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Daily Devotionals

January 31, 2019: Here Ends the Judgment

 

Jeremiah 48:46-47 (NIV)
46  Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh are destroyed; your sons are taken into exile and your daughters into captivity.
47  “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the LORD. Here ends the judgment on Moab.

 

Moab was an enemy of God’s people.  They were constantly a thorn in Israel’s side.  They lived to make life difficult for God’s people.  They were a formidable nation that thought much of themselves.  That is until the day of God’s judgment fell.

No one in the land of Moab was boasting in that day.  Everyone was running looking for any sort of cover to hide from the onslaught of God’s terrible judgment.  With judgment falling all around her, surely the people understood what was happening.  They saw their sin for what it really was, rebellion against the only God of the universe and now they had to face the consequence of their rebellion, the certain judgment of God that could no longer be avoided.

Many who read of these judgments in Jeremiah accuse God of being harsh and uncaring but they never read far enough.  As it is with most people, whenever they encounter news of God’s judgment, they turn and run, accusing God of being unfair or unjust.  They never stay around long enough to hear the end of the story.

Listen now to the end of the story of the judgment that fell on Moab.  “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the Lord.

God always has his best in mind for those who follow him all the way to the end.  Stay on target, follow Him.

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Daily Devotionals

January 28, 2019: God’s Discipline is for our Best.

Jeremiah 40:9-10 (NIV)
9  Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve the Babylonians,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.
10  I myself will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit and oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in the towns you have taken over.”

Hebrews 12:7-11 (NIV)
7  Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
8  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
9  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
10  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.
11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Afraid to repent or confess your sin?  Fear God’s discipline as something too hard to handle?  Fear no more.  Consider what God promises the people of Judah.  If they submitted to his chastisement they would not only live, but they would prosper.  If they refused his discipline, they would die horrible deaths at the hands of wicked nations.  They would lose their families and friends.

Take note what was happening when Jeremiah was preaching the coming judgment.  They were running out of food and water.  Their children were starving and disease was rampant in their cities.  Fear of torture and sickness was all around.

Now take note of what God promises them if they surrendered to the Babylonians.  God told them it would go well with them; they would have plenty of wine and oil.  They would live in well-built homes and houses.  They would have a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Do you see it yet Church?  God’s plan in our repentance and surrender is to give us what is best and to remove from us what is stealing our joy and life.  No longer fear his discipline for it is through his discipline that we are delivered from our sin that so easily entangles us.

Is God correcting you right now of something you need to confess or repent?  Go ahead, confess to Him, and submit to whatever his discipline will be, he promises to lead you out of your darkness into joy and peace.

Church, it is time to come into the light and see how much our God cares for us.  See you in the land of chastisement for our good.

 

 

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Daily Devotionals

January 30, 2019: The Temptation of Baruch

 

Jeremiah 45:1-5 (NIV)
1  This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating:
2  “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch:
3  You said, ‘Woe to me! The LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'”
4  [The LORD said,] “Say this to him: ‘This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land.
5  Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'”

 

Baruch had been Jeremiah’s faithful friend for many years.  He watched, as the people of God grew worse with each message Jeremiah delivered.  Jeremiah’s preaching seemed to cause the people to rebel against God even more.  I wonder if he thought that it was only making matters worse for Jeremiah to keep preaching.  I wonder if thoughts entered his mind that all this preaching stuff was only causing more hardship and difficulty.

Perhaps Baruch had this thought enter his mind, “If I only join the false prophets and stop telling the people so much judgment I could really make a name for myself.  I might even be well liked and prosper.”

The God of Baruch knew what thoughts were entering his mind.  He knew the temptations that were causing him such doubt.  Consider what God does to protect Jeremiah’s faithful friend.  He speaks to Jeremiah and gives Jeremiah the exact word to tell Baruch.

List carefully to these words to Baruch from God, they may be words for you today.

Baruch, this world is to be destroyed along with everything in it.  Everything you see with your eyes will be ruined.  Everything you once found pleasure in will soon be turned to dust.  This land is not your eternal home it is going to be destroyed because of the sin of my people.

