October 31

Lamentations 4:1-5:22; Hebrews 2:1-18; Psalm 103:1-22; Proverbs 26:23

Every act of sin (disobedience) leaves a debt which needs to be satisfied. You can think of sin like a credit card. Every time you use it, you will have to pay with interest. Israel repeatedly sinned (disobeyed) and their sin debt skyrocketed.

When it was time to pay the price, they were unable and unwilling. The price was that they had to be exiled from the land and everything that they had built would be destroyed. Instead of being an independent nation led by God, they would be slaves in a foreign land and their homeland would be under foreign leadership. Jeremiah felt this was a high price to pay. Once Israel paid the price, Jeremiah says that the Lord’s anger was satisfied.

The same is true with our sin. When Jesus died on the cross, He satisfied all of our sin debt once and for all. God is no longer mad at us and He responds to us based on Jesus’ blood. But, sin still exists and it still remains a stumbling block for us! It is a tool of the devil to stop our purpose.

Sin always costs us something! And, it is usually more than we are willing to pay in the end. God challenges us to think about sin and its built-in consequences. If we try to enjoy the pleasures of sin, they will only last momentarily. But, when the due date comes, we cannot make a minimum payment. The devil will require maximum payment plus penalties.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 1:1-3:15; Hebrews 3:1-19; Psalm 104:1-23; Proverbs 26:24-26

October 30

Lamentations 3:1-66; Hebrews 1:1-14; Psalm 102:1-28; Proverbs 26:21-22

Jeremiah does not paint a pleasant picture of his walk with God. I am certain that anyone who reads this would not want to sign on for the job of God’s prophet! His experience with obeying God is so rough that he said it was like “chewing on gravel” and that God rips him apart like a stalking bear or lion!

Then in a moment, he changes and talks about “The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’”

When our feelings control our lives, they can give us a skewed view of who God is. When faith kicks in and overrides our feelings, we can truly see the love, mercy and grace of God. It is so easy to look and see the bad and the burden but when you look through eyes of faith, you can see God’s unfailing love.

Regardless of how bad you may feel or things may seem, you must believe that God is for you and “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.”

Tomorrow’s Reading: Lamentations 4:1-5:22; Hebrews 2:1-18; Psalm 103:1-22; Proverbs 26:23

October 29

Lamentations 1:1-2:22; Philemon 1:1-25; Psalm 101:1-8; Proverbs 26:20

God cares about our tears. The Book of Lamentations is all about what Jeremiah was feeling about seeing Jerusalem invaded and destroyed. God allowed a whole book in the Bible to record all of Jeremiah’s feelings.
As people of faith, we do not rely upon our feelings but we cannot deny them either. Feelings are a part of the human experience and we cannot ignore them. We feel real hurt and pain when tragic things happen. We feel joy and pain. The key for all of us is to make certain that our feelings never override our faith.

Jeremiah had the painful task of telling Israel about God’s impending judgment. He had to obey God but it did not negate how he felt about what God told him to do. You can walk by faith to the degree that your feelings don’t stop you from obeying God. God understands our feelings but know that the best path for us is to trust Him not our feelings.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Lamentations 3:1-66; Hebrews 1:1-14; Psalm 102:1-28; Proverbs 26:21-22

October 28

Jeremiah 51:54-52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 26:18-19

God can prosper you even in difficult seasons! Israel was completely defeated and overrun by the Babylonians. They took the King of Israel and most of the people to be slaves in Babylon. As much as Israel had angered God by their disobedience, God would not go back on His promise to the House of David.

Even though the Israelite king was in bondage, the new leader of Babylon showed him kindness and favor. Was it because Evil-Merodach was a good guy? No! It was because God never goes back on His promises!

If God made you a promise, you can trust it regardless of what happens around you. God’s promises will lift you up even in the worst of situations. Can you trust God’s promises? Your future depends upon it. God made a promise that one of David’s descendants would sit on the throne. Nothing was going to change that. God will put the same power behind every promise He made to you!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Lamentations 1:1-2:22; Philemon 1:1-25; Psalm 101:1-8; Proverbs 26:20

October 27

Jeremiah 51:1-53; Titus 2:1-15; Psalm 99:1-9; Proverbs 26:17

Gods that we create are called idols. Our culture creates many things that we gladly bow down to. These idols fall into three categories: Money, power or prestige. We neglect the God who gives us so much more for things that cannot satisfy.

The way Israel missed the mark was by placing some other idol above the True God. When God delivered Israel from Egypt by using His miraculous power, Israel used the gold that God provided them to make a golden calf (which was the god of Egypt.) Isn’t that what we do?

God blesses us with a new job and that job consumes all our time so that we neglect our families and our relationship with God. Or, God provides “nice things” for us and we make them an idol so that they become more important than people. Others have been blessed financially but cannot bring themselves to use those finances to help those in need. These are all idols and, slowly but surely, they lead us away from God.

