"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Jeremiah 16:16-18:23 ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3 ~ Psalm 81:1-16 ~ Proverbs 25:6-8
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Old Testament – There are a lot of great verses in Jeremiah’s readings today! Jeremiah 17:5 stands out: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord.” I think oftentimes we put more trust in others than the Lord – our spouses, our pastors, our friends, our family, and even ourselves. The risk here is that people are human and are not perfect. They will eventually disappoint at some point. God is the only perfect option to place our ultimate trust in. I do think we can still “trust” others to a degree – marriage of course being a prime example of this trust in another human. But, marriage will really only ultimately work if God is the “third cord” in the marriage (see Ecclesiastes 4:12). Overall, this verse wisely cautions that our highest level of trust should be reserved for God! Who will not fail us. Ever.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 has some great imagery! “”But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.” These verses remind me a lot of Psalm 1, verses 1 through 3.
Jeremiah 17:19-27 are some powerful verses on the Sabbath! “`But if you do not listen to me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames.'”
I like this verse in Jeremiah 18:15 – “They have stumbled off the ancient highways of good, and they walk the muddy paths of sin.” I like that metaphor – the ancient highways of good. These sound nice! You want to be on these. And not veering off into the muddy paths of sin…
New Testament – The First Thessalonians verses today are great teachings on living to please God and the hope of the resurrection. A verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:2 that I actual use fairly frequently is: “the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.” And if we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we do not need to fear the day of the Lord!
In First Thessalonians 4:3-5 today we read this teaching of Paul’s: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust.”
Below is a great image for 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 from today’s readings:
Psalms – I always like reading verses like 1 & 2 in Psalm 81 today – verses that speak of music & God – “Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Israel. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp.”
Proverbs – In proverbs 25:6-7 today we read – “Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great. It is better to wait for an invitation than to be sent to the end of the line, publicly disgraced!” This reminds me of Jesus’ parable of not taking the best seats at the feast, or you may be asked to move down. But take the lowest seats and you may be asked to move on up. This is similar to Jesus’ teaching: “those who are first, shall be last. And those who are last, shall be first.”
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (NIV)
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