“Quiet reflection with God breeds thoughtful answers to the issues in your life.”~TB
One of the biggest struggles we face as humans in society is quieting the external noise to understand what is going on internally. The world as we know it is designed to put us in conflict with our natural state. Think about it, with so much external distraction and noise, your internal system functions like a jumbled cassette tape. It’s tough to sort through the chaos of our internal state unless we quiet the noise from outside. However, many of us are engaged in chaotic states because we are too scared of the quiet. Slowing down and taking stock of one’s life brings up some uncomfortable insights and the ugly “g-word”–growth.
If the chaos has grown too much and it’s time to get to the heart of the Truth, have a talk with God (which also happens to be the title of a neat Stevie Wonder song.) Honest answers come from an honest reflection and conversation with our Father in Heaven. It doesn’t have to be some dramatic or formal process, just ask a few simple questions and ask for direction. To get the most out of this reflection and quiet time with God honesty and humility are key. It requires us to set aside our foolish and flesh-minded thinking. Basically, we have to turn our backs on what ails us to receive the Holy antidote that is God’s wisdom. It’s a one-on-one conversation that only you and He can have. No preacher, teacher nor profit can do this for you, so steal away to a quiet place to reflect and chat with the one who calls you His.
Are you practicing quiet reflection or are you running amok?
Enjoy the reading
1This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and buy a clay jar. Then ask some of the leaders of the people and of the priests to follow you.
2Go out through the Gate of Broken Pots to the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and give them this message.
3Say to them, ‘Listen to this message from the LORD, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will bring a terrible disaster on this place, and the ears of those who hear about it will ring!
4“‘For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children.
5They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!
6So beware, for the time is coming, says the LORD, when this garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7“‘For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals.
8I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there.
9I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair.’
10“As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought.
11Then say to them, ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair. They will bury the bodies here in Topheth, the garbage dump, until there is no more room for them.
12This is what I will do to this place and its people, says the LORD . I will cause this city to become defiled like Topheth.
13Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah’s kings, will become like Topheth—all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.’”
14Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth, the garbage dump where he had delivered this message, and he stopped in front of the Temple of the LORD . He said to the people there,
15“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will bring disaster upon this city and its surrounding towns as I promised, because you have stubbornly refused to listen to me.’”
“Focus on God’s signal in the noise so that you may not trade the truth for a lie.”~TB
There are so many distractions in this world that keep people from honestly pursuing a relationship with Christ. Of course, you cannot blame these distractions as you willfully engage in the nonsense. Whether you’re chasing money, sex, idolatry, clout, prestige, possessions, whatever the case may be, you’re desiring a false god. Conversely, if you dwell on your problems, your circumstances, your pain, you miss the healing that God is so desperately trying to give to you. Friends, we cannot heal ourselves, our minds are not capable of the forgiveness and the love that comes from God.
Focus your attention to God’s love. Let it be the lighthouse that guides your way. When you experience God’s forgiveness, love, and blessings, you are able to extend that grace towards your brothers and sisters. The world will tell you that you have to exact your own justice, vengeance, or whatever you want to call it. Friends, we don’t have to protect ourselves. We don’t have to hold people accountable for their sins. Let Him be the judge and let yourselves embody His light. When we share the love of Christ, we point back to His lighthouse, allowing others to experience and seek a relationship with him. Hold your gaze to the Lord’s signal and let the rest of the noise fall away.
Are you focused on God’s love or are you confused and distorted by the lies of this world?
Enjoy the reading
1LORD, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea!
2Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.
3For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals.
4My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite.
5Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones.
6I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.
7I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.
8My enemies taunt me day after day. They mock and curse me.
9I eat ashes for food. My tears run down into my drink
10because of your anger and wrath. For you have picked me up and thrown me out.
11My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass.
12But you, O LORD, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to every generation.
13You will arise and have mercy on Jerusalem — and now is the time to pity her, now is the time you promised to help.
14For your people love every stone in her walls and cherish even the dust in her streets.
15Then the nations will tremble before the LORD . The kings of the earth will tremble before his glory.
16For the LORD will rebuild Jerusalem. He will appear in his glory.
17He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.
18Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the LORD .
19Tell them the LORD looked down from his heavenly sanctuary. He looked down to earth from heaven
20to hear the groans of the prisoners, to release those condemned to die.
21And so the LORD ’s fame will be celebrated in Zion, his praises in Jerusalem,
22when multitudes gather together and kingdoms come to worship the LORD .
23He broke my strength in midlife, cutting short my days.
24But I cried to him, “O my God, who lives forever, don’t take my life while I am so young!
25Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.
26They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them.
27But you are always the same; you will live forever.
28The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.”