Dear Ones,
Blessings to you on this Holy day. We will be having a drama as part of our Good Friday service tonight with both adults and children participating. Pastor’s father preached last night at the Maundy Thursday service, and we had communion. A good way to begin our Easter weekend.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Are we Crowd Pleasers or are we God Pleasers? Just because large numbers of people believe and go along with something, doesn’t make it true and reliable. We can probably think of how masses have been taken in by false statements, and approved of things that are actually distortions of truth and harmful. Today we have only to think of the crowd that was stirred up by those wanting Jesus killed and went along with them to have Him crucified. What would we have done if we had been there in the crowd?

The also think of the prophet Jeremiah who was often in crowds, but he didn’t let it shape his message and values. He didn’t preach what the people wanted to hear about God or what would make them feel good, but rather what God told him to say. He listened first to God and only wanted to give messages from Him.  Those words certainly weren’t pleasing to the crowd for they would have to recognize the truth of their sinful behavior and distance from God. It would have been far easier for Jeremiah to hold back on what he was to speak, but when he did it became like fire in his belly that he had to get out. (Jer. 20:9)

 But how refreshing it is to see a person or a group of people that are willing to live in truth and have courage to go against the crowd mentality. Sometimes they even have to stand alone. As read in the book of Jeremiah, he writes about a group of people called Recabites. They were metal workers and lived in tents and were wanderers who lived outside the city. They drank no wine and built no houses or gardens but lived life according to their ancestor Jonadab. Jeremiah was told to invite them into an open room in the temple and serve them wine. The Racabites came but they refused to drink the wine and were not distracted to go along with what the crowd would have done. They held to their convictions set down 250 years before by Jonadab and didn’t waver. Jeremiah was using them as an example to the people to live according to God’s commands and not give in to the culture. The people had drifted far from God and he wanted them to be faithful to God and live by His commands, and not let the crowd distract them.

Let us also not be influenced by ungodliness in our culture but be persons of conviction who please God and not man.

Challenge for today: Ask for grace to stand for the Lord and for what is truth, even when you may have to stand alone.
Blessings on this Good Friday and prayers and love, Judy