The Prophet Jeremiah

A Prophet’s Perspective About Preachers (2)

There are two types of preachers in the world today, even as there were two types in centuries past: true and false. As we saw in the first part of this series about A Prophet’s Perspective About Preachers, God is quite clear about how His people can know whether a preacher speaks truth or a lie. His standard is extremely high – to the degree that one false prophesy was grounds for death.

God has given His people an important protection against lying preachers. I think of it as a “spiritual filter.” Think about the many kinds of filters in your home, office and car: air filters, air conditioning filters, furnace filters, oil filters, gasoline filters, water filters, aquarium filters, electronic filters, vacuum filters, camera filters, lens filters, color filters, light filters.

What is the purpose of a filter? At its root a filter discriminates. A filter discriminates between what is wanted and what is not wanted. A filter also removes. A filter removes what is not wanted. A filter also reveals. A filter reveals what is not wanted. What do you see when you check a filter? If the filter is working as it should, you should see what you don’t want. You should be able to hold the filter in your hands, look at the waste material you do not want, then dispose of it so that it never poses a threat to you again; whether it’s a threat to your health or house or car or anything else you own.

Most people give little thought to the importance of filters in their lives, but what if we did not have filters? What if we did not discriminate against pollutants and toxins? What would happen to the health and wellbeing of our families and friends if we did filter dangerous elements from our air, water and food supplies? We would become sick and possibly die. That’s how important filters are in life.

With those three things in mind – filters discriminate, remove and reveal – let’s look again at what God tells His people about preachers.

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The Prophet Jeremiah

A Prophet’s Perspective About Preachers

An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” Jeremiah 5:30-31

I’d like to share a tragedy with you that’s going on right now in our land. It truly is “an astonishing and horrible thing.” Preachers are lying from the pulpit, religious leaders are ruling God’s people in their own power and, sad to say, God’s people love it that way.

Even though these are the words of God to Jeremiah the prophet more than 2,600 years ago, they may as well be God’s words to the Church today. What a mess.

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The Prophet Jeremiah

A Prophet’s Perspective About Purpose

“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5

I feel a special kinship with prophets in the Bible. It started soon after leaving atheism for theism and Christianity. Each of the prophets was a unique individual, but they all had something marvelous in common: God spoke to them about fulfilling His special purpose for their lives and expected them to do it.

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Teaching Wisdom

Teaching Wisdom to Our Children (Pt 20)

Wisdom About Friends

Teaching WisdomYour child will probably have scores of friends during their lifetime. What their friends do and say will impact your child’s life in some way. Will it be positive or negative? Will your child’s friends lead them toward or away from commitment to God? These are serious questions that will have a big impact on your child and on you.

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Teaching Wisdom

Teaching Wisdom to Our Children (Pt 19)

Wisdom About Friends

Teaching WisdomThe third lesson in selecting friends is to know what a bad friend looks like and not let them influence you to do wrong.

A bad friend is someone who uses people for their own advantage. They love things and use people. They are selfish and want what they want no matter who gets hurt. It’s all about them and no one else. A bad friend will turn on their “friends” in a heartbeat if it serves their purpose. They will double-cross and desert others to gain an advantage or get out of trouble. They will also do everything they can to turn a Christian away from following after God.

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SAMSUNG

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 23)

“Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:5-7

SAMSUNGIn the last part of our study we looked at verse 5 – “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.” Now we move to verse 6 – “among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.” Even though it’s a different verse, it’s part of the same sentence.

Paul is reminding the Christians in Rome that they are part of the special ministry God gave to Paul – “we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.”

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Teaching Wisdom

Teaching Wisdom to Our Children (Pt 18)

Teaching WisdomWisdom About Friends

The second lesson in selecting friends is that a good friend is loyal. They will not desert you, especially during tough times. They will always stay close to you and care for you. They will find ways to share your burden and lighten it whenever and wherever possible. They will enourage and support you.

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

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Teaching Wisdom

Teaching Wisdom to Our Children (Pt 17)

Teaching WisdomWe’ve addressed this before, but I want to revisit the importance of “friends” in a child’s life. Children are influenced powerfully by other children. The influence becomes stronger as children enter adolescence and the teen years. They begin to question adult standards and the guidance of their parents, teachers and other adult authority in their lives. That questioning leads many children to grow closer to children their own age or a little older. They often do what their friends suggest rather than their parent’s advice or direct orders. It’s called “peer pressure.”

Many teenagers tell counselors they feel closer to their friends than they do to their parents. Arguments between children and their parents often increase during these years and it can be a difficult time for families. God understands the power of human influence and gives Christians clear direction about how to deal with it.

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Man Praying Near Water

I’m Praying for You 4

Man Praying Near WaterIn the last part of our series about prayer and social media we looked at insights from some of the early letters of the Apostle Paul to churches. Would his attitude about prayer change while in prison and at the end of his life?

Here are some of Paul’s comments about prayer from his Prison and Pastoral Epistles. What someone says who has been imprisoned for their  beliefs for many years and is in the last days of their life can be extremely revealing about what’s really important in life and faith.

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Teaching Wisdom

Teaching Wisdom to Our Children (Pt 16)

Teaching WisdomIn our previous post about Teaching Wisdom to Our Children, we saw some examples of good teachers in the Bible. They included Bezaleel, Aholiab, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Ezra and the greatest Teacher of all time, Jesus Christ.

God also points out the dangers to His people of bad teachers. These are people who will try to lead children away from the truth through their bad instruction. Christian parents should be careful of these types of teachers. Here are some examples of those kinds of teachers.

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