What do you say when someone asks you whether or not the Christian life is difficult? I hope you tell them the truth – it is! But I hope you don’t stop there but go on to explain why it is difficult. It is difficult because we are sinners and to live like God tells us is right and best for us does not come naturally. I also hope that you tell them that the way of transgressors is the truly hard way (Proverbs 13:15) because it does not fit reality! It fits our sinfulness but not life as God intends for it to be and does not prepare us to live with Him forever in heaven but fits us for hell. Today’s devotional makes the same points. May it draw you back to God is you have wandered away. Be sure you get your Bible and read the Scripture verses first, then the devotional material. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Jeremiah 2:13-14 (ESV)
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14 “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?
Why then has he become a prey?
“…‘My people, whom I have taught and should have ruled, have committed two great evils, ingratitude and folly; they have acted contrary both to their duty and to their interest.’ [1.] They have affronted their God, by turning their back upon him, as if he were not worthy their notice: ‘They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, in whom they have an abundant and constant supply of all the comfort and relief they stand in need of, and have it freely.’ God is their fountain of life, Psalm 36:9. There is in him an all-sufficiency of grace and strength; all our springs are in him and our streams from him; to forsake him is, in effect, to deny this. He has been to us a bountiful benefactor, a fountain of living waters, over-flowing, ever-flowing, in the gifts of his favor; to forsake him is to refuse to acknowledge his kindness and to withhold that tribute of love and praise which his kindness calls for. [2.] They have cheated themselves, they forsook their own mercies, but it was for lying vanities. They took a great deal of pains to hew themselves out cisterns, to dig pits or pools in the earth or rock which they would carry water to, or which should receive the rain; but they proved broken cisterns, false at the bottom, so that they could hold no water. When they came to quench their thirst there they found nothing but mud and mire, and the filthy sediments of a standing lake. Such idols were to their worshippers, and such a change did those experience who turned from God to them. If we make an idol of any creature — wealth, or pleasure, or honor, — if we place our happiness in it, and promise ourselves the comfort and satisfaction in it which are to be had in God only, — if we make it our joy and love, our hope and confidence, we shall find it a cistern, which we take a great deal of pains to hew out and fill, and at the best it will hold but a little water, and that dead and flat, and soon corrupting and becoming nauseous. Nay, it is a broken cistern, that cracks and cleaves in hot weather, so that the water is lost when we have most need of it, Job 6:15. Let us therefore with purpose of heart cleave to the Lord only, for whither else shall we go? He has the words of eternal life.” [Matthew Henry’s Commentary IV, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, n.d.), p. 322]