At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The Lord will do nothing either good or bad.’ Zephaniah 1:12
Most people feel as if their actions or reactions are only about themselves and do not affect anyone else. They feel that they can do, think or say whatever they want and that they will be safe, because no one else can see them or do anything about it.
With having this attitude, it is common for many to not do or say anything when they see something bad occurring. They accept the bad as just something normal.
God warns of a time when He will go through Jerusalem and punish those who are complacent. They are compared to the dregs of wine leftover.
Allowance for sin and sinful lifestyles has come into being a commonplace feeling inside the church and the lives of many people. It is common for people to look past sin as being evil and hatred towards God, to it just being who someone is. There is no call to repent or turn from sin in the world or in the church.
Many have become complacent about sin in their lives or in the lives of others, thinking that God will do nothing about it. Since Jesus has not returned in nearly two thousand years and done anything, people feel that they are free to do what they want. Sin is allowed to run rampant and unchecked by many inside the church.
Very few will stand up and call out sin within the church, not wanting to offend anyone or drive them away. They have become complacent about how horrible sin is in the life of a believer. They feel as though God will not punish the believer for sin in his life.
There is coming a day when Jesus will return to judge the world and those in it of sin. It may take time to arrive, but it will arrive and those who are complacent about sin in their lives will be punished.
Take a moment to examine your life and see if you are complacent with sin. Are there areas that you have accepted as that it is just who you are and you cannot change?
Seek God and His Holy Spirit to reveal how you may be complacent. Seek to have a heart that burns after God and His ways. Do not allow yourself to become complacent, but be on fire for God’s holiness.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength to flee all sin; that you will repent of sin in your life; and that you will live on fire for God.
“Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!” Jeremiah 4:18
There is an old scientific law that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the idea that there is a consequence to every action that occurs.
In life there are many consequences to the actions that people do. Some are positive and some are negative. Some occur immediately, while others don’t occur until many years later.
Speeding down the road when there is a policeman there will result in a ticket immediately. Eating a poor diet will take years to show, but it is result in weight gain and health problems later in life.
God is beginning to punish Israel for their rebellion and sins against Him. He points out that it is their own actions that had brought this punishment upon them.
God is a patient God and full of mercy, however, there are consequences that He brings about or allows because of sin. There are many health problems that occur because of a sinful lifestyle. There is a loss of peace and joy because of sin in one’s life.
For the believer, God is always striving to call him away from sin. He may use the consequences of sin to get his attention and draw him back away from sin.
Most people do not like consequences to their actions, unless they are positive. Yet, God has placed negative consequences upon sin in the life of a person. The ultimate consequence is eternal death and separation from God.
This is not God causing the consequence, but the actions of the person. One’s own self brings upon him the problems of sin. This does not have to be, since a person can go to God for forgiveness and be changed into a new person. Living for God and rejecting sin brings about positive consequences.
Is there something missing in your life, such as joy, peace, love, God’s presence? Take a look at your life and how you are living.
What actions have you been allowing in your life? Are they God honoring actions, or actions of selfish sin?
Jesus is right there to help you turn from sin. He is willing to wipe the slate clean and forgive you, bringing about positive consequences. Do not give God a reason to strike you to get your attention, but live for Him in His ways.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that all of your actions will honor God; that you will know God’s peace, joy and love in your life; and that you will hear God’s direction for your life.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:7
Changing personal ways is something most people do not ever want to do. It is something that is difficult and can often be somewhat painful.
Most people like the way they are and don’t see a reason to change. This can even be true when the change is for the better in the long wrong. Humans want the benefit immediately, not after a long time and lots of work. They want the benefits now without the hard work.
Through Isaiah, God calls those who are wicked to change their ways and thoughts and turn to Him. God is willing to have mercy upon them and free them from all guilt.
There are people every where who claim to follow Jesus, yet their lifestyle and thoughts do not show it. In fact, many will just claim that is who they are and they cannot nor will change. They stay living in a sinful way or keep on with the sinful thoughts in their hearts.
Churches are filled with people claiming to be believers, but are not willing to change. God has set a standard of living that is above the ways and thoughts of mankind. It is a holy and righteous standard of living.
One cannot earn his salvation by living a righteous life and turning away from sin, because that price was paid for by Jesus. However, turning from sin and changing the thoughts is a love response for what Jesus has done. It is showing that one is truly grateful for the salvation that Jesus has provided. It shows a change to a new creation in Christ Jesus.
As a believer, you have been forgiven and saved by Jesus. Your sins have been removed. Now it is time to change your ways and not go back to those sins or sinful thoughts. He will pardon you from your sinful ways when you turn from them.
Allow God to change you into the new image of Jesus. Be willing to forsake and turn away from old sinful habits and thoughts. Allow the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out. Do not stay the same in the old sinful ways.
God is ready to have mercy upon you and freely pardon you. Let Him do so.
I pray today that you will know the forgiveness of Jesus; that you will allow Jesus to be your Savior; that you will turn from all sin towards God; that you will live your life as an image of Jesus; and that you will not abuse the mercy of God.