to completely ruin it. God had led them to a “plentiful” country, but they polluted it. God had given them an incredible chance, but they took it for granted. The first group full of blame were those in political authority. They had forgotten God. Let’s take a look at the second reason.

2. THOSE IN JUDICIAL AUTHORITY
“They that handle the law knew me not”. These were the men that made the law. These were basically the lawyers. Judges, and magistrates. God says here that not only did they not follow God, they didn’t even know God. This is one of the fastest ways to defile and pollute the “land”. When the lawmakers become polluted, the law becomes polluted, and everything becomes polluted. Welcome to America!

America was founded on Christian ethics and principles. Our constitution was grafted with Biblical principles in mind. Our money is even stamped with “In God we trust”. The problem is, we are losing the spiritual battle against Satan it when it comes to our judicial system. We have lawmakers that are rewriting the constitution, and interpreting the constitution, instead of following the constitution. We have corrupt judges, numerous self serving lawyers, and justices with unBiblical agendas. I thank God that we do have some good Bible believing lawmakers, but they are definitely in the minority. This land of ours is being polluted by our judicial system. Notice these verses:

* Isaiah 5: 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Please take time right now before you go on to other things, to pray God would help our judges, justices, and all those that handled the law in our country. ask God to help them to be honest, pure, and righteous in His eyes. Pray that they will understand how serious a matter it is making law in our country. Pray that they will see right as right, and wrong as wrong. Pray that God will clean up the judicial system in our country, and that God will put Bible believing men and women in the judicial positions. I am persuaded that He is able!

September 28, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE US GOOD OPPORTUNITIES

Jeremiah 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. 8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Whenever you end up in a “bountiful” place, a good place, you can rest assured that God is the one that brought you there. That is what God does. God always leads His children to good places, if they will just follow Him. God takes us into places to give us good opportunities. God sets us up to give us good chances. Now what we do with those chances is up to us.

Here in this verse, God says that He brought His people to a “plentiful” country, but when they entered, they “defiled” His land. This word means “polluted”. God led them, set them up, gave them a good opportunity, and they messed it up. They had a good opportunity to head in the right direction, to make some wrongs right, to live a blessed life, but they took it for granted, what happened? Who dropped the ball?

1. THOSE IN POLITICAL AUTHORITY
“Priests” in verse eight means those in authority, or rulers. This was the people in political authority. These were the decision makers, and the movers and shakers. They we’re so busy ruling, that they did not even notice that the Lord was missing. They were making decisions without God’s input or help. They were doing their own thing. I believe this describes the political rulers in our day and time. They do not ask God, respect God, or want God. God has given us an unbelievable opportunity to live in America. He has put us in a plentiful country. He’s given us every chance we could possibly ask for. But we have defiled the land.

Those who rule in America have a great responsibility. Those in political office, and local government should be totally dependent on God and His Word. But that that is not how it is. It is discouraging to think how far our country has moved away from God. God has led us, fed us, and set us up. God has given us miraculous resources in our country, and God has provided protection, mercy, and blessing on America. Our leaders have neglected God, and are not even concerned that God is missing from their decision making.

I would ask as you read this devotion that you would pray today for our leaders in America. Pray that God would change their hearts. Pray that they would have a heart for God‘s Word, God’s people, and God‘s will. Ask God to give us Christian, Bible believing leaders. “Ye have not because ye ask not.”

September 27, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE REST

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Here is the description of the average Christian nowadays.

“LABOR”
This word in the Greek means “overworked”. It means to be “weary in well doing”. There is nothing wrong with working hard. In fact, we should work hard. However, this word carries the meaning trying to do some things that you are just not made to do. It implies a long, steady, intense labor, that just finally wears a person down.

“LADEN”
This word means “overburdened”. It means trying to carry something too heavy for me. This means trying to bear a burden that is just too big to bear. We all have been there. It is not that we are trying to do wrong, we are just trying to do too much. This passage describes an individual that is working hard, but that work wears him down to the point that he cannot carry the load that he is trying to carry. When we get to this point, something has to give.

I want you to notice something in this verse. Jesus notices that the individual is in this condition. Jesus sees you to, by the way, when you get in this position. Notice what Jesus commands us to do when we get like this. “Come unto me”. I do not know if you realize it or not, but the reason you and I get like this sometimes is because we have drifted away from closeness with God. We have worked so hard “for Him”, or borne so many things “for Him”, that we have not spent time “with Him”.