I know you are considering giving up this life of pursuing me because you think it too costly.  I know you have entertained thoughts of leaving the road of faith that your friend Jeremiah is on but I want to tell you something I have planned for you.

“Do not let the things of this world cause you to give up following me.  Do not seek after the favor of men or the pleasure of things they will only lead you to lose your life.  If you remain on the path of your friend Jeremiah, I will lead you to find life wherever you go.  I am for you not against you Baruch.  Trust me and watch me lead you to a life you have no idea of yet.”

Do you feel like Baruch?  I have on many days.  My word to you today is do not trust in thoughts that cause you to doubt God’s goodness, he really will lead you to life and joy.  Listen to the words Jeremiah to Baruch again.  They are for your life.

 

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Daily Devotionals

January 29, 2019: Trading the Eternal for the Temporary?

 

Jeremiah 44:15-18 (NIV)
15  Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present–a large assembly–and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah,
16  “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD!
17  We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.
18  But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”

Hebrews 11:24-26 (NIV)
24  By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
25  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
26  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

Those who refuse to submit to God’s discipline will never be good at real math.  They esteem he pleasures of this world far too much and the pleasures of being with God far too little.  Consider their equation.

The pleasures of this world are greater than the pleasures of God.  They could not see that The Pleasures of this world do not equal the pleasures of God.

Moses saw it correctly, when he esteemed the Disgrace of Christ as much greater value than all the treasures of Egypt.

Once again the Word of God show us how to math correctly.  There are many in our world who are great at performing all the right calculations and equations they learned in math class but they lack the ability to perform to right calculations when it comes to obedience to God.

I leave you with one question to consider, “How is your math?”

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Weekly Messages

A Journey Toward Knowing God part 2

A Journey Toward Knowing God

Jeremiah part 2

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Daily Devotionals

January 25, 2019: Safety in being Completely poor

 

Jeremiah 39:8-10 (NIV)
8  The Babylonians set fire to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.
9  Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him, and the rest of the people.
10  But Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people, who owned nothing; and at that time he gave them vineyards and fields.

No army could stand up to the Babylonian armies.  They ran over every opponent they faced.  Children, wives, and young men were slaughtered if they opposed them.  No one was safe.  No one that is except the poor and the destitute.

Can we learn anything from this passage for our lives this morning?  Absolutely, if you want to survive the confrontation with any army more numerous and stronger than you surrender completely and take the vow of poverty spiritually and you just may find yourself living in the land when everyone else is taken into captivity.

Did our Lord not tell us that it would be the meek, the spiritually poor that would inherit the earth?

If we live as poor men, we will truly possess the world.

Getting rid of stuff so I can be truly poor for the sake of the kingdom.

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Daily Devotionals

January 24, 2019: Obey the Lord and Submit to the Babylonians.

Jeremiah 38:20-21 (NIV)
20  “They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared.
21  But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has revealed to me:

When you are up against an army that outnumbers you and is far stronger than you are how shall you survive this encounter?  There is only one option when you are up against an army stronger and more numerous than you if you want to live, Surrender!  Complete and total surrender if you want to live.

The option of surrender is with us when we find ourselves convicted by the Spirit of God of the sheer volume of our sins against our holy and loving God.  How shall we fare if we neglect so great a salvation?

King Zedekiah had the clear word from God through Jeremiah, “Surrender!’

This was not in the liking of Zedekiah, so he attempted to escape under the cover of darkness and was discovered.  Because of his unwillingness to surrender, he lost his children and wife to a very severe judgment form God, all because he refused to surrender.

Are there places in your life that you need to surrender to God today?  Take a note from King Zedekiah, Total surrender is the best option.

Laying down my weapons of rebellion and surrendering to God as completely as I know how.

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Daily Devotionals

January 23, 2019: Preaching the Gospel to Generations yet unborn

 

Jeremiah 35:18-19 (NIV)
18  Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recabites, “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’
19  Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.'”

 

We know very little of Jonadab and his life but what we do know is quite convicting.  It was over 250 years before Jeremiah called the sons of Jonadab of the Recabites to come to see him.  The account tells us that over 250 years ago Jonadab, their great, great great great great great great grandfather had commanded his family line never to drink wine or live in houses.  They had all agreed to the terms their father had handed down.