Daily, we should renounce all idols that may have been setup in our lives and recommit ourselves to the One, True and Living God! There is no God like Our God! Israel learned this the hard way! Let’s learn from their example.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 51:54-52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 26:18-19

October 26

Jeremiah 49:23-50:46; Titus 1:1-16; Psalm 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 26:13-16

Sin has always been humanity’s problem. Sin is simply defined as “missing the mark.” It is an archery metaphor which speaks of someone shooting at a target and missing. Sin is never passive. It is always active.

Sin occurs when someone is shooting in the right direction, at the right target but something goes wrong and the arrow misses the target. Israel wanted to obey God. They pledged their loyalty to God and soon after, they were loyal to another god.

Sin comes as a trap so that the mark you are trying to hit never happens. This is not a matter of the devil but our sinful tendencies.  Sin is deceitful and it always snares us when we are trying to do good. Don’t ever let your guard down because it is in those times when sin wins. Once the mark has been missed consequences follow and they are always worse than the original sin. Be on the lookout for sin.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Jeremiah 51:1-53; Titus 2:1-15; Psalm 99:1-9; Proverbs 26:17

October 25

Jeremiah 48:1-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12

Those who actively fight against God will never win. Throughout Israel’s history there were nations who actively worked against God’s special people. As God turns to bless and restore His people, He also exacts judgment on those who have been against Him.

Moab had a long history of fighting God’s people and even tried to hurt Israel when they were at a low point. God let Moab know that their vicious acts against Israel will be recompensed.

Don’t you ever be intimidated by those who are against you! Even though they are strong and in alliance for your defeat, they are not stronger than your God!! Your God is a Mighty God and He will fight for you!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 49:23-50:46; Titus 1:1-16; Psalm 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 26:13-16

October 24

Jeremiah 44:24-47:7; 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 26:6-8

God allows us the freedom to make decisions for our lives even if those decisions are against His will for us. This confuses people because as powerful as God is, He has preserved humanity’s ability to choose its own way. Why would God do this?

The only way real love can be offered is freely. It is unquestionable that God loves us unconditionally. God wants that same love reciprocated to Him. Real, committed love cannot be coerced. It is a choice from the heart.

Israel was exiled in a foreign land. It was their persistent disobedience that landed them there. Instead of having a repentant heart, they doubled down on the disobedience and started to worship a pagan god, “The Queen of Heaven.” Even though God knew it was futile, He allowed it. Israel had a heart-choice to make and they choose another god. God gave us free will so that we would have the ability to choose Him from our heart.

That’s all God wants from us. He wants us to choose Him! There are choices all around us. There are options around us but the best one is God. But if we choose to ignore God and live our lives by another standard, as much as it breaks God’s heart, He will allow it. What brings joy to God is when we say to Him, “I choose You over all other options. You are my God.”

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Jeremiah 48:1-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12

October 23

Jeremiah 42:1-44:23; 2 Timothy 2:1-21; Psalm 92:1-93:5; Proverbs 26:3-5

One word from God can change our lives! The renegades who invaded Jerusalem came to Jeremiah to inquire about the Lord’s will for them. They submitted themselves to God’s servant and committed that whatever Jeremiah brought back from God, they would follow.

God clearly told them to stay in Jerusalem and He would bless them. They rejected the Word that the prophet Jeremiah spoke to them and did the exact opposite. God not only told them what would happen if they obeyed but God also told them what would happen if they didn’t obey. They chose the route of disobedience and everything that God told them would happen, did happen.

We do well to remember that every act of disobedience carries with it consequences. God has given us shepherds to speak His Word to us. Train yourself to hear God speak to you through your Pastor’s voice. It is the voice that can speak life into dying situations. It can give hope to desperate situations and it can bring peace to turbulent situations. God’s Word will never fail so trust what God says to you for it will surely happen!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 44:24-47:7; 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 26:6-8

October 22

Jeremiah 39:1-41:18; 2 Timothy 1:1-18; Psalm 90:1-91:16; Proverbs 26:1-2

When the favor of God is evident in your life, you get a supernatural advantage over others. Jeremiah had God’s favor working in his life. It was not easy for him to recognize because he was focused like a laser on obeying God.

Yet, God’s favor was all around him. When Israel finally fell to its enemies the King of Babylon told the soldiers to locate Jeremiah and give him a private audience. When Jeremiah approached the king, he had no idea what the King wanted. The king actually gave him an option: you can stay and be taken care of or go to Babylon and be taken care of by the King.

He was the only one who was given such an option. This is another example of that supernatural advantage that favor gives to the child of God. You should live in expectation for this same favor to show up in your life. Expect to be surprised by God’s favor.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 42:1-44:23; 2 Timothy 2:1-21; Psalm 92:1-93:5; Proverbs 26:3-5