Summary: OUR GOD BLESSES OUR PRESENT REALITY!
OT JEREMIAH 29:1, 4-7
OCTOBER 26, 2003 PM SERVICE
INTRODUCTION: The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.
Richard L. Evans, Bits & Pieces, March 4, 1993, p. 2.
The seven ages of man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills.
Richard J. Needham, The Wit and Wisdom of Richard Needham.
TRANSTION THOUGHT: Tonight I want us to think about what it means to live for the Lord. I think that we as Christians don’t really understand our present realities in the light of who we are as Children of the living God. I believe that we have some unrealistic thoughts about what it means to be a child of God and what it should looks like to live for the Lord. The underlying current here is that God blesses us where we are, but we often don’t see it. Our text speaks to the issue of dealing with present realities, but not within our frame of reference, but from that of the Lord. What I mean by this is God calls us to be His people regardless of our present realities. Jeremiah speaks through a letter, encouraging those far a way from himself to be faithful and trust God. God knows where we are and calls us to be His representatives in that Place. Jeremiah explains how it is we can live in our present reality.
THESIS SENTENCE: OUR GOD BLESSES OUR PRESENT REALITY!
SO HOW DOES GOD BLESS OUR PRESENT REALITY?
I. THIS PRESENT REALITY IS GOD’S REALITY FOR US (VV. 1, 4-5)
A. GOD’S REALITY FOR US IS NOT WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN!
This is a call to focus on the here and now versus what might have been or could be.
1. Chapter 28 is a chapter of false hope, what could be would not be -- the people were not to buy into a lie.
2. Jeremiah urges those in exile -- through a letter -- to embrace the present as the arena in which God would work and abandon false hopes they placed in military rebellion and trying to recreate what was already lost.
3. Note verse 4: It was not Nebuchadnezzar who had carried the Israelites into captivity. This is key: God said, “I carried you into exile!”
4. Jeremiah had graphically understood the future lay with the exiles, because they were the only ones who were ready and open for a future since they really had no present in which to trust. The future reality would only be realized as those in exile learned and perceived that they must live in the present as God’s reality for them.
5. The present reality of exile was not going to be quick and painless: Verse 10: This is what the Lord says: “When the seventy years are completed...” The THOUGHT HERE IS THAT THIS IS REALITY AND IT IS GOING TO BE THIS WAY FOR A WHILE!!
B. GOD’S REALITY FOR US IS WHAT IT IS: HIS TRUTH
The reality is that God is going to do what He said he would do.
1. Jeremiah 1:10, the call of Jeremiah, the Lord speaking, “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow...”
2. Again the Lord speaks through Jeremiah in Chapter 18 verses 5-10 “Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord.”
3. The Lord will punish sin!!! The Lord will honor His word!!
4. This is God’s reality for His people!!
C. GOD’S REALITY FOR US DEMANDS A RESPONSE
How are you at living in this present reality in which you find yourself?
1. Are you resolved that this is God’s reality for your life.
2. Are you living in the “What might have been” reality or “What could be” reality?
3. Let me tell you where I am: I can see the future! I can see so many wonderful things happening here. I see us moving forward with power. I CAN SEE!
4. Let me tell you where God is now. He says to me, all that you dream is well and good! Absolutely Well and Good! But that is not reality yet. The reality I call you to is what I am doing here and now. EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP!!! God is calling me to faithfulness where I am in the reality that is, the reality he has placed me in!
5. Guess what? I must live in this present reality. I cannot live where I am not. I must live where I am now!! I cannot bank on my future INCOME, NEITHER CAN YOU. We can only spend what we make today. We cannot focus on what we will make tomorrow. We must live in the here and now.