09/13/2020 | “Worst Case Scenario” | Jeremiah 26

We love to proclaim and sing about being the salt of the earth and a city set on a hill, but Jesus speaks of this as a faithful response to persecution.  Today’s cancel-culture wants to silence the gospel and the truth of God.    How are we to respond?  Are we to soften our message?  Conform it to the differing expectations of culture?  Reassess our calling or the sphere in which we execute it?   These are all questions Jeremiah faced.   In Jeremiah 26, the prophet preached one of his earliest and most memorable sermons.  Jeremiah was probably optimistic as he preached.   But the moment the sermon ended the cancel-culture attacked.   “You shall die” was the response of the religious establishment.   “Jeremiah, conform or be cut off.”  How would Jeremiah respond?  How will we respond?  Listen to “Worst Case Scenario” as we examine Jeremiah 26 and consider the Jeremiah’s response to the cancel-culture of his day.

“Cancel Culture, Jeremiah 26”

09/06/2020 | “Choose Wisely” | Jeremiah 25:15-38

Jeremiah was told to take the cup of the wine of the wrath of God and to make all the nations drink of it.  Its effects are terrible.  And no one can refuse.  But there is another cup.   For those who choose wisely — who trust in Christ, not in themselves, who acknowledge God’s righteous judgment of sin, yet plead for His mercy upon sinners, there is the cup of blessing.  What cup will you choose?  The cup of the fury of God’s wrath?  Or the cup of Christ?  Listen to “Choose Wisely” as we examine Jeremiah 25:15-38 and consider the choice God gives us between grace and judgement. 

“Choose Wisely,” Jeremiah 25:15-38

08/30/2020 | “Taking Responsibility” | Jeremiah 25:1-14

To practice adulting, you don’t actually have to be an adult.  You only have to play-act at responsibility long enough to make the post.  When “adulting” becomes mundane or challenging, we can step out of the hashtag.   Adulting gives us the perfect cover for evading hard things.  Avoiding responsibility it is at the core of mankind’s fallen, sinful nature.  We love to take cover in immaturity and irresponsibility, but faith calls us to grow, mature and to take responsibility.   The scriptural remedy for sinful failure is confession and repentance, not excuse making.   Christians take responsibility for sin, even if we have a good excuse.  Jeremiah called to the men of his day and us to repent.   When God declares our sin, it is not enough to merely ‘adult.’  No, it is time to take responsibility through confession, repentance, and faith.  Listen to “Taking Responsibility” as we examine Jeremiah 25:1-14 and consider the call to take responsibility through confession and repentance.

“Taking Responsibility,” Jeremiah 25:1-14

08/23/2020 | “The Horrible Doctrine” | Jeremiah 24

In our human pride, the doctrines of election and reprobation are indeed “horrible doctrines.”   Yet as we carefully consider what the Bible says about the total depravity of our fallen condition, these “horrible doctrines” soon become “doctrines of grace.”  Were God to base His decision to save on anything in us, we would be hopelessly doomed.  The early American pastor, Jonathan Edwards, once declared, “we contribute nothing to our salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”  And Jesus taught that “unless a man is born again [from above] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”    Those horrible doctrines, which at first fill us with indignation and accusation toward a Holy, Sovereign God, become gracious doctrines when the Holy Spirit enables us to see the depth of our sin.   Listen as we consider the comfort and power of God’s calling and election from Jeremiah 24.

“The Horrible Doctrine,” Jeremiah 24

08/16/2020 | “Spotting the Fake” | Jeremiah 23:9-40

How well can we spot the fake?   Can we discern a false teacher from a faithful one?   Have we loved truth or falsehood?   Are we wary of those who attempt to “heal our wounds lightly, saying ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace.” Listen as we examine Jeremiah 23:9-40 and consider the prophet’s guidance regarding the sources, symptoms and solutions to the problem of false teaching.

