08/18 Persecuted? Praise God!

Date: Saturday August 18, 2012
Today’s ChaptersJeremiah 32,33
Message Title: Persecuted? Praise God!
Hello My Friend,
Can you believe that we are almost in the last few months of the year? It seems as though every year that passes by we see more and more disasters, earthquakes, wars, and crazy people. Jesus surely is coming and sooner than we would like to admit, but through all the mess are the faithful few who will not allow the corrupt world to influence them, take a stand, and keep living for and telling people about Jesus. “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if itfirst begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” – 1 Peter 4:16-19.
Jeremiah faced much criticism and persecution for taking a stand, living for God, and preaching His truths to those who either turned their backs on God or rejected Him altogether. While the majority of Judah was carried off the Babylon, Jeremiah was one of the unfortunate that got left behind. You can imagine the disgruntled, angry people just looking for someone to blame for the cause of the mess. Since Jeremiah was there, it was him they blamed, the king even cast him into prison for being the cause of it. “For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.” – Jeremiah 32:3-5.
Although Jeremiah was in prison, there was no harm done to him, amazingly enough, he was allowed to teach God’s Word to the guards. So, why was he in prison? Simply because King Zedekiah did not like hearing the truth. Since everything had come to pass just as Jeremiah had warned them the king couldn’t charge him with anything, so, he just got him out of the way by casting him in the prison. When truth gets in the way of selfish gain no one wants to hear it and they will try to eliminate anyone or thing that gets in their way, but we must not let that intimated us because God is always with us and will take care of us. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” – 1 Peter 3:12-14,17.
You can imagine that some of the people really had no idea what was going on wondering why were they being attacked, and why they were left behind in all the mess. Through Jeremiah, God reminds them that the reason they are in the mess they are in is because people turned their backs on Him to serve false gods, gods that were invented to impose harsh laws that God would never even think about doing. “And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” – Jeremiah 32:33-35.
The valley of the son of Hinnom was the garbage pit right outside the gate that had it’s fire’s burning twenty four hours a day. God is comparing this to their practice of building the high places of Baal and the fire that they burned their children in unto Molech. This form of religious practice offered their own children as a sacrifice to God, and God is saying that He never would never even think about commanding people ton give themselves or others as a sacrifice. Why do you think He came here Himself to be the sacrifice? God loves us so much that He gave His own life for us, He would never want to harm us. All the wicked and cruel things we see are the result of wicked people living in their own will and not God’s. We are to be a living sacrifice, not a dead one. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1,2.
Of all the books in the Bible this one should concern us the most, God is giving us fair warning by showing us what happened to Jerusalem, He is instructing all nations to get right with Him before Christ returns. What is taking place today is coming to pass quickly, just as it did when the people failed to listen to Jeremiah, but there is hope for all who stand by the truth. “Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.” – Jeremiah 33:2,3,8,9.
This statement is the foundation of the blessings of God, only God can cleanse us from our iniquity. We can cleanse our own home, but only God can can cleanse us from our sins and that only comes from the blood of Jesus Christ, who died in our place to give us life. To pardon does not mean that the sin did not exist, but it means that the penalty required for that sin is taken from them. “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” – Romans 4:6-8. Persecuted? Praise God! We Are Forgiven!
Today’s Prayer: God, It is so amazing that with all the people in the world You chose me to be one that You would use to live and teach Your truth to others. With all the struggles I face to even get up in the morning to pray, You still use me and I thank You for that. Lord, lead me and guide me, give me Your power and help me to be a living sacrifice for You, let me be a witness and a testimony for You. I know You are coming soon to get me, show me every opportunity to reach others so they too can join You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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