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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ongoing Dialogue

Remember that most of the book of Jeremiah is a dialogue. It is mostly between the prophet and God. Today we will continue to listen in on this conversation in Jeremiah 14:1-16. In this chapter Judah is suffering a judgment in the form of a great drought. They have not seen rain in a long time. This judgment began in the latter end of Josiah’s reign, and continued in the beginning of Jehoiakim’s.

We see 3 things in this dialogue:

A calamity (verses 1-6) The people were in tears, but it was more for the trouble they were experiencing (the drought) than of their sin. Always be thankful for the blessing of water than to be taught to value it by the loss of it. The people will not pray, but the prophet prays for them. Sin is humbly confessed. Prayers may ask for forgiveness because of the glory of Jesus’ name. We are to show ourselves more concerned for God's glory than for our own comfort. If we return to the Lord, he will save us to the glory of his grace. This is part of that vertical relationship that He desires
A confession (verses 7-9) A prayer to God to put an end to this calamity and to return in mercy to their land, Jer. 14:7-9.
We know we’re guilty. We’ve lived bad lives—but do something, God. Do it for your sake! Time and time again we’ve betrayed you. No doubt about it—we’ve sinned against you. Hope of Israel! Our only hope! Israel’s last chance in this trouble! Why are you acting like a tourist, taking in the sights, here today and gone tomorrow? Why do you just stand there and stare, like someone who doesn’t know what to do in a crisis? But God, you are, in fact, here, here with us! You know who we are—you named us! Don’t leave us in the lurch. - Message
A Condemnation (verses 10-16) The Lord calls the Jews "this people," not "his people." They had forsaken his service, therefore he would punish them according to their sins. He forbid Jeremiah to plead for them any longer. The Lord pronounces condemnation on false prophets; and the people who followed them. False teachers encourage men to expect peace and salvation, without repentance, faith, conversion, and holiness of life. But those who believe a lie cannot plead it for an excuse. Ignorance of the law is never a valid excuse. They will feel what they say they will not fear.
Be wise today and always - keep talking and listening to God.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Standing on the Promises of God

In today's world when we think of promises we think of "broken promises". We immediately flash back to a hurt when someone let us down, lied to us, or abandoned us. We can be assured that God keeps His promises! A great hymn of the faith reminds us in, Standing on the Promises by R. Kelso Carter, 1849-1926

1. Standing on the promises of Christ my King, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God.

 2. Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God.  

3. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by love's strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword, standing on the promises of God.

 4. Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit's call,
 resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God.

Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of Christ my Savior; standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God.
 
Be wise today and always - stand on the Rock of Christ the true foundation.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Calling Sin...Sin

Studying the Bible can be a lot like looking at the news and world around us. In our study of Jeremiah we have seen many instances of Judah breaking their covenant with God.
  • Trusting in self more than God
  • Unnatural sexual relations
  • Making gods out of your own creation
  • Children hating their parents
  • Sexual perversion
  • Being envious and coveting other people’s stuff
  • Truth called lies and lies called truth
  • Murder of children for the sake of convenience and outside pressure
  • Redefining God’s plan for humanity

Sounds a lot like our culture today doesn’t it? The good news is that even in the midst of all of this rejection of God’s Word and His desire for our lives He still stands true to His promises and covenant with us. It’s not about public opinion, personal feelings, or government legislation.  It’s about standing firm on God’s Truth and Jesus Christ’s covenant in His blood that last forever and fever. Amen?

Be wise today and always – don’t follow the crowd - follow the Christ.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Covenant Prayers

Have you ever felt that you had no one to talk to? Or maybe your prayers were bouncing off the ceiling? Today let's look Jeremiah’s Prayer in chapter 10:23-25.

23 I know, God, that mere mortals can't run their own lives, That men and women don't have what it takes to take charge of life. 24 So correct us, God, as you see best. Don't lose your temper. That would be the end of us. 25 Vent your anger on the godless nations, who refuse to acknowledge you, And on the people who won't pray to you - The very ones who've made hash out of Jacob, yes, made hash And devoured him whole, people and pastures alike. (The Message)

What did Jeremiah pray? How would you have prayed?

