Read:  Jeremiah 26:1-24

But if you stop sinning and begin to obey the LORD your God, He will change His mind about this disaster that He has announced against you.  Jeremiah 26:13  

God tells Jeremiah to go to the most public place and announce the LORDs coming punishment and to call for repentance.  Ultimately, the people didn’t want to hear that message and they turned on him and threatened his life.  He survived the encounter, but it does highlight how much people don’t want to change what they are doing and will shoot the messenger if necessary.

What I find interesting in this chapter is that the people were coming to the temple to worship God.  Though they were involved in idol worship, child sacrifice, and other sinful behaviors, they still came to the temple to worship God.

God’s message of repentance and His forgiveness is timeless.   Our job is to monitor our hearts and our lives and keep those “idols” and sinful behaviors out.  And when we find ourselves backsliding, be quick to confess, repent and stop.

God will forgive and restore but we must respond to His command to repent and begin to obey Him.  Going to church doesn’t cover over the other idols and sins in our lives anymore than it did for the people of Jeremiah’s day.  He was calling for repentance from the people who were going to the temple –  “church goers.”  So, follower of Christ… “stop sinning and begin to obey the LORD your God, He will change His mind about this disaster that He has announced against you.”

NOTE: This part of the story of God is a lot of repent or be punished / suffer the consequences of your sin.  We love to spend time in the gospels soaking in the grace of God, but God’s intolerance of us holding on to the sin and idolatry in our lives is part of the story.  An especially important part for modern Christians.  Not only do we come to Christ for forgiveness, but to make him LORD, and to lay down our lives as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1).  No one is perfect and grace will always be necessary (praise God for Jesus Christ).  But are you choosing each day to surrender yourself to Him… to be a living sacrifice… to do your best to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” (Romans 8:13).

Take a few minutes and ask God to search your heart and show you if there is something in your life that is not pleasing to Him.  Then sit silently for a few moments.  If He brings anything to mind, confess it, surrender it, and do what you have to do to stop or start doing it.

Search me, Oh God and know my heart – show me if there is anything in my life that is not pleasing to you… (pause and listen).  Lord I thank you for conviction and for your care for my life.  I surrender every part of my life to You today.  Give me strength to overcome the temptation and sin in my life and help me to live for You.  Fill me with Your spirit now and live through me, I pray…  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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