Friday March 5, 2021

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 21:8-14

“But you must say to this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am presenting to you the way of life and the way of death.”

Jeremiah 21:8

Reflection: Life is only truly gained when it is fully surrendered to God. The prophet Jeremiah echoes this lesson of God to His people through God’s warning against them. Through Jeremiah, God says that because of the people’s evil and corruption, their sin against Him, not only will God allow the city to be overtaken by Babylon by sword, but He Himself will bring upon them a great plague that will leave no survivors left in the city. But even in this Judgment against Judah, God shows His abounding Mercy. He gives the people an option that will spare their lives. If they choose to leave the city and defect or surrender themselves to the Chaldeans of Babylon, the people will be spared as prisoners of war. In other words, God tells the people to choose between surrendering their lives to their enemies for guaranteed salvation and fighting against not only their enemies, but God, which will ensure their death.

God’s Salvation by surrender is a theme that echoes throughout Scripture, from the time of the Fall when Adam and Eve disregard the Lord’s instruction; to the time when Moses declares to Israel at the precipice of the Promised Land, “I have set before you today, life and good, death and evil (Dt. 30:15); to the time centuries later when Jesus Christ Himself teaches, “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it” (Mt. 16:25). Throughout the ages, those surrendered to God are spared while those who fight for themselves against God perish. It is important to note that surrender in and of itself is not what brings Salvation to the person who has surrendered. We are saved by surrender only because of what God has prepared for His people to receive in that surrender to Him. By the complete fulfillment of God’s Work through Jesus, God saves us when we surrender. The one who chooses the Way of Life knows and sees the fullness of life which is gained in relationship with Him. And so still, each person has been presented with two options: the way of life and the way of death. The Way of Life is the Way of the Savior. Have you made your choice to follow Him?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Mercy which grants Salvation for all who turn to You wholeheartedly. Thank You for offering the choice to live in fullness of life by Your wise and glorious Plan. Thank You for Your Faithfulness which has been extended to me even though I have strayed from You. Thank You for the blessedness of surrender to Your Presence and Will. Please, Lord, move me day by day to live surrendered to you both in big decisions and small, in grand actions and in trivial, that every facet of my life would be a testament to others of the fullness of Your Salvation. I pray these things in the Name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: James 1; Jeremiah 21-22; Psalm 129