Tuesdays with Jeremiah (Chapter 10)

10Coming as a strong contrast with the revelation of God’s character (doing and delighting in loyal love, justice and righteousness), chapter 10 opens with an extended admonition (and rebuke) of Israel for revering and following (“learning the ways”—1) of the gods of the surrounding nations.

The chapter segments into three parts: Contrast between false God and the Living God (1-16), warning and lament of the coming invasion and devastation (17-22), and Jeremiah’s prayer of confession and petition for himself and the nation (23-25).

The tie between the first and second sections would seem to be the idea that the coming destruction is the direct result of the nation’s spiritual defection. Because they followed worthless idols, God is judging them through the Babylonian invasion.

Jeremiah’s prayer is a humble, heart-felt response to the coming judgment: He confesses his (and Israel’s) dependence on God and asks for a measured correction that doesn’t result in complete annihilation as well as a retributive response to the nations that have taken part in Israel’s demise. Yet he also petitions God to “pour out . . . wrath on the nations” that had completely devoured and destroyed Israel’s homeland (25).

The largest section of the chapter (verses 1-16) contrasts the futility and foolishness of idols with the greatness and power of God. The Lord “trash talks” (actually “truth talks”) the gods of the nations: they are “worthless” (3, 8, 15), helpless (“must be carried”—5), lifeless (“they have no breath in them”—14) and impotent (“can do no harm nor can they do any good”—5). Ultimately, they will perish (11, 15), as will those who trust in them.

By contrast, the Lord is the “true God, the living God, the eternal King” (10). He is “the maker of all things” (16), the One who “made the earth by his power . . . and stretched out the heavens by his understanding” (12). But far from being a distant, deistic god, the Lord actively intervenes in creation (“He sends lightning with the rain…”—13) and in history (“the nations cannot endure his wrath”—10). On top of this, He is the “Portion of Jacob” (16); the Hebrew word is used to speak of lots of land portioned out, a share of the sacrifice given to priests or part of the war booty given to warriors. In other words, Israel is in the amazing place of having the true, living, powerful king of creation and history as “their” spiritual portion, their lot in life, their God!

This highlights the tragic and suicidal choice the people made to exchange their Portion for that paltry portion of the surrounding cultures; this kind of spiritual exchange was unheard of among the nations (2:11).

The result of this foolish defection would prove deadly: the Lord would bring invaders from the north and hurl (literally “sling” – used of slinging a stone) His people from their land (17).

Jeremiah seems to speak for the nation (personification) as he laments his devastation: “Woe to me because of my injury! My wound is incurable!” (19). In verse 20, he speaks of his tent (city) being destroyed (by the northern armies), and his sons (biological? or more likely the young men of Israel) being “gone” (killed, deported). The nation’s leaders (shepherds) are “senseless” as they do not “inquire of the Lord” (21). As a result of their failure to turn to the Lord, they “do not prosper and all their flock is scattered” (deported or displaced). Here we see the danger of leaders (spiritual and political) who do not actively rely upon the Lord: the people suffer for it.

walk lineJeremiah has a candid, humble admission inverse 23: He knows (from experience) that “a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” A more literal translation would be “not to the man his way, not to a man the walking and the establishing his steps.” We can’t successfully get to where we need to be on our own. We turn inwards when left to ourselves (see Why We Can’t Walk a Straight Line on http://vimeo.com/17083789). We can’t find the way or arrive at the desired destination without God’s help. So the nation of Israel wandered from God, time and time again. This is why we need the gift of God’s Spirit inside (New Covenant), so we can “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:26).

One of the questions that arises in my heart as I read this chapter is this: How is God’s justice different than his anger (10, 24)? God exercises and delights in justice (9:24). Because God is perfect, His justice is perfectly fair, wise and proportionate. Yet in 10:24 Jeremiah seems to see a difference in God’s justice and anger. He pleads for God to correct him (perhaps speaking on behalf of the nation—a personification) “but only with justice—not in your anger.” Then he calls on God to pour out his “wrath on the nations” that do not acknowledge Him and have destroyed Israel. So is there a difference and distinction between God’s justice and anger and wrath?

