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New Series: Faith Factor

  • June 3, 2020

June 7 – Is God Real?

June 14 – God Our Provider

June 21 – Who’s Your Daddy?

June 28 – Dynamite!

July 5 – Now Faith

July 12 – A Little Less Talk And A Lot More Action

New Series: 20/20 Vision

  • January 5, 2020
Service Times are 8:30AM and 10:30AM.
*Childcare is available at the 10:30AM Service.

Jan. 19 – Welcome Home

Jan. 26 – Working Together

Feb. 2 – Lovers of God

Feb. 9 – Support Crew

Feb. 16 – Always Growing

Mar. 1 – The Hands and Feet of Jesus

Holy Moments

  • September 17, 2021
Scripture
Ezekiel 42:14,20
“Once the priests enter the holy precincts, they are not to go into the outer court until they leave behind the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they go near the places that are for the people”
“It had a wall around it, five hundred cubits long and five hundred cubits wide, to separate the holy from the common.” 
Observation
The priests ministered in the very presence of God–but they lived in the “real world.” When their time of service was done, they would exit the temple and step back into a fallen world of sin, dirt, grime, unclean animals, and death. God knew this was the reality, but he didn’t want them blurring the line between that which was holy, and that which was “common”.
Application
I live in a fallen world, and I interact daily with the temptations and results of sin. God no longer lives in a physical temple, but in my heart. I need to recognize and respect the holiness of His presence in me. I still interact with the world around me, but I need to honor and guard the presence of God’s spirit in me. Just like the priests of the old testament, there needs to be an intentionality in my walk with God–“Holy moments” that I guard and protect in my day. These are the moments when God and I meet on-on-one, and His presence and His word transforms me and give me the strength to navigate the challenges, battles, and temptations of the day.
This week, I need to guard the ‘Holy moments” in my day.
Prayer
God, thank you for the privilege of knowing you, and that I no longer have to rely on a priest to communicate with you on my behalf! Help me to never take that for granted! Help me remember to guard and protect the holy moments in my day, when you and I meet and communicate. Thank you for your strength, your holiness, and your righteousness! 
 
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The Blessing

  • September 16, 2021

Scripture
Psalm 128:1,3
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
…your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.” 
Observation
Walking in obedience to God doesn’t just have an impact on one person. There’s an overflow impact on everyone else in the household. The fear of the Lord, and obedience to him causes everyone around to flourish. 
Application
I want the blessings of God on my home! Not just physical, tangible, or monetary blessing–I want to see my wife and children flourish like a strong and healthy vine. This scripture gives me God’s assurance that my walk with God will have a long-term impact on my whole family, to cause them to grow like a strong and healthy plant. Plants don’t become strong the first time I water them. Plants grow strong over time, as they are consistently given the water and nutrients they need. In the same way, my family is impacted not just by the one or two ‘big decisions’ that I make, but by the small, consistent, daily decisions I make to honor and obey God.
Prayer
God, thank you for blessing my family! Help me to consistently serve you and honor you, not only for my benefit but for theirs as well. Thank you for your consistent love and faithfulness to us. 

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Faithful

  • September 15, 2021

Scripture
Psalm 145:13-14
“The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” 
Observation
Though I am not always faithful or trustworthy, God is! Though I fall, His footing is sure and His arms are strong to catch me. Though I become bowed down when the season is heavy, He lifts me up with His great strength 
Application
God is not waiting for me to attain perfection–rather, He is daily perfecting me each step of the journey. When I am discouraged, I need to lean on Him. When the season is heavy, I need to turn to Him. His strength is more than enough to see me through, and His patience with me is great! 
Prayer
God, thank you for your faithfulness and love! Thank you for catching me when I fall, and lifting me up when I am weary! 

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Keep Pointing

  • September 14, 2021

Scripture
Revelation 19:9-10
“Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb!” and he added, “These are the true words of God”
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” 
Observation
This must have been a slightly terrifying moment for the angel. He had watched as Lucifer was cast out of heaven for wanting to be like the Most High, and now here is John- bowing to worship him! I can imagine the pitch of his voice rising as he yanked John to his feet and exclaimed “Don’t do that!!!”
The angel understood his place. It was his job to speak the words of God for John to write, and point John’s attention back to the God who had spoken. It was not the angel’s place to receive the glory and the honor and the worship. Those things belonged only to God. Even as the angel did what God required, he had to guard his own heart in the process. 
Application
Serving God doesn’t mean that I won’t face temptation–indeed, there are temptations I will face because I am serving God. As opportunities arise for my pride to become inflated, I need to remember the automatic reflex of the angel, and point people back to God every time the focus begins to drift. I need to personally keep my attention on God, so that I can point others back to Him also. 
Prayer
God, thank you that you are worthy of my worship. Thank you for your incomparable greatness! Help me to always keep my eyes fixed on you, and point those around me back to you every single time. You alone deserve my adoration! 

