April 14, 2021 Wayne Sullivan

Old Testament Wednesday!

Old Testament Wednesday!

Jeremiah 18:11-12

Following Our Own Plans

Jeremiah 18:11–12

11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’

            12 “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

A major lie that the world believes about God, is that He will change to please the world. Many people don’t or won’t believe that God can justifiably cause pain or suffering. Yet scripture tells us that the Lord never changes, He is always perfect, holy, and just. 

In Hebrews 13:8 we are reminded of a phrase many of us learned as a youth, that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever! God’s expectations never change, and His slow but sure punishment and discipline also never change. The Lord continued to give a simple but serious warning to Israel during the life of the prophet Jeremiah. God kept warning Israel to repent of her sins and return to faith in the Lord, or face judgment. Israel always had a choice, and so do you and me.

Why would Israel choose idols over the living God? Why would they choose punishment instead of peace? If a doctor gave you a serious diagnosis, you’d more than likely make lifestyle changes, take medication, or even undergo surgery to reverse course. But Israel was confident and comfortable in herself, so she kept following her own plans and her own stubborn heart. 

All of us are like Israel sometimes. We stake our spiritual lives in tradition, ceremony, and ritual. In other words, we like to practice religion for God instead of having a relationship with Him. Think and pray about where you stand with God. Are you practicing religion or pursuing a relationship with the Lord?

Today's Devotional was contributed by Mr. Stephen Nobles.

(The Ephesus Baptist Church Pastoral Ministry Intern)

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 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.