The Hebrew word for “Correct” has the semantic range of rebuke, correct, instruct, chastise; it’s used for both God’s correction and human instruction or correction and rebuke. Jeremiah invites God’s correction but asks that it be given “with justice” and not “in anger.” Justice translates the Hebrew word misphat, a word that refers to human or divine judgment and justice (what it fair, fitting and right). Anger translates the Hebrew word for “nose or face.” It’s commonly used for human anger; more commonly for divine anger (flaring of the nostrils). Jeremiah asks for God’s “corrective judgment” rather than his “punishment judgment” (NAC), his fatherly discipline rather than his fury (vs. 25—“pour our your wrath on the nations”). The difference between justice and wrath seems to be that the latter is a more severe response of God, one that destroys rather than simply disciples, removes rather than refines. Both are just responses of God—in character, not out of control.

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Tuesdays with Jeremiah (Chapter 9)

9This chapter contains one of the “greatest hits” passages in the book (22-24).  However, it’s a passage that I’ve not really seen it in the context of chapter 9.

The chapter has an internal unity to it, as evidenced by recurring themes.  Note the emphasis on “knowing” (acknowledging) the Lord (Hebrew word:  yadah– in verse 3, 6 and 24), the mention of wisdom (12, 23), and the allusion to the warriors/might men/young men (21, 23). The chapter begins with God’s indictment on the people for their injustice and unrighteousness (3-8) and ends with God’s affirmation of His own delight in and commitment to “justice and righteousness” (24).  The people of Judah have tongues like a “deadly arrow” (7); God will send the Babylonians to attack them (with literal arrows and swords — 16).  God’s character moves Him to judge when He sees the unrighteous character of His people.

The flow or argument of the chapter seems to be as follows:

1-2  Conclusion of the thought from chapter 8:18-22

3-6  God’s indictment on the people for their injustice towards one another, specifically in their slanderous, deceitful speech.  Their tongues are like bows shooting deadly, deceitful words.  Gone is integrity and kindness.  Jeremiah (“you” is singular in vs 6) has to watch his back; his “friends” are not acting friendly.

7-11  God’s expressed intent to bring judgment (refining fire that burns dross) upon His people for their slanderous speech.  While it brings Him to tears to do it (10), He will avenge Himself on the nation (9) and turn their land and cities into heaps of deserted ruins.

12-16  God asks who has the wisdom to understand what’s going on; who gets the fact that the devastation on the nation is God’s condemnation and judgment?  The three “phases” of judgment repeatedly spoken of in Jeremiah (part of the “uprooting and tearing down—1:10) are highlighted in verses 15-16:  God will make them eat bitter food and drink poison water (siege), scatter them among the nations (exile) and pursue them with the sword (attack on remnant that flees to Egypt).

17-22  Jeremiah (or God) calls the women to become “wailing women” and to teach their daughters to do the same.  They are to weep for the devastation that will come upon the nation—including children and young men.

23-24  In light of what’s coming, the Lord gives words of instruction to the nation:  the wise, strong and rich are not to glory in their wisdom, strength or riches.  All of these will be eradicated in the coming judgment.  People will not be able to escape through their wisdom, strength or riches.  So instead of boasting (hll—praise; see word study below) in these qualities, the one who boast should only boast in the Lord.  Specifically that he knows and understands the Lord and His ways.  That he knows the Lord’s delight in and commitment to exercising loyal love (hesed), righteousness and justice on earth.

25-26   Final word of promised judgment from God upon all in Israel and the surrounding nations who are “uncircumcised in heart.”

So in context, the Lord’s admonition to boast only in knowing Him (rather than in our wisdom, strength or riches) is based on the stark historical realities about to envelop the nation.  Because they have forsaken God’s law and not obeyed Him (13), judgment is coming in the form of the Babylonian armies.  Human wisdom, strength and riches will be unable to save the day.  The only hope for people comes in God and in knowing (intimately experiencing and relating to) Him.

Hesed 2God wants His people to know and understand that He is the LORD  who exercises (literally: makes) loving kindness (Hebrew word:  hesed)  justice and righteousness on earth.  These three terms are crucial to understanding God’s character and His ways.  He does loyal, covenantal love; He does justice and righteousness.  What’s more, He delights (finds pleasure and satisfaction) in doing all three—simultaneously, continually.

