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February 2020

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Books for the Journey:

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On Jeremiah in general:
A number of times I have found myself thinking "Okay, okay, I get the message! Israel and Judah must turn from their wicked ways! Can we move on now?". Then there was a verse in yesterday's reading: (Jer 36 v 3 from The Message)"Maybe the community of Judah will finally get it, finally understand the catastrophe that I'm planning for them, turn back from their bad lives, and let me forgive their perversity and sin."

That's really the point. They didn't "get it" so God kept on at them. The number of times Jeremiah repeats the same message from God is testimony to God pursuing his people.

I remember when we were reading through the history of the kings of Israel and Judah after David, and how they all went pear-shaped. I remember thinking at the time - where was God in all this? After Him being so closely involved in everything that David did how did it happen that hundreds of years passed where he seemed to be just watching from a distance? The thought occurred to me - Didn't God care anymore what happened to his people?

Now, reading Isaiah and Jeremiah and knowing they existed in the abovementioned time, I realise that God WAS actively pursuing his people, and getting under the kings' skins, but they kept pushing Him away. Of course He cared!

The monotony of the warnings in Jeremiah are because God cared and wanted to give His people a way out of the punishment He had to bring to get rid of evil. If God did not respond radically to the radical evils that His people were involved in, He simply would not be a good God. A Holy God must react to evil.

A last related thought:
In Phillip Yancey's book "When Life Hurts" he explores the painful times we go through. One reason we can say that our painful experiences are not always punishment from God, is because before God punishes He always gives us a warning, and a chance to change our ways. That is what we are seeing in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 37:1-38:28

For me what is so compelling about Jeremiah is not that this happened to Judah in the midst of constant warnings sent by God, but that the people that Jeremiah prophesized too, are the same people right here right now. We are the stubborn ones, we are the ones who don’t get it, we are the ones that think because we are “Christians” that we are safe and the messages is not for us.

The Apostle Paul stated:

Let us not tempt Christ as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. Nor should we complain as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:9-11 HCSB)

It is important for us to read the prophets and observe the behabvors that they spoke against. As the “preacher’ declared in the Book of Ecclesiastes,

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 HCSB)

I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed.
(Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 HCSB)

Let us not assume that the stubbornness we are reading about was only peculiar to Israel and Judah. Let us not assume that because we are in church, in a prayer group that the prophet’s warnings are no to us. Let us not live our lives with an arrogance of faith.


I admire the wonder that comes with age and how hard it has been for God to truly mature me....,and yet really so easy.

I only thank God those around me survived it and realize I owe so much to all others for either putting up with me..., or maturing me to the person I am ( and I still have a long ways to go.)

When I read the portions today I thought of how much I liked in my past trying to be a prophet and quite frankly blasting away with the Word of God...

Oh I never thought of myself as one...but act and talk and literally lower the boom and suffer the consequences like one?

Oh Yeah...move over Elijah and Jeremiah here I come.

Then Paul...hehehehe....gee I thought if I had enough Zeal it could make up for depth..., though in those days I suppose I thought I knew so much.

And of course a verse like todays:

"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?

Mikes commentary is poignant.

I like this tact though, I use love for People and love them accordingly as God gives me ability...I like money.

I will never love it, but I do like.

When Jesus said Love not the World nor the things of the World I have learned to use the Love of God in me, to love those who really need their love turned vertical and not horizontal.

Money, as Jesus did for the road tax, can be as easy as catching a fish with a coin in it.

But love my enemy, love my neighbor, love my brother....I would rather make a way to love money and only Like my fellow human beings.

For me today I needed todays devotion from Oswald Chambers to remind me my priority in a world that is a master at compromising.

"Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he "followed Him at a distance" on dry land ( Mark 14:54 ).

We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises—human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently.

But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.

It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not.

We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes."

I thank God my todays are a lot easier on the people around me and though God has always loved me..,

I am glad I am liking what He has done in me, so He can love thru me to those around me.

Who don't need to see me religious, but involved in a relationship that is devoted in such a way as to appear as religion.

Maybe true religion really is a relatiionship with "the Living God" that can't help but be seen as a godly life with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

I know I didn't get this way I am today overnight, but I like what God is doing and as long as he keeps doing it....

I think my religion is ...,
all right.

6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

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