Friday, October 31, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Mercy of God

Read: Lam. 4:1-5:22; Heb. 2:1-18; Ps. 103:1-22; Pr. 26:23 We read again the devastation that went on when Jerusalem was taken over by the Babylonians. Everything that once was beautiful and prosperous was tarnished with devastation and oppression. The nation they depended on to save them could not. They describe death as better than life. This is a picture of a nation that forgot her god. Israel’s god was Jehovah and so was America’s. We pray for the mercy of God. Hebrews warns us that we should strongly pay attention to the things that have been taught to us of the past because if God would punish the angels for rebelling against Him, then He will punish us for the same sin. There is no escape for those who refuse God’s salvation. Even though man is lower than the angels God has put him over the earth and God’s creation. Jesus chose to become a man so that he would destroy the devil and the power of death and take the fear out of death. Jesus became a man so that he could experience what we go through as mere men. Only then could he be our High Priest that is understands our weaknesses and failures. He went through the temptations we go through so he can better represent us to God. Lord, thank you that You are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - The Oil of Gladness

Read: Lam. 2:20-3:66; Hebrews 1:1-14: Ps. 102:1-28; Pr. 26:21-22 One of my favorite scriptures is “The compassion of the Lord never ceases, they are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” But, I never knew the context until today. Jeremiah is saying it at a time where the enemy has come and destroyed his city, the temple, his government and taken away all his friends and family. In the midst of all this Jeremiah says he has hope because the Lord is good to those who wait for him and seek him. May we say the same thing when the time comes. I love Hebrews! I started memorizing the book of Hebrews years ago and got to the 5th chapter. Every time I read it or quote it something new stands out. Today it was the “oil of gladness” in verse 9 that God anointed Jesus with. It is a direct quote from Ps. 45:7. The word “gladness” means “exultation; specially, welcome - exceeding joy”. “Oil” speaks of the Holy Spirit so this anointing is a welcome joy to the whole earth. Jesus came at a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. Things were oppressive and hard for God’s people. From the midst of their oppression and poverty there was a cry in the wilderness to prepare the way for the Lord. The Messiah came with a message of joy and hope and rest. Jesus will come again with that same promise. Then He will fold up the earth like the garment he wore that was folded in the tomb. Then he will proclaim once again that, “It is finished.” Lord, may we be anointed with that same oil of gladness as we hope for your return.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Power of a Changed Life

Read: Lam. 1-2:19; Philemon 1:1-25; Ps. 101:1-8; Pr. 26:20 Lamentations was written by Jeremiah as the Chaldeans came and took over the temple. He describes Israel as a widow who was once the powerful princess. I can’t help but be sad as I think of how this correlates with America. I wonder how long it will be before we will be living Lamentations. I highly recommend every Christian reading “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of Shemitah” by Joel Rosenberg. I am in the later book right now and it is amazing to read how far our nation has fallen in the past decade. We are living in the day where good is called evil and evil called good. It is important to us to pray for our nation and not be intimidated. We really do have the answer of the universe. It is important to know the history behind Philemon to understand the letter. Philemon lived in Colosse and was wealthy and important. He had been converted under Paul’s ministry. He had owned a slave named Onesimus who ran away from him and fled to Rome where he too was converted to the gospel by Paul. He stayed under Paul’s mentorship until Paul found him mature in the faith. Onesimus wanted to right the wrong he had done to his master, Philemon by running away so he asked Paul to write his master and put in a good word for him. That is the letter of Philemon. Paul praised Onesimus’ faith in Jesus and his love for the body of Christ. He expresses Onesimus’ desire to make amends and pay his debt. He ends with a blessing. It is amazing the power of salvation. It is the power to totally change a life. Lord, help us to remember that with You nothing is impossible. You can change the vilest sinner into another Paul.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Prophecy Fulfilled

Read: Jer. 51:1--52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Ps. 100:1-5; Pr. 26:18-19 Everything that Jeremiah said would happen happened. King Zedekiah refused to surrender to Babylon when they besieged the city. He was hunted down and taken to Babylon where the last thing he saw before they gouged out his eyes was his sons being killed. Then he spent the rest of his life in a prison in Babylon. Most of the people were either killed or carried captive to Babyon. The poor were left to take care of the land. The temple was stripped of its treasures and torn down. The king of Judah, Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon and imprisoned for 37 years. When Evil-merodack became king of Babylon, king Jehoiachin was released from prison and fed from the king’s table. Titus warns us of things that are not profitable to man. We are to avoid asking stupid questions. I’ve heard all my life that there are no stupid questions but I guess there are. He goes on to tell us to avoid genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law because they are unprofitable and vain. So we should avoid studying for debates on things pertaining to law and condemnation. If we are studying genealogies to find out if we are important or to give us clout then it is not profitable. We are not to use our pedigree to impress or gain power. Our Psalms tells us that we are his people and the sheep of his pasture and that is good enough. Lord, may we be profitable to your kingdom today.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Present and the End

Read: Jer. 51:1-53: Titus 2:1-15; Ps. 99:1-9: Pr. 26:17 Israel was sentenced to 70 years in Babylon, and when the time came to deliver them came God turned the whole world against Babylon. The Babylonians and the Chaldeans were used by God to judge Israel for her sin but it is now time to judge them for theirs. Verse 49 sums it up, “As Babylon has cause the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.” This is a picture of the Great Judgment. Babylon stands for the world’s system and one day it will fall. Titus gives us practical living advise. We are not good to obey a law. We are good so that the grace of God will look appealing to the world. Our obedience to those in authority over us adorns us with the doctrine of God which is to love our neighbor as ourself. This was the second commandment Jesus gave us. If we deny ourselves of worldly desires then we are an example of the first commandment Jesus gave us which was to love the Lord with all our hearts. These are the only commandments Jesus gave us because if we do these, we fulfill all the others. Lord, may we fulfill Your commandments today. May our everyday walk with you prepare us for the end.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Secrets of the Cities