These verses about God help us understand why He hates slander, deceit and disloyalty—they go against the trio of God’s core characteristics.  Sin can be seen as violations of His character (falling short of the glory of God). We sin when we fail to be loving, loyal and kind.  We sin when we act in unjust ways.  We sin when we deviate from His righteousness.  The early chapters of Jeremiah repeatedly highlight the people’s failings in these three areas:  They are unfaithful (disloyal), unjust and unrighteous (see chapter 7). Knowing God would involves more than just having a cognitive awareness of these characteristics; it includes delighting in them.

hllThe word “boast” (used repeatedly in 23-24) is the Hithpael of הָלַל (as in hallelujah).  Westerman has a lengthy and helpful article on the verb (Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament) where he draws out many implications based on the usage of the word.  For example, he points out this verb is most frequently linked to God—we praise Him.  The imperative shows that praising the Lord is foundational and essential to our lives, especially the community life (since the verb is mostly in the plural and linked to worship contexts).  The grouping of the verb with verb stems related to joy, singing, gladness show that praise is to be joyful for us.  Since the command to praise is given to all creatures, praise is not simply a rational, cognitive response to God.  It’s a whole-being response to the One True God.

 

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Tuesdays with Jeremiah (Chapter 8)

8This chapter begins with a paragraph that finishes the thought of the final section of chapter 7 (8:1-3).  The remainder of the chapter has the feel of a lament.  The Lord laments, with great consternation, the bewildering (4-5), continual (5), widespread (6, 10), foolish (8), brazen (12) defection of His people (4-12).  Jeremiah laments the tragic, devastated condition of his people (8:18-19a, 20 – 9:2). Mixed with the lament are God’s words of judgment (10, 13, 17) and Jeremiah’s wish to distance himself from his people (9:2).

lamentVerses 1-3 complete the grim pronouncement of punishment begun in 7:30-34.  The coming desecration of the people’s tombs is the repeated emphasis.  Instead of a proper, honorable burial, the bones of the people (kings, officials, prophets, priests and people) will be exposed “like refuse lying on the ground” (2). Why?  Because they “loved, served, followed, consulted and worshiped” false gods (2).  Those five words capture what God wanted them to do towards him:  love, serve, follow, consult and worship.

Beginning in verse 4, God indicts the people (4-7) and the leaders (8-12) for their stubborn, shameless, sinful ways.  God speaks as one baffled and bewildered by His people’s behavior. They don’t do what is normal for humans (getting up after falling down—4; turning back after wandering away—5) or animals (migrating back to their habitat like the birds—7).  Instead they “always turn away”, “cling to deceit” and “refuse to return” (5).  God, who is listening “attentively” (6) doesn’t hear words of confession or repentance (6). Instead, He sees them continually charge into harm’s way like a horse charging into battle (6).

The leaders are no better.  The scribes have used their power and their pens to mishandle the law of the Lord (8), rejecting God’s word and replacing it with their own “wisdom” (9).  They are money-hungry (“greedy for gain”—10) and lack integrity (“practice deceit”—10). Their words give false assurance and hope, treating the serious spiritual condition of the people as if it were nothing (11).  They promise “Peace, peace…when there is no peace” (11).  Soon enough, the people will find out that these promises of peace (shalom) were empty, deceitful words (“We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there was only terror”—15).  Yet, in spite of their misuse of their authority and position, the spiritual leaders of the people “have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” (12).  No embarrassment.  No remorse. No repentance.  So judgment—severe and certain—will come upon them (12).

In verse 8 the Lord condemns “the lying pen of the scribes” that has handled the law of the Lord “falsely” and have, in a sense, taken away the law from the people. The NET Bible translates (paraphrases) the verse, “The truth is, those who teach it have used their writings to make it say what it does not really mean.”  However the NET Bible marginal note recognizes that the verse is difficult to translate and could mean that the scribes work was done “for naught” (a lie) in the sense that no one believed what they wrote.  In context, I would side with the traditional rendering since in verse 10 the religious leaders are condemned for their “deceit” (same Hebrew word used twice in v 8).

This is the first reference to the scribes as an “official professional group” (New American Commentary), though earlier books acknowledge their role in compiling proverbs (Prov 25:1; also 1 Chron. 2:55; 2 Chron. 34:13).  It would seem the scribes not only copied the law, and compiled Scripture (Prov. 25:1), but also wrote commentary on it.  Here their commentary undercut the true meaning of God’s Word and substituted a “deception” or falsehood.  Specifically, they joined the prophets and priests in giving a deceptive message of “Peace, peace” (11).  Unlike Ezra, the ideal scribe, who studied, practiced and taught God’s law to the people (Ezra 7:10), these scribes were like those Jesus would later condemn for taking away “the key of knowledge” and keeping people from finding the doorway to life (Luke 11:52).

