How will we respond to the Lord’s discipline? When afflictions come. When frowning providences are the only providence we know. When we encounter many trials of various kinds? Will we be like the God’s enemies in Psalm 2 who say, “Let us burst [His] bonds apart and cast away [His] cords from us.” Or like God’s sons, who will “take [His] yoke upon us, and learn from [Him].”
The Lord chastised Judah in Jeremiah’s day. But the people were not content to submit to the God’s discipline. They plotted rebellion. And Jeremiah warned them with a powerful illustration. If they submit to discipline they will live. But if they rebel, they will experience the just punishment of God. What about you? How will you respond when God lays a heavy hand upon you? When he brings discipline because of sin? Will you submit? Will you put your neck under the yoke? Listen to “Under the Yoke” as we examine Jeremiah 27 and consider what it means to submit to the Lord’s discipline.
Zacchaeus – the wee little man – in Luke 19 was lost. He tried to find himself in work and in wealth. And, in both he was at the top of his game. He was no mere tax collector, but the chief-tax collector. He oversaw all tax collection in Jericho, a fabulously wealthy and progressive city. And he was fabulously wealthy. But it came at a cost. Success cost him his identity and his integrity. His name, Zacchaeus, meant “righteous one.” But his reputation was that of an odious sinner. All he had gained was nothing compared to what he had lost. He was lost and longed to be found.
Perhaps Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus. That he was a “friend of tax collectors and sinners.” The religious establishment had no place for Zacchaeus in their lives or their religion. But maybe this Jesus would be different. What kind of man was Jesus? He had to see. You might think at first glance that Luke 19 is a story about Zacchaeus looking for Jesus. But it is actually quite the opposite. It was Jesus who came to Jericho looking for Zacchaeus. Listen to “Lost and Found” as we examine this passage and see how God’s love for us unfolds in the seeking and the saving of Zacchaeus.
We love to proclaim and sing about being the salt of the earth and a city set on a hill, but Jesus speaks of this as a faithful response to persecution. Today’s cancel-culture wants to silence the gospel and the truth of God. How are we to respond? Are we to soften our message? Conform it to the differing expectations of culture? Reassess our calling or the sphere in which we execute it? These are all questions Jeremiah faced. In Jeremiah 26, the prophet preached one of his earliest and most memorable sermons. Jeremiah was probably optimistic as he preached. But the moment the sermon ended the cancel-culture attacked. “You shall die” was the response of the religious establishment. “Jeremiah, conform or be cut off.” How would Jeremiah respond? How will we respond? Listen to “Worst Case Scenario” as we examine Jeremiah 26 and consider the Jeremiah’s response to the cancel-culture of his day.
Jeremiah was told to take the cup of the wine of the wrath of God and to make all the nations drink of it. Its effects are terrible. And no one can refuse. But there is another cup. For those who choose wisely — who trust in Christ, not in themselves, who acknowledge God’s righteous judgment of sin, yet plead for His mercy upon sinners, there is the cup of blessing. What cup will you choose? The cup of the fury of God’s wrath? Or the cup of Christ? Listen to “Choose Wisely” as we examine Jeremiah 25:15-38 and consider the choice God gives us between grace and judgement.
To practice adulting, you don’t actually have to be an adult. You only have to play-act at responsibility long enough to make the post. When “adulting” becomes mundane or challenging, we can step out of the hashtag. Adulting gives us the perfect cover for evading hard things. Avoiding responsibility it is at the core of mankind’s fallen, sinful nature. We love to take cover in immaturity and irresponsibility, but faith calls us to grow, mature and to take responsibility. The scriptural remedy for sinful failure is confession and repentance, not excuse making. Christians take responsibility for sin, even if we have a good excuse. Jeremiah called to the men of his day and us to repent. When God declares our sin, it is not enough to merely ‘adult.’ No, it is time to take responsibility through confession, repentance, and faith. Listen to “Taking Responsibility” as we examine Jeremiah 25:1-14 and consider the call to take responsibility through confession and repentance