Heart Prep for Sunday, September 30th
Have you ever been disappointed? I'm sure you have. Perhaps when you were a kid Christmas morning came and you didn't get that one present you really wanted. Or when you were a teen you didn't get that prom date you set your heart on. Or maybe you picked out the perfect college ... until you got that letter. Then you entered the work force, and got that first job interview ... and then another, and another, and another, and ... you know the story. Disappointment is part of everyday, ordinary life. Sooner or later, we all face it. Even pastors. Maybe especially pastors. After all, I've been preaching for 27 years and everybody's still sinning. Even me, maybe especially me (not hard to believe at all).
But how do you react when the one who is disappointed is God the Father? Last week we saw that the people of Judah had forgotten God's Law, God's Word, truth, and morality, They didn't return to the Lord with their whole heart, but came in pretense. They just went through the motions. In Jeremiah 3:19-4:4, our text for this week, God tells them, and us, that their false repentance has simply broken His heart. And so this week's sermon is about The Prophet's Plea to Repent.
And so God takes a moment to teach His people about the difference between true and false repentance, and how it's so easy to convince ourselves that our repentance is genuine, even when it's not. These are not the condemning words of earlier passages, these are the sad words of a heart-broken Father who knows He's taught His children better than this. And so His disappointment is palpable. God is the One giving Jeremiah words that are hard to hear. Words that show us how much God loves faithfulness in His people. Words that show how much unfaithfulness breaks His heart. As we've already seen, Jeremiah could be writing about present-day America. He is truly an Ancient Prophet for Modern Times. And yet, even in the midst of His disappointment, He always holds out future hope. And that's such Good News. I'm looking forward to that Good News this Sunday. See you then, Dr. Dave
P.S. - Hey, just want to say thanks to Jon Batluck who came to the church office several times this week to uninstall and then reinstall our Internet and phone service (we got a new HVAC unit and they had to be moved). We expect things to work and don't often recognize those who serve behind the scenes making sure those things actually will work. Why don't you thank someone serving behind the scenes this week?
P.P.S. - And just a reminder to everyone that the church office will be closed and inaccessible this weekend (Friday through Sunday) as our parking lot is being repaved. If there's anything you need from the office, please get it by Thursday evening.