This is a sobering warning to all who teach through word or pen.  We must be true to God’s Word and not be guilty of functionally taking it away from people by giving them a false, deceptive message.  No wonder James 3:1 puts a strict judgment on teachers.

Verse 18 is difficult to translate as there are uncertainties with the Hebrew word translated “My Comforter” (see NET Bible for alternative reading of “There is no cure for my grief”).  Either way, Jeremiah is expressing to God that he is grieving and feels faint in heart about what is happening to Israel.  He hears the exiles in Babylon crying out, asking whether God is with His people in Jerusalem.  The last part of verse 19 is either God’s answer (phrased as a rhetorical question) or it could be seen as the continuation of the (faithful) Jews in Babylon (lamenting the idolatry around them). The NIV goes with the former option, in light of the fact that the exiles don’t seem all that bothered by the idolatry in Babylon.

harvestVerse 20 could be the words of the Jews or (more likely) of Jeremiah.  It’s a sad lament:  “The harvest is past, the summer has ended and we are not saved.”  The window of opportunity (harvest, summer) has come and gone.  But salvation (root word is yashag– which gives us the names Joshua and Jesus) has not.

Verse 21 shifts to the words of Jeremiah (or perhaps God).  Jeremiah (my view) identifies with the pain of his people; he is crushed that they are crushed.  No detached, emotional distance here.  He could weep unceasingly (“eyes a fountain of tears”—9:1).  At the same time, he is frustrated and fed up; he would like to bolt and get away from them (9:2).  So is the mix of emotions in a faithful minister serving a rebellious people.

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New Podcast from Heritage

heritageI wanted to alert you to a brand new podcast that is being produced by the Heritage Partner Church Resource Centre.

Our passion as a school is to help local churches.  We exist for Christ and His Church.  As part of our commitment to the local church, we have launched the Heritage Partner Church Resource Centre.  Under the direction of Keith Edwards, the Centre provides training and support to pastors engaged in helping local churches move to greater internal health and external impact.

931The Centre recently launched a podcast that is focused on the important topic of church revitalization.  Keith Edwards asked me to be interviewed for the first episode.  He asked questions about the revitalization lessons I had learned as a pastor of an established church. It was a joy to talk about church revitalization–a theme that has been a key part of God’s calling on my life as a pastor.

You can listen to the podcast (and additional episodes here.

Please pass this news on to pastors you know who are leading established churches.

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Tuesdays with Jeremiah (Chapter 7)

7The heading for this chapter in the NIV Bible read, “False Religion Worthless.”  That’s an apt description for the focus of this section of the book.  The Lord instructs Jeremiah to deliver a sermon at the “gate of the Lord’s house” (7:1). Standing at the entrance of the Temple in Jerusalem, Jeremiah issues a scathing and severe indictment of the “false religion” of the people and the false hope it brings them.

The people have not stopped being religious.  They still come to the Temple to offer “burnt offerings” and “other sacrifices” to the Lord (21, 22).  But, at the same time, they also are sacrificing to a host of other gods. They offered “incense to Baal and follow other gods” right before coming to the Temple (9).  In “the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem” (17), entire families work together to make cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” and to “pour out drink offering to other gods” (18).  Stunningly, they “set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it” (30).  They have even resorted to child sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom (31).  God reminds the people, through Jeremiah, “I have been watching” (11). He sees the duplicity and hypocrisy and syncretism.

Coupled with their idolatry is their disobedience to the commands and laws He gave them.  They deny justice to the “alien, the fatherless and widow” and shed innocent blood (6).  They “steal, and murder, commit adultery and perjury” (9).  Instead of obeying the Lord, they have “followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts,” going “backwards and not forward” (24). They are breaking the vertical and horizontal commands of the Covenant.

Despite their infidelity and disobedience, the people of Judah and Jerusalem have a false sense of security.  They believe that God will protect them because of His Temple.  “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” (4).  They continue to come into the “house that bears my [God’s] Name and say, ‘We are safe’” (10).  The people have essentially turned the Temple of the Lord into a “den of robbers” (11). The imagery seems to be of a “safe house”, a hideaway where thieves can find safety and security.  But this is an illusion and a “deception” (4). Therefore God sends Jeremiah to “stand at the gate of the Lord’s house” and deliver this message of catastrophic judgment (1).

