by Julia Bruce
“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you! But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth.” — Jeremiah 44:16-17
If you did not know that I was quoting a verse from the Bible in the book of Jeremiah, would not these words adequately describe the average person today? People filled with anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, a right to their own agenda. Forget about God’s way of life. I will live my life the way I want to and to make sure I can, I will toss out any laws that prohibit it so that I can live guilt free. They can remove the 10 Commandments form the courtroom – but God’s laws will stand forever. They can change the laws of our nation and say same-sex marriage is acceptable – but God will never accept it. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and His Word will not change. And so, if their way of life doesn’t measure up to God’s way, they become angry at God or say, “There is no god.” Or they will choose to make up their “god” who will play by their rules. The nations of Israel and Judah thought the same thing in Jeremiah’s day. Let’s see how it turned out for them.
The majority of the Old Testament tells us about God’s chosen people and his covenant with them – that if they would forsake the false gods worshiped by other nations and would love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind, then He would be their God and they would be His people. He would bless them in the land of promise. Doesn’t sound too difficult. Worship only the one true God – the one who had parted the Red Sea so they could escape the Egyptians (this is important and we’ll get to why in a minute). The one who had done all the signs and wonders to Pharaoh before Pharaoh finally let them leave. The same God who had fed them with Manna when they complained of a lack of food and sent them quail when they complained there was no meat. The same God who brought water out of a rock. The same God who saw to their every need for 40 years of wandering around in the desert. The same God they met at the mountain and heard His voice and trembled. The same God who caused the walls to fall at Jericho. You might could argue that yes, all that happened, but the events of the book of Jeremiah were many generations later. And you would be correct. But even as Moses was on top of the mountain with God writing the 10 Commandments with his own finger, the people were down at the bottom of the mountain worshiping a golden calf they had Moses’ brother, Aaron make for them.
Idol worship was their weakness. Or maybe it was wanting to be like the other nations around them. Maybe they wanted a tangible god they could see. What they could not say is they didn’t know there was a true God. Their entire history has God woven into their lives. It doesn’t really matter why they kept returning to Idol worship over and over again. What matters is that they did and in doing so, they kindled the wrath of God.
They also had a problem with pride. When the temple was built, they took the promise of God which said in 2 Samuel 7: 13, “He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” Verse 16 says, “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.” They thought they could live any way they wanted and avoid retribution from God based on this covenant. God fulfilled this covenant through Jesus Christ, who was born of the “house and lineage of David” and will eternally sit on the throne at the right hand of God. But God’s promise was not that one of David’s descendants would always be on the throne of Israel. Time and again God sent prophets to warn them and to call them back to Him. Sometimes, a king would listen and he would repent and lead the people back to worshiping God. Their fault always was in the fact that they didn’t totally wipe out the idol worship. They might would remove the carved images, but they left the “high places” and did not tear those down. When the next king came to the throne, the people went right back to idol worship – doing it their way instead of God’s way.
In the book of Ezekiel, chapter 8, God gave him visions that showed the extent of the idol worship:
“Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary?”
In Jeremiah’s day, God called Jeremiah out to be a prophet and warn the nation of the coming judgment but they refused to believe or repent. As a result, God sent the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The nations were destroyed, as was the temple. The majority of the nation was carried off into captivity and a small remnant remained, just as God has promised. This small remnant decided they were going to pick up and move to Egypt (remember where God had brought them out of? Now there they were going back!) However, through the prophet Jeremiah, God told them not to go. Their response to Jeremiah was flat out defiance saying, “We will not listen to you! We are going to do what we want to do and nobody is going to stop us.” And off to Egypt they went. As a result, God punished them and none of the remnant of Judah that went to Egypt escaped or survived due to famine and sword.
What implication can we learn from Israel and Judah’s sin of idolatry and pride? If God would punish His chosen people so severely, would he not do the same to a Gentile nation? We may not bow down or sacrifice to carved images, but most of us have created some kind of idol in our lives – something that is more important to us than God. What is it that keeps you out of church on Sunday? What is it that keeps you from tithing or serving God within your local body of believers? What is it that stops you from having a daily, personal Bible study time and prayer time with God? Whatever it is that you put before God, that’s your idol. Maybe it’s social media. Maybe it’s work. Maybe its your children. Or going fishing or hunting. Maybe its a sport or hobby. Maybe its just some extra hours of sleep on Sunday. When you choose anything over God and make it more important than God, you are turning your fist up at God just as sure as Israel and Judah did and say “I’m going to do it my way!”
God gave Judah and Israel plenty of chances to repent and return to Him. He sought them out over and over. He called them back to Himself. He does the same with us today. If God has not had the place of honor in your life or you have been defiantly disobedient to Him – Hebrews 3:15 says, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your heart.” Instead, fall to your knees in repentance and return to Him today.
#verseoftheday #defying God #idols #pride #Jeremiah #WCM
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This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser Event: We have a product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more. Here’s a peek at what’s new:
We’ve added a fall line to our Spreadshop Store! Order today because it will be gone soon as we gear up for the upcoming Holidays. Christmas items available soon.
Thanksgiving items will be available on November 1.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #WCM #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
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Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:
|The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market||By Lee Strobel / Zondervan||If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.|
By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.
Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.
Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD
- “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
- Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
- 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
- Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- English and Spanish subtitles
Bonus CD included:
- The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture