Aug 31-(Jeremiah 44) "The Object Of Reproach" What kind of message are you sending to your friends and family? Things are winding down in Judah. Nebuchadnezzar has taken the city of Jerusalem. The city that once teemed with life is now a ghost town. A 'skeleton crew' of people live in the ruins. Yet, Jeremiah keeps preaching! He continues to warn the remnant and urges them to change. You would think the destruction of a city would get the people's attention enough to lead to some serious change… but it doesn't. Jeremiah's warnings fall on deaf ears. Jeremiah warns them that if they continue in their sin, they will be an object of horror and reproach (v12). What in the world does this mean? It means that these people will be a negative reminder of what happens when one rebels against The Lord!! What is your life saying to others about God and Christianity? Does your message encourage, or discourage others to trust the Lord? Hypocrisy mangles and distorts what being a Christian is like. Today, don't be an object of reproach! Display the kind of heart that brings honor to God. Let others see that a life dedicated to God is good! Show them, through your life, how repentance can bless their life!
Aug 30-(Lam 3:1-25) "Jeremiah" It's hard to keep in mind that Jeremiah is going through the ringer with everyone else. Being a faithful prophet does not insulate him from God's wrath on the rest of His people. Though Jeremiah suffers alongside his fellow Israelites, he refuses to be bitter about it. Instead, he praises God for his grace and faithfulness. He continues to seek God and do what He wants. Why? He believes God will take care of him. By the way, God does! How are things going for you? Are you in the middle of a tough season in your life? Do you feel things like frustration, discouragement, and maybe a little anger? Don't lose heart. Don't throw in the towel just yet; for, God still loves you. He knows what's really going on, and He deeply cares about you. Every day, He is faithful to you too! He is more than enough (Your portion). He will not forget you. He can't forget you! And He will provide. Keep calling on Him. Be patient... He will come through! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 29-(Lam 1-2) "Daughter Judah" It's not pretty... No one responds to the trumpet call of worship anymore. The temple is abandoned. There are no longer any sacrifices being offered. People are starving. Prophets are silent. Bodies of the young and the old lie on the city streets. People are eating their children! It's 9/11 in Judah!! The thick walls of Jerusalem are now in rubble scattered all over the place. Trash is everywhere. It smells awful. The city gates have been ripped off their hinges and are starting to sink into the ground. There is no one who can help. It's humiliating to watch Jerusalem fall apart. Listen... Can you hear the Daughter of Zion? She weeps in shame as she remembers how it used to be! This is the worst thing about it all. The humiliation is too much to bear. All Jeremiah and those left behind can do is cry. Have you ever felt like this? Do you ever shed tears when people fall away? Does it bother you when you see God's Kingdom experience a set back because of sin? How do you feel when the church struggles? Jeremiah lifts his hands to God. He cries out to the Lord in tears asking for help. Today, allow God to break your heart over the condition of the world and the lost. Ask God to make your heart soft and sensitive to the condition of your church. Cry out to God for forgiveness, comfort, and hope. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 28-(2 Kings 25:2-6; Jeremiah 39:2-5, 52:9-30; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21; Jeremiah 39:9-18, 40:1-6) "Zedekiah" He's afraid... He's stubborn too. The last king of Judah refuses to listen to Jeremiah. King Zedekiah could have simply surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, but he refused. As a result, he would be hunted down, captured, witness the death of his family, and then have his eyes gouged out. Imagine, the last thing he saw was his family dying!! This is the sad truth about pride. Stubbornness only makes things worse. Are you experiencing some pride? Are you refusing to listen to godly counsel? Your pride will only make matters worse! Today, forsake your pride, and humble out. Start listening to the godly counsel you are getting. Let humility help you make wiser choices. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 27-(Jeremiah 38) "Ebed-Melek" He is only mentioned here, but God uses Ebed-Melek to save a famous man. Jeremiah has been lowered into a damp and muddy cistern to die! But Ebed-Melek decides to lift his leader out of the mud. Hmmm... Do you know a leader who could use a little lift? Do you know someone who could use some encouragement and reassurance? Today, while offering a prayer on their behalf, give a leader a word of encouragement. Take steps to protect their back. Lift them up with your words and works of faith. Let them know you stand with them. This will give them a second wind as they serve God and lead you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 26-(Ezekiel 26:1-28:26) "Tyre" Like Alcatraz, (i.e., The Rock), the city of Tyre sat securely on a rock island less than a half mile off the main coast in the Mediterranean. Tyre was a major commercial player in the ancient world. Tyre also influenced Israel with foreign gods. In fact, the king of Tyre thought he was as powerful as a god; he was sadly mistaken. Many people of ancient history considered Tyre to be impossible to defeat. This gave those in Tyre an arrogant sense of security. After all, being built on an island made the city of Tyre nearly impossible to conquer. Many people tried to take the city. Nebuchadnezzar did have some 'influence' over her for a short time; but it wasn't until 332 BC, when ‘Alexander The Great’ built an earthen bridge to reach her shore, that the city of Tyre would officially be taken. He would push the town into the sea! Tyre reminds the prideful that no one is impossible to conquer. No one is a god! Everyone is vulnerable. Today, consider the plight of Tyre. Let the doom of this city humble you to realize how much you need God. Let this city cause you to pause; and ponder where pride lurks in your life. By the way... It is believed this city repented and continued to stand secure for generations. Let this redeeming moment in Tyre's history encourage you to do the same. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 25-(Ezekiel 25:1-17, 29:1-31:18) "Stick People" After a series of condemnations against Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia, God sets His sights on Egypt. Why? Egypt had come to Judah's aid. As Nebuchadnezzar laid siege on Jerusalem, Pharaoh Hophra would try to blindside Nebuchadnezzar. This attempt turned out to be a dismal failure. Think about it... The nation that held God's people hostage in slavery, is now summoned for help. As Judah leaned on their ally, mighty Egypt would be as helpful as a broken stick! There are a couple of lessons here: #1- When you feel God is coming down on you, surrender... That's all Judah should have done to avoid God's discipline. This is all you need to do to regain God's favor. #2- Rely on God instead of ungodly people. Israel made a huge mistake asking Egypt for help. All they had to do was call out to God, and they would have had all they help they needed. When you are in trouble, call out to God! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 24-(Jeremiah 23:1-8, 33:14-26, 31:27-40) "The Lord Our Righteous Savior" Jeremiah speaks of a day that is coming... A day when God will raise up a King to deliver His people. This King will bring something exciting. He will bring a new covenant. Of course he's talking about Jesus. For, the King of Kings would draw all kinds of people from all kinds of places. He also would set free those held captive by their sin. And when The Lord Your Savior was lifted up, He brought everyone something no one could offer—redemption! Now, anyone can come to God. Anyone can be saved!! Like the laws of nature, what God has done will never change. His love for you never changes. His promises are as sure as the sunrise. Today, you experience this new covenant. Today, The Lord, YOUR Righteous Savior gives you a new life... a fresh start... a second chance. Today, respond to your Savior with gratitude and a deep commitment to make sure His sacrifice on the cross is not in vain. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 23-(Jeremiah 33:10-13, 30:1-31:26) "The Weary and The Faint" Jeremiah is falling into a deep sleep. The Lord speaks to him in a dream. Jeremiah sees a ghost town; a subtle wind blows trash and debris along its sidewalks. There is no music... no buzz in the air from traffic and crowds. It's silent... It's very quiet... His home town is so desolate that there are no animals wandering the streets. But God says to Jeremiah that, one day, the people will return. The sights and sounds of a bustling city will once again return to Jerusalem; for, God has brought home His people. God's Kingdom will flourish again!! Jeremiah suddenly awakens breathless! He smiles... It's been a good sleep! If you are feeling like you have lost a lot lately, take heart! Don't be discouraged! It's only a season. This, too, will pass. All sunshine will make a desert. Sometimes you need a storm to bring the rain you need to grow. You just focus on pleasing God, and He will take care of the rest. Keep trusting God, and He will restore your life! Keep walking with the Lord, and eventually you will receive a special blessing. Then you, too, can wake up and say, "It was a good sleep." (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 22-(Jeremiah 21:1-22:9, 34:1-7, 32:1-33:9) "The Restored" Things are coming to an end in Judah. Nebuchadnezzar stands at the door and is about to break through the walls of Jerusalem. He will burn the city to the ground. The Temple will be a pile of rubble. Everyone will be taken far away. Only a handful of weak and helpless people will be left behind to scrounge around to survive. But in the middle of all the mayhem, God makes a promise to His people. One day He will bring the people back to the Promised Land. One day, God will restore Israel, and the world will know that the Lord is God. The same is true for you. God's promise of restoration is for you too. God is still bringing people out of captivity. He is interested in restoring your life too. He wants things to be good again. He wants to restore what sin has destroyed. He wants to walk close to you once again. This is what the cross accomplished. Jesus makes it possible for your relationship with God to be restored. Praise God for His amazing grace! He cannot stay angry with you. He loves you enough to provide a way to restore what you lost. He is able to start restoring when you start to surrender. Today, surrender to your God… and watch with great anticipation how God restores the things you've lost! