~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Jeremiah 37:1-38:28 ~ 1 Timothy 6:1-21
Psalm 89:38-52 ~ Proverbs 25:28
Old Testament - Interesting dynamics in Jeremiah chapters 37 & 38 today... Jeremiah goes from dungeon to prison to cistern to prison to king's confidant. Being a prophet is quite a life!
I continue to admire Jeremiah's boldness in speaking the truth in these chapters. 37:17 jumps out - "Later King Zedekiah secretly requested that Jeremiah come to the palace, where the king asked him, "Do you have any messages from the Lord?" "Yes, I do!" said Jeremiah. "You will be defeated by the king of Babylon." Jeremiah goes right to the truth... no beating around the bush! And then 3 verses later he asks Zedekiah - "Listen, my lord the king, I beg you. Don't send me back to the dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for I will die there." He speaks a harsh truth to Zedekiah and then asks for a favor. I like that.... Do we speak the truth in our lives? Even if we know we'll need to ask for a favor of someone later, will we still speak the truth? Or will we default to the un-truthful position of "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil...."
New Testament - 1 Timothy 6 is full of great wisdom! Verse 7: "Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth." Are we seeking true religion? What is true religion? I think Paul gives some great hints to us in verses 11-14: "Run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for what we believe. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I command you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey his commands with all purity." Are you holding tightly to the eternal life that God has given you? Hold tight!
Verse 10 is powerful for me today - "For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows." It's interesting - the "love of money" is the root of all kinds of evil. Not money in and of itself - that's not the root of evil. But the love of money.... great distinction and a great truth. Do we love money? If so, should we be worried about this? If we love money, might we wander from the faith and pierce ourselves with sorrows?
Psalms - Psalm 89 verse 48 is something important to keep in mind as I think it does help us think about how we are really living our short earthly lives - "No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave." Knowing this, how are you living your life? Are you living your life filled with love? Are you loving God and loving other people with all that you are? Are you living your life intentionally? Are you living your life as God would want you to live your life? Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies author) wrote a book called "All New People", which I have not read. However, I heard her speak live this past year and basically she stated - "Just keep in mind that we're not going to live forever. 100 years from now on this planet? It will be all new people." That is an interesting thing to keep in mind... 100 years from now... all new people. Hopefully this is a fact that encourages each of us not to waste our precious time here on things that are not of God! No one escapes the grave. Our condition is terminal. (But of course our condition can be eternal through faith in Jesus!)
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs 25:28 we read: “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Does this Proverb remind you of our recent readings in Jeremiah? Are there parallels to the captivity of the Israelites and this Proverb? How does this Proverb speak to you personally? Are your walls in need of some repair? Will you allow Jesus to repair them? Will you allow Jesus to restore self-control in those areas of your life that are lacking in self-control?
What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!