Jeremiah 8:8-9:26 ~ Colossians 3:1-17 ~ Psalm 78:32-55 ~ Proverbs 24:27
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Old Testament - Jeremiah chapter 9 verses 23 & 24 definitely stood out to me today: "This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!" Think God is serious when he follows something he says with "I, the LORD, have spoken!"? Do we ever gloat in our wisdom? Gloat in our might? Gloat in our riches? Instead, have you ever boasted that you truly know God and understand that God is just and righteous? Do you believe that God's love is unfailing?
I am enjoying watching for the interplay between when God is speaking and when Jeremiah is speaking in our readings. Basically you typically just have to watch for quotation marks at the beginning of a paragraph to see that God is speaking. If there are not quotation marks, it is likely Jeremiah speaking. At the end of chapter 8 and in the beginning of chapter 9 we read these words of Jeremiah's as he weeps for Jerusalem - and we hear from the people and God briefly too. It is a poetic interplay of dialogue between all three in chapter 8 verse 18 through chapter 9 verse 2 - starting with words from Jeremiah: "My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken. Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land. "Has the LORD abandoned Jerusalem?" the people ask. "Is her King no longer there?" "Oh, why have they angered me with their carved idols and worthless gods?" asks the LORD. "The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone," the people cry, "yet we are not saved!" I weep for the hurt of my people. I am stunned and silent, mute with grief. Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people? Oh, that my eyes were a fountain of tears; I would weep forever! I would sob day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered. Oh, that I could go away and forget them and live in a shack in the desert, for they are all adulterous and treacherous."
New Testament - Colossians 3 verse 4 is so powerful and is really something each of us should reflect upon: "And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." Here is the thing that really stops me in my tracks when reading this verse: "Christ, who is your life." Those are 5 incredibly powerful words when put together! And I'm afraid that sometimes we don't really live our lives as if Jesus is indeed our life. He is! Or he should be... Here's the thing. I've had a lot of conversations over the years with fellow Christians about who Jesus is to them. And I've thought a lot about who Jesus is to me. And I think many of us can easily get to the point of saying, "well, yes, Jesus is my Savior." We can acknowledge that He died on the cross for our sins. He saved us. We're into salvation! But, I think sometimes it can get a bit fuzzier for us when we think about Jesus being our Lord - in addition to Jesus being our Savior. Meaning, if Jesus is our Lord, then we really need to take incredibly seriously and to heart Jesus' words and teachings in the Bible! And really allow Jesus to lead our lives. Transform our lives. Lord our lives. Well, I think this Colossians verse takes things even a step further. Maybe we're at the point where yes, Jesus is our Lord and Savior. But now, Paul here teaches us that Jesus is our very life! That's big... That's saying our life = Jesus. Jesus = our life. If you really stop to think about this and allow this into your heart you'll know how huge this is. Jesus is our life.... wow! That's very good news! Our job isn't our life. Our money isn't our life. Our health isn't our life. Even our family isn't our life - those these can all be good gifts. But none of these things are our life. Jesus is our life! Today, can you honestly say Jesus is your life? If not, will you begin to really think about this and pray about this? Is Jesus your life?
Verses 12 through 14 of Colossians chapter 3 are awesome! “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” How are you doing on each of these virtues in your life today - Compassion? Kindness? Humility? Gentleness? Patience? Forgiveness? Love? Do you think you can do each of these well using just your own will power? Or, do regularly pray to Jesus to give you these virtues within your heart and to bring them to fruition in your life? Can you allow love to lead within you? Will you allow Jesus to lead you?
Psalms - Psalm 78 verses 41 & 42 stood out to me today - "Again and again they tested God's patience and frustrated the Holy One of Israel. They forgot about his power and how he rescued them from their enemies." I am continually amazed at how similar we are today to the Israelites when they were wandering in the desert. I am sure that we can on occasion test God's patience and frustrate him. I would also venture a pretty good guess that many of us forget about God's power. And forget how God rescued us from our enemies - and continues to rescue us daily. How about you - do you ever forget about God's power? Do you ever forget about how he has rescued you? What can we do to help ourselves remember? How do we stop testing God's patience and forgetting about Him?
Proverbs - Proverbs 24 verse 27 is quite practical - "Develop your business first before building your house." This Proverb may simply mean - don't buy or build a house until you know where your source of income is coming from. Develop your business or job first. Makes sense... And this is incredibly practical advice in our modern world today of foreclosures and bankruptcy and debt. Perhaps we're building and buying houses (and many other things) before we have developed our business!
Worship God: Colossians 3:4 reminded me of the Rush of Fools' song "Undo." This is one of my favorite songs on K-LOVE radio these days! "Jesus, you are the only one who can undo what I've become..."
Have you been Undone? Click here for a spiritual "Undo"!
Please join me in memorizing a verse of Scripture today:
"When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:4 NIV (underlining added by me... :)
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you from today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Grace, love, peace, and joy!