Jeremiah 32-33

37 Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.

God is gathering for himself a people. He is touching hearts and changing lives. This is who he is. He is seeking for those who will worship him. He wants you to dwell in safety and he wants you to have reverence and appreciation for who he is. He wants to touch your heart and he does not desire for you to turn away from his ways, because it is what is best. Trust him today, with all your heart and soul.

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Jeremiah 30-31

 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The days are here. The long awaited messiah came bringing the blessing of a new covenant. A new agreement between God and man whereby we can have access to God. It’s not an agreement we can simply break and it have no power. Now God puts the reflection of his character, his law, within us. He writes it not upon stone, but upon our hearts. We no longer rely on teaching about God, because we can actually know God personally. God does not simply have a relationship with our leaders and spiritual guides, he knows us all. He has forgiven our sin and all we need to do is enter into this covenant, cut with the blood of his son, Jesus. Have you trusted in him today?

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Isaiah 14-16

For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.

How many times did God have compassion on His people in the Old Testament and remain faithful… many. God is not a fickle friend, He will remain true to you even when we mess-up over and over again. Just never give up! Keep following. Keep going. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit in side you to give you the strength to carry on. God doesn’t change, He still loves His people…

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Isaiah 11-13

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,   

and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,   

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,   

the Spirit of counsel and might,   

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

Jesus is the one who came. He was a Hebrew from the Jewish people, but he is much more than that. He is the branch of that family tree who actually brought forth fruit. Real salvation. Not temporary relief from oppressive governments or land, but eternal life. God’s Spirit was with him, he knew why he was here. He was wise beyond man and able to accomplish more than is humanly possible. He put God the Father’s will as supreme, he did nothing apart from the father. Jesus is this one who would come, predicted over 700 years before he was born. God is amazing. Trust in Jesus, the branch.

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The Issue That Won’t Die

The pressure in favor of affirming homosexuality in the church today is real. I want to try to help with this in my own way. I’ve seen some friends of mine be pulled away by some of these arguments which sound reasonable, but at the end of the day, I can only describe them as smoke and mirrors.

Fair warning about this post, the subject matter here is for mature individuals. It’s not a light topic, but it is an important one. I’d rather shoot straight with you and be honest than pull punches and see more of my friends walk down a dangerous path away from Jesus. It’s also a long post (3,000+ words) so be warned.

I need to make a few things clear up front. First, we (Christians) are called to love everyone, yes everyone! Even our enemies (Matt 5:44, Luke 6:27 et al). This means when a same sex couple shows up to church, they are welcomed to stay and participate. If they’re there to cause a ruckus or be a distraction by acting inappropriately as a kind of “shock protest” then they’ll be shown the door just like anyone else doing the same. Worship services are not a place for confusing distractions, they’re a place for order (1Cor 14:40). Second, I need to make clear, my conviction is homosexual practice, the act itself, as an unrepentant lifestyle, would be evidence in someone’s life that they are, in fact, not a genuine believer in Jesus Christ (that’s 1Cor 6:9). Third, this is not to say that those who struggle with Same Sex Attraction are barred from church membership, quite the opposite, every Christian is a former sinner who’s been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ (1Cor 6:11). We all stumble. Every saint is simply a repentant sinner. The mark of a genuine believer is not that they cease to sin, it’s that they never cease to ask for forgiveness (1John 1:9). Finally, homosexuality isn’t wrong because it’s worse than any other form of sexual immorality or because anyone finds it icky. It’s wrong because God says it is wrong. It has to do with the nature of who we are and how we are made as image-bearers of God (Gen 1:27). It’s not about “love” or “happiness” or any of that, it’s about right and wrong as revealed by the creator of you and me.

So, to the issue at hand…

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