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 21-(Ezekiel 24) "The Son Of Man" God is about to speak through Ezekiel once again. The message is heartbreaking. At that very moment, The Son Of Man says that Jerusalem, along with the treasured Temple, is being attacked and will be destroyed. The people don't believe it. How can Ezekiel know this? He lives hundreds of miles away. But this is exactly what is happening. To the very day, Ezekiel tells the people in captivity that Nebuchadnezzar has started attacking Jerusalem. Ezekiel would suspend all prophecy from his lips until word came from Jerusalem that the city and the temple had been leveled. This gave Ezekiel instant credibility! Generations later, The Son Of Man would speak of the future—Jesus would tell people that He would be put to death, but would rise from the grave in 3 days. The people thought He was nuts too; but it happened just as He predicted... to the day!!! Today, you can be sure that everything Jesus says is true. This includes all His promises to you and what He says about His return. Today, have confidence every time you open and read the Word of God. Be reassured that every word in it is true. Everything has either already happened, or will happen.
Aug 20-(Ezekiel 23:1-49; 2 Chronicles 36:13a; 2 Kings 25:1) "Oholibah" She is a prostitute, and she will sleep with anyone who will have her. This is the image God has of His beloved, Judah. Like her northern counterpart, (Israel), Judah has been reduced to nothing more than a people who are crawling after alliances with any nation that will have her. This is disastrous for Judah. For, God could have been all the 'superpower' they needed to make it, but Judah would not have anything to do with God. The lesson here is plain: There is no one or no thing that can compare to Almighty God. There is no one or no thing on this earth that can satisfy the soul as much as the one who made you. So, are you finding yourself searching for significance in ‘things’? Be prepared to be disappointed. Today, find meaning in your relationship with Christ. Look to God to satisfy your deep desires. For, God knows you best, and knows what you really need.
Aug 19-(Ezekiel 19:1-22:31) "Son Of Man" Passages like these in Ezekiel are hard to read. Most folks skim through chapters like these. It looks like Israel will never change. So prophecy after prophecy comes out of Ezekiel's mouth, describing the coming doom of God's people. You can imagine how Ezekiel must have felt as he brought this message of gloom and doom every day. The people didn't like his sermons! Who wants to hear this kind of stuff over and over? Today, it's no different. People want to hear more positive things. They want to be entertained with interesting stories, film clips, and clever clichés. But sometimes people need brutal honesty! They need a kick in the pants!! Otherwise, they never see their sin, or have any urgency to change their ways. Look... truth is good for you. In fact, it's great for you. You need it. Truth will save you a lot of grief in the long run. The question is: Do you want it? Are you sure you are ready to hear it? For, when you hear something truthful, your response will determine if it will be good or bad for you. Today, crave what God says. Be open to the truth He speaks into your life. Be thankful that God would love you enough to level with you. Today, let the truth turn you… and set you free! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 18-(Ezekiel 16) "The Harlot" This chapter metaphorically describes the history of the relationship between God and His people. When God first met Israel, He compares the moment to finding a helpless, orphaned newborn. God gathers the child up and takes care of her. And when she is old enough, He spreads the edge of His cloak over her (This is a gesture of marriage). He treats her like a queen! But she doesn't appreciate her husband. She packs up and leaves God. Breaking her vows, she lives like a skanky whore, giving herself to other nations. She doesn't want anything to do with her man. So she makes her own gods from her jewelry (God's blessings). Eventually her orgy comes to an end. No one wants anything to do with her. So she starts offering money to anyone (any nation) who will sleep with her (have an alliance with Israel). God is jealous! In His anger, He separates from His first love. But the separation doesn't last very long. God would make a new covenant. He makes atonement for her sin (a new beginning) and takes Israel back. This would happen when Jesus came to earth. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to identify with this. For when God found you, you were in a helpless mess. Right? God sees you. He notices you and takes you in. He cares for you. He marries you and treats you like a queen. And when you are ungrateful and blow it – or your love for God grows cold; or you get yourself into another big mess – what does God do with you? He disciplines! But He also makes atonement (forgives) for you and takes you back. Wow... He's such a good God, isn't He? Today, look at how He loves you, and take a close look at how you are loving Him. Today, appreciate God's atonement he made for you on a cross. Let His grace humble you with thankfulness.
