Thursday, May 26, 2016

Quiet and ease...

"But fear not, O Jacob my servant, nor be dismayed, O Israel, for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid." -- Jeremiah 46:27
No matter how we turn the pages, the Lord occasionally needs to discipline his people. Yet, while He will bring judgment upon the lost and unbelieving world, He will only correct and renew His children. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 30:5, "For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."

When the corrective hand of your heavenly Father rests upon you my friend, don't be dismayed. His purpose is far greater than you can understand. He will bring out the very best in you and ultimately give you "quiet and ease". Remember, "... He also predestined (us) to be conformed to the image of His Son" and, "...neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:29, 38-39)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seek them not...

"And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go." -- Jeremiah 45:5
When our disappointment and dissatisfaction comes down to the basics it's all about us. Serving the Lord can lead us into very demanding and far less rewarding situations than we imagined. Baruch had much higher hopes for his future than being an assistant to a ridiculed and rejected prophet. While God was dealing with the hard hearts of a very rebellious people after years of blessing them, this servant was more concerned with his own sorrow than with God's.
When you are greatly discouraged in the service of God, remember that He is at work in ways you cannot see, Yet, He will be sure to care for you in His way and His time. As the Lord heard Baruch, He assured him that he would be cared for in all places to which he might go. Seek not great things for yourself my friend, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Trust and Obey...

"The Lord has said to you, O remnant of Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Know for a certainty that I have warned you this day that you have gone astray at the cost of your lives. For you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the Lord our God, and whatever the Lord our God says declare to us and we will do it.’ And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God in anything that he sent me to tell you." -- Jeremiah 42:19-21
However sad these pages may be to the reader, the lessons are timeless. We are inundated with books and articles written about the will of God. How can we find the will of God? What are the easiest steps that will show us God's will for our future? Which job should I take, or which school should I attend? Who should I marry or where should I live? The questions are unending, but one question rises above all others... are we willing to do God's will, once it's discovered?
The request was made for Jeremiah to seek God's will and the promise was made to follow His will, no matter what. But after all was revealed, the people followed their own desires, even at the cost of their lives. Wisdom tells us that to know God's will is to obey. He never reveals His plan for our lives without the expectation that we will follow. The hymn writer put it best my friend... "Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus."

Monday, May 23, 2016

All things...

"... So the captain of the guard gave him an allowance of food and a present, and let him go." -- Jeremiah 40:5
Take a moment and place this occasion alongside Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." This moment in the life of Jeremiah gives insight to the words "all things". While the army of Babylon moves at God's command for disaster, Nebuzaradan is directed to free Jeremiah and bless him with food and a present.
The Lord worked all things together to accomplish His great purpose and yet bless His servant. In the very midst of sorrowful days, God was carefully and specifically protecting and providing for Jeremiah. Our Lord controls the little things as well as the big things for our good. Just trust Him my friend and your needs will be met, with a present beside!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Honor Him...

"But I will deliver you on that day, declares the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares the Lord.’” -- Jeremiah 39:17-18
Here we find one of the many silver threads woven throughout the Scriptures. God honors those who honor Him. Ebed-melech the Ethiopian trusted the Lord and willingly sought the welfare of Jeremiah at the expense of his own safety. When King Zedekiah was too frightened to obey the instructions of the Lord, he suffered a great loss, but the Ethiopian received his life as a prize of war.
No matter how dark the days may be, whatever the future may bring, however deep the troubled waters may seem, God is faithful to those who trust Him. While a rebellious king is forsaken, the faithful servant is blessed. Be true to His Word and honor Him, however great the temptation and He will honor you my friend.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Listen and Obey

"But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Please pray for us to the Lord our God.”" -- Jeremiah 37:2-3
The above passage reflects the wonder of the ages. The world is full of those who refuse to listen to the Lord, but they are quick as a jack rabbit to pray. This is like the man who ignored the "wet paint" sign on the park bench and then promptly sent the cleaning bill to the park rangers office.
The Word of God is given for good purpose. In it we find wisdom and counsel for the challenges of life. There are also commands that are given for our protection and blessing. The Lord didn't give us the privilege of prayer just to get out of the trouble that disobedience causes.
Listen and obey as well as pray my friend. Like any new product, we are instructed to read the handbook first before we call the help line. Prayer was never intended to be just a "Get Out of Jail" card. So, always take time to listen and life will be much better.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Indestructible Word

"As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot." -- Jeremiah 36:23

Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:9, "... I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!"  The servants of God can be imprisoned or silenced, but the Word of God lives on without hindrance. The king could burn the scroll, but not the Scriptures.

The French philosopher Voltaire, a skeptic who destroyed the faith of many people, boasted that within 100 years of his death, the Bible would disappear from the face of the earth. Voltaire died in 1728, but 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society moved into his former house and used his printing presses to print thousands of Bibles.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:18, "For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished." My friend, you can deny, ignore and even destroy the Bible, but you can never hinder, nor hide from God's living Word. Don't be like Jehoiakim who learned this truth the hard way.(2 Kings 24:12-17)