~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Jeremiah 10:1-11:23 ~ Colossians 3:18-4:18
Psalm 78:56-72 ~ Proverbs 24:28-29
Old Testament - Jeremiah chapter 10 today is a powerful look at "idols." Back in Jeremiah's days we're talking about little chiseled "gods" made out of wood & stone. But today? What are our idols? Perhaps our money, our jobs, our status, our technology :), our lust - or perhaps even ourselves? Jeremiah 10:10 reminds us: "But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King." All of our idols are not True, though we often hope they will be. Our idols will deliver us nothing. God and His Son will deliver eternity....
Jeremiah's Prayer is 10:23-24 is such a beautiful prayer :
"I know, O Lord , that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Correct me, Lord , but only with justice-
not in your anger,
lest you reduce me to nothing."
I like that Jeremiah says in this prayer, "Correct me, Lord". He knows there is correction to be made in his life - even a prophet of God knew his need of correction! This is a nice example of humility to say the least. How often do you pray to God "correct me"? Why might this be a good prayer? Do you need God to correct you?
Today at the end of Jeremiah chapter 11 we read about the plot to take Jeremiah's life. Every time I read the prophets, I am reminded of how hard it was to be a prophet. Talk about a thankless high-risk job... Fortunately Jeremiah is on God's side. The only side to be on. In verses 21 through 23 Jeremiah says - "The men of Anathoth wanted me dead. They said they would kill me if I did not stop speaking in the LORD's name. So this is what the LORD Almighty says about them: "I will punish them! Their young men will die in battle, and their little boys and girls will starve. Not one of these plotters from Anathoth will survive, for I will bring disaster upon them when their time of punishment comes."
New Testament - Today we wrap up our reading of the book of Colossians! Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians begins tomorrow! Colossians 4:6 today is fantastic: "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Let your conversation be always full of grace. How often is this true for us? Are there times when our conversation is un-graceful? Judgmental perhaps? Angry? Curt? But Grace... that's something to strive for in all of our conversations. If we are grace-full in our conversations, where does that Grace come from?
Psalms - Psalm 78 verse 57 is a metaphor that I pray is never used upon any of us! :) "They were as useless as a crooked bow." Can you imagine a worse insult? Well, yeah, I suppose there are worse. But coming from a Psalmist, this is no good. What does it mean to be a crooked bow? What does it mean to be a straight bow? How is your bow these days? Crooked, and perhaps focused on things of this world? (and thus basically useless) Or straight, and focused on advancing the Kingdom of God in your life and the lives of others around you? (and thus very useful)
Proverbs - Proverbs 24:28-29 today is a nice reminder that revenge is a bad idea... as is lying - particularly against innocent neighbors...
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!