Monthly Archives: September 2019

Jeremiah 17-18; 2 Timothy 4; Psalm 96

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come. . .

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear . . . and is not anxious.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?
10 “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.” ~Jeremiah 17:5-10 (excerpts ESV)

God alone knows the truth of the state of our hearts. Even we can fool ourselves sometimes. We can rationalize, ignore, or compare away our sins.

God knows us to the core of our beings and promises to be a righteous judge over us.

Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1 ESV)

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
    . . .
    he will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the Lord, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness. (excerpts from Psalm 96:10-13 ESV)

Our response? (peppered throughout 2 Timothy 4 and Psalm 96):

  • Rejoice (along with the whole earth) that justice will ultimately prevail
  • Fear and tremble
  • Worship his glory and strength
  • Sing to the Lord
  • Preach the Word
  • Reprove, rebuke, exhort
  • Be sober-minded
  • Endure
  • Evangelize
  • Fight the good fight
  • Finish
  • Keep the faith
  • Hope

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)

We can rejoice and rest in the truth that God’s just, righteous judgement is coming. And, while we wait we should keep busy. Not usurping His role as judge, but rather being busy about His work for us – worship and preaching with every action and word that we choose.

Jehovah Mekoddishkem, the God who sanctifies (Exodus 31:13), is ready to change our hearts and grow our faith.

Father God, thank you for your perfecting love. Chase lethargy far from my spiritual life and replace it with undying fervency for You. May Your love and holiness overflow in my daily walk. Trusting Your judgement and timing on the hard days as well. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

 

 

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Jeremiah 13-16; 2 Timothy 3

We are going to have trouble in this life.  That is a given.  Why do I automatically forget that when I am having a bad day?

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12 ESV)

Daily this world becomes more and more dark.  All that is good is called evil and all that is evil is called good.  Just watching the news makes me emotionally distraught.

“while evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13 ESV)

But I need to fill my mind with what I know to be true and not let myself become filled with fear and anxiety.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:14 ESV)

I need to hold fast to what I know to be true from the Word and remember how He saved me.

“and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3: 15 ESV)

As a parent, I teach my children with scripture.  It is my job to train them up in the way they should go.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Then the next generation will be prepared for even darker times that are sure to come.

“that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17 ESV)

Yet still my prayer is, “Come Lord Jesus!”  Amen.

~Kellie

 

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Jeremiah 9-12; 2 Timothy 2

New routines, new seasons, new challenges. A dear friend’s words to her child reach out from the years to encourage me now–to keep focused on the goal.

“If racing against mere men makes you tired,
    how will you race against horses?
If you stumble and fall on open ground,
    what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5, NLT)

Remember the why.

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things (2 Timothy 2:3-7, NLT).

Focus. Obedience. (Diligence, reward.)

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. 17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus … 19 But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,”[b] and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”[c] (2 Timothy 2:15-17, 19, NLT)

I think long on purpose and Kingdom focus. Sideline skirmishes try to take my focus off the goal, words maim and discourage, and some obstacles seem like impenetrable blocks.

He reinforces, “Don’t give up.” Oh, if I stumble on the open ground, how will I ever traverse the thicket? He has spoken purpose in my heart and over my life.

21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21, NLT).

He points the way, in the distraction and in the storm.

Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants (2 Timothy 2: 22b-26, NLT).

Lord, I lean on you for understanding. You are loving and wise and generous. You gently turn my focus and remind me: don’t forget the why.

Courtney (66books365)

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Jeremiah 5-8; 2 Timothy 1

Do I blush, did I blush, do I still know how to blush when I think of some of my actions and choices that I make in my walk with God? I pray that I will be sensitive to the things of God and that I can still blush.

Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
says the Lord. – Jeremiah 6:15  ESV

One of the healthiest ways I have found to speak words of strength and life into another follower of Christ is following the way Paul writes with affection to those like Timothy. He uses words like “beloved” and another translation says, “my true child in the faith” and to use words of blessings that include words like “grace, mercy and peace.”

To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. – 2 Timothy 1:1  ESV

I am not too sure if  Phygelus and Hermogenes are blushing for leaving the faith but there are some strong words of encouragement and blessing to Onesiphorus.

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,  but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. 2 Timothy 1:16-18  ESV

What a prayer of blessing – one that I have been trying to practice in my prayer life.

When I think of how easy it is for some to walk away from God, even with all of the encouragement and blessing that surrounds them, I am convinced that loyalty is at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

 Father, I am amazed with the strength that You speak to me through a prophet like Jeremiah and at the same time amazed with the grace, mercy and peace You also speak to me through an apostle giving pastoral encouragement to someone like Timothy. Words matter and sometimes I forget that. In fact, when I think of the moments I am faltering in my walk with You, most of the time it seems I have walked away from Your Word. Teach me how to give words of wisdom and teach me how to be pastoral and to know the right time to use these words when I am with someone. May I be sensitive, myself, to Your words to me. May I find myself blushing when You call me out with the sin that is in my life and may I be quick in asking Your forgiveness so that I may be strong and loyal in my walk with You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

 

 

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Jeremiah 1-4; 1 Timothy 6

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.  Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.  And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.  I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow.  Others you must build up and plant.” Jeremiah 1:5-10 NLT

Fully known, set apart. How much different would I live if I fully comprehended that? Jeremiah struggled to believe it, even after the Lord spoke it to him. He questioned and doubted his influence because of his young age.  What excuses am I making when God has asked me to do something? “I can’t because…” This is exactly where Satan would want me. To live in defeat. When God has called me to live in faith.

“Get up and prepare for action.  Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say.  Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.  For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall.  You will stand against the whole land- the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah.  They will fight you, but they will fail.  For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Jeremiah 1:17-19 NLT

It’s hard to get ready if I don’t see a storm coming. My family is going through a storm right now that seemed to hit us out of nowhere. When I find myself being battle weary, I can rest that God knew it was coming. He was preparing me in ways that I didn’t even know.  He provides every step of the way, I just need to look to him.

Fight the good fight for the true faith.  Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12 NLT

Dear Father, thank you for your faithfulness.  For your goodness. Thank you that you go before me.  And that nothing I go through will ever be wasted. That you will use it for your glory. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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