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Scottish Community Centre

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8886 Hudson Street

Vancouver, BC

 

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#110 - 1200 West 73rd Ave

Vancouver, BC

V6P 6G5

 

Tel: 604-261-3339

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A Grievous and Incurable Wound Jer 15:15-21
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 23 February 2015 23:23

 

In our study of the book of Jeremiah, we come across a section that offers a glimpse into Jeremiah's inner life - his pain, his loneliness, and his struggles. No other prophet wrote so much about his personal agony. There is a kind of raw, 'no holds barred' honesty that includes: questioning God's justice (12:1), calling vengeance upon his enemies (15:15), and the wish of not ever being born at all (20:14). The name we give to this type of prose is lament. Lament is a cry of deep sorrow that is accompanied by complaint, confusion, anger, or despair. Michael Card, in his book, The Hidden Face of God: Finding the Missing Door to the Father Through Lament writes,

"… tears of lament are the missing door, the way into an experience with a God whose depth of compassion we have never imagined. Lament is not about psychology, about getting things off your chest. It’s about true worship—offering up as a sacrifice your brokenness and pain to God.”

The fact that laments are recorded in our holy scriptures tell us that there is a kind of suffering that is redemptive, by that we mean deep hardship experienced by one (or a few) for the benefit of the larger community.

 

Philip Yancey in his book, Soul Survivor tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. in which the leader of the Civil Rights movement wanted to quit as he wrestled with the heavy burden of his calling, the safety of his wife and daughter. MLK said, “Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think I’m right. I think the cause that we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now. I’m faltering. I’m losing my courage.” It was then that King heard an inner voice saying, "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo I will be with you, even until the end of the world.” Oswald Chambers in his devotion dated Feb 22nd, wrote, "If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified."

 

Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 23:35
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False Sense of Security from False Prophets Jer 14:14-18
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 10:04

One theme throughout the book of Jeremiah is the prophet's confrontation with false prophets. There were many who spoke in the name of Yahweh, leading those who did not spiritually discern down a path of destruction. These false prophets created a false sense of security, they offered peace when there was no peace (6:14). False prophets perished by their own message (14:13-16) and they did not bring about a change of heart nor did they call for repentance (23:22). In short, they "dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious" (6:14).

 

Who are our modern day prophets? It would be too obvious to point out the eccentric preacher on the street corner or the slick evangelists who fill stadiums and arenas with people. But there are many other prophets and voices that are subtle but yet so powerful in shaping the values and lives of you and me. They also offer a false sense of security if you follow their ways. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27) One way to discern the difference between the true and false prophets is to know and recognize the voice of Christ well.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 February 2015 10:12
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Let the One Who Boasts Boast in the Lord Jer 9:21-26
Written by John Tsang   
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 19:23

In Jeremiah 9-10, we get a glimpse of some

of the specifics which brought tears (9:1) to the Lord. Deceit was a normative way of life (9:3-6), there was a blatant disregard of the Word of God (9:13), and the people followed the stubbornness of their own hearts (9:14). Furthermore, the people fashioned idols to worship and became like them, boasting of their own wisdom, strength, and riches (9:23).

 

The Israelites were a group of people who were once slaves in Egypt, without much education, power, nor wealth. Over time and with each successive generation, through hard work and the God-given opportunities to produce wealth in the Promised Land, their status gradually rose. Then a kind of mindset developed in which they found their identity through education, power, status, and wealth instead of a people redeemed by the grace of the living God who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness (9:24).

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 February 2015 10:09
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