Episode 110

Disciple Up #110
Extracting the Precious From the Worthless Pt. 1
By Louie Marsh, 5-29-2019

JEREMIAH’S HONESTY WITH GOD:

He complains to God:

Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, “He will not see our latter end.” Jeremiah 12:1-4 (ESV)

God Answers him:

“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5-13 (ESV)

TEACH & GUARD AGAINST PHONY REPENTANCE

“Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. O you hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save? Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not leave us.” Thus says the LORD concerning this people: “They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the LORD does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.” Jeremiah 14:7-10 (ESV)

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 (ESV)

CONFRONT FALSE TEACHING:

Then I said: “Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’ ” And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them. Jeremiah 14:13-16 (ESV)

TEACH GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS:

Then the LORD said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go! And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: ” ‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’ Jeremiah 15:1-2 (ESV)

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:34-35 (ESV)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? James 2:1-7 (ESV)

JEREMIAH COMPLAINS AGAIN

You who know, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable? Jeremiah 15:15-18 (NASB)

GOD’S INCREDIBLE ANSWER!!

19 Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you— Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. Jeremiah 15:19 (NASB)

19 Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. Jeremiah 15:19 (ESV)

A Literal Translation –

therefore thus He has said Yahweh if you will return then I cause you to return before Me you will stand and if you cause to go out precious rather than vile like my mouth you will be they will return they to you but you you will not return to them Jeremiah 15:19 (CBLBible)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose . Romans 8:28 (ESV)

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Episode 29

Disciple Up #29
Always Be Questioning
By Louie Marsh, 11-1-2017

ABQ – Always Be Questioning.

This episode started when someone I hadn’t heard from in years got ahold of me recently. I won’t use her name but she’s an old friend of mine from High School. She was part of my Youth Group – call the Key Teens (yeah, the title hasn’t aged well but then neither have I! – and she’s working with others who in the Group to start a FaceBook page and work on getting us all back in touch.

In her message to me she said in part: You were such a big part of opening discussions in our Bible Studies/other occasions, questioning things most of us would not have thought to question. I will always appreciate that.

Imagine that. It’s been about half a century and she still remembers and appreciates me mouthing off with all my teenage questions! Pretty amazing and it just goes to show you that you never know what kind of an impact what you say and do will have on others – and like most things that works for good and ill.

So todays podcast is dedicated to someone I’ll just call Mrs. KeyTeen, a lovely lady who was a good friend and who I had a my first HUGE crush on, but never acted on it because even then I knew she was totally out of my league!

And with that let’s get on with the show!

What Should I Question?

As a teen I came into Christianity from a pretty secular background. I questioned creation VS evolution, the truth of the Bible, etc. In those days during the Vietnam war I also questioned if Christians can fight in the military.

I questioned so many things – which shows I didn’t know or understand much, but I wanted too. Now some 50 years later, I’m still asking questions and this episode is my attempt to get you to do the same thing as well.

Question Everything!

Things to question: Faith and the Bible – YES! BUT, also question the culture you live in and all the strange and often contradictory things it demands you believe.

Doesn’t the Bible Say Questioning God is Wrong?

NO!!

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (ESV)

As an old Pastor once said to me, and he said this at a Key Teens summer camp called Planning Conference: “Doubt your doubts.” It was good advice then and even better advice to the moral and spiritual morass that surrounds and penetrates us today.

11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

God not only commands us to question – He honors and approves it.

It’s our culture that forbids questioning. It, like all cultures, demands submission to whatever it’s saying this week and only wants you to question others, not itself. As I’ve said before in other shows of Disciple Up, this is the nature of all culture. Conform and submit. I felt that demand as a teen and I feel it now even though the culture has changed so much that what I’m supposed to submit too has radically changed and in some cases are the exact opposite of what I was told then.

God knows the only way to learn is to question.

Like culture, most religions also forbid questions and demand unthinking obedience. But Jesus wasn’t that way. When Christians and churches forbid honest and sincere questions they are sinning. Just look at this encounter Jesus had.

Quotes: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/questioning.html

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. Elon Musk

Religious belief, like history itself, is a story that is always unfolding, always subject to inquiry and ripe for questioning. For without doubt there is no faith. Jon Meacham

The marvelous thing is that for thousands of years people have continued questioning and searching and ultimately concluding that reasons for certain occurrences are not given to man to know. Robert Vaughn

http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/faithquotes.htm

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. –Paul Tillich

The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. –G.K. Chesterton

21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Mark 9:21-27 (ESV)

Why Don’t People Question More?

• Taught not too
• Hard work
• Don’t know how – find the resources you can use
• Set priorities

Disciple Up Low Down

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 

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