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Dry Valleys

  • September 13, 2021

Scripture
‘The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. ‘ Ezekiel 37:1 
Observation
The hand of God was on Ezekiel, and Ezekiel followed where God was leading him. The place that God led him to, was a valley full of bones. There are seasons in life when the Spirit of God will lead us into places of dryness, and even to be surrounded by signs of death. The purpose of these seasons is not for Him to abandon us in a place of death, but for God to demonstrate His power by bringing life to dead places.
Application
I don’t like dry seasons. I don’t like walking through valleys, surrounded by dry bones. I would far rather take a stroll through the green pastures, where life is abundant everywhere I turn. I would rather hike through the valley, where the stream is overhung by towering trees and the air buzzes with the quiet whisper of nature.
But God doesn’t just want me to see what he has already done. He wants me to witness what He is doing now. He wants me to experience His miraculous power in my world.  The old quote says “Everyone wants a miracle…but no one wants to need one”.  There are times that God will allow me to walk through a valley of death, so that I can experience His infinite power in bringing life to dead situations.
This week, I need to look for God’s presence in dead situations. In the places that are too far gone for me to solve, and too big for me to handle–those are the places where God is preparing to show up the most powerfully.
Prayer
God, thank you for your presence in my life. Help me to trust you when I’m walking through a dry valley, surrounded by signs of death–help me to remain confident in You, that Your power is more than sufficient to solve the greatest problem and bring light to the darkest situation.
Thank you for being on-time, and for proving yourself strong over and over again. You are awesome! 

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Therefore I Have Hope

  • September 10, 2021

Scripture
Lamentations 3:19-22
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I will remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” 
Observation
The prophet was discouraged. He felt judged by God-and not only was his mind currently dwelling on his discomfort, but he knew this wasn’t a fleeting emotion…it was going to keep on occupying his mind. But even in the middle of his discouragement, he recognized that God’s love was a source of hope that he could cling to–and so he made the decision to “call it to mind”. 
Application
I have faced (and will face) seasons of discouragement and struggle. These seasons can draw my mind into an inescapable vortex of depression and gloom. Whether the struggle is from God’s judgement or merely an attack of the enemy, my mind does not always naturally gravitate to hope.
Like the prophet, I have God’s love as a never-failing source of hope to which I can turn. I have to make the decision to bring that source of hope to my mind instead of focusing on the negative thoughts that would otherwise fill my mind of their own accord.
Today, I choose to call God’s great love to mind. I choose to take authority over my mind even when discouragement hits–because God’s love never fails and it never ends.
Prayer
God, thank You for your unending love! Help me to choose daily to fix my mind on you, instead of swirling in the vortex of my frustrations and problems. Thank you for your hope! 

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Confidence

  • September 9, 2021

Scripture
Obadiah 1:3-4
“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’ declares the Lord.” 
Observation
The imagery is fascinating here. God told Moses to hide in the cleft of the rock, and God is often symbolized as the rock on which we stand. Scripture also speaks of God giving us strength to rise on wings like an eagle. The Edomites were descendants of Esau, and thus from Abraham’s lineage. The problem with Edom is that they became full of pride. Though planted on a rock, they chose to focus on their own strength. Though soaring high on wings like an eagle, they neglected to glorify the one who had given them wings. 
Application
God blesses me generously. He has given me a strong foundation, and wings like an eagle to rise above the attacks of the enemy. I can be confident in the provision and protection of God–but I cannot allow myself to forget who the rock is, and who gives me wings. My strength to stand does not come from me, but from the one who loves me. This week, I need to remain confident in Christ. Though attacks and storms come, he remains unshakable.

Pride makes me unstable no matter how strong my foundation. Christ keeps me secure, no matter how strong the storm.
Prayer
God, thank you for being my rock and my foundation! Thank you for being unshakable. Help me to always keep my trust in you, and not in my own strength.