Jeremiah turns to God in prayer because he has no where else to go and no one who will listen.

When do we feel like this? What choice do we need to make?

Let’s break down these three verses:

Read Verse 23 - The prophet acknowledges God’s sovereignty over the entire world. Nothing happens out of our own will and wisdom that He doesn’t allow. The affairs of all mankind are directed and determined. How can we apply this truth to our lives?
Read Verse 24 - He prays that God’s divine wrath might not fall upon Israel. We cannot pray in faith that we may never be corrected. We need correction and deserve it. We are also shown much mercy, love, patience, and grace. Our prayer should be that we would never have to endure the anger of God. What is the difference between God’s correction and anger?

Read Verse 25 - This prayer is taken from Psalm 79:6-7, Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name; for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland.
Jeremiah asks God to pour out His anger on the godless nations, those that oppress and persecute Israel. It is an appeal to his justice. It is a prediction of God’s judgments upon all the enemies of his church and kingdom. 1 Peter 4:17 says; For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

What steps do we need to take as individuals, families, churches, and as a country to stay in covenant in God?

What is our responsibility to those who do not know Him?
Be wise today and always - pray to be faithful to God's Promises.
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blessed Trust

In our study of Jeremiah we see time and time again the people turning their backs to God. All the while they should have burning their faces towards their God. That's where our help comes from - look up!

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. - David Psalm 40:1-5

What do you need to trust the Lord in today?

Be wise today and always - look up not right or left.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Living God

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we enter in to a covenant relationship with God. This covenant with Him is sealed by Christ’s blood and sacrifice on the cross. We are redeemed from our sins, and put in to a right relationship with the Lord. The Bible says that we are now adopted as children of God. For all eternity, and the present, we will share in the same inheritance with God's Son, with certain rights and responsibilities.
 
But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. - Jeremiah 10:10

We receive many blessing through Christ:

1. We are sanctified through Christ.
We see in Acts 26:18 that Christ died on the cross
 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
2. We are part of a new covenant through Christ.
In Hebrews  9:14-16, we are told; 
 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.  In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it.
3. We are to receive an inheritance through Christ.
Paul explains our covenant relationship in Ephesians 1:3-14:
 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,  he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,  to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.  In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,  in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Be wise today and always - accept God's blessings.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Covenant

Israel was God’s chosen people. He had entered in to a covenant with them starting with Abraham.  In Jeremiah 10:1-16, God’s prophet pleads with his people to listen to message that God is sending them. Their covenant has been broken. God is showing them the difference between their pretend gods and the only true God.

The False Gods (vv. 1-5) – idols made of wood are good for nothing accept burning.

The Conspiracy (vv.6-9) – the world tells you of “other gods”, and your mind becomes polluted.

The Real Thing (v. 10) the true, living, eternal God cannot be compared to any other

The Stick Gods (vv. 11-15) – are frauds and after the fire they will be nothing but ashes.

The Lord Almighty is His Name (v. 16) – The Portion of Jacob is a name for God representing His power, promises, and purposes for Israel and all mankind.

You can define this covenant process that God desires as an oath, agreement, or vow to do something as promised. It is a solemn, formal declaration to fulfill a pledge.

Be wise today and always - remember God always keeps His end of any promise. Do you?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Listen Up - Wise Up

The people in Jeremiah's time had a problem with staying connected with God. This led to their misery and downfall. Remember these five words: recognize, stop, move, listen, and respond. These actions can help you in your relationship with people but more importantly with God. This comes from my own personal experience. Picture this; I am watching tv by myself in another room of my house and I hear my eife say something. I know she is saying something to me but don't have a clue what she said.

 I have three choices: 1. Ignore 2. Answer "Yes" and hope It will come to me later what she wants! Both of these actions are unacceptable. Consider #3. I need to Recognize she is trying to communicate something to me. I must Stop what I am doing and give her my attention. If I Move to where she is at it will create clarity for my understanding. When I am in her presence I can Listen to what she is saying, so I may Respond in the correct way. That will help make a happy wife - happy life!

If we use these same steps we will enhance our relationship with God, and will be able to know His desire for our lives.

Be wise today and always - take steps to know God better.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Are You Looking At?