As proof of the fact that the Temple is not a safe place, God has Jeremiah remind the people of Shiloh (12).  Shiloh was once the site of the Tabernacle, when Joshua set up camp to distribute the parcels of land to the tribes of Israel (Joshua 18:1).  It served as the seat of government during the period of the judges, until the ark was carried into battle and capture by the Philistines. God reminds that that although this place was once “a dwelling for my Name” (12), He did not automatically protect it. For centuries, Shiloh had been in ruins.

God corrects the false notion that He has an overly sentimental attachment to places or even buildings that bear His name.  Even the people who bear His name (Israel) are about to be severely judged for continuing to do “detestable things” (10).

Those of us in the “Christian West” should take notice and tremble.  While we have historically enjoyed God’s favour and been widely seen as  “Christian nation,” this is no protection against God’s outpoured wrath on idolatry, injustice and immorality.  The past does not protect the present.  God is willing to pour out his wrath on the place that once bore His name and received His blessing (20).

denJesus later used the language of Jeremiah 7:11 when referring to the people of His day. In Matthew 21:12-13 we read how Jesus drives out the people making the Temple courts a commercial marketplace. He quotes from Isaiah 56:7, saying God’s intention was that His house be a “house of prayer”; He indicts the people for turning it into a “den of robbers.”  Here the analogy may include the idea of a place where loot is stored by people who are thieves.

Even as the judgment of God draws near, the Lord gives His people another chance to avert the destruction they are bringing on themselves (“Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame? – 19).  As He has done in the past, God speaks to His people through a prophet (“I spoke to you again and again” – 13; “From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again, I sent you my servants the prophets” – 25).  Jeremiah is dispatched with words of warning and a call to repent:  “If you really change your ways and your actions . .  . then I will let you live in this place” (5, 7).

changeGod is looking for true change.  Jeremiah uses the word “good” in both verses 3 and 4. Reform your ways = “make good your ways.”  “If you really change your ways” = “Making good to make good your ways.”  The emphasis is on the genuineness of the change or reformation.  There needs to be goodness where there has been hypocrisy and evil.  No more posing or pretending to “come through these gates to worship” (2).  God is looking for change that is truly for the good.

Repentance and reformation alter the interior landscape of our lives.  God’s goodness and beauty must characterize our character and control our conduct (our ways = our way of living).  As King David had written centuries earlier, God desires truth (faithfulness, firmness, relaiability) in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6).  And this is why the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31) is so essential. God gives people a new heart and puts a new spirit inside.  Goodness goes down deep and changes our character and, ultimately, our conduct.

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Tuesdays with Jeremiah (Chapter 6)

6 typeChapter 6 describes the preacher’s (and the Lord’s) dilemma. The Word of the Lord is clear, but the people are unwilling to hear: “Their ears are closed (literally, “uncircumcised”) so they cannot hear” (10, see also 19).   Jeremiah can sense and even see the disaster that is coming (prophets were called “seers”). He is frantically trying to convey God’s message of warning, but is not taken seriously. Other voices (priests and prophets) are giving a far more comforting message: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (14).

This chapter includes God’s pronouncements of judgment and Jeremiah’s personal responses and reactions.   God’s direct declarations are found in 1-5, 6-9, 11b-12; 13-15; 16-20; 21, 22-23—note the translators use of quotation marks and phrases like “This is what the Lord Almighty says” in 6, 9, 16, 21, 22).   Jeremiah reacts emotionally to these dire declarations in 10-11a and 24-26. The chapter ends with God’s word to Jeremiah about his prophetic role as a “tester of metals” (27-30); Jeremiah bellows out God’s fiery words of warning, words intended to test and refine the people who hear them. Sadly, no purging is taking place, no dross is being consumed. The people are “rejected silver” (30).

warningOnce again, God gives the warning of impending “disaster out of the north” (1); once again the Lord forewarns them of a military attack (6, 22-23) that will devastate the land (specifically the trees—6), the cities (especially Jerusalem, the Daughter of Zion—2, 8, 24) and the people (children, young men, older people, husbands and wives—11).

The Lord clearly holds the people responsible for their stubborn refusal to listen to His Word (17) and walk in His ways (16). Further, the Lord clearly takes responsibility or the punishment inflicted by the Babylonian armies: “I will destroy the Daughter of Zion” (2); “…I stretch out my hand against those who live in the land” (12); “…they will be brought down when I punish them” (15).

