~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Jeremiah 33:1-34:22 ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-16
Psalm 89:1-13 ~ Proverbs 25:23-24
Old Testament - Jeremiah 33 is a great chapter today! A lot of powerful verses. Verses 15 & 16 are great Messianic verses, harkening back to Jeremiah 23:6 (The Lord Our Righteousness) - ""In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.'"
Verse 22 is a great verse echoing the covenant promises to Abraham - "I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore."
Verse 18 threw me for a loop initially, trying to figure out how this could still be - "nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.'" I wondered - where are the Levites today? Fortunately, I read a commentary that set me straight - Jesus is fulfilling this ministry for us today. Jesus is our Levitical priest standing before God continually. Beautiful, eh? Do you consider Jesus to be your High Priest?
Jeremiah chapter 34 is interesting with the Freedom for the slaves - and then the reversal of that decision. Could this story remind us of our lives at times? Do we sometimes promise God that we'll do something he wants us to do? Maybe even start to do it? And then change our minds? Why are we not consistent with what we tell God we will do? Let us pray for consistency in our spiritual walk.
New Testament - Today in 1 Timothy 4:7-8 we will read: “Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” How are you doing on training yourself to be godly? Do you believe this is something you can be trained in? Are you practicing spiritual disciplines on a regular basis? Spiritual disciplines might include: prayer, journaling, quiet time, fasting, retreats, Sabbaths, reading the Bible :), to name a few. If you’d like to learn more about Spiritual Disciplines, I highly recommend that you pick up Richard Foster’s book “Celebration of Discipline.” Or, check out this website link for some more ideas on spiritual disciplines you might want to practice regularly: http://www.spirithome.com/spirdisc.html
Psalms - Psalm 89 verse 11 is so powerful for us to remember - "The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours--you created it all." Everything in this world is God's. Everything. This means every single person we meet is God's. However... they might not realize it. But, I think it is important for us to remember that every single person we meet - no matter how "bad" they may seem or whatever - is still made in the image of God. And there is the possibility of that person getting to know they are God's. There is the possibility of redemption - not by our human power, but by the power of God. I think sometimes we go through our day thinking the world is bad. People are bad. It all is bad. And certainly, it is a fallen world. But it is still God's world - and yes, the devil is thrashing around his temptations as rapidly as he can in the hearts of men and women. This is the great spiritual battle. But, God is so much stronger than the devil. The name of Jesus expels the devil quicker than anything. So, know that while we are in a fallen world, it is God's world. Everything in this world is God's. What are you and I doing to let others know that they are God's - particularly if they don't know it? What are we doing to bless others with the knowledge that there is another Way than the devil's temptations in this world? What are we doing? Really. What are we doing with our lives to let others know about Jesus? Whew... this one gets to me for some reason. There are people suffering so much in our world. If only they knew there was another way.... Will you help to show them to the Way?
Continuing on the thoughts in the paragraph above - take a moment to reflect on this image below. Wow... Can you make out the angel on the right coming from the prayers of the woman to defend her from the evil one? Who are we praying for today to defend them from the evil one?
Proverbs - Today's Proverbs chapter 25 verses 23 & 24 teach us: "As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger! It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home." These verses are great teachings of - 1. don't gossip. 2. don't be contentious. Or if you are a gossip or if you are contentious, then you just might find your spouse hiding from you in the attic... :)
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!