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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1090. Do not learn the ways of the nations (2/7/24)

Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional where we are in our Summer Inspiration series. Today, we reflect on what it means for us to learn from God rather than from the world. 

To watch this devotional, follow the link below:

‘Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold;  they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak;they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.’ (Jeremiah 10:1-6) 

All human beings are prone to similar temptations; we are all prone to false teaching -‘learning the ways of the nations, believing false signs and trusting false religion and ideologies. We are all prone to ‘learning the ways of the nations’ - false teaching - and falling in step with popular culture due to pride and fear. 

We are all prone to seeing and believing ‘signs’ in various places such as ‘the heavens’ and forming conspiracy theories or extreme religious reactions. 

Added to this, we are all prone to making and trusting in idols. All humans have a propensity to believe in a spirit-world and form various religious beliefs. In fact, I would say, an evidence for there being a supernatural world is seen in humanity’s appetite for the spiritual. Of course, the danger is that we form our religion, not from God-given revelation, but from human inspiration, and make  idols. 

Christians are not immune to the temptation to learn from the wrong people and to believe the wrong signs and believe in a distorted view of the true God. The antidote to this is orthodox teaching - believing in God-given signs and having a true view of God and this is available by being in a good local church with teachers who are qualified and trustworthy. The question to ask of your church is: is what they are saying actually from scripture - its plain meaning - or is it fanciful and formed of inspirational stories and anecdotes that don’t actually unpack the text? 

We are in a world where false teachers have never been easier to come by. They have attractive websites and online meetings. For example, I remember, many years ago, 1996 to be exact, a woman showing me a magazine from a popular teacher. The cover read, ’1996, the year of the fix’. He was promising that 1996 would be the year when all your problems would be sorted. We are all attracted by such fanciful and exciting things and we must be careful and discerning. 

We are told, “Do not learn the ways of the nations…” and we see this,  for example, as we listen to various election debates; here we are being taught that the world’s problems are sorted through politics rather than by the power of the gospel which can change the human heart. 

From where are you and I learning? Is it leading to spiritual health? Is it leading to faith and good relationships? Is it leading to joy and kindness? Is it leading you to say, as we read from Jeremiah, 

“No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.”

Community group notes and study

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News. 

2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 

3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.

4. Study and pray together

Our message on Sunday was entitled, Don’t Settle for Second Best; the theme, from Exodus, was on how we are to prize the presence of God and not settle for second best in our lives. 

Please read 1 Samuel 13:14 and discuss: 

  • What would you say is the main message of this text and account of Saul and David that surrounds it?

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • How was David’s heart different from Saul’s?

  • How does this text lead us to Christ and to deeper worship and trust in Him? 

  • How can we develop and protect our heart so as to be more like Christ (and David)? 

  • SIV - How will a heart that is after God’s own heart lead us into mission? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • SIV - Spend some time together talking and praying about who and how you are seeking to bring your community to Jesus. 

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1 Comment

Yen Villa
Yen Villa
Jul 02

Exodus ,the album of. When bob marley and people from jamaica moved to uk it is exodus,same people inmigrant or refugee or country in war or diferent circunstance it means exodus

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