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THE NIGHT BEFORE (Lenten Series)
Preparing to remember Jesus Christ's sacrifice during the season of Lent
Jesus was arrested, placed on trial, and sentenced to death—and the whole time He was the one in control of circumstances. Our suffering Servant King is sovereign over all!
When Jesus prays for something, you know that He will receive His request. In John 17, Jesus asks His Father to make us one with each other like Jesus and the Father are one. We will be one, we are one, as close to each other as the members of the Trinity.
We miss Jesus, we want Him to return. But while we eagerly wait for Him to come back, we are filled with His power, His wisdom, and His character, because of His gift, God the Holy Spirit.
What is the issue of being "lukewarm"? How can it be overcome?
An eternally fruitful life is possible through our connection to Jesus, if we can remember that connection. Remain, abide, be fruitful in the life you receive from Jesus.
Heaven seems so far away and Jesus seems so distant. But look again, see the Way home. Look at Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Our sins have created a chasm between us and God, a divide that we cannot cross. But Jesus has removed this chasm through His death and resurrection, washing away our sins with His own blood.
SORROW & JOY ~ THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH
Jeremiah (627-585 BC), a prophet, spoke to the nation of Judah. The theme of Jeremiah is "God promises His people a new covenant beyond the necessary exile."
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. Jeremiah 31:33
The book of Jeremiah is a constant reminder of God's promise in Deuteronomy, that His chosen people will be cursed for their unfaithfulness to Yahweh (Jehovah) but that God will also restore them, establishing a new covenant which will be fulfilled through Jesus, David's "righteous Branch" (Jeremiah 23:5). Jeremiah is best understood in the context with the political intrigue of the kings of Judah, which you can read more about in 2 Kings 22-25 and 2 Chronicles 34-36. Wrangling over how to respond to national threats, what alliances should be made with other countries and God's covenantal responsibility to His people create a tense setting for Jeremiah's ministry. He is called to speak in opposition to the dynasty of King David and the flatters and minions of these unfaithful kings. His job is to speak truth to power, as unpopular as it was.
The heart of Jeremiah's prophetic words are found in Chapters 1-25, which probably make up most of the scroll that was burned by Jehoiakim, as recorded in Chapter 36. Interwoven through these warnings are moments where Jeremiah and God interact, with Jeremiah expressing his fear of how the people will respond and God reassuring him of His sovereignty.
The structure of Jeremiah:
Chapters 1-25 - Prophecies of judgment against Jerusalem
Chapters 26-36 - Narratives of hope for the future
Chapters 37-45 - Narratives regarding the fall of Jerusalem
Chapters 46-51 - Prophecies of judgment against the nation
We love our enemies, we pray for those who persecute us. But we refuse to join our enemies, knowing that some day they will be destroyed because of their rebellion against God.
Home. We want to go home to our native country, to be with our Father. Soon, our exile will be over and we'll be able to go home.
God is our God. We are God people. This relationship, under the new covenant cannot be broken.
Sin has consequence but so does obedience. Sometimes, living righteously results in great suffering for believers. But obedience is worth the suffering as we remain in the comfort of the presence of the Lord
Our instinct tells us to run and hide when we're caught doing what God told us not to do, but that reaction is deadly. God urges us to return to Him in repentance and find forgiveness.
Jesus died and rose again to forgive us of our sins. And yet, when we sin, there are consequences. God in His mercy warns us that we only hurt ourselves when we choose to sin.
Our treatment of God is grounds for divorce. He had every right to end our relationship. And yet, His love never fails. He wants us back!
We are introduced to Jeremiah who called and prepared by God to bring a very unpleasant message from God to Judah.