This post was inspired by my daily bread quiet time on 16th March 2016 taken from Jeremiah 15: 15-20 on the theme 'heart food'. But when I read the passage, I saw something else and that is what I share with you today.
God told Jeremiah at the beginning of his ministry that he had been set apart and appointed a Prophet to the nations. But in 15vs16-18 Jeremiah was whining and whining. He was telling God how he had become an expert in God's word, how he was living an upright life and not the sinful life others were living but yet he was suffering. God's reply to him in vs 19 was shocking 'if you return to me I will restore you.' Wait! Had Jeremiah strayed away??? He must have been devastated to hear that.
And that is our story as Christians. We have become 'Bible Scholars' and indulged in self righteousness and become judgemental. We have adopted a 'holier than thou' attitude. We are very busy 'cooking in the kitchen' like Martha and don't have time to 'sit at the feet of Jesus' to listen to Him and 'wipe His feet with our hair and expensive perfume' like Mary did. We feel we are doing more for God than any other person and don't understand why we are suffering. But God is telling us the same thing whenever we complain about our circumstances 'if you will return to me'.
Because the truth is our service to God is zero if we have no relationship with Him. He delights in our relationship with him more than anything else so much He made John write a letter to the church of Ephesus in Revelations 2. He told them how He had seen all their hard work and endurance; how they don't tolerate evil people; how they examine all the claims of the apostles and have suffered patiently for Him. This is very similar to the life Jeremiah was living. But then Christ had one complaint against them:“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lamp stand from its place among the churches." This is more like an expanded version of what God told Jeremiah.
It will be very painful to know on judgement day that all this while that we were serving God we had actually strayed away from Him. This is not the time to do any self righteousness as you are reading this saying me dier I always do my devotion, I pray 2 hours each day. Please! We lose nothing rather we gain everything. Let's just return to God our first love. Let's do that today; let's do that every day. Because he who says has not sin is a liar, we are all guilty of straying and leaving our First Love including me the writer.
Let's therefore always go to God and say 'God I have strayed away from you. I have abandoned you My First Love. Today I turn back and return to You. Today I start afresh this journey with you.' You do not have to wait to go and commit fornication or kill someone before you come to God this way.
Jesus told the Ephesus clearly if they don't repent, He will remove their lampstand from among the churches; in individual terms your name from the book of life. They were not stealing, they were not killing, they were not committing sexual immorality but then they were going to miss heaven because they had left their first love though they were 'active christians'.
So then let us live 'careful' that we do not get to that point of 'comfort' in our Christian journey where we feel we have 'arrived' because for all you know we might have strayed away. Today therefore, let us arise and return no matter how far we have fallen like the prodigal son and our father will surely restore us.