Summary: Epiphany 6(C) - Faith forever trusts! While trust in man brings a curse it is trust in God that brings blessings.
FAITH FOREVER TRUSTS (Outline)
February 15, 2009 --
EPIPHANY 6 --
INTRO: Did you ever notice how closely trust and faith are connected? Trust really is faith in someone or something. Without faith trust will also be absent. As believers our faith and trust is placed in the One who truly matters. Paul summarizes this very thought. "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’"(ROMANS 10:10,11). Our gracious God has placed faith in our hearts so that we can believe and confess. With boldness and confidence we trust in God. Our trust in God is never put to shame. Today we consider:
FAITH FOREVER TRUSTS.
I. Trust in man brings a curse.
II. Trust in God brings blessings.
I. TRUST IN MAN BRINGS A CURSE
A. Once again, we are reminded that the kingdom of Judah is coming to an end.
1. They have disobeyed God for too long. They revealed a lack of faith and a lack of trust.
2. These people set up their own altars, their own worship, and turned away from God.
B. Verse 1a. Jeremiah comes with a warning from God. These are God’s word not Jeremiah’s words.
1. Verse 1b. Self-trust brings a curse. Man’s strength will always fail and become a curse.
2. Verse 1c. Trust in man means that a person’s heart will or already has turned away from God.
C. Jeremiah brings these people an example to show what God’s curse will mean for them.
1. Verse 6a. A bush in the wastelands was not very important. A bush was not very productive.
2. Verse 6b. The bush is cut off from everything else. The people rejected God and are cut off.
D. The Lord God is very serious about misplaced trust. We live in a society that over emphasizes the importance of man. “We can do anything and everything if we just put our minds to it.” This is self-trust that turns man’s hearts away from the Lord. Jeremiah says that brings a curse. Jeremiah uses the very same word for curse that the Lord God Almighty used after the first sin in the perfect Garden of Eden.
"To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, `You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life’"(GENESIS 3:17). Today we live in a cursed world because of that very first sin. Eve trusted Satan’s deception. Adam trusted Eve’s encouragement. Mankind’s pride cursed the world.
E. Today we live in a world cursed with thistles and thorns. Work is not always the joy that it was once created to be. Even our day-to-day lives can sometimes seem humdrum. Jobs can become a burden. Add to that another curse – worry. Worry (and now fear) has become an integral part of our day and age and society. Pay attention to the ads and the media and the experts as they try to sell us worry. We need health insurance, house insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and even burial insurance. More than that we have to save for college, retirement, and future calamities. All too often we spend so much time worrying about the future that do not or cannot enjoy the present. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (MATTHEW 6:34). To find satisfaction in our work and enjoy life is a gift of God. Trust in man will only bring a curse.
F. Believers are not exempt from the warnings concerning this curse in our text today. We live as sinful creatures in a sin-filled and cursed world. Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh always oppose our Lord and his good and gracious will. "The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature" (LUKE 8:14). So it is, some fall away as members in the holy Christian. Pleasures, riches and worries in this world distract people away from the attraction of God in his word. A curse!
FAITH FOREVER TRUSTS!
Trust in man is not a faith that will last forever. It becomes a curse.
II. TRUST IN GOD BRINGS BLESSINGS
A. Jeremiah spoke of the lonely bush in the wilderness. It does not even know when blessings come.
1. The bush is cursed. Not so the believer, verse 8a. A tree is greater than any wilderness bush.