A Promise Kept

Re: Verse reading–Jeremiah 31:27-34; 32:1-15 (day five)

Jeremiah 31 31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 33  “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Luke 22:20 “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

John 14 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Colossians 1  27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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Sow the Seeds

Re: Verse reading–Jeremiah 31:27-34; 32:1-15 (day four
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast.  As I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to overthrow, to destroy and to bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord.
 (verses 27-28)  God is involved and in control of all of history.  Nothing happened in Israel that was not a part of God’s plan or apart from His permission.  When we hear the news today, as believers, we know that God is in authority and control over all of history.  It is not at the whim of an earthly ruler, or nation, or ideology.  He is still in charge of history.  God is in charge of First Baptist San Antonio as well.  It is God who will build and plant His church here.  May it be our constant prayer that He will sow the house of FBCSA with the seed of man to His glory!

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World

Re: Verse reading–Jeremiah 31-32 (day three)
“‘They will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord.’”  When they saw the future, the prophets didn’t settle for barely scraping by.  They saw an entire world transformed.  That’s because they served a God who has nothing less in mind than redeeming the entire universe.  There is room for refusal on the part of human beings, of course, because God has created us with the ability to say yes or no.  But on your most despairing days, will you turn your thoughts to a whole world that will pulse with God’s glory in every fiber of its being?  God’s already there, and he gives us a glimpse through the words of the prophets.

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Buy a Field

Re: Verse reading–Jeremiah 31:27-34; 32:1-15 (day two)
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “planes to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future.” Jer. 29:11

This was not a vain or empty promise that the Lord made just a few chapters earlier, and Jeremiah was willing to claim those words and put his faith into action. Throughout these dark days of exile and the hard words of rebuke, the Lord has always provided a word or restoration. It often meant a complete rejection of the lives they were living. What kind of a prophet would Jeremiah have been if he did not take God at his word? I’ve talked to financial planners who say that the best time to buy is when the market is down. Things may look grim, but when it turns around you will reap the harvest of your investment.

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Investing in the future

Re: Verse reading–Jeremiah 31:27-34; 32:1-15 (day one) 
“For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.’ ” (v 32:15)  My favorite Jeremiah story.  His finest hour.  After years of declaring Jerusalem’s ruin, and on the eve of that predicted collapse, Jeremiah becomes a voice of hope.  With the armies of Babylon surrounding the city, Jeremiah buys property!  Crazy!  He makes an investment in the future, “puts his money where his mouth is”.  Signing the papers, he instructs the deeds to be sealed in an earthenware jar to protect them from years of mildew, moisture and theft.  He then explained his action with a prophecy that commerce would someday be carried on again in Jerusalem and that eventually his purchase would prove financially prudent.  Easter is about hope, too.  Just like Jeremiah, our lives should speak hope.  Our friends should see us trusting God and investing in the future.

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When Judgement Comes

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 21:1-10; 38:1-6 (day seven) 
“Thus says the Lord. . .those who go out and surrender to the Chaldeans. . . shall live.”  (21:8-9)  When judgment comes we are to submit to it.  Not complain.  Not resist.  We are to trust/obey God despite the painful moment that our sins have brought down upon us.  God promises a way of escape and commands us to endure because we believe.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)  David is a good example of this attitude that leads to recovery.  “Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified when you speak, and blameless when you judge.”  (Psalm 51:4)  He praised God and refused to accuse God of unfairness.  Admitting that some of the difficulty is life comes in direct response to our sin is humbling.  Some, not all,  heartbreak is the discipline of God, and the way forward is to submit to it and look to Him for mercy to follow.

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Lessons from Babylon to Holy Week

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 21:1-10, 38:1-6 (day five)

We see a couple of similarities as we compare the narrative in Jeremiah and the recounts of Holy Week in the Gospels.  Absence of Leadership (A leader who cowers down to the wishes/demands of the passionate crowd people instead of standing strong and making an unpopular decision (Zedikiah/Pilate).  True Picture of Following God (The Lord’s provision and plan calls for submission and surrender (Chaldeans/Cross).

The call to live a life that evidences grace, truth, strength, integrity, and love (2 Timothy 2:22-25) is still what the Lord would desire of all His followers.  It also is worth remembering Jesus always believed the Christian life would involve to some degree:  pain, difficulty, and humility (Luke 9:23).

 

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You Can Live

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 21:1-10, 38:1-6 (day four)
King Zedekiah thought that his enemy was Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.  What he did not realize was that he was his own enemy.  God had warned Judah if they did not repent and turn from their wicked ways, they would face the power of Babylon.  Babylon was marching against Judah because they had not done that.  God was using Babylon to deliver judgment on Judah.  Even in the midst of judgment though, God was offering hope.  Jeremiah, in verse 9, says if the people will flee the city and surrender to the armies of Babylon…in other words, yield to the judgment of God and do not battle against it…they would live.  To yield to God’s plan would require putting aside pride, and in humility, to yield to Him.  Sounds like repentance and salvation doesn’t it?  Are you willing to humbly yield to God’s plan for your life?

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Pause

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 21:1-10, 38:1-6 (day three)
“I myself will fight against you.”  Are you sure you’ve set yourself against the thing that you should be fighting?  Our capacity to think we’re right is mighty deep.  When we measure events by our discomfort instead of the righteousness of God—the actual righteousness of God, mind you, not our interpretation of the righteousness of God—we tend to mark unpleasant things as coming from anywhere but God.  Mark Twain said it well: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”  Gamaliel, speaking in Acts 5:39, said it even earlier: “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

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Perhaps is the wrong prayer

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 21:1-10, 38:1-6 (day two)
“Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders of us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us” Jer. 21:2

Perhaps?

How are you treating your conversations with God? Do you approach him with fear and reverence or on the off chance that it might “work” to ask? There is more history involved with this story of exile and captivity, but much can be gleaned from the callow way the people treated the Lord. They acknowledged that God had indeed performed great and mighty deeds for them in the past, but they were unwilling to concede that their hearts were hardened. Don’t treat God like a last resort, it may keep you from exile and captivity in the first place.

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