The book of Jeremiah is one of those Bible books that we, as Christians, may be tempted to avoid. It seems so much easier to just read the blessings in God’s Word. After all, the blessings are what we are after, right? And the Lord did promise them to us, didn’t He?
It is my practice to always ask the Lord what is in any given Bible passage for me. What does He want to say to me?
In Jeremiah’s day, there was a big problem — a huge problem. The Lord sent Jeremiah in entreaty and warning:
Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them. (Jeremiah 18:20)
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1)
But none of God’s people wanted to admit that they were the problem — not the king, not the priests, not the common people — nobody.
It occurred to me that we — you and I — may have this same problem. It is all too easy to point fingers. “Look at that pastor! Those things he is teaching are obviously not in the Bible! He is mixing up God’s Word!” “Look at that teacher! How will the children ever learn godly modesty with people like her leading them?” “Look at that parent! You would think she would teach her children to at least sit still….”
But the Lord’s message through Jeremiah was not “Listen! You had better look at everyone else and find out what is going wrong here!” No!
God’s message through Jeremiah was “return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” (Jeremiah 18:11)
A necessary pair
You see, God’s blessings are there for His people. Claiming His blessings without obeying His commands, though? That is presumption. It just does not work that way.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20)
Here is what we need to consider: What am I doing that might lead the children astray? We each must look at our own self through God’s eyes.
We may be saying all the right things, using all the right methods, keeping with all the solid doctrine… but do our lives match up? What do the children see when we are not “intentionally” teaching? (We are always teaching, you know!)
Does Christ have our spirit? What do we do with our free time? How do we respond to difficult situations? What are our priorities — really, as shown by what we choose to give our time and attention to, day by day? How do we act when we are tired? Or sick? Or hungry?
Little things add up, and the children are watching. Are we being faithful under-shepherds to our Lord’s precious flock?
Leave me a simple comment below if you are with me on this. Let’s be praying for not only our own influence, but for all of Christ’s representatives on earth. The children need us to be faithful!