MEMORY VERSE: Jeremiah 7:3 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.”
HYMN: MHB 912 ( – TURN back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
In Jeremiah 2:1-3:5, God spoke to the People of Judah through Prophet Jeremiah, warning them of their sins. Also in Jer.7:1-10:25, God spoke for the third time through the Prophet. The message is clear: Amend your ways to avoid future catastrophe! Alas, these “people of God” were adamant, like many of us today.
Here Jeremiah rebuked the people for their shameless behaviour and those of their leaders. The people followed a worship ritual but maintained a sinful lifestyle. It was religion without personal commitment to God.
Coincidentally, some Christians today are easily doing the same thing. We attend church services regularly, take the Holy Communion, teach in the Sunday school, sing in the choir and even preach on the pulpit. All of these will be empty exercise if we don’t stop dealing unjustly with people, if we continue to oppress the poor, the fatherless and the widows and if we don’t show God’s love to our neighbours.
For God to accept our worship in whatever form we bring it to Him (offering, donations, prayer, fasting, etc.) we must first present ourselves to Him as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1) We cannot continue in sins of stealing, adultery, fornication, falsification of accounts and the likes and then run to church, claiming that the name of the Lord is a strong tower of deliverance. Paul succinctly told the Roman church that if they must continue to enjoy God’s grace, they must stop sinning (Rom 6:1-2).
It is only those who live their lives righteously before God that can run to His house for salvation. Therefore, let us reconsider our ways today (Haggai 1:5, 7). For our act of worship not to be an empty and a vain exercise, let us turn from our evil ways and come to God. He is ready to accept and forgive us. It is only when we do that, that our worship will always be acceptable to Him. God is holy and those who worship Him must worship Him in holiness and in truth.
PRAYER: Father, give me the grace to forsake those things hindering me from worshipping You in Spirit and in truth. Amen.

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