(By: Chad Bennett)
Pastor Jeff Crippen of Christ Reformed Church, Tillamook, Oregon poured out his heart to the pastors in the Thursday morning in devotion sharing with us from his own experiences as he discussed Jeremiah 17:9-10.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? ‘I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’”
Pastor Crippen delivered a practical message on the text encouraging pastors to have caution and wisdom in regards to the sinful deceitfulness of the human heart. He gave a couple of examples of men in churches who were thought to be godly men who nonetheless sought to deceive those around them concerning their sin. One of these men was arrested for child molestation and the other for domestic abuse. Pastor Crippen asked us to consider how we might respond if the situations appeared in our own churches. Would we seek justice or would we show favoritism to the man? We so often want to think the best of people, but we must heed the words of our Lord in Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Pastor Crippen encouraged the pastors to seek discernment from God.
He closed by pointing us back to Jeremiah 17 and focusing on verse 10. Though the heart of man is deceitful God discerns the deceitful heart and judges rightly. John Miller did well later to apply this message to our own hearts as well. We must first realize the deceitfulness of our own hearts which we experience daily in various ways. We must then seek to have discernment to understand the root of the deceitfulness. Finally we must look to Christ who cleanses the heart and seek by the Spirit to put to death indwelling sin that so distorts our hearts.
(By: Chad Bennett)