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Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness
Intro: Ashley and I were wasting time at a video establishment people watching. One game caught our attention – karaoke dancing. You stand on a dance pad and jump around doing combos – the more accurate you are the farther you go. Humored by the concept, Ashley and I stumbled onto this guy who considered himself the lord of the dance. This guy had it perfected. Armed w/ his trusty sweat rag, he took this game to new levels.
Note: As I thought about the lord of the dance, I thought about us. How we dance through life striving for perfection knowing in the end the game is going to beat us. I thought about the pursuit of perfection in our relationship w/ God, and the struggle b/w the call to holiness and the desire for perfection. I thought about how many of us have settled for good enough Christianity when God has called us to experience spiritually alive Christianity – He’s called us to holiness.
Trans: This AM, as we consider the next name for God – Jehovah Tsidkenu – I want us to discover the righteousness and holiness of our God and His provision for us to be in pursuit of Him instead of for perfection before man. (Text: Jer. 23:5-6)
I The SETTING
Note: When Jeremiah uttered this prophecy, the kingdom of Judah was about to fall. More than 100 years earlier, the 10 tribes of Israel had been taken captive never to return b/c of their infidelity towards God and Judah was on the threshold of joining their misery b/c they had sinned even more grievously than the kingdom to the north. Judah was in the shape of many Christian lives today. They were on the roller coaster ride of a few years w/ God and a few years of serving other gods. Depending on who was king (on the throne) it would determine whether or not they followed God. If an evil king ruled, then Judah would follow in sin, but if a good king ruled, then they experienced reform and awakening.
Point: Your spiritual intimacy w/ God always is directly related to the ruler you have established on the throne of your life.
Trans: At this point in Judah’s journey, the people had once again turned from God and were pursing the lead of Zedekiah – the successor of Josiah who cast aside the Godly reforms and pursued a way that seemed right to himself. Not even a generation had passed and God was once again cast to the side and forgotten.
Point: It’s amazing and scary how quickly we’re capable of turning from righteousness to sin – how quickly we can run from the church singing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” to humming, “I Like It, I Love It, I Want Some More of It!”
Trans: God’s patience wore thin w/ Judah (just as it did w/ Israel and just as it does w/ us when we turn to other gods), and He called on Jeremiah to shoot a rocket across the bow of Judah’s life to give them fair warning of what was going to happen if they didn’t turn back to Him. (see Jer. 22)
Insert: God has given us fair warning too. His Word clearly states what will happen if we turn from Him to other gods and to other activity contrary to His precepts.
Verse: Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will he reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Gal. 6:7-8
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