Aug 17-(Ezekiel 12:1-14:23) "Noah, Daniel, and Job" With Ezekiel already in Babylon, God now turns His attention to the fate of His rebellious people left in Jerusalem. As God describes what will happen, He mentions three iconic figures every Jew is familiar with—Noah, Daniel, and Job. Why? These three faithful guys point to God's mercy and His justice. You see, Noah fully obeyed God. He warned the world of the flood, and manages to save his family in the process. Daniel was faithful to God under extreme pressure. He manages to save a few of his friends. Job persevered through unbearable suffering, but wasn't able to save his family or friends. These examples of faith provide a stern and sober warning that God holds accountable all people. Whether one accepts or rejects Him, everyone is responsible and held accountable for their response. But it's important to remember that God also will be merciful, and save the few who will seek Him. Today, think about your family and friends who need you to be a Noah... a Daniel... a Job in their life. They need you to be a faithful example in the face of opposition and hardships. You may be their only hope. You could be the catalyst that leads them to change. Today, display a faith in God that encourages others to seek Him.
Aug 16-(Ezekiel 11) "Pelatiah" In spite of the captivity, many of the exiles’ lives go unchanged. In fact, many would add to their list of sin. God comes to Ezekiel once again. This time, God points out to this prophet the judgement that is coming to the remnant in captivity. As God reveals His judgment, a leader by the name of Pelatiah drops dead!! What's going on here? Sometimes, it takes a graphic object lesson for people to take God's warnings seriously. Think about it... Can you think of a person or an event that God has used to get your attention? God will use sickness, hardship, and even the death of a loved one to get your attention. What has God used recently to 'wake you up'? Today, take God's warnings seriously. Pay attention to what He is trying to do in your life, and let it change you for the better. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 15-(Ezekiel 1:1-7:27) "Ezekiel" It's been 5 years... A 30 year old man sits beside a river in a strange place against his will. Ezekiel is sad... Why? He's not home. He's in the foreign country of his captors. As one of the first to be taken into Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel sits and contemplates his discouraging situation. Will he ever see home again? What's going to happen to his nation? All of a sudden, dark clouds start to form. Lightning flashes across the sky. A storm seems to be brewing on the horizon; but it's no storm. It's God, and He has a message for Ezekiel. It doesn't where you are. It doesn't matter how bad it gets. When discouraged, God will bring to you a message of hope. God tells Ezekiel to not be discouraged. He is to set his jaw and do the work. Today, if you're discouraged, if you are overwhelmed, look to the heavens. The Lord is coming to help you. Today, listen carefully for his voice, and be encouraged by His spirit to remain faithful. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 14-(Jeremiah 51) "The Portion Of Jacob" Out of all the graphic details of Babylon's fall, Jeremiah offers some hope to God's people. He speaks of how the Portion of Jacob will come to their aid. He wants the exiles to know that the Portion of Jacob is enough to give them what they need to eventually come back from captivity. Who is the Portion of Jacob? It's God. The same Hebrew word for portion is the one used for manna. Hmmm... Remember manna? You know, the bread from heaven that was given to Israel when they left Egypt? Regardless of how much they gathered, God supplied each of them with a generous portion; He supplied the Israelites with enough manna to live on. This is what Jeremiah means when he calls God the Portion of Jacob. He is saying to the exiles that God supplies... He gives you a portion... That is, all that you need. God is enough to satisfy your greatest needs. Does the Portion of Jacob satisfy you? He can, and will, when you truly depend on Him. Today, look to the Portion of Jacob to supply you with all you need. Trust His love to supply you with all you’ll need today.
Aug 13-(Jeremiah 50) "The Hammer" Babylon was known as The Hammer of the ancient world. Yet, Jeremiah would predict that The Hammer would fall to another powerful Kingdom. The Medes were slowly growing more powerful. It wouldn't be long before God would use the Medes to invade and crush Babylon. It goes to show you that nothing is invincible. Nothing can stand against God. This means no one or no thing you are facing can stand against The Lord. Nothing!!! Any problem you are facing today is powerless against God. Do you feel like something is beating you down? If so, realize that God has more than enough power to help you in your time of need. So don't be afraid of God. Go ahead... ask God to help you. He will! Call on God right now. He will give you the power to face anything. He will give you the power to overcome.
