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 [like Hilary], offer 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.
- Catfish is the person who changed our blog and we do thank him. He put in a lot of hours and even came over on July 4th which is above and beyond. He has added a feature that makes it easy for you to follow the blog. When you scroll down to the bottom, you will see it…just type in your email and you will be good to go.
- I have thoroughly enjoyed my time off from the office. With these hot days, I work outside in the morning and evenings and do my QT and visiting in the middle of the day. I told June today, “Perhaps, this will be what it will be like when I retire.” She had come up with a fantastic squash dish that we eat practically everyday. She stews the chopped squash with onions, peppers and green tomatoes and it is delicious. Joe David will be preaching again this Sunday morning and then I will be back for a while. He will not preach again until October.
- Joyce Moore is much improved. She has been so sick, she doesn’t remember anything. They were about to move her to a regular room last night. They were waiting on a room when I left.
- Looking toward Sunday: We will have a brief deacons and wives meeting in the Sanctuary at 9:05 and then, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15 and 6:15. Lord willing, I will be preaching at the 6:15 service. I can’t believe it is Saturday, where did the week go?