“GOD BLESSES AMERICA, WHY?” PART 2.

Please read Jeremiah 2:1-19

God was especially full of pathos for the people in Israel – Judah. Why? Because God had touched his mouth and put His words into it, so that His Word would not return unto Him void.

The purpose of this chapter is to show God’s people their sins. God uses Jeremiah to do this by way of reproof and conviction that they might be brought to repent of their sins and so prevent the ruin that was coming upon them. The sin they are charged with is idolatry, and REJECTING the true and living God, (their own God), for false gods. They had forgotten God, but He has not forgotten them.

So, God gives Jeremiah the charge to show them:

I. THEIR INGRATITUDE TOA GRACIOUS GOD VERSES 1-8.

II. THEIR DISRESPECT IN CHANGING GOD FOR A FALSE GOD VERSES 9- 13.

III. THEIR ULTIMATE RUIN IN MAKING THE CHANGE VERSES 14-19.

A. The command given to Jeremiah to go and deliver a message from God to Jerusalem.

He was charged in general (verse 17) to go and speak to them.

He is saying, “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, so that all will hear, that none can plead ignorance. Get up close to them, and cry in the ears of those that have purposely closed their ears.”

B. The message he was commanded to deliver.

He was to rebuke them for their ingratitude in forsaking and rejecting God who had been so good to them, that this might either make them ashamed and bring them to repentance, or justify God in turning His hand against them.

  1. He reminds them of the good God has done in verse 2.

When they believed God and his servant Moses in the wilderness and the crossing at the Red sea, when they sang God’s praise at the Red Sea, and when at the foot of Mount Sinai they promised. ‘All that the Lord shall say unto us we will do and be obedient.

  1. He rebukes them for their ingratitude verse 4.

In verse 5 God is saying, ‘What did I do wrong that you would forsake me for another god?’ He is saying the same to America today.

  1. He reprimands them for their idolatry and wickedness verse 7.

CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“THERE IS A WAY THE CHRISTIAN CAN DEFEAT DISCOURAGEMENT.”

It is a sin to fret over those who prosper and do evil. So, how can we defeat discouragement?

A. Keep your eyes on the Lord.

          Keep on trusting in Him. Look at Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”

  1. All of us have trials.
  2. All of us can overcome trials.

Our trials are designed to make us stronger if we are in fellowship with Him. And they are to bring us back into fellowship if we are backslidden.

B. Get busy for the Lord.

 1. Get off the defense and go on offensive.

2. Get back to where you fell out of fellowship with Him. Far too many Christians are quitting their God-given responsibilities.

C. Go back to most important priorities.

In closing: A Christian need never lead a defeated, discouraged life. Don’t let the Devil have victory over you.

“DISCOURAGEMENT COMES WHEN A CHRISTIAN TAKES HIS EYES OFF THE LORD!”

Read Numbers 21:4-9 again.

But, let me add a truth or two about what God says about prosperity in the Christian’s life: The true secret about prosperity is:

  1. The Lord’s blessing:

Psalm 35:27, “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.”

  1. God’s guidance Genesis 24:

How the servant gets the bride for Isaac!

  1. Trusting in God: 

Nehemiah 2:20, “Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”

  1. Listening to God’s prophets:

Ezra 6:14,“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.”

  1. Believing God’s Word:

2 Chronicles 20:20, “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem;       Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”

CONTINUED TOMORROW!

“SATAN’S GREATEST TOOL, DISCOURAGEMENT” PART 2.

Read Numbers 21:4-9

Verse 6, they acted like serpents in hissing at Moses, and now serpents are sent to punish them. God has many ways of chastising sinners. He, who made Moses’ rod a serpent, can also use a serpent as his rod to smite Israel. He will sting those who sting his servants.

Verses 7-8, You have to admire Moses. He prays at once for the people who had been so harsh against him in their complaining. What a lesson in returning good for evil! The people were discouraged because of the way.

Satan will always try to get the Christian to stop living for the Lord: by using every possible way that he can. But when all else fails, he uses his greatest tool – the tool of discouragement.