“He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
Which shadows a dry thirsty land
He hideth my life in the depths of His love
And covers me there with His hand”

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My God

  • September 8, 2021

Scripture
Jeremiah 42:3,6
“Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go, and what we should do.”
“Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God.” 
Observation
The children of Israel wanted “Jeremiah’s God’ to speak to them and give them direction. They didn’t identify him as ‘our God’ until a decision point of obedience was reached. Unfortunately for the Israelites, they ultimately did not obey God, and they were judged for it. 
Application
It’s one thing for me to acknowledge who God is, and identify what He can do for me. It’s an entirely different thing to make Him ‘MY God’, and choose to follow Him. This is the point at which He goes from being “someone’s God”, to being ‘MY God’. He is still God, regardless! The thing that changes is my relation to Him.
This week, I choose to make Him ‘MY God’. I choose to accept His direction in my life, and submit my desires to His–and not just call on Him to see what I can get out of Him.
Prayer
God, thank you that you are the one true God! Thank you for your presence in my life. I choose to submit my life to you, and I choose to make you ‘MY God’. 

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Armed and Ready

  • September 7, 2021

Scripture
Revelation 12:11
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony; They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” 
Observation
Michael and his angels waged war in heaven against satan, and were victorious. The next verse says “they triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” Way in the heavenly realm is not waged with earthly weapons, but with heavenly ones. 
Application
The same weapons which defeated satan and his army, are available to me today. The blood of the Lamb has been shed for me, and I have been instructed to glorify God with my testimony. When I submit to God and apply the blood of the Lamb to my life, and when I give testimony of the greatness of God, I join in heavenly battle against satan alongside Michael and the angelic armies. This week, I choose to walk in God’s victory. This week, I choose to live my life fully surrendered to God, and covered by the blood of Christ. This week, I choose to share my testimony of the great things that God has done in my life-not to lift up myself, but to lift up Jesus. This week, I choose to die to self, so that I may live in Him.
Prayer
Thank you God that you are victorious over all that opposes you! Thank you for redeeming me, and giving me the opportunity to join the battle on your side. Thank you for your strength against every attack, as I live my life surrendered to you.

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Transformation, Not Talent

  • September 6, 2021
Scripture
Ezekiel 29:19-20
“Therefor this is what the sovereign Lord says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army. I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts, because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign Lord.” 
Observation
Nebuchadnezzar was an evil, wicked king…and yet God accomplished his purposes through him. Not as a stamp of God’s approval on him, but because God will accomplish that which he has purposed. The almighty God uses righteous men and wicked alike. The question of whether God is using someone, cannot be used as a gauge of God’s approval on their life. 
Application
I want to be used by God. But more than that, I want God to be glorified in me. I don’t want to merely receive earthly rewards for my unwitting service to God–I want to receive eternal rewards for a life fully surrendered to God. This must come from a place of prioritizing the relationship I have with God, not just focusing on the things I am doing “for” God. This week, I need to be intentional to surrender my heart to God, and daily spend time in His presence. I need to daily allow him to shape me and transform me.
Prayer
God, thank you that you are the sovereign Lord, and you will accomplish the things that you purpose to do. I surrender my life to you, and desire for you to be glorified in me. May you be glorified in the transformation you are accomplishing in my heart, and not merely in the tasks that I accomplish with my hands. 
 
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The Covenant

  • September 3, 2021

Scripture
Psalm 111:4-5
“He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; He remembers his covenant forever.” 
Observation
Amidst all the judgement and destruction we’ve been reading in Ezekiel and Revelation, this psalm stands in contrast as a reminder of the compassion of the Lord, and of his grace. He takes his covenant with us seriously! …and he expects us to do the same. 
Application
This passage gives me so much hope and confidence. God went to extreme lengths to establish his covenant with me, and he will go to extreme lengths to uphold it. When he pours out his blessings on me, he remembers his covenant. When he disciplines me, he remembers his covenant. Though my attention span is short and my heart is imperfect, his covenant lasts forever and his heart toward me is full of grace and compassion. How could I ever reject that?! How could I ever want to do anything but the things that will please him? I choose to remember my covenant with God. Not merely to avoid his anger, but to express my love for the God who chose to love me.
Prayer
God, thank you for your covenant with me, and thank you that you are unchanging. Thank you for being gracious and compassionate to me! I choose today, and commit every day, to also take my covenant with you seriously. Not merely out of fear…but because you love me, and I love you. 

