Story of Two Jeremiahs

In the early 70’s Warner Brothers released a movie entitled Jeremiah Johnson starring Robert Redford.  Redford’s character, Jeremiah, left civilization behind to become a mountain man.  It’s an intriguing movie filled with the challenges of living an isolated life.

There is another Jeremiah in the Bible who wanted to do much the same thing, except he wanted to run off into the desert to get away from everybody and everything (see Jeremiah 9:2).  Thankfully the biblical Jeremiah never checked out on society.  He stayed and worked out the issues he had with others and lived a fruitful life.

The moral to this story is that every one of us from time to time will feel the urge to run away from our problems.  It may not be to the mountains or to the desert; it may just be an inward retreat where we isolate ourselves from others.

There is a great reward for all those who stay engaged and work through whatever the issues are.  Cry out to God.  He will help you.  Jesus offers you lasting and eternal friendship.  He will walk with you through every difficulty.  Give Him your cares and He will give you His strength!

Two Kinds of Fellowship

What do you think of when you hear the word “fellowship“?  I did a google search for a definition of fellowship and it said, “a friendly association with others based upon common interests”.  That’s a pretty good definition and something we all need–friendly associations with others.

However, the Bible gives fellowship a much deeper meaning.  In scripture, to fellowship is to share intimate thoughts and feelings at a spiritual level.  As I said we certainly need friendly associations formed around common interests, but we need this spiritual communion with others even more so.

God said in the second chapter of the bible, “it is not good for man to be alone”.  So its important that we develop and maintain friendships.  And among our friends we should always be aware that God desires for some of those ‘friendly associations’ to mature into a deep spiritual connection.  So invest some time in others and God will help you build the rich relationships you need.

Be blessed in your journey!

Back in the Groove

We are still in the early part of August, but in the region where I live school is starting back next week concluding the summer break.  Many people’s vacations are now over and they are transitioning out of the pattern of summer activities.

So folks are getting ‘back in the groove’; that is back into an established pattern that is largely determined by school hours and cooler weather.  It’s easy during the free-flowing days of summer to forget or neglect some of the things that are really beneficial to us.

Take for instance our devotional time with God.  The busyness of summer can sometimes cut into that quality time with the Lord.  So as you are re-calibrating for the change of the season, put God at the top of your ‘to-do’ list.  Jesus said that if the first thing you do is seek His Kingdom (His rule or will), the rest of your day will go really well.  That sounds like a pretty good ‘groove’ to be in!

 

Legacy

07/30/17 Pastor Fred Rivers

No Man is an Island

About 400 years ago a famous poet by the name of John Donne wrote a poem entitled “No Man Is An Island“.  The main thought of the poem is that all of humanity is connected, each person a part of the greater whole.

Although Donne engaged in a wayward lifestyle in his youth, in his latter years he became a seeker of God and ultimately became a preacher.  In this particular poem he sets forth the truth that God has created us all interdependent upon each other.

He closed the poem with the memorable line: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”  Here he referred to the death bell which mourners rang at funerals.  His point is that we should all feel the loss of another.

For Christians, our identity is of course in Christ.  However, our legacies are intertwined with those people around us.  We are not meant to ‘do life alone’.  So embrace and rejoice with those whom God has placed in your life.

Let’s remember Paul’s words from Galatians 6:10: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Blessings!

 

Bulletproof

I have friends in the military and in law enforcement who wear bulletproof vests when on assignment.  Obviously the purpose of the vest is to keep them safe in the midst of the battle.

God desires to keep you and me safe in the midst of our battles, too.  For instance God promises in First John 5:18 “…but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”

In the Old Testament we can read Psalm 91 where the Bible goes to great length detailing the Lord’s protection for believers.  It’s God’s bulletproof promise to us that no harm will overcome us as we abide in the Lord.

I know sometimes the battle may seem intense, however God has promised us that His Word, His Spirit and His Power are greater than our circumstances.  Stand strong in your faith.  Strap that vest on.  Believe and speak your victorious promises from scripture.  Shout if you have to: God is with me, no harm shall come near me! (Psalm 91:7, 10)