Our faithful daily readings today are Jeremiah 17 and Matthew 28.
This last chapter of Matthew reminds me of the number of times I’ve read this passage in parts or whole and I am still amazed of the gracious love of our Almighty God to us and those involved on those days .
Looking backwards from The Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) we see God’s gracious care for us as His ambassadors. Not only are we to go into all the world leading others to Him but He will be with us always.
A few days before this He is hung on a cross and crucified. Yet even here, at a most difficult time, when The Messiah is unmercifully killed for our sins, God cares for His children. An angel is sent to deliver the message of Christ’s resurrection to His followers , to calm them and reassure them. Not only this act, but also Jesus appears to these same followers and sets up an appointment to meet the group in a few days.
At this appointed time Jesus is present and is worshipped as is befitting our risen Saviour. Although some doubt Jesus the passage records His clear direction in verses 18 to 20.
The book of Jeremiah, particularly today’s chapter 17, reminds us of the divide between those who have faith and respect God and those who may or may not say the words but live lives that disown God. Lives immersed in idolatry, wealth creation by evil methods and disregard for God. Disregard that is unrepentant and self-serving. Jeremiah continues his difficult role of preaching to the unrepentant and threatening people. He too knows his strength and defence comes from the Lord and prays for this. (v14 to 18)
Today, after the resurection of our Lord, we too have a role and the same strength and defence is with us ‘even to the ends of the earth’.
Two passages stand out for me here: Jeremiah 29:11 and Jude 1:17-23.
A prayer Almighty Father, you gave your own Son, our Lord Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank you Father for this extraordinary gift Your Holy Spirit is now part of our lives. Grant Father that we will walk in your ways Lord accepting your commission for us to act as Your ambassadors, to seek out and by your Holy Spirit allow Christ to be seen for those who do not know You. Keep us strong in faith, courageous and caring as we witness for you and as we walk with our brothers and sisters in faith. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
If you would like to read a little more on the missional church in the world and what parts of the Old Testament teach us can I recommend Mark Glanville’s post of 6/10/2015 at https://markrglanville.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/how-does-canaanite-destruction-relate-to-mission-and-justice/
[Originally posted on 15/10/2015 by Glenn Murray]