Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah’


In one of the All in the Family episodes that aired some years ago, Edith and Archie are attending Edith’s high school class reunion. Edith encounters an old classmate by the name of Buck who, unlike his earlier days, had now become excessively obese. Edith and Buck have a delightful conversation about old times and the things that they did together, but remarkably, Edith does not seem to notice how extremely heavy Buck has become. Later, when Edith and Archie are talking, she says in her whiny voice, “Archie, ain’t Buck a beautiful person.” Archie looks at her with a disgusted expression and says: “You’re a pip, Edith. You know that. You and I look at the same guy, you see a beautiful person, and I see a blimp. Edith gets a puzzled expression on her face and says something unknowingly profound, “Yeah, ain’t it too bad.” Do you see Jesus Christ as the True Light? 

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world”. John 1:4,5,9

Jesus confirmed this truth: John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In His confrontation with the Pharisees over the woman taken in adultery, Jesus revealed how His light reveals the truth that He can free from sin, from satan, from the law and from judgment. In effect, through His light, God was able to write upon the dust of our sin-damaged lives, that there is now “No Condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1)

True Light of Hope

Matthew reveals another side of the True Light.

Matthew 12:18-21 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

In the True Light of Jesus Christ, we find Hope!

John the Baptist

In Matthew 11, we find John the Baptist imprisoned by King Herod. The man who shook the nation of Israel is now quiet, and despairing that he will die as a failure. After all, Jesus of Nazareth did not come to free him. Therefore, he sends some of his disciples to ask Jesus:

Matthew 11:2-6 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Jesus didn’t say yes, he merely told them to remind John of what he was doing. Blind, Lame, Lepers, deaf, dead, the poor. Then he added, “blessed are the ones who are not offended by me”. Jesus was saying: “John, do not despair, do not give up hope, look what I am doing in fulfillment of Scripture. Just because things do not happen the way you think they should, do not be offended. Never give up hope! I am He! But do not get offended if things do not go the way you think they should! I am Lord and you are not! Vaclav Havel before he became the democratically elected President of the Czech Republic was imprisoned by the communist regime. During one of those imprisonments, he wrote:

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well. However, the certainty that something makes sense. Regardless of how it turns out.

You may react to his definition of hope, because as Christians, we are taught that all things will work for good to those who love God. However, what we usually think is that it will work out for my good. It certainly did not work out for John the Baptist’s good to have his head cut off. It certainly did not work out for Stephen’s good when he was stoned to death. But we do know that everything that happens, regardless of how it works out, will make sense! Why? Because Jesus is Lord and He is in Control!! The only ones who lose hope are those who believe God is not in control!

Job

Job 17:11 My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken.

Job thought that God was treating him unjustly. He could not understand God doing this to him. He imagined that God was making a mistake, that He was not in control. He had all kinds of questions and arguments he would lay before God if he could only get the chance. Finally, God spoke to Job, and Job was silent. Job encountered the great I AM, and knew that He had been in control the whole time, and it all made sense.

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:5-6

Does your life make sense? Have there been times when you were like John the Baptist, wondering what was going on, wondering where God was, wondering if He was in control? Or were like Job, thinking God was unfair, wanting to argue with him. Did you get offended at what was going on? Did you get angry, hurt, upset? Did you lose hope and give in to despair or depression? Did you moan with Job “My hopes have disappeared; my heart’s desires are broken?” Let us look into the Light of Jesus and discover why we should never lose hope, no matter how dark things get.

Matthew 12

Jesus finds himself at odds with the Scribes & Pharisees, because his disciples have picked & eaten corn on the Sabbath. He replies to them:

Matthew 12:3-8 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

1.Jesus is Lord, even of the Sabbath!

  • If we rest, we rest in Jesus, for He is Lord!

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • Do not get offended at Jesus. What He does is right, it is just, and He is Lord!

