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[thoughts] Turn! (September 30 - October 6, 2001)

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  • Mark Roth
    ... This edition goes out today to 2423 subscribers. Thank you! ... JEREMIAH PLEADS WITH HIS PEOPLE (Jeremiah 25:1-7; 26:12,13) TURN! Throughout human history,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1 8:57 AM
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      This edition goes out today to 2423 subscribers. Thank you!
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      JEREMIAH PLEADS WITH HIS PEOPLE
      (Jeremiah 25:1-7; 26:12,13)


      TURN!

      Throughout human history, God has kept track of everyone,
      especially His chosen people. When Adam and Eve strayed, God called
      them to turn around and return to Him. And He made a way by which
      they could return. When the Israelites repeatedly wandered away,
      God pled with them to change course and come back to Him. And each
      time He made clear the path on which they were to return. When the
      church has backslidden time and again, God has always sent His
      messengers to call her back to Himself. And, again, He has always
      provided a well-marked Highway of Return. Praise God!

      Churches today need to contemplate the likelihood that God is
      calling them to turn from their wrong ways, pointing out both the
      errors and the path by which to return to full fellowship with Him.
      As individuals we each must also consider the possibility that God
      sees straying in our hearts. We must listen for His voice calling
      us back, directing us to the paths of righteousness. So I call for
      a return to godliness in two specific areas.

      Service.
      The nature of the human heart is to seek its own good. The
      natural man wishes to be served, humored, and pampered. The way of
      love opposes the natural way: "Greater love hath no man than this,
      that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Sure,
      in that verse Jesus is most clearly talking about dying for
      someone. Less obvious (and more uncomfortable) to us is the reality
      that Jesus more frequently calls us to a *living* sacrifice that
      lays down our lives in selfless service to others. In 1 Corinthians
      16:15, a certain family was commended for having "addicted
      themselves to the ministry of the saints." My friend, God's work
      needs servants to function! When God's people are too busy with
      themselves, they cannot serve . . . and they leave God's work
      undone. It's past time to reevaluate our priorities, to cast off
      the works of darkness, to quit laying up treasures on earth, and to
      cease being busy about our myriad selfish interests. The time is
      far spent and we must be about our Father's business. What
      explanation shall we give for allowing our schools to go
      teacherless, for the mission fields to lack missionaries, for
      voluntary service opportunities to be unmet? How shall we justify
      not helping the needy in our own communities? Dare we look around
      ourselves to see what God wants done? We must prepare for service
      by asking God to make us servants right now, right where we are.
      Let's yield ourselves utterly to His service!

      Purity.
      You needn't look far to see the evidences and effects of
      impurity creeping into the church. Impurity has tarnished speech,
      reading, thoughts, music, values, and relationships. Impurity has
      also touched doctrine and practice. God's people must turn to Him,
      individually and corporately, crying out with David: "Create in me
      a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm
      51:10). We must reject all contaminants, no matter how pleasant or
      harmless or insignificant they may seem. God forbid we should
      settle for less than the best. That means we must be better people
      of the Word. We must reestablish and reinforce our personal
      communion with God. May God grant us to live daily in His presence!

      Sure, those two paragraphs are full of generalities, but God will
      gladly make them practical and specific for you. "And I will give
      them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my
      people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with
      their whole heart" (Jeremiah 24:7).



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