October 11

Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-8

When you reduce it all down, every decision we make is one that will either honor God and draw us closer to Him or dishonor God and pull us away from Him. It is often easy for us to dwell in a gray area of uncertainty but when it comes to God, we are either all in or all out!

God says that if we put our trust (confidence) in mere humans, we are actually cursed! Think of cursed like positioned for destruction. If we build our lives on what people think and trying to please them, then we will be led to destruction. If we put our trust in God, then we are blessed, that is, positioned for promotion.

Choose today to walk according to God’s ways and honor Him because when you do it, you will be strategically positioned to prosper (do well) in life. God knows everything we don’t know. If we follow Him, we will never be led astray. Why follow someone who knows as much, if not less, than you? That will only lead to destruction. God’s way is best.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 19:1-21:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28; Psalm 82:1-8; Proverbs 25:9-10

October 10

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13; Psalm 80:1-19; Proverbs 25:1-5

Thank God for His grace and mercy! People often misjudge God because they see Him in the Old Testament bringing judgment on people. God is Holy and thus, He cannot tolerate any sin. This was the reason that Adam and Eve had to leave the garden. His holiness cannot accommodate sin. Sin pollutes.

In order for sinful humanity to get back to God, a price (judgment) had to be paid to satisfy humanity’s sin debt. Humans tried to correct their deficiencies, but it was still not good enough to get us back to God. At our best, we still were not sinless enough to get back to God. Because God wanted to be in relationship with us, He realized that He had to pay our sin debt.

Jesus died on the cross to satisfy the righteous requirements of the law. With this debt being paid, now we can approach God and be in relationship with Him. All of the things that Israel had to fear from God’s judgment, we no longer need to be concerned about, because all of our sins (past, present and future) have been settled. How powerful Jesus’ sacrifice was that it could handle all sin. Jesus’ Blood never loses its power!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-8

October 9

Jeremiah 12:1-14:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8; Psalm 79:1-13; Proverbs 24:30-34

What is your threshold for frustration with God? Each of us has a limit. In our immature days, the slightest thing bothered us. But in truth, there is so much that we just do not and cannot know.

Can the existence of questions shake your faith? Or, is your faith strong enough that even in the presence of persistent questions, you can stand strong? Jeremiah was asked by God to do some really strange things. And, he did them all. He would walk naked to illustrate a prophetic point that God wanted to make but he could not fathom how evil people could prosper.

God challenges Jeremiah with 2 proverbs, which really asked him, if you can’t handle that conundrum, how will you ever be ready to handle the biggest issues? It was a call to maturity. Because faith is given to us so we can operate in areas that we do not understand, our walk with God has to leave room for things we just do not understand. Can you trust God’s heart even when you can’t trace His hand?

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Jeremiah 14:11-16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13; Psalm 80:1-19; Proverbs 25:1-5

October 8

Jeremiah 10:1-11:23; Colossians 3:18-4:18; Psalm 78:56-72; Proverbs 24:28-29

We have heard it said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. This may be true in worldly things but not so when it comes to God’s children. God made us all uniquely; and, we can never fully be who God has called us to be until we are being our uniquely recreated self.

Israel had the problem of wanting to be like other nations. They were called God’s special nation but they thought that being like some other nation was to be desired more than being the “Apple of God’s Eye.”

You are a masterpiece, created in God’s image to do good works. Don’t render your existence unnecessary because you choose to be like someone else. Be who God created you to be. There’s no one else on earth like you!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 12:1-14:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8; Psalm 79:1-13; Proverbs 24:30-34

October 7

Jeremiah 8:8-9:26; Colossians 3:1-17; Psalm 78:32-55; Proverbs 24:27

Even though God taught Israel to follow the law, He was more interested in their heart! The law was only a way to constrain their actions so that they would not incite God’s judgment.

Israel failed miserably at this and that is why they were exiled. God explains something very powerful to Israel, and thus, to us. God says that He is looking for people whose hearts are circumcised. After all, God has always wanted our hearts.

Where is your heart in relation to God? He does want your actions! God wants to know that your heart in following Him. Do you obey God because you have to? If so, your heart is not circumcised. If you obey God because you love Him, then your heart is right towards God. Search your heart and determine if it is duty or desire that drives you to serve God.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 10:1-11:23; Colossians 3:18-4:18; Psalm 78:56-72; Proverbs 24:28-29

October 6

Jeremiah 6:16-8:7; Colossians 2:8-23; Psalm 78:1-31; Proverbs 24:26

God loves us enough to always warn us of impending danger. God did this with Israel repeatedly. Whenever calamity befalls us, we are tempted to ask God, “Why?” We will even accuse Him of causing it. Yet, nothing befalls us without some type of warning.