2. He desires a heart that is yielded to Him rather than ‘outward conformance’ or even performance.

  • Only yielded hearts will survive the trials and tribulations of this life!
  • Fake people always wilt under pressure.

Just because you put on a good show of being a Christian does not mean that inwardly you are struggling with doubt, with fears, with despair and with depression, with sins. You can put on a good show, but Jesus knows your heart, He knows whether you are real or fake. Peter presents the heart of a true Christian in six simple verses. This Christian has a new heart, with a new hope, a hope that endures through the fire of trials!

1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

A heart that is yielded totally to Christ is a heart in Love with Jesus, it is a born again heart with a living hope! A fake Christian is putting on a display because of what he thinks he will get-favor from God. A yielded heart is confident that Jesus is Lord of whatever situation you go through! Next, we see a man who is lame in his right hand.

The Man with a withered hand

Matthew 12:9-14 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. In addition, a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”— so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand”. And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

The Lesson here is the Lord of the Sabbath will always be mindful of your needs. His mercy is to be trusted.

DAVID

Psalms 13:1-6 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

David endured hardship after hardship, near death experiences one after another, yet rather than lose hope and get offended at what was happening to him, he strengthened his heart in the Lord. He trusted in the Sovereignty of God, therefore he could rejoice in His salvation.

Apostle Paul

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”

He wrote this three chapters after stating 1:8-9: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself…” Paul had those moments when things were so dark, so desperate that he despaired for his very life. How did Paul go from one who despairing of life itself to one who is hard pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, struck down, but not destroyed, never feeling that God had abandoned him.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
  • 2 Corinthians 4:11 … so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Paul’s Hope was in God, Paul’s Purpose was that the life of Jesus would be manifested through his life-regardless of what he went through.

The Nation of Israel

God brought horrible judgment upon his own people because of their continual sins against Him. First the Northern and then the Southern kingdoms fell to foreign Kings. Jeremiah was there to witness the fall of Jerusalem and Judea. Here are his own words about his experience:

Lamentations 3:19-24 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

His heart was in God’s hands, and therefore He trusted in Him! He trusted in God’s tender mercies!

Ezekiel and the Valley of Bones

I love the vision of the dried bones God gave Ezekiel out in the valley:

Ezekiel 37:11-14 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Matthew quotes the Old Testament when he declared: “and in his name the Gentiles will hope”. We share in the Hope of Israel!

Before Jesus we were without hope

Ephesians 2:12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.

  • Jesus is the True Light that brings the Light of Hope to the Gentiles!

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

THE HOPE OF THE BRUISED AND SUFFERING CHRISTIAN.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

Bruised Reed: People used reeds to make into pens in ancient times. The reed is hollow and would hold the ink. If the reed was bruised or bent, the ink would leak and become useless. The writer would break the bruised reed and throw it away. Like a pen, the reed was an instrument of expression. Therefore, I like to think of the reed as representing our voice and ability of expression. Only a dead person does not voice his opinions or share his feelings. The first thing Satan wants to do is to stop us from sharing and expressing our ideas, especially when we speak for the kingdom of God. He will make every effort to cut off our network of friends and isolate us so that we will be discouraged. SMOKING FLAX: A smoking flax or a smoldering wick symbolizes our usefulness and the ability to shine for the Lord. It is no doubt that we have been created to shine for Jesus but when we fall into sins, our wick would become smoldered. We would not shine that brightly anymore. That is when the enemy of our souls seeks to terminate that light. He does that by encouraging people around us to say disparaging words or spread malicious rumors about us. When we allow all these words and rumors to enter our hearts, we would become bitter and angry. Please take note that it is not those gossips or criticisms that smolder our wicks but how we react to them that would terminate our light.

Jesus Christ is the True Light of Hope for Mankind.

By his death for us, he has ‘faithfully brought forth justice’ (Isaiah 42:3) by suffering the justice of God in our place once and for all. Look now to Jesus and find mercy for your bruised and weakened soul. Receive his tender comfort, cleansing, healing and all-sufficient grace. God’s great mercy in Christ is for us ‘bruised reeds’ and ‘smoldering wicks’.

