Psalm 94

Jeremiah 1-3:5

Today we begin our study of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet to Judah and will prophesy during the reigns of 5 kings. In Chapter 1 we read that the Word of God came to him the same year King Josiah started to cleanse the temple and make reforms. King Josiah was working with the priests. His reforms would flow from his authority and interaction with the priests to the people.  Jeremiah was a prophet who spoke directly to the people and the kings, warning that time was running out for the people and the nation.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” NASB

This verse is true for you and me and is clearly illustrated in Jeremiah 1:4-11.  Jeremiah will have a long and difficult ministry. He will not spark a revival nor will he have a mega-church. God did empower him for the task ahead. It is important to note that God did not empower him until it was time for him to serve. God has a task for us and will empower us to accomplish that task as well.

Jeremiah will serve for 53 years. He will need to rely on God and God’s call to get through these difficult times. His life will demonstrate how important it is to have an ongoing relationship with God based on commitment to Him. Through the ministry of Jeremiah God is calling the people to return to Him. Even at this late stage, God has a plan to redeem the people if they will only listen.

God wants us to seek Him at all times. If we are doing our own thing in life we end up suffering the consequences of our choices. It seems that quite often we have to go through trials and testing before we will turn to Him, but that may not be the first thing we do. Instead, we try the latest thing to come on the internet scene or news. When one fad fails to deliver there are always others to take its place. These will fail as well and all have consequences. The worst consequence is that the fads we keep trying keep us from turning to God.

This is the message of Chapter 2. It is the same thing Jesus said to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2. Remember! Remember your relationship with God before you fell away and followed after the things of the world.  What Judah was doing was the same thing the ten tribes of Israel did. It didn’t work for them and it will not work for Judah. The remedy is to return to your first love. The message is simple. Remember, repent, and return.

Josiah will make many reforms. He will direct the people to attend the feasts and worship God. The people will obey, but not with a whole heart. Outwardl,y they are going through the motions, but inwardly, they are unchanged. I have had people tell me that they tried God or “religion” and it didn’t work for them. The reason it didn’t work was because they tried to change their actions but not their heart. They go to a church, buy a nice Bible, but they will not surrender their will to God. Instead, they will try to change this church to conform to their thinking and pattern of life.

They expect God to respond to them according to their plan not His plan for them. They want God to fix them, their situation, or bless them, but they are unwilling to change their heart or their ways. It is easy to see that fighting against God is going to end in frustration.

There must be regeneration. We call this being born again. We must be a new creation born of the Spirit. It is not one and done, it is a new life committed to Christ with Him dwelling in our heart. Transformation comes from the inside out, not the outside in. We must leave the old ways. This was the problem Jeremiah was facing. There was reform under King Josiah but the reform of the people was outward behaviors not an inward change of the heart.

How about you? Have you been born again, or are you trying to change the outside thinking somehow the heart will change?  How can one be saved?  Acts 2:38&39

Pastor Dave