Jeremiah 31:27-32:44 ~ 1 Timothy 3:1-16 ~ Psalm 88:1-18 ~ Proverbs 25:20-22
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Old Testament - Jeremiah chapter 31 today is encouraging reading! It seems we've rounded the corner from the coming destruction and captivity prophecies in the book of Jeremiah, and God is now speaking about rebuilding Jerusalem. We get a good Messianic foreshadowing today in verse 31: ""The day will come," says the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah." The new covenant is coming!
Today in Jeremiah 31:33 we read: “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” This verse reminds me of the importance in memorizing scripture – not just reading scripture, but memorizing it and writing it upon our hearts. I have been amazed oftentimes how Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to my mind and heart at some very needed and specific times. (if you can only memorize 2 scripture verses, please memorize these Proverbs verses) Do you memorize scripture? Do you not just memorize it, but internalize its teachings and meanings into your heart? Do you see the value in memorizing scripture and writing it upon your heart?
Jeremiah Chapter 32 is intriguing. God asks Jeremiah to buy land - even though all of the land of Jerusalem will soon fall under captivity. Jeremiah is - once again - obedient. God goes on in this chapter to indeed confirm that Jerusalem will fall - but that God will eventually restore the Israelites back to Jerusalem and buying and selling of land will occur again. Interesting chapter. The call to Jeremiah to buy land was to set the stage for reminding the Israelites that they will soon lose this ability, but it will come back to them again eventually. I like this example. What about you in your life today - is there anything God is asking you to be obedient in? Even if you perhaps won't see an "immediate" return on your investment of your obedience, will you obey God? Is the eternal return on your investment of obedience worth it? Below is an image of Jeremiah in the court of the prison buying his kinsman's field from today's readings:
New Testament - Paul's teachings in 1 Timothy 3 gives some great rules and regulations for leaders in a church. It all makes a lot of sense. I would encourage anyone who has interest in leading in your church - or if you are currently leading in your church - to prayerfully read through these. How are you doing on these? Are there some areas in your life discussed here that need redeeming? One of my favorite verses in all of these is verse 5 - "For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church?" How very true is that? How are you doing in managing your own household?
Verse 16 today beautifully demonstrates Jesus' divinity and his humanity!
"Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ appeared in the flesh
and was shown to be righteous by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and was announced to the nations.
He was believed on in the world
and was taken up into heaven."
Do you believe in everything written above? When is the last time you meditated upon the fact that Jesus ascended into heaven? I heard a Pastor recently say that he thinks the Ascension is one of the most overlooked facts of Jesus' life in the church today. Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the Father's right hand! This is very good news for us indeed! Below is a painting by the Italian artist Garofalo from the year 1510 titled "The Ascension of Christ":
Psalms - Psalm 88 is quite a Psalm! Interestingly many churches read this Psalm during their Good Friday liturgies, interpreting this Psalm as a prayer of Jesus suffering on the road to Golgotha. Take a read through this Psalm again with this perspective...
Proverbs - Proverbs 25 verse 20 is intriguing to me today: "Singing cheerful songs to a person whose heart is heavy is as bad as stealing someone's jacket in cold weather or rubbing salt in a wound." I've always kind of thought you should try to "cheer someone up" when they are feeling down. But... this Proverb seems to suggest otherwise? Actually, this does remind me that if someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, we should allow them to grieve. If they don't grieve now, they'll grieve later. It's better to go through the grieving process than to repress it. So, let us be judicious in when we sing cheerful songs to someone whose heart is heavy... They probably don't need to see these 3 folks below at their doorstep early on in the grieving process...
Worship God: Based on Psalm 88's look at what Jesus endured for us and based on the ascension discussed in 1 Timothy today, it seems like a great time to share with you this awesome live video of "Jesus Paid It All" led by Kristian Stanfill. This is a great worship song! And the last half I particularly love when the whole crowd is worshiping: "Oh praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead. Jesus!"
Do you believe that Jesus Paid It All for you? Click here and receive payment on your debt!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory." 1 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you believe wholeheartedly in this mystery of godliness. Pray in thanksgiving that Jesus appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, is believed on, and was taken up to glory to sit at God the Father's right hand!
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!