You do these things I hate, and then you come and stand in my presence, in my own Temple, and say, “We are safe!’
~Jeremiah 7:10, GNT
Sometimes I wonder if we are not worshiping worship rather than God.
Jeremiah witnessed the demise and death of a nation. Judah was living in disobedience to God. They put their faith in the Joel Osteen’s of the day, prophets who told them they were the elect, the chosen and secure in their temple religion. But in practice, they were stealing, committing murder and adultery. They lied under oath, offered sacrifices to Baal, and worshiped strange gods which they had never known before. Then they took sanctuary in the Temple where they felt secure. Jeremiah asked them “Do you think the Temple is a hiding place for thieves and robbers?” The Jews were worshiping the Temple instead of the God to whom the Temple was built. God cannot be deceived, He knew what they were doing, they were following their own stubborn and evil hearts and getting more depraved by the day.
Are we not guilty of the same thing? We have so institutionalized our faith that many think attending services is church but there is nothing in the N.T. to back this up. The church is the body of Christ. It is a living organism not a lifeless organization. As Hosea said, “We are a cake unturned, or half-baked”. We go to seed on gathering but are pitiful at scattering. Attending a service is not church; it is a part of church. Real church is extending the ministry of Jesus in this world. It involves teaching and preaching but it also involves going, evangelizing, doing ministry and missions. How many Baptist enter sanctuary’s on Sunday morning to set, soak, sulk and sour then go home feeling justified that they were faithful to the church. No, they attended a service which is a part of their religious obligation but they would not lift a finger to minister to someone in need or to share Christ with someone who is lost.
We are doing the same thing the Jews did: we are following the dictates of our own evil hearts and disobeying the very words of our LORD who commissioned us to go and make disciples.
Well folks we have a short reprieve. We have seen a lot of melting in the past 36 hours but it was treacherous coming to my office this morning. Fall risk are still high and there are probably some slick spots on the roads. You would have thought I would have gotten a lot of reading done this week but it hadn’t happened. The Bailey’s have made it an extension of Christmas; we gather at Holly’s every might for food and games.
I have not checked on our sick today; I want to get all my devotions completed before I get on the phone. I hope you have a good day. Watch the ice if you are old like me.