Thursday, May 25, 2023

What Does the Lord Require? – Part 1

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There is a saying: everything was going good … until it wasn’t. It’s been a bit rough for my family for the last week and much to do, with a short time to get it done. We are still in the middle of the situation and racing to prepare for the emotional climax next week. I’m sorry for my lagging on these posts. Any prayers are appreciated. 


Here is Michael’s message for this week, where he reminds us that in the midst of interesting times, we have the privilege of tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. The Bible tells us: For all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Trials, tribulations and tests are to prove His character in us. The world thinks that reproof is a bad word. However, reproof means to re-prove God’s power in us over and over. For tribulation works patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. We learn something.

Many Old Testament verses are applicable as we confront the trials of our present hour. Jeremiah 29:11-13says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet.” He had a heart of love to serve God’s people. His heart was broken because Israel had forsaken the word of the Lord. The name Jeremiah means “God’s elect.” God chose, called, and elected His prophet Jeremiah to declare that whom the Lord loves, he chastises. Because they had turned their hearts from God, Israel would be taken captive into Babylon.

In Jeremiah 24, God gave Jeremiah a vision about Israel and Judah. In the vision he saw a basket of rotten figs and a basket of good figs. According to Jeremiah 24:2-3 says, “One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. God showed Jeremiah that the good figs represented the faithful believers who had been taken captive to Babylon. Despite their captivity for Israel’s forsaking Him, God promised those faithful to His word that God would eventually return them back into the Promised Land. This promise is in verse 6: For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.”

God in His mercy and grace always allows room for repentance when His people return their hearts back to Him. The Old Testament book of Micah shows us how faith fits into a broken and corrupt society. When God seems distant, Micah reminds us that there is hope for those who approach the Lord with a broken and a contrite heart of repentance. When we stray from His Word, God loves us enough to discipline us for whom the Lord loves, He chastises. The word of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and correction. To correct means to restore to an upright position. When are verticals are aligned according to His will, then our horizontals are much more enjoyable.  

Let's continue Michael's message in the next post. In Christ, Brian

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