Sunday 8-21-2016 Home in Modesto
Scripture Reading: Jer 21, 24, 27 Psalm 118 1 John 2
S=Scripture O=Observation A=Application P=Prayer SOAP for the soul.
S. Jer 27:8-9 And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,' says the LORD, 'with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." NKJV
O. Not all God’s messages are ‘apple pie a la mode’. Jeremiah is running through the Jerusalem streets saying, “Jehovah God is saying, ‘Surrender now to King Nebuchadnezzar or you will all die.’” He is boldly preaching what the Lord has told him to say… and he is becoming very unpopular. His message will be declared “treason” and it will soon doom him to be lowered into the mud of a dry well expecting to die a miserable death.
A. Preaching God’s true message can get the preacher in trouble some times. “Hey preacher, go preach your heavy stuff from your pulpit, but don’t trouble us here on the street with your call to repentance.” I really don’t want to be like Jeremiah. I much prefer to call sinners to repentance without threatening God’s wrath. I don’t want to be a freak standing on the street corner, condemning everybody to hell. May the Lord call someone else to shake this nation… and shake us preachers… enough that we will fearlessly tell it like it is.
When I was voted in as pastor in the little town of Colfax, I discovered that I had four nice deacons. One wouldn’t come to church since he disagreed with another one. And he was a really nice guy, too. One of them was an ordained minister from another church organization. Go figure! I was a beginner preacher and it showed… a lot! All my previous ministry had been preaching to young military men, calling them to the feet of Jesus. So this dear ordained brother soon complained that I was always preaching to sinners and giving altar calls and I was never “comforting the saints”… of which he was one. In fact, I didn’t even know that I was supposed to “comfort the saints.” So now I’m all grown up and have learned to “comfort the saints”, but am I still calling sinners to repentance? Hmmm.
P. Oh Lord, we preachers have to walk a tight rope. If we don’t entertain the saints with juicy sweet stuff, then they might choose to go to the church across the street and we might find ourselves “calling down the wrath of God on empty chairs.” May I just be Your message carrier. But please don’t let them lower me in the mud of a deep well, okay? Thank You. Amen.