Success. It's something we all dream of and desire in all that we do. With it comes wealth, fame, gaining favor, and power. Many of us spend our entire life seeking it; some of us might achieve it in the material sense while others fail. Regardless, when we think we've reached its pinnacle most find it to be inwardly unsatisfying. We feel empty and lacking. Oh, life on this earth is made comfortable by this definition, but in the bigger picture what have we really achieved?
The Prophet Jeremiah, living roughly in the 640-570 BC time frame lacked riches, power and also many friends. He was scorned by many and even his life was threatened because of his devoutness and strict adherence to his mission from God. While lacking the trappings of success that most desire, he was considered by God to be a complete success. He followed God's mission obediently and without question in his quest to awaken the Jews of Judah to the impending calamity due to their lifestyle.
His prophecy came true. The Temple and with it Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC and the Judeans were taken into captivity by Babylon. As the southernmost kingdom of what had been included in Israel before the death of King Solomon, Judah had fallen to the depths and all because it had not listened to and followed the Word of God. Depravity, selfishness, and downright greed had replaced the Ten Commandments. Just like the Israelites some 900 years prior had wandered aimlessly in the desert as punishment for not following God's commands, Judah found itself in the same situation. Forty years in captivity would be the punishment for failing to listen, but God again relented after His promised people finally returned to righteousness as a result of this lesson.
Jeremiah is thought to have been stoned to death in Egypt and never returned to see the promised land again. But to the end he was faithful to the Lord and His requirements and never faltered. His place with God was secure and his success was attained through his obedience and faith.
Friends, it seems like we find ourselves in a similar situation today here in America. Debauchery, having no consequences for our actions and denying God and His Law are not only popular in our culture, the government actually appears to accept amoral behavior as the acceptable norm. Everything is okay; you can just do what you want as long as it is what the government wants you to do.
I would hope that all Christians would carefully consider where we find ourselves and work diligently to stand for Our Lord and His Law. Defend Him, always love Him, and never deny Him. Oh, we may suffer at the hands of evil in this world, but the joy of spending eternity with Him for staying true and faithful will be so "out of this world" that we can't even imagine how wonderful it will be.
Do you want to join me in finding out? Let's do it together and, in the meantime, reclaim our country that we love for Him. Let's get to work.
Lord, Give us strength of purpose and the faith to see us through. Help us to use our lives for you as long as we live and breathe, always spreading your love and following your guidance. Bless and keep us no matter how difficult the days ahead become knowing that we will always be safe at your table when our days are done. We love you Lord and want to always put you first. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.