This Hope is the Anchor of Christianity

Hebrews 6:17-20 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Gods Promise to Us

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

The Despair of Mary

After answering the angels, Mary turned around. Suddenly she saw Jesus standing there, but she failed to recognize him. Like the angels, Jesus asked Mary, “Why are you crying?” He then asked her, “Whom are you seeking?” Assuming he might be the gardener, who cared for the tomb, she again poured out her heart’s despair. “Sir, if you indeed have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him away” (literally carry him). Her desire to find Jesus’ body and her loving concern to give him a proper burial in a good resting place so consumed her that she never considered that she herself could not possibly carry Jesus’ body to a final resting place. Then Jesus turned her night of gloom into the light of joy. He spoke her name, “Mary”; in such a way, that she knew instantly who he was. From despair, her heart rose to soar in the clouds. “Rabboni!” she exclaimed, which is an Aramaic term of special respect that means, “My Master”. The experience of seeing Jesus alive, risen from the dead, lifted her spirits to a profound joy. Grieving and despairing, she had searched for her dead Jesus, but with joy, she discovered instead her living Savior. He had risen! He was alive! Nothing else mattered to her. Nothing would take away her newfound joy. She threw her arms around him to cling to him, she was so happy to see him and to have him back. Jesus rose! He lives! Our faith clings to, not a dead man who was crucified and buried, but a living Lord and Savior who rose from the dead. We rejoice that he who died to save us lives. Our hearts hold the joyful hope that with our very own eyes we will rise from the dead to see him and hold him who loves us and gives us eternal life. We can rejoice with Job:

Job 19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby probably wrote more hymns than anyone else in history. She wrote over 8000 hymns, and many are in our hymnal today. Fanny gave the Christian world such songs as:

  • A Shelter In The Time Of Storm,
  • All The Way My Saviour Leads Me,
  • Blessed Assurance,
  • Close To Thee,
  • He Hideth My Soul,
  • I Am Thine 0 Lord,
  • Jesus Is Calling,
  • My Saviour First Of All,
  • Near The Cross,
  • Pass Me Not,
  • Praise Him Praise Him,
  • Redeemed,
  • Rescue The Perishing,
  • Safe In The Arms Of Jesus,
  • Saved By Grace,
  • Saviour More Than Life To Me,
  • Take The World But Give Me Jesus,
  • Tell Me The Story Of Jesus,
  • The Lights Of Home,
  • Thou Mighty To Save,
  • To God Be The Glory,

When Fanny was six weeks old, she caught a slight cold in her eyes. The family physician was away. Another country doctor was called in to treat her. He prescribed hot mustard poultices to be applied to her eyes, which destroyed her sight! It was later learned that the man was not qualified to practice medicine, but he had left town and was never heard of again. Fanny never felt any resentment against him, but believed it was permitted by the Lord to fulfill His plan for her life. Though blind, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blindness, she said:

It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow, I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.

After a visit to the most renowned eye doctor in the world determined her blindness was incurable, she said:

“Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind … for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”

“And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story – Saved by grace.”

Whose face do you see in times of darkness and despair? Whose hand do you see reaching for you when things look hopeless? When you see a difficult situation do you see the Beauty of Christ, or do you just see an Ugly Blimp on your back? Let me assure you that Jesus is still Lord! He is the one who can be trusted completely! He is the anchor of our HOPE that this life does make sense to the source of life!

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.
When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; Robed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.

Jesus Christ TRUE LIGHT of HOPE!

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honor-church-leadersIt is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. Ex 12:42

Have you ever had a night so wonderful, so memorable that you could remember every detail of that night one year later? What about 5 years? What about 50 years? The Jewish people have been remembering a night that happened over 3700 years ago. Wow, that must have been some night! Such a night was remembered because of its importance to the God of this universe and to the people of this world He created.