Why else would Jesus have to say, “come unto me”. If we were already close to Him and completely dependent on Him like we should be, we would already be there. We would not be able to get any closer. What happens is that we try to do too much and carry too much on our own. We don’t necessarily mean to, we just lose our focus. The point of this verse is not that we should quit working, and not that we should just give up doing what we are supposed to do. It means that we are to make sure that we do not try to do it on our own. We have to get close to the Lord. We have to be completely dependent upon the Lord. We cannot allow ourselves to do anything apart from him. You might be surprised that when your relationship with the Lord is close like it should be, it’s amazing how much we can carry, and how hard we can work, and yet be excited and energized to do more. It’s not really the workload that wears us down, it’s trying to carry it on our own that wears us out.

I encourage you today, ‘go unto Him, all ye that labor’. Get close to Christ, all those that are “heavy laden”. He “will give you rest”.

September 26, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO KEEP TRACK

Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

It seems like a needless detail. Why would God feel the need to keep the hairs of our head numbered? I know the old joke, “it is easier to keep hairs numbered for some more than others”. I remember as a young person years ago hearing preachers talk about this and thinking to myself, “who cares, why is it important?”. Jesus precedes this statement with the description that not one bird will ever fall from the sky without God knowing.

Details are important to God. Look at Psalm 139:
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Let me explain why it is so important that God knows the number of our hairs. If God keeps track of a relatively unimportant detail as that, just imagine how God is on top of the important ones. God is keeping a “detailed” record of everything you have done for Him, everything people have done to you, and everything you have done for others. If God cares about a bird in the sky, imagine how much He cares about you. If God keeps track of the hairs on your head, imagine all the things that He is keeping track of bedsides that.

When I was a young man, I did not think it was important. But now I have so much going on in my life, I cannot keep track of it all. Now I realize the importance of the details. I have children, a wife, a church, pressures, and responsibilities. Life is going by fast. Every day, things change. It sure is nice to know that my God takes notice, takes thought, and takes care of the details.

September 25, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO ORDAIN US

Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations

We understand that God created us with meticulous detail and design. We know that God understands us even better than we understand ourselves. We also are aware that God has set us apart, and that He has a specific purpose for our lives. God now gets really specific with Jeremiah. God reminds Jeremiah of the specific calling on Jeremiah’s life. God says, “I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”. This word “ordained” in the Hebrew has multiple meanings and applications. It means to appoint, to deliver, to perform, to commit. What did that mean to Jeremiah? What does that mean to us?

“I ORDAINED THEE”
When God made this claim to Jeremiah, God was showing us that He has done the same thing for us. God created us, understands us, and has a plan for us. But even more importantly, God will sustain us. God has not just “appointed” us for a specific task, God has “committed” to give us the power and ability to do it. God will “deliver” us when needed, empower us when needed, discipline us when needed, and carry us when needed. This word “ordained” means that God has not just planned it, but He will also perform it. This verse in Exodus describes how unable we are to perform anything without the Lord:

* Exodus 18:18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.

And then one of my favorite verses, and most powerful promises in God’s Word:

* Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

God has “created” you, “considered” you, and “called” you. But what a miraculous blessing that God has also promised to “complete” the entire plan. He will perform it. It does not matter who or what comes against you, if you are submitting to God’s plan, God will perform it. Nobody and nothing can stop Him because He “ordained” it. Remember:

* Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

September 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO SANCTIFY US

Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations

“I SANCTIFIED THEE”
This means that God has set you apart for a particular purpose in your life. This means that God had, and has a plan. God has a purpose. You and I are not here to figure out what we want to do with our life. We are here to find out what God wants us to do, and to do it. God did not randomly create for no reason. We did not happen by accident. How miserable would it be to know that you have been created, but to not have any particular purpose. That’s why so many individuals are miserable. If you do not have a purpose, then you do not have a reason to live. Satan wants to convince you that you are not needed, that you have no real purpose, and that your life is just an accident. God claims in this verse that He “sanctified” us.

* Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,

We will be coming back to this verse, but notice that we are His “workmanship”. Not only are we His “workmanship”, but we were “created unto”. That means that we were created to do something. God formed us, designed us, and set us apart to do something for Him. God had this whole thing planned out. Problems arise when we veer away from His purpose and plan.
Notice in this verse that God claims that He formed us “in the belly”. That means before we were born, God was 100% aware, and in control, of our creation and existence, even as we were in our mothers womb. In fact, God had this whole thing planned out before we were even conceived. Notice the verse says, “Before I formed thee”. This means that even before our life began at the moment of conception, God had a plan for our lives. Look at these fantastic verses:

* Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

What a wonderful Creator we serve. God, I am persuaded, is truly able.