And You Will Find Rest for your Souls

Jeremiah 6:10 ESV

“To whom shall I speak and give warning,
that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are uncircumcised,
they cannot listen;
behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
they take no pleasure in it.”

There are people in this world who have a form of godliness but they deny its power (2 Tim 3:5). They give off the appearance that they are true believers in Jesus Christ but they deny him by their actions, by how they live. They are Christians in form and in profession only but not in truth and not in righteousness. They try to mimic Christianity, to a point, but Christ is not a reality in their lives, for they are still being driven by the flesh.

So, even though they know the truth of what God’s word teaches with regard to salvation and to repentance and to obedience and to holiness and righteousness and moral purity, still they hang on to their idols and to their sinful addictions. And they stop up their ears so that they cannot listen. And they do this largely through feeding themselves lies, and by making up their own god and their own faith which agrees with their chosen lifestyles.

They may give a showing that they are taking in the word of God and that they are hearing God speak and that they are doing what he says, but it is performance only. For their actions speak louder than words, and many of their actions are directly opposed to what the Scriptures teach. Sometimes they will even act ignorant of what the Scriptures teach so that they can claim innocence, but they know the truth, so this is all an act.

And sometimes they will make a showing that they are changing, that they are coming out of their addictive lifestyles, and that they are on the right path and that the “other woman” is leaving, that she is on the way out. But she hasn’t left. She is still there in their hearts and minds and actions. And so they are stalling and they are dragging their feet for they don’t really want to give her up. But they want to convince others that they do.

Jeremiah 6:13-14 ESV

“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.”

Some of these people are in positions of Christian ministry and that is why they are trying to maintain the façade that they are doing well or that they are moving in the right direction. So they won’t admit the truth of where they are and of what they are doing when no one else is looking. And that is because they don’t really want to give up the “other woman,” whatever that may be, which could be any kind of sinful addiction they don’t want to let go.

And they don’t want to lose their positions of power and influence and rule and so they live double lives and/or they convince others to follow them in their idolatrous ways. And so they make up a gospel which doesn’t make them feel guilty about their sins. And then they feed it to their people and to the people of the world, and many others decide they like that gospel better, and so many people end up following them in their fake Christianity.

And so they reduce the word “sin” to just “I messed up,” as though it is something minor like accidentally knocking over a glass of milk. And they either do away with the word “repentance” altogether or they change it to merely a change of mind from not believing in Jesus to belief in Jesus, or they define it more like just making a verbal acknowledgment of sin but with no spiritual U-turn, no turning from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so they can receive forgiveness of sins (Acts 26:18).

Usually they do away with obedience and submission to Christ as Lord or else they redefine obedience as something which automatically takes place when a person believes (not defined) in Jesus, as though a mere acknowledgment of Christ and who he is and of what he did for us on that cross makes them holy and godly and righteous regardless of how they live their lives, even if they are living in gross and deliberate sin.

And so they do heal the wound of people lightly because they tell them that if they pray a prayer and they meant it that now they are saved and that heaven is guaranteed them when they die and it can’t be taken away no matter what they do or how they live from that moment on. They make no requirements whatsoever for true repentance or for walks of obedience to Christ. And so they are telling them “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace, for they are giving them a false assurance of eternal life based on a lie.

Jeremiah 6:16 ESV

“Thus says the Lord:
‘Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.’”

I absolutely love this passage of Scripture! One of my all-time favorites! Some translations say, “Stand at the crossroads and look,” and I like that because it gives a picture of a choice of directions to go which I believe is the picture here. There are many roads we can travel, but truly there are only two choices. One is the narrow road leading to eternal life, and the other is the broad road leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

I think the idea of standing and looking has to do with an examination. He is saying, “Look at the options before you, but choose the good way.” For the “ancient paths” are a symbol of godliness, holiness, righteousness, moral purity, faithfulness, honesty, repentance, submission, and obedience. And we are to ask for the “ancient paths.” We are to desire the ways of holiness and righteousness and submission and obedience to our Lord.

And then we are to walk in the ways of holiness and righteousness and in obedience to our Lord. And this is not just Old Testament teaching. This is what Jesus and the New Testament apostles taught, too. By faith in Jesus Christ we are to die with Christ to sin and live to his righteousness. Sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives. And we are to no longer live as slaves to sin but now as slaves to righteousness, in God’s strength.

And there we will find rest for our souls, amen! We cannot be at rest when we are still living in deliberate and habitual sin, especially if we are trying to put on a show of righteousness while we are sinning in secret. There is no peace for our souls and there is no peace with God and for eternity for the one who continues in deliberate and habitual sin without regard for God. So we need to choose the good way of death to sin and living to righteousness.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Give Me Jesus

Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

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