Moses had instructed all the people two weeks earlier to take a yearling lamb, without spot or blemish, and on the 10th day of the month bring it into your home. Then four days later they were to kill that lamb, eat the lamb, and take its blood and put it upon the lintel of their front door. At midnight, the Angel of the Lord went throughout the land of Egypt, and wherever he saw the blood of the lamb, he would pass over the house. Where there was no blood, he would enter the home and slay the first born son.

You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. (Exo 12:24-28)

This story is an excellent demonstration of the importance of Honor for church leaders, your pastor, deacons and Sunday school teachers.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)

applying-the-bloodNow imagine if Joe and his wife Sarah had skipped church to go fishing or shopping or whatever. Moses and Aaron had instructed everyone on what to do. They weren’t at the meeting. They got back into town and didn’t know what all the buzz was about. They heard snippets of lamb and blood, but they thought that sounded absurd. They started talking to their friends and got them questioning what Moses said. Don’t you think that is a bit extreme? To waste a perfectly good lamb like that? Blood on my new door post? Why I’ll never be able to get that off! Why I just spent $500 on a new door! Before long a whole group of people had decided to ignore Moses and Aaron. So they lightly regarded the words of Moses and influenced other people to do the same. Honor leads us to value church leaders, and give weight to what they tell us. Dishonor leads us to scorn and devalue what church leaders tell us. To treat it like some teenagers treat the words of their parents.

Midnight came, the Angel went into their homes, they heard a noise, that woke them, going into their son’s bedroom, they found his throat cut. In fact, every one of their friends who scorned the instruction of Moses discovered the same grizzly scene.

a-cry-goes-out-at-midnightAnd Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. (Exo 12:30)

What kind of night would be remembered for 3700 years? The night that meant the difference between life and death for you and your family.

do-not-curse-church-leadersHonor for church leaders is critical for your lives? Why? Perhaps we can glimpse the ways of God by reading Acts 23:1-5. Paul demonstrates the importance of Honoring Church Leaders. When he was commanded to be slapped by some old guy, he hurled a stern verbal insult at him. Then someone whispered in his ear that the old guy was Ananias, the High Priest! He quickly apologized, quoting Exodus 22:28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” God equates cursing a church leader with reviling God!

When you honor your church leaders, you are honoring God. They are God’s messengers, God’s representatives. We demonstrate our honor of God by honoring the Leaders He has set before us.

Jesus took this cursing one step further. It is not the words you speak that matters, it is the heart attitude you have. You can say “yes” with your mouth but be going “Yea right like I’m gonna do that” with your heart.

Paul said: Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls. Church leaders are keeping watch over your souls. That is their job. And how you honor your church leaders will determine the reward of how goes your soul.

Honor Determines the Destiny of your soul.

Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

honor-determines-the-destiny-of-your-soulPaul wrote to obey your leaders, for they watch over your souls. The Gospel of Christ is inexplicably tied to the preaching of His Word. If you do not honor the messenger, you dishonor the Word. God honors his servants, for they follow Christ, and He honors His Son.

The Cross is the Anchor of the Christian Walk. Our daily walk, our daily life in Christ must begin at the cross. At the cross we lay aside our fleshly wants and desires, our sin and selfishness, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. At the cross we lay claim of the exchanged life. At the cross we identify with the Resurrected Reigning Jesus Christ who lives in us and through us. At the cross we realize that God uses pastors and deacons and elders and teachers to build up the church, to work to conform us to Jesus Christ. We honor the cross in their life and the fact that they are God’s messengers to us.

To dishonor the preacher, the pastor, the Sunday school teacher is to scorn the Savior whom they serve.

Can’t I go direct to Jesus? Yes you can. But understand the God has a divine order of things. He has given gifts to the church to build it up, to teach to chasten to rebuke to instruct. If you fail to honor God’s Way, you are playing with the destiny of your soul.

parable-of-the-talentsJesus told a parable of the ruler who gave talents to his servants, and then went away. One servant said he feared the master, so he went and hid his talent.

