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February 2020

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Books for the Journey:

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The context of the famous promises in Jeremiah (I know the plans that I have for you...) makes those plans so much better. People so often take this out of context that God has a plan for our lives and all will be smooth. In context it means, life is going to be hard, but be my people wherever you go, even in exile, and I will bring good from that situation for your children. God thinks in generations and we think in days.

Jeremiah 28-29:32

There are two forces God’s People, The Believers, must contend with and stand firm against, the philosophies of the world, and the false prophets amongst His people. In today’s readings we see Hananiah, a son of the prophet Azzur from Gibeon (chapter 28) and Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah (chapter 29) take up the mantel of prophet without being appointed by God. Then Shemaiah takes it upon himself to replace Jehoiada, God’s appointed priest with someone else, Zephaniah. All of these are men of political authority claiming they have spiritual authority. But God declares they are false.

These two chapters dovetail nicely with Paul’s Letter to Timothy because Paul too is warning of men who claim spiritual authority but have none. False prophets, priests, teachers etc. existed in Jeremiah’s day, Paul’s day and in our day. However, back in the 14th chapter of Jeremiah any excuse that we might use that we were “tricked” goes out the window.

Then the Lord said to me, The [false] prophets prophesy lies in My name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, nor have I spoken to them. They prophesy to you a false or pretended vision, a worthless divination [conjuring or practicing magic, trying to call forth the responses supposed to be given by idols], and the deceit of their own minds. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the [false] prophets who prophesy in My name--although I did not send them--and who say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword; and they shall have none to bury them--them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them [and not on their false teachers only, for the people could not have been deceived except by their own consent]. (Jeremiah 14:14-16 AMP)

We are without excuse. Let all who come to this site practice spiritual discernment and learn to “test” the spirits.

Jeremiah 29

The Letter

Jeremiah sends a letter basically telling the Jews in exiles to be model citizens, and to pray for the peace and prosperity of Babylon.

This is much the same thing we have seen in Paul's letters to the churches. For Christians to live in unity, be model citizens, and to pray earnestly, frequently and specifically (including for the "world") .

John17:18 "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world." NIV

We are to be in the world representing Christ and sharing His Word until we are brought home.

The Jews were to be in Babylon different in their behavior (model citizens), reflecting the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and following His Word until they are called "home" (back to Israel).


1Tim1:15 "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst."

I always thought Paul considered himself "worst" in God's eyes - because Paul had the potential to destroy the "Church". It was still small, confined to areas close to Israel, and Paul was out to arrest, persecute and kill them all. Satan and his plan was working well through Paul.

1Cor3:16-17 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."

The "you" is plural and denotes the collective church. God thwarted Satan's plan of annihilation of church, not by destroying Paul. But by extending grace, saving Paul, and using Him to be one of (if not the) greatest builder of the early church. Not only irony, but a great example of why people should pay attention to Paul - what made him switch teams?Satan must have been furious. If God will save the worst offender, why not you and I?

Jeremiah 28-29:32

While reading these two chapters two very powerful images came into my mind’s eye, the gardening process of pruning and cutting, and the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 11:28-30.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:28-30 KJV)

Pruning and Cutting:

Throughout our reading of both Isaiah and Jeremiah, we see and read glimpses of “The Remnant.” Those people who will remain once the “unproductive” parts are removed and the “good” parts are cutback to produce more growth.

In the King James translation the English word, remnant is used a total of thirty-four times in both Isaiah and Jeremiah. A remnant based on the Hebrew words used (based on Strong’s numbering system) is: a survivor; residue; a portion that had escaped; posterity, etc. It is thus understandable why the scribes, Pharisees (far-to-sees) and Sadducees (sad-to-sees) were enraged when Jesus gave them the Parable of the Unproductive Fig Tree (Luke 13:6-9) new that the Fig Tree and the Vineyard mentioned in that Parable was talking about them. (Interesting to take note that the Vineyard in this Parable has a Fit Tree planted in the midst, both represent Israel. What does it mean to have a Fig Tree (Israel) in the middle of a Vineyard?) The discourse Jesus gave in John chapter 15 to His disciples also gives us great insight in the life of the Believer. By way of the Pruning Shears to either cut off those things that are dead and to cutback those things that will hinder the productive things in our lives that may be good but not good for us.

Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, 'For three years now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue to deplete the soil?' But the worker answered him, 'Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. Then if it bears fruit next year, very well, but if not, you can cut it down.' "
(Luk 13:6-9 NET.)

"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.
(Joh 15:1-5 NET.)


Jeremiah has been walking around with a “yoke” on his shoulders, which represented the burden they, Judah, would receive because she refused to accept the “Yoke” of God, enslavement to the King of Babylon, death, disease or famine. The implication is that no matter how much we think that God is a tough “slave” Master, men, and sin will always extract a higher price and the cost will be unplayable by us.

For those who think that rejecting God gives them freedom to do as they please, they will be sadly mistaken. The Word says that anything other than Yoking yourself to God is burdensome and weary. You must either take this by faith or suffer consequences and an interest rate you will never ever be able to pay. The Word says it is true and my personal experience confirms for me that the Word of God is Truth.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (Isa 55:1-2 KJVR)

I Timothy 1:1-20

Now would be a good time to state why I just love this site. Here we can come and write to our hearts content on how the Word of God speaks to us. There is no one ganging up on us to have an “Us Four and no More” groupthink posse. Here Mike has given us, the readers and writers on this site, the opportunity to eat the hay and leave the sticks. Here the Word speaks for itself and it is assumed that we: a) have the intelligence to read for ourselves, b) use our understanding to perceive “Truth,” and c) allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. . Thank you.

Paul’s writing to Timothy sums it up so very nicely.

4Don't let people waste time in endless speculation over myths and spiritual pedigrees. For these things only cause arguments; they don't help people live a life of faith in God. 5The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith.

Psalm 86:1-17

>> Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.” How do you think this verse works as a prayer? Can you imagine praying it to God? Do you want God to teach you his way?>>

I believe as long as we stay committed to reading God’s Word we will learn God’s way.” God and His Word are one. (John 1:1)

Proverbs 25:17

Do you think this verse also applies to relatives also?

Grace and peace to all those who have partaken of the Waters of Life and to those who haven’t, come taste and see that the Lord is Good.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible:

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

When ever negative thoughts and fears come to me I try to remember this verse. This verse gives me hope for my future and in my heart I realize there is absolutely nothing to worry about. He is in control and His will is good for my life. So I have nothing to fear. He has good plans for me and you. God bless you! IN HIM Carmen<

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