Several important lessons for today:

I. DISCOURAGEMENT COMES WHEN A CHRISTIAN TAKES HIS EYES OFF THE LORD.

The children of Israel took their eyes off the Lord and put on their circumstances.

  1. A Christian sometimes gets discouraged when the way is too hard. God says, “. And the cause (problem) that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will bear it.”
  2. A Christian sometimes gets discouraged when the task is too difficult.

Now look: All of us face hard problems and tasks at times.

Look at Nehemiah in the building of the wall, his people said, “we are not able to build the wall.” Why? There was too much rubbish and the burden bearers were weakened. What did Nehemiah do? He looked unto the Lord.

You say, “God what you are asking is too hard for me.” Yes, but “is anything too hard for God?”

A Christian sometimes gets discouraged when he looks at the prosperity of the wicked Psalm 73. We addressed this in last week’s message. 

CONTINUED TOMORROW!

SATAN’S GREATEST TOOL, DISCOURAGEMENT!”

Read Numbers 21:4-9
 
It would be very tempting to teach on the fiery serpents or “Look and Live.” However; , I feel a great need to teach on “Satan’s greatest tool-discouragement.”
 
Some time ago we said that looking around brings discouragement (depression of one’s spirit). We talked about the causes of and remedies for discouragement. We learned how to turn “discouragement and depression” to “delight and direction.” Today I want to address how Satan uses discouragement and how can we defeat it?
 
Chapter 20 brought the end of the wilderness wanderings. In chapter 21 we see the first victory in their warfare and the 8th and last murmuring. This is the first victory for Israel since the conflict with Amalek back in the first part of the wanderings after leaving Egypt. God clearly gave them the victory, however; they now have to go by way of Mt. Hor near the Red Sea. Since they cannot go through Edom, they have to go in a circle and come in from the East. But, the way is hard. In their plight, they begin to complain.
 
In verses 4-5 at Mt. Hor Moses had seen his brother Aaron die, and now, all alone, he has to deal with the complaining of the people; yet he was not alone because God was with him.
 
The people were getting weary of tent life, and of the inconveniences of perpetually moving, but they forgot their many mercies, and the great deliverance, which the Lord had wrought for them. I like what Charles Spurgeon said, “Fretting, groaning, and complaining are very easy, but they are ungrateful, unholy and useless habits. How wretched a thing is discontent? Complaining and discontent is always the same old and cruel slander; but each time there is more sin in it.”
 
CONTINUED TOMORROW!

“GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER!”

As I was reading my Bible Friday morning, I was struck by God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10, where He said, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I also thought about the fact that God said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”. This is a wonderful promise of God. Now, if we are going to take Him at His Word, we must continue to ask, we must continue to seek and we must continue to knock, but most importantly, we must continue to believe.

Many challenges in life may cause us to doubt the faithfulness of God; however, if we will pray and believe God, then no matter what the result, we will know that God will give us the strength and uphold us with the right hand of His righteousness.

What a wonderful God we have!  Please don’t forget to thank Him for His mercies, for His love and understanding of our human limitations, our weaknesses, our doubts, our fretting and fears. God always has been and always will be faithful to His Word.  Why not take a few moments each day this week to praise Him, as wementioned last Sunday’s Devotional, even before He answers our prayer?

“GETTING THINGS FROM GOD” CONCLUSION!

We have covered by, I. PRAYER, II. BY GIVING, and

III. BY SERVING.

Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Three practical lessons: 1) Give Thanks. 2) Do it heartily – Colossians 3:23. 3) Do it with all your might –  Ecclesiastes 9:10.

So, how do you get things from God?  By praying, by giving and by serving. Let’s remember that each of us faithfully praying, faithfully asking, faithfully giving, and faithfully serving, will lead to getting the things we need from God. Jesus said, “Such cometh by nothing but by prayer and fasting.”Let me encourage you once again to remember to fast and pray at least one day out of each month.