"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Lamentations 4:1-5:22 ~ Hebrews 2:1-18 ~ Psalm 103:1-22 ~ Proverbs 26:23
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Old Testament – Lamentations Chapters 4 and 5 are tough chapters to read. We know why everything that we read in these chapters has come to pass from our readings in the book of Jeremiah. I guess the thing personally that jumped out at me today when reading this chapter were these thoughts:
New Testament – Hebrews chapter 2 starts strong with the first verse: “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” This is powerful. We must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we’ll drift away from it. My thoughts here are that listening carefully in this sense also means listening often to the truth. Or reading often of the truth. Reading the Bible often. Say, every day? 🙂 I think our human nature is such that we’ll oftentimes hear something and it goes in one ear and out the other. We need repetition. We need a routine. We need the truth. Please don’t drift away from it!
Verse 12 is beautiful: “I will declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters.” Here Jesus calls those who believe in Him his “brothers and sisters.” What a great thing! To help us in the midst of temptation, memorizing Scripture regularly is a very wise practice.
Psalms – Psalm 103 is a great Psalm today! Each verse is a powerful reminder of God’s character and our relationship to God. Verse 8 definitely stands out today – “The LORD is merciful and gracious. He is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.”
Today in Psalm 103 verses 11 & 12 we read these verses about God – “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” I think these verses are a wonderful look at what it means to be spiritually reborn and living in relationship with God. These verses are a glimpse of the true freedom that is found in relationship with God – freedom of living in God’s perfect love, and freedom from our slavery to sin.
Proverbs – Proverbs Chapter 26, verse 23 is so true – “Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common clay pot.” Be watchful for the smooth words or smooth talker. Again, think of the devil tempting Jesus in the desert in the gospels… do you think those were smooth words being said by the devil in those temptations? Another thing I’d like to caution each of us on – let us not be smooth talkers ourselves! Really. Think about your talk to others – are your words simple and sincere? Or are you smooth talking at times? I on occasion catch myself “talking smooth” and I’m so disappointed when I hear myself talk like that! I don’t think I’m hiding a wicked heart with those smooth words – but I’m sounding just fake as can be. I think maybe I default to smooth talking if I’m feeling tired or rushed or not confident for whatever reasons. I just pray that we would be sincere-talkers. Speak sincerely to each other from the heart. Through our relationship with Jesus, we should have nothing to hide from others. Let us leave our smooth talking ways completely behind! Let us talk simply and sincerely!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “Because he (Jesus) himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)
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