Monthly Archives: August 2022

Jeremiah 31:21-33:26 

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. He stood alone against the people of Judah. The destruction of Jerusalem was so absolute that I’ve heard some teachers liken it to the fire bombing of Dresden. Not one stone left on top of another.

However in the midst of all this destruction a glimmer of light shines through. We read this in 31:31-34:

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.

“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

There is coming a time when a new covenant would be made between God and His people and all people on earth. It would be a spiritual kingdom, one that is in our hearts and not on tablets of stone. When Jesus came and lived a perfect life, died for us, was resurrected and then ascended this promise was fulfilled.

Are you still hanging on to the old ineffective things of this world? Are you trying to live a live by the rules instead of by grace. Put your trust in Jesus the author of that New Covenant and see how your life changes. His promised was kept and it’s for you today.

Father God please help us to cling to your New Covenant today. Not the old of the past. May we trust you for the future and for eternity. We pray these things in the promise keeping name of Jesus, amen.

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Jeremiah 28:1-31:20

So do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel,” says the Lord. “For I will bring you home again from distant lands, and your children will return from their exile. Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet, and no one will terrorize them. For I am with you and will save you,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 30:10&11 NLT

In their bondage, God asked the Israelites to seek Him wholeheartedly. And He promised to listen to their prayers. Lord, help me not to give into fear. Give me the faith to rise above my circumstances. Help me to remember that You are with me.

This is what the Lord says: “When I bring Israel home again from captivity and restore their fortunes, Jerusalem will be rebuilt on its ruins, and the palace reconstructed as before. There will be joy and songs of thanksgiving, and I will multiply my people, not diminish them; I will honor them, not despise them.” Jeremiah 30:18-19 NLT

What am I allowing to hold me captive that I need to ask the Lord to free me from? Fear, worry…it can be a daily surrender to give those back to the Lord.

“Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines.” Jeremiah 31:3-4 NLT

Dear Father, I am holding onto Your promises. Forgive me when I turn to other things. I can be so forgetful. I trust in You. I am grateful for Your promise to restore. You are good. Your goodness pursues me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Jeremiah 25-27

“Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word.  Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way.  Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.” (26:2b-3)

Grace.  Mercy.  Those probably aren’t the first words that come to your mind when you think of the Hebrew prophets.  Reading about God’s wrath and impending judgment, it’s easy to see God as a heavy-handed judge who is eager to apply the full measure of the law.

But then you run across passages like this.  “Perhaps they will listen,” God says to Jeremiah, so face the angry crowd that wants to kill you, stand up to the false prophets, deliver my message to the people.  It just might be that those that hear you will repent and turn from evil and “then I will relent.”  God is waiting patiently, giving them every chance to repent, because he wants to be merciful, he wants to pour out his grace on his people and not give them the judgment they deserve.

I struggle with grace, particularly when it is applied to others.  God, why do you not punish those that do evil?   They’ve done some really terrible things – how can you overlook that?  I want to be the heavy-handed judge that gets to rain down fire from heaven.  Of course, I struggle less when the grace is applied to me.  I’m happy to receive God’s grace and forgiveness as I come to Him again, confessing a sin that’s plagued me over and over.

I was talking to a friend recently about ways to model God’s grace to our kids.  My friend took the hard line:  “they’ll see God’s grace in your love as you discipline them and teach them.”  Perhaps he’s right, but there’s this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that I’d be in trouble if God took the same approach with me.  When God lavishes his grace on me, others that are watching might call it “permissive,” but I call it “amazing.”

Thank you, Father, for your amazing grace.  I am so undeserving of your love, yet you pour out your mercy and forgiveness on me, and you’ve given me a purpose and a hope that goes beyond anything in this world.  Help me to be a conduit of your grace to others; help me to reflect in my words and actions the grace that I have received, and help me to lavish that grace on others in a way that points them to you.

Steve (wordisalive)

From the archives. Originally published August 21, 2009.

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Jeremiah 21-24

Sometimes I stop and reflect on how my life was without God.  I think I was protected by my mother’s prayers for me.  But the people of Israel and Judah weren’t so fortunate.  Their ancestors had turned their back on God.  They did not have divine protection like I did.  I may not have been doing the same things that the Israelites were doing, but I was still doing wrong, and the potential for disaster was still there.  But God!

Sure, they heard of God, sure they heard the stories, but, that was all that they were to them, stories.  I know a couple of girls from a different religion that think the Bible is like a history book, it doesn’t apply to them, only to the people of that day.  How sad!  The scriptures say the Bible is alive and active, sharper than any two- edged sword. Does that sound like a history book?? I can attest that the spirit lives in the word, and it is living and breathing life into anyone who will give it a chance.

