Pastor Corner
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January 25, 2016, 12:11 PM

A heartbeat from exile...

"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart." - Jeremiah 24:7 (NIV 2011)

The word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah, but look at when it was coming.  These words were coming at at time when the people of Jerusalem were being taken into exile (skilled workers and artisans, v.1).  Some had already been taken, including the officials.  This was not a good time in the life of Judah.  However, during this time, the words that Jeremiah was receiving from the Lord were those of reconciliation.  God was one day going to touch the very people that would not listen to His prophet.  He would place a heart that would be tuned into God Himself, and they would return.  God knew the path that was ahead, but He also had the ability to change the hearts of those that were going down those paths.  

As Jeremiah received those words, what do you suppose Jeremiah thought.  Remember, he knew the people were not listening, but he also knew what God was telling him.  Maybe, just maybe, he stopped and prayed that God would change their hearts right then so that the exile would not have to continue the way it was going.  Surely God had the power to change their hearts right then; surely He could cause them to listen right then. What a powerful prayer that would have been!

While we are not facing exile into a foreign land today, in a sense, we are facing exile from God.  How far do we have to go before we recognize that the things we do and say affect those around us and, more importantly, affect our relationship with God.  I wonder how many are in the process of being exiled from God for a period of time because they are not listening.  How many will have to go through a period of exile just so God can "give them a heart to know" Him? God has sent prophets, He has sent His son, He has sent His word, He has sent teachers and preachers that love us...what will it take to keep us from exile? Pray that this won't happen.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant


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