Morning
December 11

Jeremiah 6:13-15 (NIV) 13"From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace. 15Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD.


God's cry against the people was that there could not be found one righteous in Judah. He declared that Israel was not as bad as Judah had become. The passage today lists some of the specific sins they were guilty of. It is hard for us to relate to the idolatry, worshipping carved images, but we can readily relate to the greed for gain. The greed for gain had permeated the entire nation from the beggar to the king. When our eyes turn from God to the things that He has made, we seek security in possessions. We should be looking to God who is the giver of all good things. Instead we trust in His gifts and focus on how to attain them.

The prophets and priests were all practicing deceit. The very ones people looked to for truth were deceiving the people in the name of God. In this generation we have seen a number of big name religious personalities who were caught in their deceit. How many more go uncaught? Only God knows. Consider their way of life and the fruits of the Spirit in their lives, not just their ability to impress you.

The religious leaders preached peace when destruction was coming upon them. When they should have been preaching conviction of sin, they taught that everything was fine. The heartbreaking thing is that it did not even bother their conscience. They had done it for so long that their hearts were hardened against God. A comfortable today was their only goal. They were about to face judgment.

Consider: God cannot ignore evil that goes unrepented in any nation, group, or individual.


Evening
December 11

2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9 (NIV) 3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


The previous chapter predicted that false teachers would come, driven by a desire for pleasure and money. In this chapter, Peter warns that scoffers would also come in the last days. This began in earnest about 150 years ago. We refer to it as the age of skeptical criticism. "Scoffers" is more to the point.

They argue that the world is on a slow and steady progressive path of evolutionary advancement. Now, science is showing that cataclysmic events did occur in the earth's history. The earth did not slowly progress with only gradual changes but has had a violent past with sudden changes. Still, man feels more comfortable to think of things going on with only gradual change if any. The return of Christ is the farthest thing from their mind. Theories of alternate interpretation have developed to put it out of the realm of drastic change.

Peter warns us that it is the patience and love of God that keeps Jesus' return from taking place sooner. God's time and our time are quite different. These last two thousand years are merely two days to Him. His chief concern is the repentance of mankind. "Behold, I come quickly!" Jesus said that just two days ago in God's perception of time. He is coming again, and that will bring a drastic and sudden change to all creation.

Consider: Whether He comes today or you live to 100 years of age, our time to invest in eternity is short. The scoffers' argument is shortsighted and blind to the love of God.