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New

  • September 2, 2021

Scripture
Ezekiel 18:31-32
“Rid yourselves of the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! 
Observation
Even in their sin, the Israelites maintained a self-righteous attitude which caused them to question God’s justice. God patiently explained his justice to them, and then concludes with this plea for repentance. His hope and his desire is not to destroy. If God wanted to, he could snap his fingers and his infinite power would be unleashed in infinite judgement. Instead, God patiently endures our self-righteous arrogance and keeps trying to turn our hearts back to him. 
Application
“Why will you die, Israel?!” It must genuinely bewilder and sadden God to see people reject his love. Even so, he is patient. I don’t want to sadden God! I want to welcome his love with gratefulness instead of arrogance. I want to live life confidently in the new spirit and new heart he has given me. I want to stand firm in a lifestyle of repentance, secure in his righteousness and not my own.
This week, I choose to live in Christ.
This week, I choose to walk with Him.
This week, I choose His ways and not my own.
Prayer
God, thank you for your patience with me! Thank you that you choose to love me. Help me this week, to walk in humility and repentance. May my life bring you joy and not sadness, as I walk daily in you with the new heart and new spirit that you have given me! 

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Just Wait

  • September 1, 2021

Scripture
Revelation 6:11
“Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” 
Observation
I don’t like waiting patiently-particularly when something terrible is happening. These martyrs of Christ were told to wait until others met the same fate as them. There’s not even any detail given of exactly ‘why’ they had to wait, just a statement that it was necessary. 
Application
God has a bigger strategy than I can glimpse from my limited perspective. All I can truly see are my experiences, my hurts, my wounds, and my surroundings. I want God to step in and give me justice now. Sometimes God’s response is “Wait! Just wait a little longer!”  I have to trust that he is still accomplishing the things that he desires, and that in the end he will be glorified. I have to submit my limited understanding to his limitless perspective. 
Prayer
God, may you be glorified in my life. Even when I have suffered and endured injustice, may I trust your sovereignty and your timeline, and wait patiently with full confidence that you love me and are accomplishing your purposes through my life. 

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Serious Business

  • August 31, 2021

Scripture
Ezekiel 14:21
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments – sword and famine and wild beasts and plague – to kill its men and their animals!” 
Observation
We rarely talk about God’s judgement, without also talking about his mercy. These chapters are heavy on judgement, and light on mercy. Even the limited mercy that we do see, seems to exist solely for the purpose of vindicating God’s judgement! 
The wages of sin is death. Always has been, always will be. God hates sin. Always has, always will.
Application
These chapters are a sobering reminder to me, to take sin seriously. We walk in God’s grace, covered by the blood of the lamb – but that doesn’t mean that we should treat sin casually, or lightly. I can only understand the scale of God’s mercy, when I glimpse the true force of his judgement.
This week, I need to see things from God’s perspective. I need to hate sin. I need to detest ungodliness. I need to get serious about submitting myself to his lordship. Only by seeing things from his perspective, can I truly appreciate all that he has done for me.
Prayer
God, thank you for your holiness! Thank you that there is not even the smallest measure or hint of corruption or impurity in you. Help me to treat sin as seriously as you do. Help me to take seriously your judgement and your grace. Help me to understand the unfathomable blessing of your patience and your mercy toward me! Help me to love you enough in return to make decisions that honor you- and never take Calvary for granted. 

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Fully Known

  • August 30, 2021

Scripture
Ezekiel 8:6, 11:19
“And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing–the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” 
Observation
God knows all, and sees all. He sees those that he loves, and he sees that which is repulsive to him. His patience is immense, but willful, wanton, continual, unrepentant sin will drive his presence from his sanctuary. 
Application
God knows my heart inside and out. There is nothing that I can hide from him. He no longer lives in a temple, but instead his spirit is within me. If my inmost heart is divided and acting in opposition to God, then I cannot expect his presence to remain. I must choose to allow him to strip away the division within me, and anything that would pull me away from him. I must be his, and I must allow him to truly be my God.
Prayer
God, create a clean heart in me! You see straight through me, and there is nothing hidden from you. Thank you for your patience with me! May I never drive your spirit from my heart, but rather submit to your perfect will, as you remake me into your image. 

