Key QuestionsHow is your heart? What is the foundation of our well being?

Big Idea: (1) How to be blessed (or cursed) should be the most important question of our life. (2) The condition of our heart always dictates and determines the state of our ultimate well being or blessedness (or sickness). [Next week, we shall cover Jeremiah 11-16 for Easter Sunday: A Weeping Gentle Lamb.]

Thank God for grace--the key that unlocks the Bible (Tit 2:11-15). Thank God who abundantly blessed our Easter retreat at Abbey Resort last week (3/31-4/2/17)! Thank God for the three sisters of mercy, love and grace (Eph 2:4-5). Thank God that grace begins with Grace Fitch and that even Jim--the serial killer--is forgiven by grace. May the grace of God be real to us and be the solid foundation that sustains us to live righteously at present and in the future and forever.

Big Idea: Jeremiah is the weeping prophet and a gentle lamb.

There is no way out apart from repentance:

* Ch.1: Jeremiah called to preach repentance.

* Ch.2: The charge of not repenting of spiritual adultery.

* Ch.3: The call to repent (Hb. shuv).

* Ch.4-6: Disaster and judgment, the result of unrepentance.

* Ch.7-10: Unrepentance produces a sick church.

* Ch.11-16: Jeremiah weeps, for his people remain unrepentant

Ch.1-29 deals primarily with the broken covenant and the consequent judgment. Ch.1 is the call. Ch.2 is the charge--the formal, legal lawsuit. Ch.3 is the unsuccessful call for Judah to repent and return to the covenant. Ch.4-6 describes the consequent judgment: the Babylonian invasion. Ch.7-10 indicts their false religion (primarily idolatry) and its punishment. Idolatry is at the heart of the broken covenant the the broken relationship with God.

Big Idea: How crucial it is for the Word of God to be read, taught, proclaimed and obeyed.

"As God can send a nation or people no greater blessing, than to give them faithful, sincere, and upright ministers; so the greatest curse that God can possibly send upon a people in this world, is to give them over to blind, unregenerate, carnal, lukewarm, and unskillful guides. And yet, in all ages, we find that there have been many wolves in sheep's clothing, many that ... prophesied smoother things than God did allow. As it was formerly, so it is now, there are many that corrupt the word of God, and deal deceitfully with it." George Whitfield, On the Method of Grace.

After being called by God (ch.1) Jeremiah charges Judah of spiritual adultery (ch.2) and calls her to repentance (ch.3). When she refuses, disaster is inevitable and comes through the mighty Babylonians (ch.4-6). Then Jeremiah denounces his people for deceiving themselves and belonging to a sick, toxic religion (ch.7-10). A sick, toxic church is where people prefer:

  1. Rituals instead of a relationship (ch.7). Don't go to church to deceive yourself.
  2. Lies instead of the truth of God (ch.8-9). You will listen either to God's word or to wailing.
  3. Idols instead of the Living God (ch.10). Fear God and live without fear.