The people of Jeremiah's day just like ours made a lot of bad choices. One of the worse choices we make is when we decide to point out someone else's sin. We can see a practical application of Godly choosing principles from Jesus’ teachings as found in Matthew 7:1-5

1. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

The ramification and practical application of these verses are life changing. We are not to judge others unless we are prepared to be measured likewise. We must stop obsessing on other people’s sin and things in our minds that are not right. We usually approach someone who has offended us with “righteous” indignation where in fact we should be looking in the mirror at ourselves! If we follow the logic in Jesus’ words we should attend to our own shortcomings and sins. Once we have sufficiently asked for and received forgiveness then we can help someone with theirs. When we follow this wisdom then we will deal with each other with more love, care, grace, and mercy. The outcome will not only make for a better solution to the problem, but will also be more beneficial to both parties for eternity.

Be wise today and always - keep your foot out of your mouth and the plank out of your eye!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Generation the Seeks

God provides us with all we need to serve and glorify Him with our lives. Instead of pointing fingers at others may we step up and be the generation of believers He desires. 
 
Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar, but they cannot cross it. - Jeremiah 5:22
 
 
Establish a Godly foundation and direction. The road to the future runs through the present.
 
 
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
 They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.
 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob. - David

 
 
Be wise today and always - be sold out for God.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Taking Your Medicine

Today finishes up the Recovery and Health part of our study. We live in a fallen world caused by sin.  Jeremiah six and eight shows us the state of Judah's self imposed spiritual disabilities.

In some ways we are all disabled: We are...

(Blind) Spirtually BlindMatthew 23:16-19  16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

(Lame) Not walking the walk1 John 1:5-7  5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

(Paralyzed) Afraid to follow or move2 Chronicles 24:20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, "This is what God says: 'Why do you disobey the LORD's commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.' "

So what’s the cure?

Open your eyes – Psalm 119:18  18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.  Psalm 121:1  1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Be obedientMatthew 28:19-20 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Trust/Have faithProverbs 3:5-6  5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The truth is we are surrounded by spiritually disabled people. - Read John 1:1-5

Let’s start by examining ourselves. - Read Psalm 26:2-3

Do you want to get well? - Read Ephesians 4:17-24 about living well as God’s children.

Be wise today and always - make the changes you need to be spiritually well.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Do You Want to Get Well?

In John 5:1-6 Jesus confronts us with the question Are you sick? Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda  and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”


We need to admit and ask for the Lord's healing touch. James 5:13-16 instructs us on how get well.

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

 
Be wise today and always - pray for and with each other to be well.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Balm for Your Healing

You can't fully recover from most illnesses unless you know what it is and how to treat them. When it comes to our spiritual healing it might be a "bitter pill" to swallow.

Are you ready to look in the mirror and see how sin has effected you? Judah was still not willing to do that. We will continue our study of Jeremiah chapter 8 on Recovery and Health study today.

Verses 1–3: DESECRATION Such will be the desecration in the judgment to come on Jerusalem, that bones of kings, princes, priests, prophets, and people will be scattered like refuse and ignored.
Verses 4–7: DEGRADATION Jerusalem’s degradation causes their backsliding to continue, with deceit and wickedness going hand in hand with ignorance of God’s coming judgment.
Verses 8–12: DEVIATION They will be misled by false scribes, shameful ‘wise men’, covetousness, falsehood, and shameless abomination. They will expect peace, but only receive punishment. They will not be able to blush over the foulness of their sin.
 Verses 13: DAMNATION God will consume them and take away all their means of livelihood, pictured here by the failure to grow grapes, figs and leaves.
Verses 14–22: DOMINATION As Babylon invades from the north via Dan, a realization dawns that peace is not for Israel. The conquering invaders will be as serpents and vipers, and bitter will be the state of those who sin against the Lord. Sorrow and faintness are in the heart of Jeremiah, as he mourns his people’s idolatry and hurt. There is no balm or physician to relieve their sin-sickness, and they are not saved. – source The Bible Panorama

Read chapter eight today as a mirror or voice of God in dealing with areas of your life that don't bring Him glory.

