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Monday, June 24, 2024

Grace Has Taught Our Hearts to Concern


God stored Pharaoh upright and pummeled him till he and his military drowned as a stone, why? Why do we have to learn of judgments in opposition to Korah or tour the tombstones of those that fell within the wilderness? Why embrace tales in Scripture resembling two she-bears mauling forty-two boys for mocking a bald prophet? Or in new-covenant occasions, why had been Ananias and Saphira carried away lifeless? Why does an angel of the Lord strike down Herod and feed his physique to worms? Why are folks within the early church falling in poor health, and even dying, for misusing the Lord’s Supper? Is it to not educate us the concern of God?

The concern of the Lord has fallen upon moderately apologetic occasions, it appears. “God is definitely to not be feared,” some say. “What is supposed by concern is de facto one thing extra like respect. You shouldn’t concern him as a lion uncaged in your lounge, however solely go to him as confidant, greatest good friend, non-judgmental ear bent to pay attention.” Making an attempt to carry tensions in stability, the fearsomeness of God appears to get the quick finish. The Lamb, too typically, undoes the Lion.

With this, God is robbed of worship, and we of rejoicing. Within the new covenant, it’s a blessing to concern the residing God. The distinction between the previous covenant and the brand new will not be that God ought to now not be feared, however that now each covenant member really does concern him. Holy concern serves our perseverance, imparts knowledge to our souls, secures our everlasting happiness; nobody will make it to heaven with out this concern.

So, allow us to behold 4 lovely glimpses from Jeremiah 32:38–41, an exquisite introduction to the unusual and spectacular concern of God for Christians at present.

New Hearts to Concern

I’ll give them one coronary heart and a technique, that they could concern me eternally. (Jeremiah 32:39)

What’s flawed with the world at present? Individuals don’t love God, and folks don’t concern God, as a result of folks do not need new hearts alive to his glory and smart of his energy. Neighbor after neighbor lives in open insurrection in opposition to his Majesty and doesn’t know easy methods to blush. They won’t stop their suicidal sinning, search his will, or cry to him for mercy.

“Concern serves our perseverance, serves our eternal souls, serves our everlasting happiness.”

That is the story of the Previous Testomony. We witness era after era expertise the distress of a folks with God’s legislation of their scrolls however with out God’s concern of their souls. Story after story particulars the cursed lack of ability to tremble at God’s phrase. Although instructed repeatedly, “The Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your concern, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:13), most would do no such factor. Again and again got here the identical heartache and misery as a result of they didn’t concern God. They had been too snug, too smug — too lighthearted to be good-hearted.

However discover the promise of the brand new covenant: “I’ll give them one coronary heart and a technique.” And why? “That they could concern me eternally” (Jeremiah 32:39). They’re given new hearts endowed with the concern of God. And this concern is not going to have an expiration date. God makes a folks new that they could concern him eternally.

Our Deepest, Longest Good

. . . that they could concern me eternally, for their very own good and the great of their youngsters after them. (Jeremiah 32:39)

Now, we might imagine this concern of God to be onerous information. Maybe our minds involuntarily recall relationships the place concern was a instrument for evil: the abusive father, playground bully, controlling boss. They used concern to govern, to coerce, to sting into submission. How can it’s excellent news to concern God eternally?

Discover the promise: “. . . that they could concern me eternally, for their very own good and the great of their youngsters after them.” Oh, that is totally different. This concern serves his folks’s good, as when Gandalf grew tall and menacing to persuade Bilbo to surrender the ring that will destroy him in any other case. He deepens his voice to influence us from peril. The center of this King is for you, in your good, thus he provides you this concern of him. Doesn’t this goal make all of the distinction?

The great father, his youngsters know, is to not be trifled with. The heavenly Father lashes each son whom he loves (Hebrews 12:6), not as a result of he likes to scourge, however as a result of he loves to avoid wasting. He disciplines us for our good, that we’d share in his holiness and dwell (Hebrews 12:9–10). Really feel sufficient of his coronary heart to belief him: this God doesn’t spare self-discipline from us, however neither did he spare his Son for us.

And see that this new-covenant blessing of concern spills over the perimeters to 1’s household: “for their very own good and the great of their youngsters after them.” The concern God provides a person blesses these closest to him.

