Jeremiah 14-16

Tune God In, Not Out

In Genesis 6:3, God said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh….” NASB 

What God is saying in our study today is that although He is patient with us, there is a time when patience and instruction are not being accepted and judgment must come.  In Chapter 14 we read that God is going to hand Judah over to the Babylonians and there is no prayer or fast that is going to change that. The people need to repent but they are resisting rather than listening. Worse yet, those they were listening to were misleading them. They were telling the people what they wanted to hear.

This is why it is important to read and know the Word of God. The Bible tells us of God’s plan. As we read of the coming Babylonian invasion we are also seeing the Great Tribulation in the shadows of the future.  Jesus warned that in those days yet to come there would be those who claim to be the Christ but they would be false.  We are also warned that in our day there will be false teachers who will mislead people into sin just as these false prophets were doing in Jeremiah’s day.

Our flesh is also a problem. The lust of the flesh sets us up for listening to false teachers, especially when their message appeals to what we want to do. I once tried to counsel a man who was an alcoholic. His marriage was in trouble and he had trouble holding down a job. He was in denial and there was nothing I could say that could change that. He told me that the Bible had more good things to say about alcohol than bad. He based his behavior on that thinking and as a result he did not change. Judgment did come in the form of a divorce and other consequences. It was painful to watch.

This is what happens when one believes a lie and uses the lie as an excuse to continue down a path in life that will have painful consequences. The lie says nothing bad will happen but every choice we make and every path we take in life has a destination. It is important to know the Word of God. One of the best things we can do is read the Bible.  That is the purpose of this study. As much as I try to do my best with these studies it is more important to read the Scripture associated with these studies. God speaks through God’s Word the Bible.

I read through the Bible every year. Over the years I have filled several Bibles with notes and cross references. Every year I find new things that I did not see before. As my situation in life changes I find that God speaks wisdom in His word that fits my current situation. The more I read the Bible the stronger my faith in God grows.

You might be saying well of course you read the Bible. You’re a pastor and you have the time and you’re paid to do it. Well, it is 9 PM as I write this. I have worked outside in the hot sun all day on our little farm. I am a bi-vocational pastor and have been for 25 of my 30 years of serving as a pastor. I have kids, grandkids, and now great-grandkids and go to their games and events just like everyone else. I also have hobbies and varied interests that take time. You may or may not have the same kinds of things in common with me, but one thing we do have in common is that we all have 24 hours each day and that is all we have. In our busy lives and congested schedules we all have to set priorities to manage those 24 hours. I make Bible reading and study my first priority. I want to hear from God and spend time with Him first thing. This sets the tone for the day. Today I was pulling weeds, harvesting onions, watering, thinking and praying about what the Lord would have me write tonight based on the time I spent with Him this morning.

I am not saying that you need to keep a schedule like mine but what I am saying is that if you will set aside 15-30 minutes each day you can easily read the Bible in a year. Time spent with God is time well spent.

God loves you and wants to speak to you. Make seeking Him through His Word a priority and you will be blessed. Matthew 6:33

Pastor Dave