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Jeremiah 14:11-16:15 ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13
Psalm 80:1-19 ~ Proverbs 25:1-5
Old Testament - Powerful readings in Jeremiah today! I love the exchanges between God and Jeremiah. Today in Jeremiah 15:16, we read these words of Jeremiah's to God: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” What does this verse mean to you? Can you eat God’s words? Can they feed you? Spiritually? Are you being fed by God’s Word through the One Year Bible daily readings? Are God’s words your joy and your heart’s delight? Are you making it a practice to memorize scripture? Would this practice help you in making God’s words your joy and heart’s delight? What does it mean to bear God’s name? Is God’s name written on your heart? How else are you being fed by God, in addition to his Word? Are you being fed by attending and investing in a church each week? Do you think that church, the body of Christ, can spiritually feed you? Is there any reason to refuse this spiritual food?
Today in Jeremiah chapter 15 we read about Judah's inevitable doom. Verses 1 and 2 tell us - "Then the LORD said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn't help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight! And if they say to you, `But where can we go?' tell them, `This is what the LORD says: Those who are destined for death, to death; those who are destined for war, to war; those who are destined for famine, to famine; those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.'"
In Jeremiah chapter 16 God forbids Jeremiah to marry or to go to feasts and parties in Judah, as we read in verses 8 & 9 - "And do not go to their feasts and parties. Do not eat and drink with them at all. For the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard."
New Testament - The First Thessalonians readings today are nice! I found chapter 2 verse 18 to be an interesting verse: "We wanted very much to come, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us. " I think this is an important reminder that Satan can indeed prevent good work from taking place in our lives. Through prayer, reading the Word, and obedience we can avoid some attacks. But, they will still come while we are in this world. I would just encourage you to keep in mind that Satan is real. Don't dwell on this, but realize it is true. And that by growing your relationship with Jesus & God, I do believe great protection can come over you - but keep in mind that even a person as close to the Lord as Paul was prevented from doing some things he wanted to do by Satan. How is your prayer life today? Do you pray to God to protect you and keep you from Satan and all his tricks and lies and temptations? Let us be prayer warriors for not only ourselves, but also for others in our lives! Do you consider yourself to be a prayer warrior? Would you like to be a prayer warrior? What is stopping you from being a prayer warrior? All it takes is prayer...
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Thessalonians chapter 3 titled "The Concern Expressed" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 80 verse 19 today is powerful - "Turn us again to yourself, O LORD God Almighty. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved." I like that opening - "turn us again to you God." I don't believe that God turns himself away from us - but that we do indeed turn ourselves away from God. And like the Psalmist, maybe sometimes we literally need to pray that God will turn us back toward him. I kind of come up with the imagery of us maybe sometimes being like pouty kids with our arms folded and our backs toward God - and God is looking at us lovingly - all we simply need to do is turn our face toward God and his grace will heal that pout and whatever is troubling us immediately... If you need to, will you turn yourself again toward God?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 25 verses 4 & 5 today are interesting: "Remove the dross from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith. Remove the wicked from the king's court, and his reign will be made secure by justice." I believe dross is some sort of impurity that is in silver when it is heated up. Actually, I just looked it up in the dictionary and dross means: "impurity: worthless or dangerous material that should be removed; "there were impurities in the water"" or "[n. DRAHSS] Something that is useless or worthless is dross. This noun refers to the less-than-desirable parts of something. Near synonyms include: refuse, rubbish, and impurity. Another more specific use of the word dross describes the scum or slag thrown off from metals in the process of melting them. It traces back to the Old English dros, which corresponds to the Middle Dutch droes and the Germanic dros. All of these are words for dregs (less than desirable parts)." So, this proverb is also saying the wicked in the king's court is an impurity that must be removed for a secure reign with justice. This makes sense in a governmental sense. You don't want crooks on the cabinet. But, I think this also works well in our own personal lives. Sin is a dross - an impurity - in our life that must be removed so that we will be of use to the "silversmith" - God or Jesus. Do you have dross / sin in your life? Will you allow God to remove the dross - the impurity - from your life through the work of his expert Silversmith, Jesus? Please let Jesus remove the dross from your life. Jesus is the only one who truly can.
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!