Well, I’ve been weeding again–my favorite time to have a conversation with Jesus , and it’s time to share what we’ve been ‘discussing’. ☺️
Doyle and I have been reading each morning in Jeremiah. This prophet was sent by God to warn the Israelites (the Jewish people) that because of their disobedience and the fact that they were worshipping idols instead of God, they would be taken into Babylonian captivity. They hated Jeremiah because he wasn’t telling them what they wanted to hear and his message was negative. They even tried to kill him.
I thought about the state of our country–the protests, the violence, the hate, the division of our people–that it no longer seems to be the UNITED states. I am reminded of the Biblical principles that our country was founded upon, the reason the pilgrims left England to come to a new land–to have freedom to worship without the mandates of the government, a separation of church and state, if you will. I was thinking of my childhood education where each school day began with Bible reading and prayer. My third grade teacher, whom I loved dearly, had our class to memorize the first Psalm. I still can quote some of it today 😊. Our country was open to all legal immigrants who quickly assimilated and accepted America’s values and we welcomed them to come enjoy the freedoms in our great country. But something happened when these people who came with their idols and foreign gods began to take away our religious freedom by protesting these very freedoms and insisting that we put our great God away, take Him out of our schools, out of our judicial system, out of our very personal lives, where we are hesitant to even speak about God and even more afraid to speak the name of Jesus, lest we offend someone who has no God or chooses to worship idols.
As I’ve read Jeremiah, my heart was stirred. Are we, in America, just repeating what happened to the Israelites? Has God sent us a Jeremiah to warn of the very sure destruction of our country if we continue to turn from Him and allow false gods, negative philosophies and idols to permeate our society? I do know that God hates sin, that He will not leave it unpunished forever. Sometimes our punishment is the consequence of our own sin, but we also suffer consequences from the sins of others. In point, just look at how all aspects of our lives in this country have changed since the tragedy of 9-11. This post is not meant to be political, but I have felt great hope of returning to our Christian nation with the election of President Trump. I, like everyone else, cringe at some of his ‘tweets’ and sometimes his manner, but I also know that God uses all kinds of people to fulfill His purposes. I believe he is in this position for ‘such a time as this’, as was Esther when she became King Xerxes’ queen. She was able to save her people, the Jews. I trust President Trump’s presidency will lead us to a revival of moral standards and return this nation to its founding roots.
There are many people who would argue that the Old Testament in the Bible isn’t relative to today–it’s ancient history. I will remind you that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the same God who came to earth as Jesus to live among His people and teach them (us) how to live. He is the same God who lives in the hearts of His people guiding them on this journey through this life on earth, preparing them for their real (eternal) life with Him. The Old Testament is a record of God choosing the Jewish people to be His chosen people and what happened to them every time they turned away from Him. Are there Jews in our world today? Is the record of their history meaningful to them today? Do they still celebrate the Jewish festivals and holidays instigated by God? And even though they, as a race, have been persecuted over the centuries, God always preserves a remnant. When you think of the millions of Jews exterminated in the Holocaust, it’s amazing that there are any left. Yet, God has always blessed His people. When Jesus came to earth, because of their (the Jews) rejection of the Messiah, Gentiles were invited into His kingdom. Jesus came, not to do away with the Jewish law, but to fulfill it. All He requires is for us to “Love the Lord our God with all your heart, with all your being and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-40) These two commandments take care of all the other laws.
That brings me to ‘the heart’. I have heard people say, “Follow your heart.” when they are pondering a decision. Yet Jeremiah tells us that ‘The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17: 9-10 NLT). Then in Proverbs 4: 23, we are told ” Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” It was a light bulb moment when, as I was thinking of the heart being deceitful and wicked, and then immediately the scripture of guarding your heart came to mind, that it is the unguarded heart that is wicked and deceitful. And how do we guard our hearts? We guard them by being careful what we put into our minds (books, TV, movies), by removing ourselves when in a compromising situation, by spending time in God’s word, and by communicating with Him as we go about our day. Our prayer each day should be as the Psalmist’s was, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a loyal spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).
So, yes, follow your heart, but only if it is clean and renewed and connected to the Source. Examine your motives, make sure they are pure and uncompromising. Listen to that still small voice and “Get rid of all ill will and all deceit, pretense, envy and slander. Instead, like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the Word. Nourished by it you will grow into salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good. (I Peter 2: 1-2 CEB)
Well, until next time….God bless…..