Far, Far Away

8 Jul

Have you ever thought about how far away from God we are when we sin? Have you ever considered how much of an offense it is to rebel against God? And have you reflected on the wonderful and powerful grace of God in Jesus Christ?

These have been a few of the questions on my mind as I have begun reading through Jeremiah. I am amazed, and at the same time, humbled, to see just how devastating sin is and the ways in which it effected the Israelites’ relationship with God. Look at these passages:

“Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
       be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord,
  for my people have committed two evils:
  they have forsaken me,
  and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
          broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jer. 2:12-13)”

“Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap,
  the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord. (Jer. 2:22)”

“[They] say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
     and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
  For they have turned their back to me, and not their face.
  But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!’
  But where are your gods that you made yourself?
  Let them arise, if they can save you in your trouble. (Jer. 2:27-28)” 

“You have played the whore with many lovers;
  and would you return to me? declares the Lord. (Jer. 3:1)” 

And not only that, but it leads me to think of my own sin and how it reveals my own idols, my own weaknesses (ways in which I willfully have disobeyed God) and the areas in which I fail to trust the Almighty, Sovereign God of the Universe.

In this season of life, my wife and I are raising financial support so that we might be able to move to Los Angeles and begin working with a ministry called Destino LA (Latino college student ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ). There are numerous times in which I find myself trusting in my own abilities, my choice of words or our presentation. If only I do these things right or do them more often, I will see our needs provided. Yet, in that line of thinking, I am making myself out to be the provider. I fail to acknowledge that all things come from the Lord. Instead, I must depend on Him through fervent prayer and let diligent obedience in the work He has given me flow out of the fact that He is the provider and has promised to work all things for my good (Rom. 8:28), whether now or in eternity.

Finally, as I read Jeremiah, I begin to see how wonderful, and powerful, the grace of God in Jesus Christ really is.  The cross and the empty tomb of Jesus is the Gospel hope that I have.  He died to take away my sin, to cleanse me of the guilt that has stained my being, and to bring me back into right standing with God.  I cannot begin to imagine the lengths it took to fully satisfy the penalty for all my sins and the power it takes to cleanse me of the filthiness left by sin.  And, not only that, but He rose again victoriously so that I might one day be raised as well and live eternally with my glorified, awesome King in His New Kingdom.  These are the amazing and powerful truths and promises that God gives us in order to love, trust and obey Him each day!

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