Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Mystery of Leaven

            Thus says the Lord of hosts,Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you.They are leading you into futility;They speak a vision of their own imagination,Not from the mouth of the Lord. “They keep saying to those who despise Me,‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”'; and as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say,'Calamity will not come upon you.'

                                                                                                  Jeremiah 23:16-17

        The Prophet Jeremiah, in this verse, is warning the people that the priests among them are giving people a message of peace, while they are walking in the stubbornness of their own hearts. It's amazing to me that over the years I have talked to people within the church who are literally practicing fornication or other immorality, who say to me, "I have peace."

Jeremiah was telling the people not to listen to people in leadership who say you can live immorally and have peace with God. He said, "Don't heed them," and "Don't give attention to them." Why would he say that? So many today are preaching sermons and messages by the thousands that tell us it's okay to live as we please, why listen to Jeremiah? It's simple friends....Jeremiah knew there is a judgement to come and every man will stand before God and give an account of his life. Stop and think about that for a moment. "Yeah, I have heard all that stuff Andy but how do we know that?" 


Ecclesiastes 11 says...

   Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 

Enjoy your life but keep in mind you will give an account to God.

Chapter twelve of the same book says;

be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, isfear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

    Believe me, i'm for you as you read this, when I tell you the truth, that every one of us will give account of their lives to God. In this day and age there are messages preached on every subject but many of them do not give attention to the state of your heart. The Bible says, "a little leaven will leaven the whole lump." Using the analogy of making bread, the word is telling us that a little sin can permeate our lives until it destroys us. 

   We can see this example clearly in the life of David the Psalmist, the man after God's own heart. In 2nd Samuel, chapter eleven, there came one moment in David's life where he decided not to go into battle with his armies. Then the next moment when he looked from the rooftop of his palace and saw a woman bathing. Then the next moment when he had her brought to his chambers. Then in the next moment he stepped across the line and accomplished his lust for her. 
      Then the next moment he had to find a way to hide that act so he brought her husband Uriah, a righteous and Godly man, to his palace. The next moment he decides he has to find a way to have Uriah killed. In the next moment, he kills the man by having him sent to the front lines of the battle, unprotected by the other soldiers. There came a moment in David's life where what seemed like the smallest thought, the smallest piece of leaven permeated his life and consumed him. All of a sudden, Nathan the prophet comes with a loud strong word to wake up David's dull conscience. 

    I want to encourage you today to examine your heart and be true to yourself. WAKE UP, and deal with the sin in your life before it takes over. Today, don't harden your heart, God wants to get your attention! It's not about who you are in the church service or Bible study it's about what you are when your guard is down and you are being who you really are. When you're at work or leisure time when the Pastor and your Christian friends aren't around. Jesus said to believers, it just takes a little leaven to affect your whole lives! You have to deal with it today or one day what's in your heart will come out and be exposed to the whole congregation. How do you deal with it? Repent. Cry out to God for help and take steps to protect your life from it. Eliminate habits and patterns from your life that bring compromise or expose you to areas of temptation. If David had been engaged in the battle with his armies he would not have been on that roof top and exposed himself to temptation. 
      I want to remind you when the Word is talking about leaven, it's talking about in the church. Our hearts are born with the nature of sin, no one had to teach us to lie, steal, take advantage or manipulate. Those things are natural to our hearts. When we become believers, when we surrender all to Him, God is bringing about change in our lives. He's trying to cut the umbilical cord that ties us to this world. You can't be changed as long as you entertain the leaven of this world in your heart. That's what God is bringing attention to. WE must purge wickedness and malice from our hearts by getting a hold of God's word and letting it bear good fruit in our lives.

 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?  Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.  Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.     
1st Corinthians 5:6-8

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