King Zedekiah must have heard the stories of how God protected his people in battle, so he thought ‘why not try?’ But God sees the motives behind the words and replied through Jeremiah:

This is the God of Israel’s message to you:  You can say goodbye to your army, watch morale and weapons flushed down the drain.  I’m going to personally lead the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans, against whom you’re fighting so hard, right into the city itself.  I’m joining their side and fighting against you, fighting all-out, holding nothing back.  (Jeremiah 21:4-5 The Message)

Listen carefully, I’m giving you a choice: life or death.  Whoever stays in the city will die—either in battle or by starvation or disease.  But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who have surrounded the city will live.  You’ll lose everything—but not your life. I’m determined to see this city destroyed.  I’m that angry with this place! God’s decree. I’m going to give it to the king of Babylon, and he’s going to burn it to the ground. (Jeremiah 21:8-10 The Message)

Sometimes I get arrogant, and think I am in control and succeeding.  I am sure that the king probably thought that too.  I’m an Israelite! (I am a Christian!) God is for me and not against me. But God’s favor depends on my heart and my actions, it is not automatic.  Sometimes it is grace, but not always. There is a limit on when, how much, and how often.

Sometimes when God is for me, it may look like He is against me.  He told the people if you want to live, then you have to lose everything and let the Chaldeans capture you. 

The exiles from here that I’ve sent off to the land of the Babylonians are like the good figs, and I’ll make sure they get good treatment.  I’ll keep my eye on them so that their lives are good, and I’ll bring them back to this land.  I’ll build them up, not tear them down.  I’ll plant them, not uproot them. (Jeremiah 24:4-7 The Message)

That is what Jesus says too. Give up your life and follow me. If I let Jesus capture me, I am sure the same applies–He’ll keep His eye on me, He’ll build me up and plant me in fertile ground. But I have my part to do.  I need to be sure I don’t lead any people away from God because of my actions or my words.  I need to make sure I don’t make stuff up so it sounds good, or say ‘everything will turn out good,’ when I do not know if it will or not.  

“Instead of claiming to know what God says, ask questions of one another, such as “How do we understand God in this?” But don’t go around pretending to know it all, saying God told me this…God told me that…I don’t want to hear it anymore.  Only the person I authorize speaks for me. Otherwise, my message gets twisted, the Message of the Living God-Of-The-Angel-Armies. (Jeremiah 23:35-36 MSG)

Quit the “God told me this…God told me that…kind of talk.  (Jeremiah 23:38 MSG)

O land, land, land, listen to God’s Message! (Jeremiah 22:29 MSG)

God is definitely for me, but I have to be for Him too! That is the most important part!

“Am I not a God near at hand” -God’s Decree (says the Lord)— “and not a God far off? Can anyone hide out in a corner where I can’t see him?”  God’s Decree.  “Am I not present everywhere, whether seen or unseen?”  God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 23: 23-24 MSG)

It is God’s desire to be alive and active in my life.  With Him, I can do anything, without Him, I struggle through each day, whether I realize it or not.  I am only my best when I am walking hand in hand with my God. And God is delighted to be near to those who desire to live in His promises to His people.

Another one of His promises:

“Time’s coming”—God’s Decree—“When I’ll establish a truly righteous David-Branch, A ruler who knows how to rule justly, He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.  In His time Judah will be secure again and Israel will live in safety.  This is the name they’ll give Him: ‘God-Who-Puts-Everything-Right.’ (The Lord is our Righteousness) (Jeremiah 23:5-6 MSG)

Doesn’t that sound like heaven? I sure would like to see unity, justice and safety where I live.

Father God, I praise your name.  I thank You for Your word that teaches me how to live, and how not to live.  If I abide in You, You will help me through this world each step of the way.  You are faithful and true.  I can trust You and Your word to carry me into eternity.  You are so worthy of all praise and honor! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Jeremiah 16:10-20:18 

I am not a black and white kind of guy. I have felt that being moldable has far to many advantages and that kind of lands me in the gray. I have found myself staying away from famous verses in my daily readings and today, I think I hit most of them. Not only that, I have been taught a valuable lesson.

God told Jeremiah, “Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.”

So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot. – Jeremiah 18:1-4 MSG

It all starts here, at this very famous rendering of a potter’s house.

First thought – living a life of honour is not about living a perfect life. Living a life of honour means I am living in a way that lets Jesus break off the old life so He can make me into a new vessel with renewed purpose and a greater capacity to do what He has called me to do.

Lesson learned – Jesus does not define me by my brokenness. Jesus sees my full potential to honour God and serve others. Somewhere, right in the middle is a process called sanctification and it is here that I need to be moldable. Why am I still holding on to areas of my life that I do not want Him to change or shape? I can think of quite a few areas where He has molded me. I do find freedom in all of them. What is up with me holding back?

God said to me, “Go, buy a clay pot. Then get a few leaders from the people and a few of the leading priests and go out to the Valley of Ben-hinnom, just outside the Potsherd Gate, and preach there what I tell you. – Jeremiah 19:1-2 MSG

Jeremiah amazes me. He is a nobody, in fact, he is weird by any definition. Yet, he has the honour and authority to invite key leadership to meet him in a valley, outside the city and hear what he has to say – that is impressive to see God honouring His servant – Jeremiah is a least an equal to these individuals.

Father, I have heard so many sermons on who you are as a potter. I love how many try and capture Your essence in this job and I am sure, even as I am today, that we never quite get all of it. I am thankful for how You reveal Yourself and thank You for what You have shared with me today.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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