Jeremiah is agitated by God’s pronouncement. On one hand he seems desperate to get someone to believe his message (“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? —10); on the other hand he is filled with a sense of God’s righteous wrath and can’t bottle it up inside him (11). Here we see the paradox of Jeremiah’s heart in this book. He weeps for the people and also rages against them. He is disgusted with their rebellion and distressed by their impending doom. He comes across as “against” the nation and “for” the nation—at the same time. In this way, he mirrors the heart of God.

These seemingly conflicted responses make Jeremiah such a complex and compelling figure to me. He’s a patriot and yet is seen as a traitor. He seems heartless and harsh in pronouncing judgment; he is tender and torn up in predicting destruction. He tears into the nation; He tears up over the nation. He is a faithful messenger and a good shepherd.

Jeremiah is an example for those of us who speak God’s Word to rebellious people in dangerous times. We must not pull back from prophetic words of warning and judgment. We must not imitate the false prophets and priests who “dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (14). We must forcefully and faithfully communicate God’s Word. At the same time, we must do it with a tender heart that aches for those we serve and weeps over the painful consequences of their rebellion.

fireThe Lord compares Jeremiah’s role as His spokesman to “a tester of metals” (27-30). The word of the Lord is the fire, the people are the ore, and Jeremiah is to “observe and test their ways.” He is to see if the fiery message of warning and rebuke has a purifying effect on the people, burning away the “lead with fire” and purging out the wicked. But tragically, as God reports and Jeremiah observes, the people of Israel are “hardened rebels.” Though the “bellows blow fiercely”—a reference to God’s fiery words—the people do not change. They continue to sin with their words (“slander”) and “they all act corruptly.” The result is that after testing the people, God and Jeremiah have to pronounce them as “rejected silver.”

Here we see the intended impact of God’s Word on His people. As Jeremiah 23:28 says, God’s Word is a fire. The fire is meant to purge and purify evil, separating our sin from our silver. If we will not respond to God’s Word, we wind up as rejected silver. We can expect God’s fiery judgment to come upon us, like it did upon Israel.

cross roadsThe way to peace and protection is presented in the middle of this chapter: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’”(16).   The picture God gives is that of a traveler trying to find his way through life. He comes to a crossroads, a point of decision. Two roads diverge and he must choose one.   God counsels him to “ask for the ancient paths” which reveal the “good way.” God’s Word maps out the ancient paths for us. We don’t need something trendy but something time-tested. We follow in the footsteps of those who’ve walked with God by keeping to His ways. This is the way to peace—to rest for our souls.   This is the way, walk in it (Isaiah 30:21).

 

 

 

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Prayer Update June 15

Linda and I have had some wonderful opportunities to teach God’s Word over the past few weeks.  I spoke several messages from John 15 at the AGC National Convention in Niagara Falls; Linda and I also did a workshop on “Soul Care for Ministry Leaders.”

Last Sunday I had the joy of speaking at the 54th anniversary service at Emmanuel Bible Church in Simcoe, Ontario.

GPAOn Tuesday, I flew to Dallas to teach at the Global Proclamation Academy.  Twenty-six young pastors from twenty-six countries were gathered at Dallas Seminary for three weeks of training.  I had the privilege of teaching them all day Wednesday.

Linda has been busy teaching as well.  She’s been recording video lectures for a course on Great Women of the Faith.  She’s also been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) at the University of Waterloo as part of her certification process for Teaching English as a Second Language.

restGod has graciously sustained and strengthened us through this full and fruitful season of service.  In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to taking some time away to rest and refuel!

Here are a few requests that I would ask you to remember when you pray for us and the ministry of Heritage College and Seminary.

Pray we would be refreshed in body and soul as we take some time to rest in the coming weeks.  We would love to be at full strength when the Fall semester begins.

Pray the Lord continues to direct spiritually stellar students to Heritage for training.  Enrolment for the Fall looks positive at this time.  But we are still open to receiving additional students who want to be better equipped for a lifetime of service.  [More information about enrolment can be found here.]

Pray that Heritage finishes its financial year (June 30th) in a strong position.  [If you would like to invest in this vital ministry of training pastors, missionaries and ministry leaders, you can do so here].

Thank YOU for your partnership in ministry.  May God refresh your souls this summer!

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