“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord, 'I will frown on you no longer, for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt—you have rebelled against the Lord your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’” declares the Lord. "Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:12-14 NIV) A few years ago, I was drawn to reading Jeremiah. I thought that God might have been prompting me to read it because of the similarities between the American and European cultures and the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day. I have to admit that inwardly, as I read this prophetic book, I was thinking, “Yep, Americans and Europeans, God is losing His patience with you! You better repent.” However, as I continued to read, I saw God’s love and faithfulness all over the pages. He was calling to His people—desperately, unrelentingly calling to His people—and they still weren’t returning to Him. When all the calamity began to happen as Jeremiah prophesied, they still didn’t turn back to God; but God’s response wasn’t, “I’m done with you!” Instead He said, “The destruction and downfall is coming because of your disobedient and unrepentant hearts, but after that, I will call you back home. You are my people.” When I pause long enough to stop judging the world around me, and I read God’s words to His people, my heart breaks. My Lord and my God loves this world with a faithful and unrelenting love. He loves me even though I am far from being perfectly faithful. I can’t love Him and know Him without my heart breaking for the people around me because His heart breaks for them. But I can easily slip into passing my judgements if I’m not faithfully connecting to the Father’s heart for the world. His faithfulness, in contrast to our unfaithfulness, blows me away. Without His faithful calling out to me, where would I be? Lord, give me your heart for the world. Warmly in Christ, Joy McAuley
For Reflection “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)
What helps you keep the Father’s heart for the world in mind as you move about your daily life?
What “great and unsearchable things” has God been sharing with you?
Take some time to compare His faithfulness with your faithfulness (or unfaithfulness). What rises to the surface as you contemplate His faithfulness?