from Ross Kronenbitter
Reading: Ps. 39; Jer. 11:1-17; Rom. 2:1-11
"I'm going to hold my breath and stomp my feet until I get my way!" Did you ever try that? In Psalm 39 King David withholds speech from his enemies and stops doing good but his "sorrow grew worse." He asks himself, "for what do I wait?" then acknowledges, "My hope is in You." God implores us to listen to Him and obey His Word so that we can be His people, and He our God "in order to confirm the oath which I swore to to your forefathers, to give them land flowing with milk and honey." (Jer 11:4,5) Yet we do not obey or incline our ears, but walk, "each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart." (v8)
In our prideful sense of independence, we would rather wander aimlessly in the desolation of a lifeless desert amidst a famine of hearing (and obeying) God's word, than receive the infinite refreshment and life that our creator provides freely through Jesus, the ("I AM") "living water" and "bread of life." In Romans, chapter 2, the Apostle Paul (like Jesus) reminds and warns us of our judgmental, blind hearts, asking rhetorically if we "think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance." Can we honestly not know: "but because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God," who impartially "renders to each according to his deeds."? (Rm 2:4-6)
Now is the time to recognize that our spiritual privation and tribulation is self-imposed and that the distress of our soul (v9) and lack of Godly fruit is the result of our prideful, infantile "hold my breath" and "do it myself" attitudes. Jesus loves our souls and died that we might "learn from Him ...and find rest for your souls." (Mt 11:29, Jer 6:16). Friends,we do need to repent of our stubborn, self-limiting ideas and daily refresh ourselves in Jesus, the living word, that we may be "those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life." (Rm 2:7) May it be so in His kindness, tolerance and patience. Amen
Hymn: "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling"
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are the eternally loving, eternally merciful and just, creator God. We confess that although you provide every perfect plan and provision for our abundant life and salvation, we have often tried to be the solvers of our own problems. We believe yet need your healing of our unbelief. We trust but fixate our "our part" of your plan. You freely offer an eternal banquet but we choose a temporal starvation diet, convincing ourselves that what is yours is yours and what is mine is mine. Forgive us Lord and guide us in faith and trust in your word and your son Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Amen