For the next 250 years, no one in the family line of Jonadab ever tasted wine or lived in a house.  Jeremiah, the prophet of God, calls them to his house and sets wine before them and tells them to drink.  It must be ok to drink if a prophet of God tells you it is ok.  However, the sons of Jonadab refuse politely to drink.  When questioned their response was, “Our father, Jonadab told us to never drink wine or live in houses and to this day we have kept his word.”

Impressive don’t you think?  So what is the message for us from this historical account?  If the children of an earthly father, who was not a very good one at that when we read of his life in II Kings, was obeyed for over 250 years then why do the children of God find it so difficult to keep His Word even for a moment?

I wonder if your commitment to God could be compared to the sons of Jonadab.  They were faithful to their earthly father, are you faithful in like manner to your heavenly Father?

 

God make us like the sons of Jonadab, the Recabite.

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Daily Devotionals

January 22, 2019: God Reveals His Plan to Daniel

 

Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV)
10  This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.
11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
14  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Daniel 9:1-3 (NIV)
1  In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom–
2  in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
3  So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

 

Just how did the Word of God affect Daniel in his every day life?  Take the above passages as evidence.  It was Daniel’s habit to read and meditate on the Scriptures every day his entire life.  One morning he wakes up, opens the Old Testament reading, and begins to pray over the passage and consider what it is that God might have him do this day.

 

As he is reading the prophet Jeremiah, he reads that the captivity is only going to last seventy years and then the Jews will go returning home to Jerusalem.  He may have begun to write something in his daily journal about his observations from the reading that morning or something to that effect.  As he was reading and meditating, he began to think of this specific promise of God.  Captivity will last only seventy years.  Let us listen in on what Daniel might have been thinking.

“Seventy years?  How long has it been since we left Jerusalem?  Let me think here for a moment.  We left in 586 BC and it is now 517 BC.  Wait a minute, wait a minute!  That means this is year sixty nine of seventy years.”

Daniel begins to compute the dates and considers carefully what exactly this reading means to the Jewish nation in 517 BC.  Then it suddenly dawns on him.

“Hey, wait just a minute that means in less than a year we are going to be returning to our homeland.  I know this is true because this is what God promised, so there is a lot of work to be done to get our nation ready to return home.”

He knew what must happen first so we read in Daniel Chapter Nine the steps he begins to take to ready the nation for her trip home.

Dear Church, this is what happens when you invest in time reading and meditating on the Word of God.  God will enlighten you when you most need it and from His Word on the page you will hear his voice speak to you as to what you are to do.

God longs to commune with you so take some time today to get alone with Him and let him speak his word to your life.

I have some good news for you today; it will not be long until we are going to go home to our eternal city.  Let us go about our day knowing this is true, soon we will be going home.

Packing my bags getting ready to go home.

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Daily Devotionals

January 21, 2019: When is it past hope?

 

 

 

Lamentations 5:21-22 (NIV)
21  Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old
22  unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.

 

Do you find yourself asking, “God, have you rejected us forever?”  Do you wonder if perhaps this nation or you have gone past the point of no return?  How can you know if you have passed the point of no return?

If you have any longing to know God, if you have any concern for his glory, if you desire to submit to his rule and reign in your life, then I have great news for you, there is yet hope.

Those who do not belong to God have no longing for God because they are spiritually dead towards God.  They would have no feeling of regret or remorse over their sins because they have not the Spirit of Christ in them who works to purify and rid God’s people of their love for sin.

If you sense any longing for God, any desire to repent and return to Christ so that you might love him cheer up he is yet holding out his hands to you longing for you to return to him.

“How shall you return?” you ask.  The answer as always is right there in Scripture.  Cry out to God for him to turn your heart to him.  Even though you belong to God without His Spirit, empowering you to turn to him you will find you do to possess that ability.  Why not ask God like Jeremiah did, “Restore us to yourself, O LORD that we may return.”

God wants to bring you back home to himself, why not let him right now.  GO ahead and tell him you want to come home.  He cares not how far you are away he can bring you all the way back to himself again.

Time to come home to Jesus, Church.  I am in for the ride, how about you?