Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gems from Jeremiah: Heart for the Lost

Jeremiah...a Rembrandt
Jeremiah the Prophet ministered under Judah's last five kings, approximately 627-586 B.C. Unsuccessful in bringing his people to repentance, he was heartbroken for them, even while angered at their defiance of God.

Notice the ache in these, his words:

Jeremiah 8:18-22

You who are my Comforter in sorrow,
my heart is faint within me.
Listen to the cry of my people
from a land far away:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
Is her King no longer there?”

“Why have they aroused my anger with their images,
with their worthless foreign idols?”

“The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
and we are not saved.”

Since my people are crushed, I am crushed;
I mourn, and horror grips me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing
for the wound of my people?

Jeremiah...a Michelangelo
I read these words and knew what God wanted from me, his servant. The Holy Spirit whispered it:

Your heart needs to break for the unsaved, as Jeremiah's did, as Jesus' does. Care not for the things that pass away--for they will be buried with you in death and mean nothing. Care not for your fears, for God gives you everything you need. Care not for the future, for God has planned it already.for his glory. 

But care for these, the unsaved. They are in your neighborhood. He has them come knocking on your door. Open it, and let your heart break for their plight. Speak life into their unsaved hearts. Speak truth. Show them the love of your gracious Father. Imagine them bowing down and declaring Jesus as Lord. That is worth your time...proclaiming Christ to the unsaved. No, I don't expect you to get results, for that is up to me. But let your heart break for them, and be not distracted by this or that nothingness. Abide in me and experience my love for you, and let it overflow.

Yes, all this the Holy Spirit said to me throughout the reading of Jeremiah. And Miss L., my twelve-year-old neighbor girl, now in middle school, doesn't come around so much anymore because she has discovered friends from the bus on other streets, and they talk about boys and make-up and clothes. I don't talk about those things, so I'm not popular with her anymore, and my little girls are too little, she's decided. Oh, the many opportunities I had over the last three years to speak life into her soul! And I didn't have her over enough. I cared about this or that nothingness and said no, you can't come in today.

Now, it's only once a week she visits, mostly when her new friends aren't home, one of whom doesn't like Christians. These girls go by on their bikes and I see her distancing herself from us while around her friends, even as her brother plays here daily.

And she is not saved I don't think. Yesterday she came and stayed an hour, and I could see she was very depressed. Her ADHD medicine, she said, is doing it to her, and her grandmother's passing. (And hormones, no doubt, and stress with her mom.) My heart ached for her, but how late did that aching come? How obvious her placement in my life, and yet I made idols of other things, whether it was housecleaning or having peace and quiet.

Will I get another chance to speak up for Christ and tell of his glorious desire to bless her, keep her, and give her a hope and a future? 

Tears roll as I type it. I messed up, just as the people of Judah did, and how much I grieve now. Jeremiah wasn't successful with Judah, but I hear his words, I see his heart for the unsaved. I will heed his words.

Her 8-year-old brother, he comes every day and loves it here and he came to AWANA. We have a chance with him. I will remember Jeremiah and I will let all the fluff of life go, like housecleaning and trying to be the perfect homeschool mother. 

The perfect mother is she whose heart breaks for the unsaved--for her children first, and then for her neighbors. There is nothing more worth my time--nothing that should compete with the Eternal things.

Oh, Lord, I pray every child's knee here will bow, claiming you as Lord! From my own children down to every child around here who dares come to my door. And dare them, Lord. Dare them to come--the broken, the hyperactive, the angry, the desperate. I will not say it's too hard. I will not turn them away. I will not fear.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

This is what the Lord says:

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight." 

Do you know Him, my friends? Do you understand Him? Do you know what breaks His heart? Lay aside all the other things about which you're concerned, and abide in Him. Know him. Understand Him. Live in accordance with His will--Him who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth. 

For in these he delights.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Amen amen amen!!!! Do not give up on that little girl even if she dives head long into a world of sin... She will remember the love and peace she saw at your home and will come looking for it when the world lets her down! Beautiful post and a good reminder for all of us to not be so busy with the temporal that we neglect the eternal!!! Thank you for pointing out that picture I took it down!;)