Be wise today and always - seek God's healing and healthy lifestyle.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rejection

The Bible Panorama gives us a great overview of  Judah in Jeremiah chapter 6. Look at God's great love and mercy, but the people would not  repent. Things are not too different today.

Verses 1–9: DISASTER AND DESTRUCTION Disaster and destruction will come from Babylon in the north. The commanders will be like shepherds with their soldiers as numerous as flocks. They will pitch around Jerusalem to destroy it. Wickedness, violence and plundering will be directed against Jerusalem. There will be no ‘pickings’ left from the hostile gleaning from Babylon.
Verses 10–15: PROPHETS AND PEACE God’s people will not listen to His word and so will not heed His warning. This is because they are intent on sinning and listening to false prophets who are prophesying, ‘Peace, peace.’ Widespread punishment, not peace, will follow.
Verses 16–20: REST AND REJECTION God offers rest in repentance and a return to the old paths of trust and obedience. While the people reject His law and His teaching, they continue the hypocrisy of outward religious ceremony and observances.
 Verses 21–26: STUMBLING AND SACKCLOTH God will cause His own people to stumble, to show them their need for forgiveness and help from Him, when the cruel invader comes upon them. He then bids them to dress in sackcloth and to mourn in sorrow for their sin.
Verses 27–30: TASK AND TEST Jeremiah’s task is to stand against God’s rebel people and test them. He finds that they are not properly refined, but, rather, polluted. They will be rejected, just as they have rejected God.
Be wise today and always accept God's healing and restoration.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You Better Stop

In the midst of Judah's downfall God still wanted them to repent and turn back to Him. Good counsel given them in the midst of all this, but in vain, verses 6:8, 16, and 17.

Jeremiah 6:8 – Learn to heed God’s warnings

Take warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it.” Instead they disregard the warnings by pretending everything is okay.  Jeremiah 6:14 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 6:16 – Look for God’s plan

16 This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Jeremiah 6:17 – Listen to God’s spokesmen

17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’

What do you need to get well and stay healthy?
 
Be wise today and always - listen and obey God.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recovery and Health

The first step to recovery is admitting we have a problem. The next is the desire to get well. In chapter six Jeremiah prophesized of an invading of the land of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldean army (vv. 1-6).
It will be an awful time for the Hebrew nation. There will be looting (v. 6:9) and the terrorizing throughout the land (vv. 22-26). The sins of Judah and Jerusalem provoked God to bring this desolating judgment upon them. Read the chapter and look at the six reasons for their punishment.

1. Their wickedness (v. 6:7)
2. Their disobedience of God’s Word (vv. 6:10-12)
3. Their worldliness (v. 6:13)
4. Their false prophets and teachers (v. 6:14)
5. Their unrepentance (v. 6:15)
6. Their contempt for Godly teaching (vv. 6:18-19)

Their sins made their sacrifices unacceptable to God (v. 6:20), and He gave them up to their own ruin (v. 6:21).

Be wise today and always - stay right with God.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rest and Recovery

After 10 months of praying and planning my son's wedding the big day happened last Saturday. It is ironic that we are looking at the topic of Recovery and Health in Jeremiah this week! In fact I found myself calling it the Rest and Recovery lesson for life. Jesus wants us to rest and be well.

2At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-30

Come to Jesus with your worries, cares, tiredness, anxieties, and problems.

Be wise today and always - accept Christ's forgiveness and healing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Harvest in a Fallen World

As we have seen in our study of Jeremiah that he encountered much opposition - just like today. There is nothing new to spiritual warfare. You are for or against Christ.Paul instructs us in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

When someone says you stink because of your faith, now you know why! There is no in-between. They are either ripe and ready to accept, or not and they will object. We're called to be faithful and obedient in the harvest. Jesus said:

35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”- John 4

Be wise today and always - be a Jeremiah and keep working for the harvest!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Change My Heart

God wants us to have willing and humble hearts. The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not? We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions—but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all. - 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (MSG)

This week we have looked at the topic of Truth and Consequences. I pray we have learned it's better to be blessed by obedience than having to pay the penalty for our disobedience.

