August 13, 2015

Jeremiah 14:7 Although our sins testify against us,
O Lord, do something for the sake of your name.
For our backsliding is great;
we have sinned against you.

Reading this passage about a drought in Judah beings to mind the current drought in California. However, I haven’t heard anyone suggest that California’s troubles come from sin, even though over half the pornography in the world is produced there. It is politically incorrect to suggest that sin has consequences, not just for the individual but for society as a whole. It’s not that there is a necessary one-to-one relationship, but we don’t know people’s hearts and God does, and Jesus was very clear that we all need repentance. (Luke 13:1-5) There are various “major ministries” in California, but if they are preaching repentance to heal the drought, I haven’t heard of it. About 35 years ago Rock Church in Virginia Beach spearheaded a “2 Chronicles 7:14 Movement” that called, rightly enough, for repentance. I personally think some of the good things that did happen in America after that were connected with that, but for the most part all the noise was just window dressing, just as it was after the 9/11 attacks. God has been pushed out of the thinking of the vast majority of people, even Christians, so that they don’t think of Him as causative of anything. Just as Paul, in Romans 3:18, quoted Psalm 36:1, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” If you check the Psalm 36 reference, you see that puts all such people in the category of “the wicked.” They might or might not do anything the police would be interested in, but if they ignore God, they are wicked. That very statement is terribly politically incorrect. There are politicians who are making a splash by being politically incorrect, but I haven’t heard most of them say anything about sin! Some are, and I applaud them and pray for their success, because widespread repentance is the only real hope for the nation.

As I observe America from a distance I must remember that I am just as much in need of Jesus’ words in Luke 13 as anyone else. I am to keep my own repentance up to date, not allowing anything to build up at all. I am to walk in humble obedience, all day every day. As I seek to lead others into a right relationship with God I must be careful that my own has not become stale. In my case, taking Him for granted is one of the biggest risks. If I lose my gratitude, my obedience becomes drudgery, and that benefits no one. I am to keep my eyes open to recognize His gracious blessings and lead others to do the same, so that He may receive the thanks, praise, and glory that are rightly His alone.

Father, thank You for giving focus to the message I was already feeling You want me to share on Sunday. Guide me now in laying it out so that it will flow by Your Spirit: Your Word to penetrate hearts and minds to work Your will, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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