Were you surprised by the second chance God offers here (or maybe the umpteenth chance) to repent. It’s almost as if God is in denial because he does the same thing over and over expecting different results. Hoping for different results. God doesn’t want to give up on the possibility that his people will repent and do the right thing.
That’s a beautiful thing when you think of it. But like any loving parent, God often overlooks behaviors because of the intensity of his love. Do you think God still looks the other way, or is he still hoping we’ll do the right thing.
What is the right thing? According to our text, here are a few clues of what the right thing might look like. God said, “But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.” Only if.
How many times in your life have you set an “only if” scenario for yourself. Something like, “we’ll go on vacation only if I can get that raise at work.” Or maybe “I’d spend more time with God only if there were more hours in the day.” Living up to our own “only ifs” can be difficult, but nothing compared to living up to God’s expectations for us.
God wants to spend time with his people. We’re hearing over and over through Jeremiah’s preaching that God’s desire is to be in relationship with his people. He wants them to turn to him, not idols, for answers and wisdom. He wants to be active in their lives.
Reread the last paragraph and insert the word “me” for “his people” as well as “me/them” “my/their.” What does it look like to have God active in your life? How many chances for God encounters have you missed? What changes do you need to make to find more time for God?
Did you know that I used to help people figure out how to “manufacture” time? It’s a knack I have after years of being a pastor’s wife who wore lots of hats and made it all look easy (ha ha – I wish)! I did wear lots of hats and had lots of opportunities to “be busy for” God. I also have learned how to find time for God, too! Reach out if you’re needing a little more time freedom in your life – let’s see what we can figure out.
I feel like it’s my calling to help other people reconnect with God. In whatever way he wants to use me, I’m ready for service. Have you figured out how God is calling you to further his kingdom?
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for giving me a new chance every day to love you more. I pray that you will fill me up with all the power and determination I need to be an ambassador for you. I know you have me on a mission, and I thank you for the honor to serve you. May I make the most of each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.