Aug 12-(Jeremiah 23:9-40) "False Prophets" Jeremiah's heart is broken! Why? Things are morally falling apart around him. False prophets are fighting his message too. They are telling the people what they want to hear. They promote peace and safety while utter destruction is at the door. So the people are not convicted; they are not preparing. Instead, they are living it up! They are going on with their lives as if nothing is going to happen. Boy are they in for a surprise!!! Are there false prophets on earth today? You bet. There are many 'prophets' who will tell you whatever you want to hear instead of what you need to hear. They will stroke your soul with cleaver statements and smooth talk. But you have to ask yourself if their message is rooted in the will of God! Is their message really from God? An effective way to know is to check their message against the Bible. Today, listen carefully to what you are hearing from your radio, your smart phone, or pulpit. Do some personal study. Ask God for wisdom. Make sure the message is from God. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 11-(Jeremiah 29) "Elasah" He carries good news to the exiles in Babylon. Elasah brings news of redemption and news of restoration. It's a message of hope... It's a message of promise! For, God is going to bring back those who seek Him with all their heart and listen to Him. Like Elasah, you carry a precious message to a people broken and in bondage. This message, you carry, can redeem and restore the worst of man. Today, let your faith conjure the boldness to share this message with another. Someone needs to know that God loves them and has a plan for them. Who needs to know that today? So speak up! Give the hope of God to others.
Aug 10-(2 Kings 24:7-20; 2 Chronicles 36:9-16; Jeremiah 22:24-30, 37:1-2) "Jehoiachin" Well, it looks like the wheels are coming off for Judah. Once an invincible nation, God's people have slowly dwindled into a weak and faithless few. The last of God's people are about to fall to the nation of Babylon. Within a few short months Nebuchadnezzar will confiscate all the Temple furnishings, an army of 7000, all the skilled workers in Judah, and anyone else of social stature; leaving only the weak and the poor behind to be led by an imbecile by the name of Zedekiah. Why? Poor leadership!! All King Jehoiachin had to do was humble himself before God, and obey. But, in pride, God's warnings go unheeded by this puppet king. In fact, God's message, as well as the messengers, is despised! This dangerous attitude spreads throughout the palace and into the streets. Whether it's your family or your church, you stand to lose everything when leaders refuse to humble themselves in the sight of God, and obey. How about you? Are you walking in humility with God, or do others have to remind you that you are full of pride? What will people see in you today? Will your influence, today, prevent others from disaster? Will your example nudge others to seek to please the Lord? Today, let humility begin in your heart. Spread an obedient spirit into your workplace, home, and church. Be a catalyst for change! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 8-(Daniel 1-2) "Daniel" The king of Babylon has had a terrible nightmare. He wants to know the meaning of his dream. If his court gets it wrong, everyone is going to die! But Daniel knows Nebuchadnezzar's dream and its meaning. How is this possible? Daniel calls out to the Lord, and his prayer is answered. You see, God is the true source of wisdom. God gives wisdom to those who ask. It's God who has the answers!! This is what Daniel makes clear to Nebuchadnezzar. When you seek the counsel of God, He will give you the insight and wisdom you need. What are you needing to know this morning? What mystery do you need help solving? Have you been asking for God's direction? Like Daniel, go to God and ask for His wisdom. Wait for His answer. He will tell you what to do. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 7-(Jeremiah 36:1-32; 45:1-5) "Jehoiakim" How deeply does God's word cut you? Jeremiah sends God's message on a scroll to King Jehoiakim. But as he hears the Word of God, Jehoiakim cuts the scroll into pieces and burns them; he is not intimidated by God's warning. But Jeremiah sends another scroll. Look...You can ignore it, mock it, deny it, or fight it. But you cannot destroy God's word. God's message still stands strong. His promise will not be denied. How are you responding to God's word? Are you downplaying something God is saying to you? Today, pay closer attention to God's word… and be blessed. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 6-(Jeremiah 35:1-19) "The Rekabites" Do you listen to the Lord? How are you doing with obeying your God? Jeremiah holds up the Rekabites as an example of how obedient they need to be with God. These people listened to their father, and obeyed his wishes. But Judah refuses to listen to and obey THEIR FATHER. Their chronic rebellion would bring an end to Israel, and usher in 70 years of Babylonian captivity. Everything that happens to you comes down to what you do with the Lord. Your choices matter!! The most powerful possession you have is your approach to God and His word. Today, make sure you are paying attention to God! Listen to His voice. Obey His word…
and experience His blessings. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 5-(Habakkuk 3) "Habakkuk" It's easy to trust God when everything is going great. But what will you do when life takes a nose dive? What will you do when things don't work out like you want them too? Will you only obey the Lord as long as He gives you what you want? Habakkuk is at a crossroads. He is watching his nation crumble before his eyes. Habakkuk is realizing that he is going into captivity with the rest of God's rebellious people; it doesn't seem fair! But Habakkuk makes a promise to God. He promises, whether good or bad, he will be joyful in his God. For, it's not all about the 'perks' of discipleship that Habakkuk keeps following God; it's about something more. It's about knowing the Lord personally. It's about experiencing God's love. So Habakkuk trusts God's wisdom and way. He believes, in the end, he is better off. How about you? Will you trust the Lord, regardless of what comes your way? Today, look past the gloom and doom around you, and see your Lord. Allow Him to help you navigate through the things that worry you, and experience security and peace of mind.