“Spotting the Fake,” Jeremiah 23:9-40

08/09/2020 | “No King, But Jesus” | Jeremiah 21-23

Who rules your heart?  Who reigns over your strength, mind, and soul?  Where do you look for deliverance and freedom?  In Jeremiah 21-23, the enemy is at the gates.  God’s judgment is at hand.   After forty years of resisting God’s call to repent, Judah’s king finally seeks an audience with the prophet.  Zedekiah vainly hopes for a miraculous deliverance as in the days of Hezekiah.  But Jeremiah offers only the gospel.   He calls out the sins of Judah’s kings, calls the people to repent, and points them to a new king – a king of righteousness, justice and peace, King Jesus.  

We too are facing God’s judgement.   We cry out for some miraculous deliverance and God offers the gospel.  Repent, trust in His grace, and serve a new King.   It’s time for a change.  It’s time for new leadership.  It’s time for a new King – King Jesus. Listen as we examine Jeremiah 21-23 and consider what king we serve. 

“No King, But Jesus,” Jeremiah 21-23

08/02/2020 | “In the Valley of the Shadow” | Jeremiah 20

Jeremiah preached hard words to hard hearts.   For over four decades he did the work of a prophet, yet saw no profit from it in the people’s lives.  No repentance, no returning, no reformation – only the unrelenting judgment of God against his beloved Judah.   He was beaten, imprisoned, ridiculed, despised, outcast by foe, friend and family.   He was kidnapped.  He was denied every earthly relationship that might bring joy.   Little wonder he was the weeping prophet.  He wept for his people, but he also wept for himself.  In Jeremiah 20 we find the prophet in a valley of deepest darkness.   His grief, anger and frustration carry him close to the border of apostasy.  Jeremiah’s struggles, just like Jeremiah’s preaching, are written for our instruction.  How do we walk in the light when God leads us into the Valley of The Shadow? Listen to “Valley of the Shadow” from Jeremiah 20.

“Into the Valley of the Shadow,” Jeremiah 20

07/26/2020 | “Lost and Found” | Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus – the wee little man – in Luke 19 was lost.   He tried to find himself in work and in wealth.  And, in both he was at the top of his game.   He was no mere tax collector, but the chief-tax collector.   He oversaw all tax collection in Jericho, a fabulously wealthy and progressive city.   And he was fabulously wealthy.   But it came at a cost.  Success cost him his identity and his integrity.   His name, Zacchaeus, meant “righteous one.” But his reputation was that of an odious sinner.   All he had gained was nothing compared to what he had lost.   He was lost and longed to be found. Perhaps Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus.  That he was a “friend of tax collectors and sinners.”   The religious establishment had no place for Zacchaeus in their lives or their religion.   But maybe this Jesus would be different.   What kind of man was Jesus?  He had to see.  You might think at first glance that Luke 19 is a story about Zacchaeus looking for Jesus.  But it is actually quite the opposite.  It was Jesus who came to Jericho looking for Zacchaeus. Listen to “Lost and Found” as we examine this passage and see how God’s love for us unfolds in the seeking and the saving of Zacchaeus. 

“Lost and Found,” Luke 19:1-10

07/19/2020 | “Beyond Repair” | Jeremiah 19

The people of Judah had rejected Jeremiah’s call to repent. They continued to live with their backs to God.  What about you?  Have you lived with your back to God?  Are you unconcerned about his sovereign justice?   God offers us sovereign grace, but if we turn away from it, all that is left is sovereign judgement.   We should all be concerned.    Listen to “Beyond Repair” as we examine Jeremiah 19 and consider the dangers of living life with our backs to God. 

“Beyond Repair,” Jeremiah 19

07/12/2020 | “The Last Word” | Jeremiah 18

When the Lord speaks the best, last word, the word of grace, will you let that be the last word?  Or must you speak the last word yourself, “following your own plans” according to the stubbornness of your heart.   Jeremiah 18 is a remarkable passage about God’s steadfast grace toward stubborn, ungrateful rebels.   What is the last word in your life?   What last word defines you? Listen to “The Last Word” from Jeremiah 18 as we consider the power and beauty of God’s sovereignty exercised toward us in grace.

“The Last Word,” Jeremiah 18:1-18