Prepare Yourself for Peace

JeremiahThere a few places in the Bible that need no preaching to accompany them to be plainly understood. We read from one of those places yesterday: Jeremiah, chapters 6 through 8. It is there Jeremiah announces the coming judgment against Jerusalem and why it is going to occur. Read these chapters and I hope you will have eyes to see America’s days are numbered without repentance and revival. Read them and see how God calls us to peace even when there is no peace to be found in the land.

First, I want to tell you the three things that were happening that prevented peace from God from taking root in the heart of the people. Secondly, I want to share the three things the prophet reveals that declare, despite the people’s refusal, the call of God upon our lives. First, read and see the three things that keep us from peace. #1. They sinned with impunity. They thought they could do whatever they wanted and they wouldn’t suffer any consequences for it, even if they continued to do wrong. Even the spiritual leaders were bankrupt in their enjoyment of wrongdoing. #2. They made the word of God a perversity. The dictionary defines perversity as “contrary to the accepted standard or practice”. They reckoned the word of God contrary and not themselves. They made for themselves new standards, perverse standards, and called them appropriate and the new normal. #3. They didn’t take their situation seriously. Have we? For over 40 years, we have murdered millions of innocents, shed their blood, and sacrificed them for our convenience. Is there any sign of stopping? For over forty years, we have been warned about the dangers of debt and the inevitable collapse of our economy, have we corrected that? Have we taken seriously the lawlessness that is expressing itself or are we rallying for the lawbreakers? Is their a root of bitterness that divides us in the nation? Seriously, is there anyone doing anything about it? Are we pointing the finger of blame against each other? Are we locked into our own way of looking at things? The vast majority of Americans say we are going in the wrong direction as a country but where is the repentance?

Can anything be done to find peace when there is no peace? God speaks through the prophet and offers this call today. #1. Return to the ancient path. Ask for the good way and walk in it. #2. Reform your ways and your actions. Do not trust deceptive words. As Dr. Edwin Louis Cole used to teach, “Change isn’t change until it’s changed.” #3. Remember Shiloh. God’s presence given at one time in a particular place is no guarantee for perpetual favor. The people had sinned so egregiously before, God had removed his presence and the word Ichabod (the glory has departed) was written over the place. I believe if we do not seriously stop sinning and respond to God’s word in a humble and faithful way, soon the glory that was once America’s will be gone for good.

Prepare yourself to be at peace with God. We are soon coming to the time when God will not allow us to pray for America. It will be too late for prayers

About laurelhillumc

Laurel Hill United Methodist Church is rich in history as a church family committed to a life in Christ. We began in the heart of Varina almost 150 years ago; the church has grown through its existence as a church-hospital in the Civil War, as a circuit church, and survived a disastrous fire which destroyed the sanctuary about 50 years ago. Then, dedicated, Spirit-filled Christians worked hard together to build a new sanctuary. That hard work has continued with many new improvements including a new addition connecting the sanctuary and educational building, the installation of an elevator providing total accessibility throughout both buildings, remodeling the education building and the installation of 18 stained glass windows. Faithful clergy and laity ministering together have established a legacy of dedication and service which enables Laurel Hill to be a beacon of light in our community, in our world and to all who follow for generations to come. In response to the needs of the Varina community, Laurel Hill United Methodist Church also operates the Laurel Hill Weekday School. These programs are an active part of the life and ministry of Laurel Hill UMC. We accept the opportunity through our morning Preschool and After School child care to share our values of love, caring, cooperation and forgiveness. The Church and child care programs work together to enhance the spiritual, mental and physical growth of children in our community. Our worship services are held each Sunday with a contemporary service at 8:45am and a traditional service at 11:00am. Sunday School begins at 9:45am. Call our office (804) 795-2772 for Bible Study times and other ministry opportunities.
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