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July 2020

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Books for the Journey:

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Jeremiah 1:1-2:30

Jeremiah is such an intense book and one I can relate too. Here we have a man who loves his country and countrymen but God gives him an assignment to deliver a harsh message to the people he loves, judgment. All truth is confrontational and Jeremiah has been called before the foundation of the world to deliver this confrontational message. If we desire to be used by God according to what He has purposed within us, we will have on-the-job confrontations.

One of the things I have taken note of is the consequence of sin. Reaping and sowing, cause and effect, which is one of the laws God has set in place upon the earth so sin, just like righteousness, has its own rewards.

This is what the Lord says: "What possible fault could your ancestors have found in me that they strayed so far from me? They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to me. .. Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal. All your leaders worshiped idols that could not help them…. "… my people have committed a double wrong: they have left me, the fountain of life-giving water, and they have dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns which cannot even hold water." … You brought it about by leaving the Lord your God, even while he was leading you along the way.
(Jer 2:5-17 NET.)

We would only be fooling ourselves and in deep deception if we think this Word is only for “those back there in Israel” No, this Word is for us today because God’s Word, like Him has no beginning nor ending. And it would behoove us to remember this Word was given to Jeremiah by God to speak to “Church folk.”

Philippians 4:1-23
6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

In Paul’s letter to Ephesians, in the six chapter, Paul lists the Spiritual Armor we should always cloth ourselves with. Do we really know what the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, etc, are. Do we know what they are analogous too? Or do we just recite the pieces and say “That’s nice.”

Too often I find myself giving mental assent to what the text is saying, yet I don’t really have a “clue” of what is being said or one iota of understanding of how the text relates to my life, much less understand how to apply the text. But I had the light turned on today in understanding what the “Helmet of Salvation” really is. (Eph 6:17). The soldiers’ helmet protects the head and thus the brain, where our thought processes take place. This spiritual helmet is the Peace of God that guards and blocks every thought that is not of God. It is the peace of God that makes up the helmet and that protects my thoughts and guards all that has been transformed by my renewed mind. (Romans 12:2)

Psalm 75:1-10

God says, "At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.

For all of us that try to sneak in our licks against those who have wronged us, this second verse should stop us in our tracks. If it is not God’s time, we will never be successful in extracting our pound of flesh; besides we would be stealing from God. (Rom 12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God's wrath, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord.)

Proverbs 24:17-20

Enemies and the wicked, God has given us guidelines to follow in dealing with them that are difficult to follow in the flesh. But in the Spirit, all things are possible. The downfall of our enemies and the seemingly prosperity of the wicked should drive us to the throne of God when we are tempted to celebrate our enemies downfall or when we desire the putrid and decaying fruit of the wicked.

Grace and peace,

Paul here shows the importance of prayer which let our heart be known and lifted to Him. And He will guard our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. My sin is self reliance and lack of prayer. I pray that Holy Spirit will remind me daily to rejoice in the Lord, be gentle and lift my worries to Him.
Jesus, please guard my heart from this world.

Paul says "I can do all this through him who gives me strength. YET it was good of you to share in my troubles." This shows that we need to share our burdens with one another and help each other out.

I think Jeremiah 1:7-8 are two valuable verses. God says that saying "I'm too young" is not an excuse to not tell people about the good news. We should go humbly to wherever he sends us and not argue, just like Jesus when he came to Earth to take the punishment for our sins. And we can be assured that God will rescue us because he will be with us every minute of our life. So we do not need to be afraid of anything, because God is at our side.

The Philippians support Paul throughout his journeys like no other churches. Paul still says that he is content with whatever he is given because he has learned to trust God to provide for him as he is doing his work. Paul encourages his friends to rejoice in the Lord and stay close to the Lord.

Today's passage in Philippians was a good reminder (no, command) of what our thinking should be. Paul tells us to stop worrying and start praying and start thinking about anything that is true, noble, right, pure, love, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. When I see this list, I'm reminded of all the worried and ugly thoughts that fill my mind almost constantly. But Paul says that when we pray, God's peace will guard our hearts and minds.

I was also reminded to support the missionaries and pastors out there like the Philippian church did. They seemed to have supported Paul in his travels and even suffered together for him. I hope we can all be more like the Philippian church in this aspect.

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