I love this teaching from Matthew Henry on Jeremiah chapter five; Unhumbled hearts are ready to charge God with being unjust in their afflictions. But they may read their sin in their punishment. If men will inquire wherefore the Lord doeth hard things unto them, let them think of their sins. The restless waves obeyed the Divine decree, that they should not pass the sandy shores, which were as much a restraint as lofty mountains; but they burst all restraints of God's law, and were wholly gone into wickedness. Neither did they consider their interest. While the Lord, year after year, reserves to us the appointed weeks of harvest, men live on his bounty; yet they transgress against him. Sin deprives us of God's blessings; it makes the heaven as brass, and the earth as iron. Certainly the things of this world are not the best things; and we are not to think, that, because evil men prosper, God allows their practices. Though sentence against evil works is not executed speedily, it will be executed. Shall I not visit for these things? This speaks the certainty and the necessity of God's judgments. Let those who walk in bad ways consider that an end will come, and there will be bitterness in the latter end.

Be wise today and always - seek the heart and mind of Christ.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Heaven or Hell?

Have you ever heard this excuse for not accept Christ's gift of salvation? "God is a loving God that would never send me to a place like hell, so I don't need to mess with all this Jesus and church stuff!" I've heard it a million times, and you what? The excuse is thousands of years old.

 Look at Jeremiah 5:12-13 (MSG) - “They’ve spread lies about God. They’ve said, ‘There’s nothing to him. Nothing bad will happen to us, neither famine nor war will come our way. The prophets are all windbags. They speak nothing but nonsense.’”

Here is one answer you can give. You are correct, God does love you and He doesn't want you to go to hell. In fact He loved you and everyone in the world so much that Jesus came and died on the cross, so you could be with Him for eternity. Each person makes a choice to accept this gift or reject it. What will you do?

Be wise today and always - call upon the Lord and you will be saved.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Living on a Prayer

Do you want to live by the truth and be a “God’s way” person?

Here are three great ways to get started:
ObeyJohn 15:9-11 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Honor- Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Trust Psalm 44:5-8 Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.I put no trust in my bow,  my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
Jesus promises us in John 16:12-14: 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
Just like that great hymn of the faith, Trust and Obey, put it:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Be led by the Holy Spirit to God’s truth always trust, honor, and obey.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Excuses vs. Obedience

Today we'll look at the third of our examples from the Bible of accepting the truth (God’s way) or dealing with the consequences of doing things your own way (my way). A classic example of the consequences of not being truthful can be found in Acts 5:1-11 about a couple of church members; Ananias and Sapphira.

1-2 But a man named Ananias—his wife, Sapphira, conniving in this with him—sold a piece of land, secretly kept part of the price for himself, and then brought the rest to the apostles and made an offering of it. 3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.” 5-6 Ananias, when he heard those words, fell down dead. That put the fear of God into everyone who heard of it. The younger men went right to work and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him. 7-8 Not more than three hours later, his wife, knowing nothing of what had happened, came in. Peter said, “Tell me, were you given this price for your field?” “Yes,” she said, “that price.” 9-10 Peter responded, “What’s going on here that you connived to conspire against the Spirit of the Master? The men who buried your husband are at the door, and you’re next.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than she also fell down, dead. When the young men returned they found her body. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 By this time the whole church and, in fact, everyone who heard of these things had a healthy respect for God. They knew God was not to be trifled with. The Message (MSG)

They did not tell the truth and paid for it with their lives. Our sins and lies will find us every time, and there will be consequences.

Judah’s refusal to repent would cost her dearly. The common people did not have Godly teaching and the rich were too arrogant.

What excuse will you give to God?
Be wise today and always - turn your excuses in to obedience.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let's Make a Deal

We think of ways to make the problem go away or make it better. This attitude is as old as time itself. Today we'll look at the second of three examples from the Bible of accepting the truth (God’s way) or dealing with the consequences of doing things your own way. In Genesis 18:20-33 – Abraham tries to make a deal with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah.

20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” 22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?” “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.” 29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?” He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?” He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?” He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

The truth was that there were not any righteous people left in that city. Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family escaped. Lot’s wife could not let go of her sinful past and obey God was turned in to a pillar of salt.

Be wise today and always - don't look back - keep your eyes on God.