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We’re going to be speaking again on our Jigsaw Puzzle. We have another piece to put in! In anticipation of that, when we started this some weeks ago, we were in Matthew chapter 5. We’re going back there this morning. The motto that Matthew 5, on the mount of the beatitudes, gives us the putting together of this puzzle! It is sort of a 5 step application that you can find in the sermon Jesus preached, in the beginning of that sermon. The first is “I have a need.” Lets remember that when we come to God, let’s remember that we have a need! But knowing we have a need, is not enough. We have to also be willing to move, so that the need is satisfied, that it is addressed! If we’re not willing to move, the bible tells us that “we are of most men miserable!” That we know we have a need but we’re not willing to move! If we’re willing to move, we’ll get to a place that we know we have to make a decision. You’ll find this motto, in the beginning of this sermon that Jesus preaches. That decision is a willingness to change. We can be willing to move to the decision point, but at times we’re not willing to change. That is also a perilous place,” for then we know truth, but are unwilling to move in it. Then we have a problem. Someone said you’re not accountable of what you don’t understand. There’s much in the bible that might be difficult to understand, hidden in some prophecy. But we’re not accountable for that. We’re accountable for the truth that we know. It might be just one nugget of truth the Lord reveals to us, but that’s the light we have to walk in. So in making that decision that we’re not willing to move, we come to a crossroad in life, that we’ve walked down the path God has shown us, we’ve made the right decision, but ultimately there will come another moment of decision, there’ll be a crossroad, and on it, there’ll be byways which are broadways. Those broadways lead to destruction. There presented to everybody! To saint and sinner alike! Then from there, there’s a narrow way that continues along the straight path. We’re presented with these alternatives, and we have to make up our mind. I think the enemy is often involved in these alternatives. But sometimes not.
Sometimes life just presents itself this way, that we can either go down a narrow way, or a broad way. Once we pass through this way, we find ourselves in another stage of our lives that, that it is hopeful in a narrow place of consecration. We’ve come to alternatives, and hopefully rejected those ways that are not like God and accepted that way which is God’s will and a moment of consecration. Not simply because we’ve made a decision, but the bible helps us understand that God’s Spirit is necessary for us to make that consecration, otherwise even though the human desire would be to do the will of God, it is unable. Simply because our spirit is at odds with God’s Spirit. There needs to be a transformation that God can create in us in a moment of consecration. And in and beyond that moment, we’ll face persecution. And this also we’ll find in Jesus’s sermon, that those who suffer persecution for His sake, will also be filled, and rejoice! We suffer persecution for the decision we make. It could be nothing more than a temptation, or also persecution at the hands of another or at the hand of a system or something that we suffer. It often repeats itself, in these 5 steps. Where once again we come to a need. we have to move, and every time we have to go through this process in order to move forward into the Will of God. So as we continue in this study, let’s remember this process. For at the end of the year, and beginning the next, we find in ourselves that we have a need.
TEXT: JEREMIAH 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out of cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
The prophet is addressing Israel in the need they find themselves in, and their going to be confronted by an enemy. The enemy that is Babylon and Egypt, all the enemies of Israel will be arrayed against them. We find them not being faithful to the will of God, and God sends the prophet Jeremiah to confront Israel and make them aware of their need. So grateful that God does this! He finds us, makes us aware of our need, and then our decision is our willingness to move towards that decision. There are two thoughts in the message this morning; the title is “No Thank You, I’m Full.” We just finished a meal a week ago (Thanksgiving), and many of us (thank the Lord) found ourselves full! Someone might have said “can’t I get you another piece of “something,” or more of “this?,” and you say “no thank you, I can’t eat another bite, I’m full!” That in and of itself is a blessing! You know how it is when you had enough, and say no thank you. And sometimes they scoop it up and put it on your plate anyway, but you think I don’t think I could have another piece, no thank you I’m full. This thought has a double meaning in the message this morning, the expression, “No thank you I’m full!” On the one hand it has the meaning that, “I need to be hungry and thirsty but I’m not. I’m satisfied” Now if we are satisfied with vanity and what the world offers, in a way of spiritual helping, that is not the will of God; for there is a spirit of the world, and a spirit of heaven. Then we won’t be desiring what God has for us, because we’re full of what vanity has provided, and therefore we say “no, no, no,” and God has provided a helping for you, and you say “no,” no thank you I’m full.” That’s the negative consequence of being negative for the wrong reason. The other meaning (“for there are two meanings to this,”), the other meaning is that “if” we are eating and drinking of what God provides, it leads to a further appetite for that which He provides, and it spoils the appetite for what vanity provides, or that of the world. So there is a two edged meaning to this, “No thank you I’m full.” Well in this case of Israel and the prophet Jeremiah, he found them in a place where they were satisfied. They were satisfied with the wrong things! In verse 8: The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit.
They had been satisfied with the gods that surrounded them and with their own ways. They had began to follow and incorporate the gods and their evil teachings of even human sacrifice of children, even though they had once been delivered from Egypt by God! Having now found itself generations later, in a land surrounded by wickedness. Today atheism is the way we would say it; picking of the gods of their neighbors! This is what happened to Israel during Jeremiah’s time. They’re past all of that, and have gone through generations now of not serving the God that delivered them! So the prophet is saying, there are two evils. The one of them is that they forsook the fount of living waters. In the bible “living waters” means spring. A spring is a source of living waters, that for all intents and purpose never dries up. It comes from underground and you can’t tell where it’s coming from, where it’s going to, not visible like a river, and the source of it. Many could say it would be like an underground river. The pressure of that comes up through the earth, and often also through the rocks, pure uncontaminated water that the people could drink from the surface. In once sense that was the meaning of living water. We know this as a spiritual meaning. The fountain of living water is God Himself! And we know that in our generation God is manifested through Jesus, and every generation Jesus would be manifested. And that spiritual fountain, source, is the living water. The problem is Israel had quit drinking of that source, and began drinking of a contaminated water. They had forsaken of the first blessing God had provided! That’s the first evil, but it was worse than that, because they committed two evils!
The second evil was that Israel hewed their selves out cisterns. A cistern is a underground container, that could be made our of rock, or of a hollow place; today it’s made out of a tank of some kind. The cistern held water; water contained in a cistern, is not a source of living water. Why? Because it doesn’t flow freely. It’s man made. Water comes in, and held by a place that is human created. And yes it can provide a measure of relief, a measure to solve thirst, but it is a static thing. It often can become polluted, contaminated at times, ..it is not living water, not a spring! Not only that, this cistern in a metaphorical sense here, that Israel created, was broken! It didn’t even hold water! The water leaked out of it, or the life leaked out of it! What the prophet is saying is, that when we forsake the living water that the Lord provides, and substitute a source of our making, which is a cistern of our own source, even then that system often breaks. It doesn’t hold what we think it will hold! After a while when we need it, there’s nothing left. These were the two evils that Israel created or found themselves in. The LORD is our source of living water! But what happens when someone is not thirsty for what the Lord provides? Then they create a substitute! This is what Israel had done…they had forsaken the law of God! Verse 8 recounts that they had misused the law! 8:The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit. Instead of drinking from the pure law of God, they had substituted to serving the gods of their neighbors! That’s what they were drinking from, ..these sources held no benefit! What are you hungry for? Manmade cisterns of vanity? Or for the living waters of God?
No Thank You, I’m Full