Category Archives: Jeremiah

Joshua 20,21; Acts 1; Jeremiah 10; Matthew 24

“The Lord said to Joshua, “Now tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed Moses.  Anyone who kills another person accidentally and unintentionally can run to one of these cities; they will be places of refuge from relatives seeking revenge for the person who was killed. These cities were set apart for all the Israelites as well as the foreigners among them.”  Joshua 20:1-9 NLT

Where do I find my refuge?

“Not a single one of all the good promises of the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.” Joshua 21:44-45 NLT 

When I get impatient and start to feel weary, this verse gives me renewed hope.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT

I can get complacent and forget that he calls me to be a testimony for him.  At times I just want to go about my day and get my tasks done.  But, this is most often when God will put someone in my path who needs to hear about him.

 “Lord, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full power.  Who would fear you, O King of the nations? The title belongs to you alone! Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like you.”  Jeremiah 10:6&7 NLT

I am thankful that God knows the future and I don’t have to.  I can get so caught up in thinking too far ahead that it causes me to be anxious and fearful. He is sovereign.

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.  Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into.  You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Matthew 24:42-44 NLT

My daughter and I went out to lunch after church this past Sunday.  And my car was broken into. Thankfully we were fine and nothing valuable was stolen. It was more that we were taken off guard.  What a picture it was for me, that I want to live my life in a way that I am not surprised by the Lord’s return.  I want to be ready.

“I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.  We are not able to plan our own course.  So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.  Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.” Jeremiah 10:23&24 NLT

Dear Father, I surrender my life to you again.  Thank you for your love, mercy and patience with me.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit.  I want to be set apart to do your work.  I put my trust in you. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Joshua 8; Psalm 139; Jeremiah 2; Matthew 16

be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:12-13 ESV)

Such a tragedy, and often the truth of our own lives as well.

God offers us living water. We reject it and build our own faulty wells.

God offers protection. We build material fortresses and think them safe.

God exposes our faults to correct us. We think we can run and hide in the darkness.

Do not fear and do not be dismayed. (Joshua 8:1 ESV)

With God, victory is complete. Life is full.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! (Psalm 139:1 ESV)

We don’t need to second guess anything. He completely knows. He completely knows us. He completely knows the future. He completely knows best.

Some of His plans don’t add up in our mental calculations. Peter actually rebuked Jesus in Matthew 16 when he said he had to suffer and be killed. Can you imagine that? Rebuking Jesus. After confessing Him as Christ.

Yes, I can imagine that. My prayers sometimes stray into that territory, “God, do you really know what you are doing here?” “Wouldn’t it be better if . . .?” “Do you really have this under control?”

Then I realize what I am doing. I’m rejecting his living water and trying to build my own cistern that will surely leak and never satisfy my thirst.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)

Father God, laying it all down again. Denying myself. Picking up that cross. Following You. I don’t want to try saving my own life, I leave that in Your capable hands as You already completed that on the cross with Your blood. I want to continue to completely lose myself in you that in doing so I will find life abundant. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

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Jeremiah 32-34; Hebrews 3; Psalm 74

In the midst of heartache, God’s presence can seem distant. His actions (or apparent lack thereof) can confuse our finite minds.

I marvel that one of the most common “favorite” verses that people share today (Jeremiah 29:11) comes just before incredible destruction for Judah. In this passage in Jeremiah we see him still wrestling a bit with the durability of this promise and God steps in again to confirm its truth.

First, let’s look at the highlight reel from these chapters:

Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ (Jeremiah 32:6-7 ESV)

[so, Jeremiah bought it – a seemingly foolish purchase since they were all about to be hauled off into captivity – so Jeremiah has his say with God]

I prayed to the Lord, saying: 17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

[really earth-rattling prayer in verses 18-21, if you skipped over it, go back and worship along with Jeremiah. Even in his worry and doubt — he knows how to worship!]

22 And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them,  23 And they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey your voice or walk in your law. . . Therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them. 24  . . . What you spoke has come to pass, and behold, you see it.

25 Yet you, O Lord God, have said to me, “Buy the field for money and get witnesses”—though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.’” (Jeremiah 32:16-25 ESV – emphasis mine)

27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

42 “For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them. 43 Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’

[it gets better]

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)

in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11 the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness (Jeremiah 33:10,11)

God tells Jeremiah to buy a basically useless piece of land as an awesome picture of His promises. This land will be restored. God’s Word won’t fail. If you every doubt, come to me, the great I AM, and ask and I’ll bring matchless peace and wonder once again.

Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name. (Psalm 74:21)

Life will have trouble. Life-altering, gut-wrenching, incomprehensible trouble. God is still there, still ruling, still waiting patiently for what He knows is the right timing.

Still worthy of our worship.

Resting in Him is not always easy, but it is always right.

Lord God, thank you for holding us all in Your hands. Protecting us in front and behind and never letting go, never straying from your goodness and your promises. You never fail. ~In Jesus Name Amen.

 

Erin (6intow)

 

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Filed under ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Jeremiah, Uncategorized

Jeremiah 28-31; Hebrews 2

I don’t know about you, but I can read a passage of Scripture over and over and over again. And then I read it again and a new truth jumps out at me. That’s what happened when I started getting ready for this passage of 66books. The two verses I focused on are included below:

3 …How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will (Hebrews 2:3&4 [ESV]).

I love studying about spiritual gifts and have led many seminars and classes helping Christ followers understand their gifts. We have all been given at least one spiritual gift when we come to Christ. For many it’s two or three. right in the middle of verse three the writer to the Hebrews writes that one of the ways we know our salvation is sure is the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given us. And He has done it according to His will. He has placed in just the right place and given us just the right gift(s) to use in service to Him and through that experience we know that we are sons and daughters of God the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus His Son. And I have never seen these verses in this light. I must have just read through this passage without seeing this mention of spiritual gifts this way.

So, do you know what spiritual gift(s) you’ve been given by the Holy Spirit? If not, you are not experiencing the sense of the reality of your salvation that you could if you knew what they were and using them in the service of our God. Ask your pastor and do some reading about how one finds out. And then use your gift(s) and steward them as you grow in Christ.

What are your top three spiritual gifts? Mine are 

  1. Teaching
  2. Leadership
  3. Apostleship (starting new ministries and being comfortable in cross cultural situations.

In the comments section share yours with us all.

Lots more to share, but we’ll leave that for another day or year;-)

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Filed under 66 Books, Hebrews, Jeremiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Jeremiah 21, 24, 27

I have thought of God as my lucky charm a few times in my life. It was no surprise for me to see King Zedekiah turning in his chips to claim the lucky charm from God when the Babylonians were approaching.

“Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar[a] king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.” – Jeremiah 21:2  ESV

While it did not work for King Zedekiah, and unfortunately, his sin made the people of Israel suffer, God made a promise and it is a promise that I have taken for myself.  My key promise of them all – God’s eyes will be on me and so His favour also.

I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. – Jeremiah 24:6-7  ESV

Today, I read that a promise is an obedience to the instructions that God gives. In this case He is telling King Zedekiah to humble himself and take the yoke of the Babylonians for that is the only way the people of Israel will be able to stay and keep the land that God had given them. So the promise was – take the yoke and live.

But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand. – Jeremiah 27:8  ESV

At times I am called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and when I do, God will walk with me – that is a promise I can live with.

Father, I thank You that Your eyes are on me with favour. I thank You that You have a purpose for my life. As I walk this life, I can count on Your promise to walk with me always. I love that You have given promises that You have always kept. Thank you.

Erwin (evanlaar)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, Old Testament, Uncategorized