He failed to honor his pastor (so to speak) and robbed himself of spiritual rewards.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Mat 25:14-30)

dishonor-robs-you-of-light-and-rewardsWhen you fail to honor the requests of your church leaders, you rob yourself of these benefits:

  • You rob yourself of spiritual light for salvation,
  • Your rob your children of spiritual light, for they will grow up with an attitude of scorn toward the church, toward the pastor.
  • You rob yourself of rewards for God uses His messengers to speak to you, guide you and to watch over the welfare of your souls.

roast-preacherThe Pastor, the Sunday school teachers, are entrusting you with wealth in the form of spiritual truth. To honor them means to grow in the truth they teach, to honor their teaching. The benefit is eternal. When you fail to honor them, you will walk in darkness.

Sometimes we have Roast Preacher on the after church menu. This teaches dishonor to our children. Learn to Honor the Pastor at meal time.

Honor Determines the Prosperity of your soul.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Psa 92:12-15)flourish-as-the-cedar-tree

Those who honor church leaders honor the Lord. They will be planted in the house of the Lord. They will flourish in the courts of our God.

“Well I go to church. I give a little money.” But that is not being planted. Planted implies you grow roots. You establish relationships. I’m not saying that you should be here every time the doors are open. But you should seek to Honor God by your faithfulness to the leadership of the church.

I have a friend whom I used to teach in Sunday School. We along with some others helped to start Lenexa Baptist Church in 1990. After a year or so we called a young clothing salesman from Oklahoma. He had pastored a couple small churches in Oklahoma. He was kind of green. He and I spent some time together at youth camp, and he shared that he was Calvinistic in his theology. But he was still very evangelistic. I respected his views and advised him to keep it under his hat. Well, he let it slip one Wednesday night, and it got spread among the deacons. One deacon, my friend was quite adamant about getting Pastor Steve to resign. He got several other deacons stirred up. They called a meeting in which they called on Steve to resign. I, along with another deacon stood up for Pastor Steve and called for respect for Steve, and pleaded for sound minds to prevail. Well, they got all upset and quit, and all of a sudden a church that was pushing 150 became a church of 90. (Steve stuck it out and today Lenexa Baptist runs a couple thousand plus every Sunday)

I believe my friend’s life was impacted by his dishonor. He lost his wife and he lost his children. He is became a Pastor, and has struggled in pastoring. Now he is pastoring even though he has had a divorce. His children are alienated. He has struggled with honor in his pastorate. I believe when you dishonor church leaders, you will reap dishonor in your life.

I was witness to another deacon revolt at a growing young church in Olathe, and I stood on behalf of the pastor once again. This time seven deacons decided to leave. I don’t know how their lives turned out, but I do know it destroyed the heart of the pastor Tom Grove. It also caused the church to fold. He had done nothing worthy of their treatment, and a man’s ministry was destroyed. Other lives were affected. Woe to all those who cause others to stumble.

honor-determines-the-direction-of-your-familyHonor Determines the Direction of Your Family

Eli is a picture of the way dishonor for God can ruin your family and even your descendants.

And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus the LORD has said, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men. And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. (1Sa 2:27-34)

eli-fell-over-and-diedThose who Honor God, He will honor. Those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Your children will not honor you, God will not honor you. Sure enough, his sons were slain, and when Eli heard the news, He keeled over and broke his neck and died.

How Honor Built a Godly Family

rechabites-honored-their-fatherHave you heard of the Rechabites? Read about them in Jeremiah 35.

Jeremiah called the descendants of Rechab in to the temple and offered them wine to drink. But they answered, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, ‘You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.’

They had honored their father Jonadab for over two hundred years. And because they had demonstrated honor, Jeremiah offered this word from the Lord: “But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.””

