Israel was deplorable. They forsaken God and turned to idols. We used to call it backsliding. Jeremiah 2:20-27 gives us attitudes that cause us to backslide.
1) The Attitude of Ingratitude (Jer. 2:20). Ingratitude is the cornerstone of unfaithfulness.
2) The Attitude of Hopelessness (Jer. 2:25). The difference between Hope and Hopelessness is God.
3) The Attitude of Freedom (Jer. 2:31). cf. Gal. 5:13.
4) The Attitude of Denial (Jer. 2:35). "That's not me."
The answer is Jer. 3:13-14, 1 John 1:9.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Salvation has many aspects. We are saved not to be reservoirs of Grace, but channels of Grace. We are saved to serve. We are to be “sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21). We are to be servants! What is service? Service takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God. Matthew 14:114-21 shows us the essence of service. There are 4 elements to service in this passage:
- HUMAN NEED
The multitude had a need. In this case they needed food to eat. How do we relate to needs of others? The disciples hesitated. We can be blinded to the need. They wanted to send them away. Do we turn a blind eye to need? Or can we meet the need? The disciples could not. The boy with a sack lunch could. God asks us the same question he asked Moses—“What is that in thy hand?” God wants what we have; not what we do not have. The boy gave what he had. Do we?
Like the disciples we can look with the eyes and not the heart. They saw the need, but it did not touch their heart. What was the problem? They saw themselves as manufacturers, not distributors. Service is not manufacturing something we don’t have, but distributing of what is given. We are to move with compassion with what we have, not what we can produce. We must remember true service is constrained by the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14). We are to be loving channels of service? It is He who creates this love within us (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22),
- GOD’S EMPOWERMENT
Manufacturing is God’s job, not us. Our job is to distribute what He manufactures. The disciples did not manufacture the food; they only distributed the food given to them. It was God who multiplied the bread and fishes. What does God give us? We have been empowered with Divine resources: Love, grace, mercy, gifts, etc. He empowers. We are channels of that empowerment. Are we distributing what God has empowered us with?
- GOD’S GLORY
The object of true service is not us! It is God’s Glory. The Glory of God is what salvation and service is all about. We are saved “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:6). Paul commands us. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). If our motive for serving is anything but the glory of God, then all we are doing is religious activity not true ministry. God is gloried when people see the Master and not the minister!
Are we reservoirs of Grace? Or are we channels of Grace? Reservoirs withhold water; channels distribute water. True service takes place when we are channels