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Monday, February 8, 2016

We Stand at the Crossroads

Jeremiah 6, We stand at the crossroads
Outward godliness never cuts it with God. 

He hates it. 

Jeremiah 6 tells us about a time when:
1. God's people ignored God's Word (10).
2. Religious leaders fed the people "feel-good" dribble (13-15).
3. Israel stood at a crossroads between ancient, godly paths and "modern" religion (16).
4. Their outward religious acts were displeasing to God (20).

Many of these same things are happening today, and 2 Timothy 3:5 warns New Testament Christians (that's us) about outward forms of godliness that deny God's power. 

There are plenty of modern feel-good teachers who'll tell us Jesus came to give us health, wealth, and worldly pleasures.

But Jesus came to give us the power and desire to look past worldly goals. Jesus came to teach us obedience motivated by love, and to give us peace and hope in the midst of difficulty. 

Christ's power moves us forward, beyond ourselves, beyond our unworthy pursuits.

We also stand at a crossroads. Let's choose those ancient, godly paths! 

Bible Study 

1. Do you see some of the following characteristics in our culture? How have they influenced the Church?

2 Timothy 3:1-5: But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.  

2. What choice does each man make at the "crossroads"? Who are the "watchmen" in the modern church? What might be the sacrifices and burnt offerings equate to in the modern church?
Jeremiah 6:16-20: This is what the LORD says:“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’18 Therefore hear, you nations; you who are witnesses, observe what will happen to them. 19 Hear, you earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law. 20 What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.” 

3. Note the main difference between genuine faith and outward religion.

Isaiah 29:13: The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. 

copyright, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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