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Seeing God

  • August 28, 2021

Today’s SOAP journal is brought to you by James Begley.

Scripture
Revelation 1:8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Observation
I love it when God reminds us of who He is. It’s so easy for me to just live my life and my own actions have their own consequences and that’s that. There is so much more that is going on all around us and if we don’t have the proper perspective, we will miss it. How wild could my life be if I’m super connected to the One who is, was and who is to come? If I’m bored at this point, it’s because I’m not looking at the right things or plugging into the right source. What am I doing with my life if I’m not making the most of this HUGE advantage? 
Application
Make God a priority. See what He can do with me, where He can take me and how He can use me. 
Prayer
Lord, help me to see You for who you really are in my everyday life. Transform me into someone that can do your will to the fullest of my capabilities! 

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Thirst

  • August 27, 2021

Scripture
Psalm 143:3-6
“The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.” 
Observation
David was in a dark place. He was discouraged, defeated, weak, and overcome. But instead of focusing on his current circumstances, he instead chose to meditate on the things of God. Instead of focusing on his discomfort, he focused on what God had done. He could not see what God was currently doing, so he meditated on what God had already done in the past. Instead of focusing on solving his current problem, he fully surrendered to God and invited God into the middle of the mess. 
Application
Challenges hit, and discouragement happens. Sometimes there is no clear solution for the present circumstance. When I feel overwhelmed and defeated, it’s time to stop struggling to find my own solution and invite God into the mess with me instead. I may not even be able to understand what God is doing-but I can choose to meditate and focus on what God has already done–and trust that the God who did those things back then is the same Father who is willing to step down into the pit of mud with me and make His power known again.
This week, I need to invite God into every situation and every conversation.
Prayer
God, thank you for being present through every season of life. Help me to focus on you, instead of looking for my own solutions. I invite you into every challenge, every battle, and every struggle in my life- and I choose to fully surrender my heart to you. 

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Imitate

  • August 26, 2021

Scripture
3 John 11
“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.” 
Observation
Evil is the natural state of my heart-and without seeing God, I will do what is evil. Seeing God is more than just casually observing him passively from a distance. When I truly glimpse his majesty, his righteousness, his holiness, his truth…it cannot help but impact the state of my heart, and the decisions I make.
I cannot be saved by my actions, but my actions reveal the state of my heart. He is God, and I am not. But when I truly see him, I can choose to imitate him, and allow him to transform me. 
Application
I am sinful and imperfect, but I can choose. I can choose to see God, or I can choose to look everywhere else besides him. I can choose who to imitate. Imitations are never as perfect as the original, but I can choose to imitate God. I can choose to let him daily transform my heart through the decisions I make, as I imperfectly imitate my father. My actions don’t save me, but they do reveal me.
Today, I choose to imitate Christ. I choose to let him be revealed in me.
Prayer
God, thank you for allowing me to see you! Help me not to casually observe you, and remain unaffected by the process. Help me to imitate you in the words that I say and the decisions that I make, and may you be revealed in me each day. 

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Seek First

  • August 25, 2021
Scripture
Jeremiah 38:16-17
“But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly to Jeremiah: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has given us breath, I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who want to kill you.” Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel says: “If you surrender to the officers of the King of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live.” 
Observation
Why was Zedekiah’s oath to Jeremiah a secret? It reveals something in the heart of the king, that he was concealing this conversation with the prophet from his own officials and people. The kingdom was under attack by the Babylonians, but the king was more concerned about the reaction and opinions of the people around him.
Jeremiah told him that his life could be saved, but it would require a shift in his thinking. Instead of making decisions based on fear of what the people would think, he needed to get a lot more concerned about the impending judgement of God in his life. 
Application
It’s easy to let my thinking and my motives get twisted around. It’s easy to slip into the trap of making decisions based on fear of what people think. This passage challenges me to take a hard look at my motives and choices. If I am making decisions based on anything other than God’s guidance, destruction will be the result. Even when I have incurred God’s judgement in my life–there is still mercy, if I submit to his discipline and align my heart with him. I must always fear God’s displeasure more than the criticism of man, and seek first his approval rather than the approval of others.
Prayer
God, help me to align my heart with yours, and surrender to your authority in my life rather than being ruled by fear of others. Even when I experience your discipline, help me to run to you instead of running away. Thank you for your mercy, your love, and your truth. 
 
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