Ever thought they were talking to the group? Ever thought they were talking to the people? Ever thought they were talking to the company? Ever thought they were talking to the country? Ever thought they were talking to the city? Ever thought they were talking to the region? Ever thought they were talking to the world?
Did you capture the part that was to you? It’s personal! It’s not just somewhere out there, it is personal and it is for you! You need to receive it! You need to hear it! You need to decide how you will respond to it! Be it family! Be it friends! Be it politics! Be it receiving Jesus into your heart and pursuing after Him! It’s personal! It’s not a group thing, it’s a 1:1 thing! You aren’t saved because of a group decision! You are only saved when you make the decision for yourself! It’s personal!
It’s personal means it’s affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else and that’s you! It’s personal means it’s concerning one’s private life, relationships, and emotions rather than matters connected with one’s public or professional career and that’s yours! Other ways to say it’s personal are it’s private, it’s intimate, it’s confidential, or even it’s secret!
As you consider what is said the group, consider or listen for what is being said to you! Today’s reading from Jeremiah starts with just such a statement for Baruch as he is listening to the message and writing it out on a scroll for Jeremiah…
Jeremiah said this to Baruch: 2“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: 3You said, ‘Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.’ 4But the Lord has told me to say to you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the earth. 5Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’ ”
–from Jeremiah 45
Are you aligned with God? Have you received Jesus into your heart and been transformed? Are you walking out your faith today with hope beyond your circumstances? Are you putting all your hope and trust in God? Are you holding onto His promises? Promises of eternal life, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, money/finances, our needs, for healing, wisdom/guidance, children, family and marriage, peace, overcoming temptation, protection, fear, resurrection, and end of suffering?
It’s personal! It’s a personal decision! It’s a personal act! It’s a personal response! It’s a personal reaction! So hear what is for you rather than for everyone so that you can hold onto that truth and find hope beyond all circumstances! In the midst of it all, don’t miss out on the fact that there is something for you! For you to hear! For you to receive! For you to respond!
Now that you have your part to hold onto and to trust in…Now consider what is being saying for others…
Remember the day belongs to the Lord! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, on it, and under it! Remember vengeance is the Lord’s not your and not mine to try and deliver!
Don’t allow anything to take God’s place! Don’t give up your God given rights! Don’t allow anyone in authority to try and take the place of God! Trust in God!
Do not be afraid in the midst of the troubles! Do not be afraid in the midst of the trials! In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds since the testing of your faith produces perseverance and so allow perseverance to complete its work in you so that you will be mature and complete, not lacking anything! Don’t be afraid of God’s discipline, but rather learn from it for He only disciplines the ones He loves!
Will you hear and listen when God’s message is good news? Will you hear and listen when God’s message is warning you? Will you hear and listen when God’s message is one of correction or discipline? Will you take it personally and receive it, consume it, and respond to it?
Where does your hope come from? Where does your help come from? Where do you turn? Who do you call on? Who do you trust? Where can you find grace and mercy? Where can you find goodness?
A prayer of David.
1Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; 3have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. 4Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. 5You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. 6Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. 7When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. 8Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. 9All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. 10For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. 11Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. 12I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. 13For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead. 14Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me— they have no regard for you. 15But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. 16Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did. 17Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
–from Psalms 86
God is faithful! You can put your hope and trust in Him! It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, God is faithful! Turn to Him! It’s not because we are good enough, it’s because Jesus is enough! Consider today’s reading from Romans…
1What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
3What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify Godʼs faithfulness? 4Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”
5But if our unrighteousness brings out Godʼs righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances Godʼs truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
No One Is Righteous
9What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16ruin and misery mark their ways,
17and the way of peace they do not know.”
18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in Godʼs sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Righteousness Through Faith
21But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
–from Romans 3
Do you believe? Do you really believe? Is your faith being tested? Are you able to stand firm? Are you putting on the full armor of God? Are you prepared? Are you standing firm and when they press in do you stand again? It’s personal! Nobody except you can do this! You have to make the choice for yourself! Jesus already paid the price, now it is up to you to receive the gift! In our weakness, God’s strength is revealed! So will today be your day? Will you make it less about something you’ve read or heard about and more about a relationship with Jesus? Will you make it personal?