When we honor the Lord, and we honor the lord’s messengers, we can ask God that of our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and beyond there will never be a time that one of our descendants will not stand before the Lord God. To me that would be the greatest reward, that my children and grandchildren would walk before the Lord. This is a Godly Heritage. This is a Legacy, that my family stands before the Lord!

Do You Doubt the importance of Honoring your church leaders? God repeats the command:

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1Th 5:12-13)

They are the only ones whom God says are worthy of Double Honor.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” (1Ti 5:17-18)

If you have dishonored your church leaders in the past, confess your sin, there is mercy and forgiveness at the cross. Confess your sin to your children, there is mercy and forgiveness at the cross.

My Dad was an Area Committee Coordinator for the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. It was late 1979 and early 1980 that the Institute was rocked by a scandalous discovery. It was discovered that Steve, Bill Gothard’s brother, was carrying on affairs with some of the staff secretaries. Rumors flew around the country. Some accused Bill, and at best said he should have known about it. Many said he did know and was even involved. It drove Bill to resign from his own ministry. But the board did a thorough investigation and asked Bill to come back. There were other problems as well.

looking-unto-jesusThrough it all my Dad kept faithfully serving, never got involved in the rumors, never showed any dishonor toward Bill or the organization. I couldn’t believe it. I remember one day going in to my dad’s office and saying, Dad, how can you continue to serve Bill the way you do?

He just looked at me and said, Son, I keep my eyes on Jesus.


Back in ancient Biblical times, Babylon (Iraq today) was a major world power. The Jews of Judah refused to see Babylon’s danger, aided by the lies of the Chief Priest Pashur, Jeremiah Exposes Pashurwho prophesied to the people that everything would work out, and Judah (Israel today) would be victorious against them.

The prophet Jeremiah was raised up by God to reveal the lies of Pashur, who reacted violently, having Jeremiah beaten and imprisoned in stocks. When Pashur came to release Jeremiah, Jeremiah told him that his name had been changed by God. God now called him “Danger-Everywhere” because of his refusal to ignore the dangers of Babylon and in fact lie about them. Jeremiah proclaimed Pashur a danger to himself and everyone around him. All of his friends would be killed in battle while he watched. Babylon would plunder Judah and do whatever they liked with them. Jeremiah warned Pashur that he and his family would be taken into exile, exile in Babylon. He and all his “cronies” to whom he preached his lies. Here is the Biblical account as the Message Bible interprets:

Jeremiah 20:1-6 (MSG) The priest Pashur son of Immer was the senior priest in God’s Temple. He heard Jeremiah preach this sermon. He whipped Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate of God’s Temple. The next day Pashur came and let him go. Jeremiah told him, “God has a new name for you: not Pashur but Danger-Everywhere, because God says, ‘You’re a danger to yourself and everyone around you. All your friends are going to get killed in battle while you stand there and watch. What’s more, I’m turning all of Judah over to the king of Babylon to do whatever he likes with them—haul them off into exile, kill them at whim. Everything worth anything in this city, property and possessions along with everything in the royal treasury—I’m handing it all over to the enemy. They’ll rummage through it and take what they want back to Babylon. ” ‘And you, Pashur, you and everyone in your family will be taken prisoner into exile—that’s right, exile in Babylon. You’ll die and be buried there, you and all your cronies to whom you preached your lies.’ “

New Book by Scott McClellanAll of a sudden a book bursts forth on the American political scene which makes the Bush administration and George Bush himself seem like Pashur, or should we say “Danger-Everywhere”? Here are some pointed excerpts from the book by former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan:

Most of our elected leaders in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, are good, decent people. Yet too many of them today have made a practice of shunning truth and the high level of openness and forthrightness required to discover it. Most of it is not willful or conscious. Rather, it is part of the modern Washington game that has become the accepted norm.

