I have been reading in Jeremiah. He is known as the weeping prophet. God called him at a young age to prophecy to the nation of Israel prior to, during, and after the Babylonian invasion. He continually warned them of coming judgement, but occasionally offered words of hope if they would listen to the Word of the Lord.
They didn’t listen.
I. Trust and Obey: Jeremiah 42:7-17
And it happened after ten days that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 Then he called Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, 9 and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition before Him: 10 ‘If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,’ says the Lord, ‘for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand. 12 And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.’
13 “But if you say, ‘We will not dwell in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God, 14 saying, ‘No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there we will dwell’— 15 Then hear now the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to dwell there, 16 then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die. 17 So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to dwell there. They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. And none of them shall remain or escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them.’
A. The Word
Jeremiah had given them a Word from the Lord. The right response would have been to trust and obey. If they had, things would have been different. As it was they went to Egypt, literally dragging Jeremiah with them, and there they all died. You would have thought that after all the years of seeing that the words of Jeremiah were indeed the Words of God, that they would have listened to him.
They did not.
Today, we have the Word of God in the Bible. Do we listen to it?
B. The Spirit
God guides His people by His Word and His Spirit. We should study the Word to see what God has said to His people. We should also pray and ask God to direct us by His Spirit. It we seek guidance from God, He will indeed guide us.
Will we listen?
II. The Discipline of the Lord: Hebrews 12:9-11
Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
If we are disobedient to God’s Word, or to the guidance of His Spirit is should not surprise us if things do not go so well for us.
God may be trying to get our attention.
When things are not going well, when bad things happen, it is a good idea to pray and ask God if we are living in disobedience. If we are, then God will reveal that to us. Once we know what should change, we can, and should, change with the help of God.
Sometimes we pray and God does not reveal anything to us. We are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Do not be surprised by the tests and trials of our faith that will come along. God did not promise that we would never have problems, but that He would be with us, and help us through our problems.
In general, we can trust that if we live lives of obedience to God that He will reward us with the abundant life that He has for His people. (John 10:10)
III. On the Rock Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
A. Hears and Does
Those who live lives of obedience to Christ can expect their lives to be stable. There will still be storms, but we will weather them by the grace of God.
B. Hears and Does Not
Those who are disobedient can expect problems. When the storms of life come, their lives will come crashing down around them.
May God grant us wisdom to know the difference between the discipline of the Lord and the storms of life. To change when we are supposed to change, and to hold fast when we are already doing the right thing.
In conclusion, it is relatively simple.
Seek the Lord.
Hear the Lord.
Obey the Lord.
These are the sermon notes from the message preached 11/27/16. Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress. I do not have any control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.