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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jeremiah 7:23-28
I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. ... But they did not listen or pay attention; they went backward and not forward.

When you, Jeremiah, tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. Therefore say to them ... "Truth and faithfulness have perished; it has vanished from your lips.

"Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation."

Luke 11:23
Jesus says, "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters."

God's words echo down the centuries. If you do not obey me, you are disobeying me. If you are not with me, you're against me. In the twentieth century Eldridge Cleaver wrote, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." There is no gray area, no middle ground, no room for waffling when it comes to the laws of God.

God's grace covers over multitudes of my sins, including my waffling. But his grace doesn't come cheap. The consequences of my selfishness and fear wither me and wreck my life. Corporate consequences have become the cancerous sinews of our culture. We fall fearful victims to phantom threats, we hate each other, we lose any kind of trust in strangers. Nobody wants to walk the streets, hitchhiking is almost non-existent. "A thousand will flee at the threat of one" (Isaiah 30).

It is easy to paint an awful picture. There are plenty of awfulnesses, more than enough to go around for all of us. As God told his people to do through Jeremiah, it is certainly time to grieve, to cut off our hair and wail from the hilltops.

The coming of Jesus expanded our options. He is after all, our Savior. Is he saving us only for heaven? I don't think so. He says, "If you are with me, if you gather with me, then we are on the same team. You and God are on the same team. Choose life, David. Choose life."

Lord, you are the way, the resurrection and the life. Despair and grief are not the only options as culture collapses around us. I want to follow you.

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