Daily Reading: Jeremiah 31-32 & James 3
Old Testament: Jeremiah 31- Everlasting Love
“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’”
One of the great pitfalls for every believer is failing to realize how God actually feels about us. Because so much of our experience in this life is based upon performance, we project that onto our relationship with God. We think, if we are doing the right things He loves us, but if we do something wrong, He is angry, disappointed, and may even shun us. How precious to hear the… Read More
Jeremiah 32- Locked Up
“For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.”
Judah was on the brink of… Read More
New Testament: James 3- What Did You Say?
“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.”
The largest mammal on the planet is a blue whale, whose tongue can weigh upwards of 2.5 tons. This is approximately the size of an adult elephant. In contrast, the human tongue, on average, is about 4 inches long and weighs less than 4 ounces. The tongue is certainly not one of the… Read More
Daily Reading: Jeremiah 29-30 & James 2
Old Testament: Jeremiah 29- Promises
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The Bible is like a treasure chest filled with great and precious promises. It is designed to help the child of God navigate his way through life, and provide comfort… Read More
Jeremiah 30- Journey Of A Lifetime
“Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.’”
Years ago, when I first began walking with the Lord, I was given a study Bible as a gift. I remember being so excited to have such an amazing resource at my fingertips. It had a topical index in the front, as well as a concordance in the back, and was filled with cross references and commentary on various passages… Read More
New Testament: James 2- Work In Progress
James 2:14 “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”
James 2:17 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
James asks a very important question, “What is the profit of faith without works?” He then adds, “Can that faith save?” To help lead us to… Read More
Daily Reading: Jeremiah 27-28 & James 1
Old Testament: Jeremiah 27- Testing 123
“Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you”
Not everyone who speaks is telling the truth. A salesman may tell you what he thinks you want to hear, rather that what is factual. A friend may tell you what they think is kind, so as not to hurt your feelings or damage the relationship. This principle is… Read More
Jeremiah 28- Trust In A Lie
“Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.’”
As far back as we have… Read More
New Testament: James 1- I’m A Little Lost
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
Wisdom might best be defined as “knowing what to do.” In life, we are constantly faced with circumstances in which we have no experience. We are left wondering what in the world we should do. When James writes, “If any man lacks wisdom…” he is not suggesting that only some of us are in circumstances for which we do not have solutions, but that ALL of us are in constant need… Read More
Daily Reading: Jeremiah 25-26 & Hebrews 13
Old Testament: Jeremiah 25- Unstoppable
“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the Lord has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened.”
Jeremiah goes down in history as one of the greatest men who has ever… Read More
New Testament: Hebrews 13- Praise God
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share; for with such sacrifices, God is well pleased.”
Worship is a very important part… Read More
“Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.”
Jeremiah lived in trying times. A nation that once glorified God and served as a light to the world around them was now turning from the ways of God. The people had lost sight of God and were involved in practices that would soon bring calamity upon the nation. Jeremiah had been doing his best to warn the people and win them back to God. After several years of trying he once again receives a message from the Lord. The message is a commission for Jeremiah to stand in the courtyard of the temple and invite all the people to come to the Lord. This was not Jeremiah’s first attempt and it won’t be his last. The driving force behind the message is, “Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way.”
The word perhaps is used to express uncertainty or possibility. It is a word of hope. Maybe the last time Jeremiah shared no one listened, but perhaps this time will be different. Maybe the last time his message was met with mockery or hostility but perhaps this time will be different. I don’t think we can overemphasize the importance of hope as it relates to serving the Lord. Hope is a great motivator. It causes us to look at all that is possible if we continue to do what is right. Not all hope has the same value. Hoping that while playing the lottery we will win the Powerball is really a hope against hope. It is like standing in line with 150 million people for a single prize. Hope that the message of the gospel will be received and transform lives is not an empty hope. In fact it happens every day. There is a good chance that if you are reading this it has happened to you.
It would do us all good to be a little more hopeful as we look for opportunity to be used by the Lord. Instead of focusing upon those who reject the message we should fix our thoughts upon the possibility of those who will respond as we once did and see God transform their life and their living.
Daily Reading: Jeremiah 23-24 & Hebrews 12
Old Testament: Jeremiah 23- Study Time
“For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?”
One of the big problems Jeremiah faced was, those who were supposed to be experts of the Word of God were neglecting … Read More
New Testament: Hebrews 12- Bitterness
“. . . looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; . . .”
Bitterness is the byproduct of being unwilling to forgive. We are warned against allowing bitterness to take root in our… Read More
“The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.”
After years of ignoring the prophets, Judah watched as the Babylonian army surrounded the city and without a fight began to take its people captive. The king, his princes and many of the most gifted within Jerusalem were taken captive and led north to Babylon. After what must have been a time of extreme grief and fear the people began to settle into their new life. They watched as Nebuchadnezzar set a new king in place and allowed the people to function much in the same way as they always had. Soon the inhabitants of Jerusalem went right back to the behaviors that put them under the chastisement of God in the first place. Once the difficulties subsided the people once again turned away from the Lord.
Sadly this is pretty common. When we wander from God and our lives begin to unravel our attention is usually drawn to spiritual things. We might begin to pray, read the Bible, seek godly counsel and even head back to church. These are all good things and should be sustained, but what often happens is as soon as the storm subsides we tend to once again neglect the things of God and go right back to living life our own way.
I think it is important to remember that a catastrophe may get our attention but will rarely change a person’s spiritual condition. Our lives will be transformed by the daily decisions we make. If we choose today to invest in our walk with God by seeking to do the things that are pleasing to Him and avoid the pitfalls that so often cause us to stumble we will find that we are making serious headway in our relationship with the Lord.
It has been said the “Plans may not always work but planning always does.” The surest way to make forward progress in your walk with God is to prepare for success. The first step is a commitment to live for Christ, the second step is to get to know Him better. This can be accomplished by setting aside time each day to spend reading the Bible and talking to God about your life. The third step is to get involved in a local church where people love God and want to please Him.