As I explain in this book, Washington has become the home of the permanent campaign, a game of endless politicking based on the manipulation of shades of truth, partial truths, twisting of the truth, and spin. Governing has become an appendage of politics rather than the other way around, with electoral victory and the control of power as the sole measures of success. That means shaping the narrative before it shapes you. Candor and honesty are pushed to the side in the battle to win the latest news cycle… The press amplifies the talking points of one or both parties in its coverage, thereby spreading distortions, half-truths, and occasionally outright lies in an effort to seize the limelight and have something or someone to pick on.

Most objective observers today would say that in 2003 there was no urgent need to address the threat posed by Saddam with a large-scale invasion, and therefore the war was not necessary. But this is a question President Bush seems not to want to grapple with.

I still like and admire George W. Bush. I consider him a fundamentally decent person, and I do not believe he or his White House deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people. But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war. Had a high level of openness and forthrightness been embraced from the outset of his administration, I believe President Bush’s public standing would be stronger today. His approval ratings have remained at historic lows for so long because both qualities have been lacking to this day. In this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security.

All the president can do today is hope that his vision of Iraq will ultimately come true, putting the Middle East on a new path and vindicating his decision to go to war. I would welcome such a development as good for America, good for Iraq, and good for the world. Bush knows that posterity has a way of rewarding success over candor and honesty. But as history moves to render its judgment in the coming years and decades, we can’t gloss over the hard truths this book has sought to address and the lessons we can learn from understanding them better. Allowing the permanent campaign culture to remain in control may not take us into another unnecessary war, but it will continue to limit the opportunity for careful deliberation, bipartisan compromise, and meaningful solutions to the major problems all Americans want to see solved. Adapted from the book WHAT HAPPENED: INSIDE THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE AND WASHINGTON’S CULTURE OF DECEPTION by Scott McClellan. Copyright 2008 by Scott McClellan.

Karl Rove and George \The excerpts plus additional revelations in the newswire this morning indicate that President Bush along with his advisor’s deliberately “sold” America on the invasion of Iraq because of their own political agenda. They deliberately ignored reality and spread half-truth’s to achieve their end.

The Bush administration has been quick to label McClellan as a “disgruntled” former employee. If it was back in Bible times, he would have been beaten and placed in stocks for public humiliation.Stocks

I am a Republican and voted for George W Bush, but our leaders have a responsibility to be honest and forthright. If the book excerpts are an honest reflection of the contents, this book should be very disturbing to the American people. Jeremiah has come forth and revealed George Bush as Pashur and is calling him “Danger-Everywhere”.

Perhaps we should realize that George Bush has become a danger to himself, his Country and God-fearing American’s everywhere. This war in Babylon (Iraq) has the potential of consuming the assets of America including our young men and women. It is folly and shame that it should have been predicated upon the lies of a Pashur.


Jeremiah is not my idol.

In fact, not too many preachers aspire to be like Jeremiah. Too many bad things happened to him. Like the time in chapter 38 that the princes of Judea had had enough of Jeremiah’s ramblings. They cried to the King, “please let this man be put to death, because he is discouraging everyone. He is not helping us, he is hurting us with the things he says”. So the King said “whatever you guys want to do, I won’t stop you”.

Jeremiah in the Mud So these princes threw him into the cistern or well in the middle of the prison court. At the bottom was mud which was probably as deep as three or four feet. It was so deep that Jeremiah became hopelessly stuck. They left him there to die, with no food or water. That was a mud bath no one wants to take.

Some eunuch named Ebed-Melech had pity on Jeremiah and went to King Zedikiah to appeal to his sense of reason. The King repented of his decision and commanded Ebed-Melech to take 30 men with ropes to pull Jeremiah out. After much work, they were able to pull him out, and Jeremiah stayed in the court of the prison.

What do you say when you are stuck in the mud? Did Jeremiah say “I’m Sorry, Get me out?” No, I think he kept on proclaiming God’s Message. In fact, I think his message became even louder because of the acoustics of the well.

So this blog is dedicated to the message of Jeremiah, who declared the message of God no matter where he was. Even when he was stuck in the mud. Here’s to you Jeremiah, the first “Mud Preacher”