October 10: “Celebrate God’s Grace But Never Presume Upon It”

7 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Jeremiah 14:11–16:15
1 Thessalonians 2:9–3:13
Psalm 80:1-19
Proverbs 25:1-5

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Jeremiah 14:11-12 (NLT): “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not pray for these people anymore. When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.’”

Reflections from Scripture:

Over and over in Scripture, God is said to be loving and patient. He reaches out to the sinner and calls him back to Himself.

But, it is a fair question to ask: “Does God’s patience ever run out? It is ever too late to come back to Him?”

Just read Jeremiah 14:11-12 for the answer:

Jeremiah 14:11-12 (NLT): “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not pray for these people anymore. When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.’”

This attitude by our Heavenly Father is very rare in Scripture. We don’t see it often. For example, we read about it on Mt. Sinai when God told Moses He would destroy the rebellious people of Israel and create a new nation. But, Moses prayed, and God relented. 

More times than not, God’s patience seems to be endless. In fact, we often presume upon it. We go off, once again, into sin because we are convinced that God will once again cleanse us and bring us back into fellowship when we confess and repent. 

But the truth of Jeremiah 14:11-12 is a very sobering, helpful reminder. If we are saved, we can never lose our standing with God. But, it is possible that someone could offend God so many times, or for so long, or so deeply, that God no longer listens to their prayers of repentance. In fact, there are times when someone’s sin could so offend Him that He decides to cut their life short (1 John 5:16-17).

I have to admit that I don’t fully understand this topic. I don’t fully understand God’s patience or what it looks like when it runs out or what it takes to reach that point of no return. I simply know what I have seen in Scripture. And it’s enough to sober us up and cause us to celebrate God’s grace – but never to presume upon it.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your patience with me. If it weren’t for Your patience, You would have given up on me a long time ago. But, Lord, while I am grateful for Your patience, help me never to presume upon it. I don’t want to willingly wander into sin assured of the fact that Your patience will forgive me when I come back. Instead, help me have a healthy “fear of the Lord” that causes me to realize You are loving but aren’t to be trifled with. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Daniel Joshua on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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