To make matters worse, those who were charged with speaking for God, colluded with the devil and lied to Israel so that they were not prepared for what was to come.

Always remember that God is trying to help you and He will use his servants as well as a still small voice to guide you. Be sensitive to listen so you do not miss the warning signs.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Jeremiah 8:8-9:26; Colossians 3:1-17; Psalm 78:32-55; Proverbs 24:27

October 5

Jeremiah 4:19-6:15; Colossians 1:18-2:7; Psalm 77:1-20; Proverbs 24:23-25

God likes honesty. In fact, He is searching for it (Jeremiah 5:3). Part of honesty is an accurate assessment of where we are and what it will take to fix it. God has chosen pastors as His voice of truth in an age of dissimilation.

One of the criticisms of the leaders during Jeremiah’s time was that “They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.” The problems facing God’s people and our culture are serious and require honest assessment. The leaders of the day glossed over the real issues and they never offered real solutions.

The honest truth needs to be offered so that people are not lulled into a false sense of security. We are not okay so long as we are disconnected from God. It is the most risky proposition of all. As a part of the family of God, we have to be clear that the safest place to be is in relationship with God. This is the truth we must present to everyone who will listen.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 6:16-8:7; Colossians 2:8-23; Psalm 78:1-31; Proverbs 24:26

October 4

Jeremiah 2:31-4:18; Colossians 1:1-17; Psalm 76:1-12; Proverbs 24:21-22

There are common things that hold us back from God’s best in our lives. Israel committed these sins as a regular part of their rebellion against God. God pleads with Israel to ” surrender your pride and power.”

Pride is thinking we know more than God. It causes us to disregard God’s clear instructions in favor of our way of thinking. Power is thinking  we can do more than God can do. With this dangerous combination, our heart becomes polluted to the point that we reject God’s wisdom and God’s help. The end result is our own destruction.

God’s counsel to Israel is the same for us: Let go of pride and power. Nothing good ever comes from disregarding God’s ways or relying on our own human strength. God’s way is best and His power is infinite. Let’s build our lives on God and not our own human reasoning. Unfortunately, Israel learned this lesson the hard way.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 4:19-6:15; Colossians 1:18-2:7; Psalm 77:1-20; Proverbs 24:23-25

October 3

Jeremiah 1:1-2:30; Philippians 4:1-23; Psalm 75:1-10; Proverbs 24:17-20

You were born with purpose and destiny in you. Often we think  the circumstances around our birth determine the meaningfulness of our lives. That is not the case. Our purpose is tied to God’s plans. We are never disqualified because of where we come from. The first thing we received was our purpose when God breathed us into existence.

Your purpose preceded any mistakes you may have made. So, you can’t lose your purpose. Jeremiah realized this as he tried to convince God he had chosen the wrong person. God made it plain to Jeremiah that He knew his purpose when Jeremiah was in his mother’s womb.

The same is true for you. You have a created, unique purpose from God. Claim it. Be proud of it. Walk in it. Then you will truly be fulfilled. Jeremiah was called to do some great things for God. He would never have done them if he didn’t realize that being a prophet was what he was created to do from the foundations of the earth. You should have the same conviction about your purpose.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 2:31-4:18; Colossians 1:1-17; Psalm 76:1-12; Proverbs 24:21-22

October 2

Isaiah 66:1-24; Philippians 3:4-21; Psalm 74:1-23; Proverbs 24:15-16

God loves Israel. There is no questioning it. God called out a people to be His very own, special people. Often we talk about how we as Christians are engrafted into this family line, which is true but we cannot ignore that the Jewish people, and the land of Israel are precious to God.

God says that He will treat Israel like a mother treats a child but she will remain blessed and prosperous forever. And, when Jesus returns, He will return in Jerusalem. With all the political posturing and threats against Israel, it is a good reminder that no earthly nation has been assigned Israel’s protector but God. All of Israel’s allies may stand with her but God has taken a personal interest in Israel’s protection.

Our responsibility is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. “This is what the Lord says: ‘I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her.'”

Take some time today and pray for the peace, protection and prosperity of Israel. God will multiply blessings to you for this.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-2:30; Philippians 4:1-23; Psalm 75:1-10; Proverbs 24:17-20