Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 – July 31 – Who is Influencing Whom?

Study from God’s Word Jeremiah 15: 10 – Jer. 17: 18 … Passage for Reflection: Jeremiah 15: 19b [in bold/underlined] … NIV Therefore, (to Jeremiah after his complaint to God) this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you many serve Me; if you utter worthy, not worthless words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.

My Journal for Today:
What is God warning Jeremiah in today’s highlighted passage, especially that above underlined in bold? What does God mean that Jeremiah “… must not turn to them (i.e., the people of the world)?”

God’s warning is one we need to heed because of another passage I read today in my study of the Book of Jeremiah, … that oft quoted verse in Jer. 17: 9, which states, The [human] heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? And that is why in New Testament times, the Apostle John exhorted born-again, maturing Christians to watch out for the lure of the world when he wrote in 1st John 2: 15-16, Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the Apostle Paul warned Christians that we may be “in the world;” but we must not be “of the world.” (see Colossians 2: 20)

But this is a warning, which our “Jer. 17: 9” hearts have trouble handling; and we’ve seen many politicians, pro athletes, and entertainment figures, as well as even prominent religious leaders, who’ve taken the bait of popularity and prominence and worldly power, falling prey to their own flesh and falling away from God’s warnings from both the OT prophets and in the NT … from even the calls of Jesus Himself.

Jesus modeled two distinct character traits which our flesh and human desires often cause us to ignore; and those are HUMILITY and MEEKNESS (see Matt. 11: 29 ). Hence we need to ask ourselves the self diagnostic question which Dr. Smith poses for me (us) today, as he writes, ”Which has been greater, my influence on [those in] the world or the world’s influence on me?” I would hope – and I will pray today – that it is not the latter.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help us to shine Your Light into the world rather than being dazzled by the lights shining deceptively out of a very dark world. Amen

Blogger's Note: Last day of the month; and I'm moving into the bottom half of my commitment to read through, study in, and meditate on the Bible this year. I'm already looking forward to what God is going to show me the rest of this year; and I'm very grateful to the world of Dr. F. LaGard Smith for his work in putting together the The Daily Bible in Chronological Order as well as his authorship of The Daily Bible Devotional. Moving on in 2010!

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