Aug 4-(Jeremiah 46:1-47:7) "Nebuchadnezzar" He's the son of King Nabopolassar, and he is coming for Egypt! God would use Nebuchadnezzar to 'clean house' in Egypt and eventually Judah. Today, God sends various forms of ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ to His people. It can be sickness, a termination, or anything designed to wake you up. Is there something like this going on in your life? Is God trying to get your attention? If so, what about? Will your ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ be successful in getting your attention? Today, listen for God’s voice. Turn closer to God… before He sends you another Nebuchadnezzar!
Aug 3-(2 Chronicles 35:20-25; 2 Kings 23:30-37; Jeremiah 22:10-17, 26:1-24) "Uriah" He preached the same message to the same people as Jeremiah, but with different results. Jeremiah is spared while Uriah is killed! Why? The only difference between Jeremiah and Uriah was courage. One stood with conviction, while the other fled in fear. Jeremiah trusted the Lord, while Uriah turned tail and ran for it. People can tell whether you are full of God or full of ... it. They know the difference between deep conviction and fair weather faith. What do you have? What will you do when your faith brings you persecution? What will you do when you have to choose between pleasing God, or pleasing people? Will you stand your ground… or run? Today, don't wimp-out! Be courageous! Like Jeremiah, place your future in God's hands. Set your jaw, and stand on your faith. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 2-(2 Kings 22:3-20; 2 Chronicles 34:8-35:19, 26-27) "Hilkiah" Years of neglect have not been kind to God's house. It’s been a long time since the Temple has been used properly. Imagine a thick cloud of dust tumbling out of the doors and windows of the Temple as men carry out trash and debris. The noise of hammers and saws echo through the halls as restoration work is in full progress. All of a sudden, something catches a priest's eye. It's an old scroll. With great curiosity, he starts reading the ancient words... He is frightened. No... He is terrified!! It's the Word Of God! He calls for his assistant. "You must take this to the King", he urges. King Josiah (He's only 18 yrs. old) starts reading the scroll, and his face turns white!! In his anguish, he rips his clothing and begins to call out to God. He confesses his negligence. He pleads with God to forgive His people for their sin. Josiah then orders the largest sacrifice since Samuel was alive. God hears his prayer and postpones His punishment until Josiah dies. Hmmm… What is your typical response when you read something convicting in God's word? Does it move you? Does it crush you? Does God's word convict you anymore? Does it cause you to cry out to God? Today, pray that you will respond to God's word seriously and with deeper conviction. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Aug 1-(Jeremiah 17:19-20:13) "Jeremiah" Here we go again. Jeremiah turns up the heat. He strongly warns and urges the people of Judah to change. This causes more tension and trouble in Jeremiah's life. People begin to turn on him. You'd think they would be grateful, but they start to resist and ridicule him. They want him to shut up!! They spread vicious rumors about him. They plot to kill him! Jeremiah hears of their plans. Like anyone else, this frightens and discourages him. But as he goes to God in prayer, Jeremiah's fears soon subside. The Lord is with him. So, he's going to be alright. You might as well face it; as you try to please God, you're not going to please everyone else. Sometimes, your commitment to God will bring ridicule and rejection from your family and friends. You are going to get hurt! But don't let this defeat you. Don't quit!! Don't let your critics win! Today, keep doing the right thing. Keep trusting the Lord. He is with you and will help you endure. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)