I know I’ve been writing a lot lately. I guess I have many feelings these days. One thing I just want to touch on today is probably something that will bring on emotions for some people. I’m not a “fighter”; I’m a lover and a pleaser. The thing in life that I want to be most of all, is “there” or “available” for those who need a friend to talk to or someone to work things out with. I’m not trying to turn anyone’s beliefs into my own beliefs. I have my own and you are free to have your own as well.
I was reading my daily encouragement book called “365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible”. It is a “Hope filled Reading for every day of the year”. In Jeremiah 7:24 NIV it says “But they did not listen or pay attention: instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” I want to explain what this day’s reading taught me. It made my heart and soul well up with tears for the people in my life and those not in my life. You can have Religion but not necessarily have God. You can think that boasting, putting others down, saying that if you don’t see outward signs of someone’s “Godliness” that they don’t have any. You can even say that if people’s heads are not full of Bible verses due to lack of memorization skills as high as yours, that they don’t know God either. But today’s reading just really made me deeply think about this. You know people on social networks lots of time like to put up quotes. Sometimes these are Bible quotes, Hope quotes or just funny quotes. But just because you can retype some words you found online doesn’t make your relationship with God necessarily any better than another persons.
The Jews of the time of Jeremiah were great at following the laws of the land. They thought if they continued to sacrifice then they would make God happy. In Jeremiah 7:22-23, God told them something different. He told them “I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings…but…this command:….Walk in obedience to all I command you” (NIV, italics added).
The real literal wording of that last sentence reads: “They were backward and not forwards.” They were doing, practicing their religion the wrong way. They’d focused on outward appearances and actions and not the internal feelings and obedience to and of the Lord.
Earlier, the prophet Isaiah and predicted that the people would fall into captivity, they would regress backwards due to having a “little” religion: “the word of the Lord to them will become: do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there–so that as they go they will fall backward, they will be injured and snared and captured” (28:13 NIV)
The goal for us Christians is always the same really. John says it correctly in I John 5:3 NIV : “This is love for God: to keep his commands”. IF you have true love and devotion for the Lord, it will show itself and be on display in all area of our lives without our physically trying to put it there. It will just “BE” there because it’s in your heart and soul, not just in the perfect mind.
I want to say that I wish you a Blessed Easter, the resurrection of Jesus. Easter is the most Holy day of the year, even bigger than Christmas to people like me, of Christian faith. If you are a Christian, I pray that you find solace and comfort and love in the Lord. That you feel him inside your soul and your heart, not just practice the motions. If you love someone, show them; don’t tell them. If they don’t love you back, love them anyway. If you have people in your life who’ve hurt you. It’s OK to feel sad about it and sometimes if you’re still fearful of them, you can forgive them without having them be in your life at all. You do not have to reconcile with those who’ve hurt you in very big ways; at least not a “physical reconciliation”. You can reconcile in your own heart and feel sad for them, forgive them inside; without the outward act of physically being in the same place with them. Just my thoughts for the day! Have a Blessed Easter and be safe and keep on loving!