Day 4: Jeremiah 3:1-25
“Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against Him by worshipping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord, have spoken! (Jeremiah 3:13, NLT).
What good is it to ask God’s forgiveness if we have no intention in changing? The thing about repentance is that it brings about change. We cannot repent and also continue in sin because that shows God that it was not a sincere or genuine gesture but more so just something we did because of habit, tradition, or to pacify our own guilt. Even though Judah saw what Israel did and they knew it displeased God, they followed in Israel’s footsteps and they never sincerely returned to God because they only pretended to be sorry (v.10). But the difference between Israel and Judah is that Israel did not claim to still follow God in the midst of their unfaithfulness but Judah was fronting acting as though they were still in rightful relationship with God. In spite of what we may think, God can deal with the real us. We can spend so much time trying to cover, justify, ignore, and pretty up our sin when God is saying if you would just confess it I will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
It’s not just any old confession that we need to make but a sincere repentance that leads us to pursue Christ and not continue doing the same things that we are asking God to forgive us for. An area that I’ve struggled with throughout my life/walk with Christ is lying. I would lie sometimes even when I didn’t really need to. I would justify my lying by saying it wasn’t that big of a deal because they were small lies such as telling a friend I needed to get off the phone to cook dinner or shower or something when I just didn’t feel like talking anymore. After a while I would start to get convicted about it and so I would repent whenever I lied. The problem with this is that I found myself constantly repenting for lying. It eventually hit me that the words of repentance that were coming out of my mouth were not coming from my heart. It was a shallow repentance because I wasn’t changing; I was just going through the motions of what a Christian is supposed to do but there was no change in my heart. The reality was I didn’t really want to change. I was okay with it and I felt like it was an easy way to get out of situations that I didn’t want to be in.
God can work with a willing heart. He was not only willing to receive Israel back and heal their backsliding but He was also willing to provide them with a shepherd to lead them and help them to gain an understanding of how to live for Him (v 15 & 22). All they had to do is have a heart that was willing to return back to God with a sincere repentance. God longs for His people to be in rightful fellowship with Him. Through all of the unfaithfulness, the waywardness, and lack of devotion He still wants you. Don’t use grace as an excuse to continue in sin. God is waiting for you and He still wants you but how long will you play Russian roulette with your life before you decide to fully give Him your heart?
What verse spoke to you the most from this chapter? Be sure to share it to encourage someone else! Tag me so that I can share it as well (IG: @angel_cheron. Twitter: @angelcheron. Facebook: Angel Cheron and add #ChangedHearts #Jeremiah)
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