How good are you at waiting? I’m getting better myself. But I’ve been known to avoid stop lights at all costs, choosing to take alternate routes. It’s silly, I admit. Don’t get me started with grocery lines. I inevitably choose the wrong line. Shortest doesn’t always mean fastest!
Jeremiah is being told to not marry or have children “in this place.” It doesn’t say “ever”, so Jeremiah knows that that sort of relationship is going to have to wait. Jeremiah is already waiting for all of God’s messages to come true. All the destruction Jeremiah has been preaching about is about to come. How do you think it feels to be waiting for something like that?
It can be dangerous to be chosen by God for service. Jeremiah learns about the threats to his life directly from God who also promises to punish these offenders. Have you ever been fearful to share your faith or do the work you are doing for the kingdom?
I wasn’t concerned until I read recently that I live in one of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. According to an article in Christianity Today, Mexico is 37th of the 50 countries on a watch list for extreme persecution. Despite that, I do not feel unsafe. I have confidence in the one who is fighting my battles.
Can you imagine the abuse Jeremiah would have taken for being the messenger of this recitation from God. This is not a popular message. Nobody likes to be spoken about in a negative light. Certainly, what Jeremiah said about God’s people was true. Sometimes the truth can be brutal.
What emotions stirred for you when you read this passage? Right off the bat, I felt a bit defensive for God. The persons he described had abandoned him and hurt him deeply. The words may be harsh, but we can’t say they aren’t true.
Have you ever had a vision from God? I’ve had friends describe in detail dreams they have had, confident the message is from God. Personally, I remember the night when I heard a voice in my head plainly say, “you’re going to write for me!” I knew it was God. I was already blogging every day, but God seemed to want more. It wasn’t long after that we published the first volume in the Devotions on the Go! series.
When God uses you, it feels so good. It’s like you forget who you are for a bit and remember “whose” you are. Such an honor; the greatest honor! What do you think Amos was feeling when he had these visions from God?
Paul has dealt with a lot of big issues facing the young church in Corinth. The last one before he closes this letter deals with their giving. It was important then, and it is important now. I always appreciate when I am part of a congregation that is mission focused. Living as a missionary here in Mexico has given me a whole new perspective.
Paul’s wisdom on collecting for missions is based on consistency. First, he uses a model that is consistent with another church. When you find a process that works, it’s easy for others to rely on and model after it. Paul is also urging them to set aside their offerings consistently. “Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.” When we put a little away each week, it is much easier to be generous.