Why You Wake Up Christian

I’ll make with them an eternal covenant, that I cannot flip away from doing good to them. And I’ll put the concern of me of their hearts, that they could not flip from me. (Jeremiah 32:40)

Once more, Israel acquired the legislation of God as written by the very finger of God and delivered by angels, and but they might not hold it. They noticed their God redeem with wonders the world had by no means witnessed, and but these similar folks died within the wilderness due to mistrust. God was undeservedly good to them, and but with out clarification or provocation, they stored turning from him. The Lord asks, “What flawed did your fathers discover in me that they went removed from me, and went after worthlessness, and have become nugatory?” (Jeremiah 2:5). Our Previous Testomony exhibits us the place we’d be with out the concern of God.

But gaze on the blessing: “I’ll make with them an eternal covenant, that I cannot flip away from doing good to them.” He swears to not flip away from doing good to us; he makes an eternal covenant with us. However what about our turning from him, as Israel did so typically? Right here it’s: I’ll put the concern of me of their hearts, that they could not flip from me.

Why did you get up a Christian this morning? As a result of God put the concern of himself in you. You concern turning away from him, going again to town of destruction, being a baby of his anger, displeasing your heavenly Father, departing from the church and proving to by no means have actually been of his folks. You imagine God when he talks about hell. You imagine God when he talks about heaven. And also you concern him, not by shivering beneath an expectation of wrath, as if you had no foundation for confidence earlier than him (his love perfected in us casts out this type of faithless concern, 1 John 4:18). But whereas we don’t now quiver in regards to the judgment to return, we nonetheless imagine that if we must always flip from him or shrink again, such would be our portion. We’re not but house.

So what’s the concern of God on this textual content? A concern of turning from him that retains us close to him. New-covenant concern is adhesive to maintain us strolling fortunately with Jesus, our life and our pleasure.

The Coronary heart of Him We Concern

I’ll rejoice in doing them good, and I’ll plant them on this land in faithfulness, with all my coronary heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32:41)

So, the concern of God will not be a cringing concern, a hiding beneath the mattress or cowering within the fetal place from a extreme choose. Reasonably, the concern of God is a wholesome understanding that when you flip away from God, will probably be to the eternal wreck of your soul, a wreck from his personal hand.

However saint, the type of God we concern makes all of the distinction in our fearing him. “That they could not flip from me,” God says — however who’s the me? We learn that he means good for us, however who might think about what comes subsequent? “I’ll rejoice in doing them good, and I’ll plant them on this land in faithfulness, with all my coronary heart and all my soul.” Be undone; be staggered. Right here is the God we concern eternally: he who delights to do good to you with all his coronary heart and all his soul.

He’s the God whose rod and workers strike and destroy his enemies. This shepherd terrorizes lions and bears and wolves and thieves. But due to his love for you in laying down his life for you, this similar energy now comforts you and retains you close to.

He’s nonetheless harmful — he wouldn’t ease us by way of the valley of dying if he weren’t — however he isn’t harmful towards you as he as soon as was. Christian, you might be his sheep now, beneath the shepherd’s love. He says, “I’ll make them dwell in security” (Jeremiah 32:37). However this doesn’t cultivate him. So long as you keep true to him, so long as you proceed to concern him, his rod and his workers will hold you alongside the trail, calm you, and defend you from all that threatens you. His love turns his fearful qualities away from you — so long as you abide in his love.

Protected from the Storm

Years in the past, on a bitter and threatening winter evening, I watched snowflakes fall gently exterior my window. They mesmerized me, but I knew that for some exterior that evening, they’d show lethal. I wrote,

The window frames instruments of torture,
As they caress the bottom,
By love’s hearth I’m discovered;
Is that this salvation?

This captures one thing of the paradox. It’s not that hazard doesn’t exist any longer — God is perilous to these exterior. Reasonably, it signifies that he has overcome us together with his love, seated us inside at his fires of grace, and there, we now not count on to perish. “All that the Father provides me will come to me, and whoever involves me I’ll by no means solid out” (John 6:37). However we do concern dealing with him if we had been to desert the shelter of Christ.

So, we concern him, however that is the God we concern. The God who needs us in the home with him. The God whose very coronary heart longs to do us good. The God who, to safe our blessing, provides us an indispensable present: the concern of him.

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