Read: Jer. 49:23-50:46; Titus 1:1-16; Ps. 97:1-98:9; Pr. 26:13-16 All the cities in the Old Testament mean something to us in the New. God is bringing judgment on Heshbon which means “reasoning”, Ai - “a heap of ruins”, Rabbah - “great”, Teman - “southward” (i.e. the Devil’s territory), Dedan - “their love”, Esau - “his doings”, Bozrah - “a fold”, Damascus - “silent is the sackcloth weaver”, Hamath - “walled”, Arpad - “spread out”, Kedar - “darkness”, and Hazor - “village”, Elam - “eternal”. So what does this all mean to us since it says that it will happen again in the last days? God is going to judge man’s carnal reasoning and all the things they thought were important that were nothing but a heap of ruins- relics of the past. He will bring their greatness to nothing, the things they love and their ways will be judged. Their “fold” or nation will be filled with death and mourning. This judgment will fall on those who think they are secure in a walled nation, those that are spread out, those in villages, and those in darkness. God says in verse 38 that He will set his throne in “eternity” and destroy the kings and princes of darkness. In chapter 50, God judges those in Babylon (confusion) and the Chaldeans - the astrologers. The astrologers of today are the New Agers, the eastern religions and basically everyone who tries to seek spiritual powers through means other than Christ. God wages war against the gods of the Babylonians (Bel- their lord, Merodach- confusion). But as for Israel, she will be brought back to her land and enjoy fruitfulness and growth once again. Her sins will be forgiven. They are told to wage war on Merathaim (bitterness) and Pekod (punishment) and the proud. When we come out of a time of discipline we need to guard against being bitter towards those God chose to use to discipline us. We also need to guard against thinking we were being punished instead of disciplined. The devil punishes, God disciplines in love. When God gets ready to bring Israel out of bondage there is nothing that can stop him. He is our strong Redeemer. Lord, may we hold fast the faithful word and teach sound doctrine.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Seeking His Kingdom First

Read Jer. 48:1-49:22; 2 Tim. 4:1-22; Ps. 95:1-96:13; Pr. 26:9-12 Jeremiah continues to prophecy judgment and doom on the children of Moab and Ammon. Moab and Ammon were Lots sons who were born out of Lots incest with his own daughters. They have become enemies of God so they were to be displaced and killed. The hope is at the end of chapter 48 when God promises to bring them back in the latter days. In Timothy we are admonish to be present in and out of season. To me that means to be ready on the spur of the moment, not just when you are expecting it. It is easy to be ready at church but sometimes God has divine appointments for you in the line at Walmart or with your waiter at the restaurant. We are to always be ready to testify of the hope that is in us. Verse 8 says that there is a crown of righteousness waiting for those who love his appearing. If we are longing to see Jesus more than we are to live out our lives then we are seeking His kingdom more than this earthly kingdom. God will reward that kind of heart. Lord, You are great, and greatly to be praised!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fri.’s Devo- God’s Judgment

Read: Jer. 44:24-47:7; 2 Tim. 2:22-3:17; Ps. 94:1-23; Pr. 26: 6-8 Jeremiah can be confusing since it is not written in order. We have already read what happened to king Zedekiah. What is interesting to note is that many of Jeremiah’s prophecies were given eighteen years before they actually happened. How many years have I heard the prophets tell America to repent and turn back to God. Ebola has now hit our shores and ISIS will be on it’s heels. God always warns and gives a nation many years to repent before He brings judgment. America is not used to being judged but they are beginning to see what it looks like. I pray that it will not take her long to repent. Second Timothy shows us what it will be like in the last days. It describes what we see right now in our nation and in the world. While men are getting more and more evil, we are to shine more and more brightly. Their god is themselves but our God is the Lord. Our guide is the Bible which is given to us for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness that we might be perfect and equipped to do all God calls us to do. Lord, You are our defense and the rock of our refuge.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thur.’s Devo - America and Babylon

Read: Jer. 42:1-44:23; 2 Tim. 2:1-21; Ps. 92:1-93:5; Pr. 26:1-5 The people begged Jeremiah to tell them what God had to say until they heard what it was. Then they refused to listen. Twice they asked and both times they refused to obey. They chose, instead to listen to a false prophet who told them what they wanted to hear. God turned them over to Babylon. America is in the same place. She refuses to hear what the prophets are saying to repent so God has turned her over to Babylon. Babylon is rooted in Babel where they tried to build a tower to the Lord. God came down and confused their languages so they couldn’t work together to complete the tower. Babylon is synonymous with confusion. That could describe America to a tee. People are plagued with Alzeimer’s and mental illnesses. They are confused with what constitutes a marriage or even what gender they are. No one knows what to do about education, the economy, the weather, or how to provide for their family. We will be taken to Babylon unless we are standing firm in Christ. Then we have a sound mind and are covered with the blood of Jesus. It is times of clarity and direction for us. We have to stay the course and not allow their confusion to discourage us. We have been sealed in Him. Lord, help us to study to show ourselves approved by You. Help us to rightly divide the Word of truth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - God’s Provision in Hard Times

Read: Jer. 39:1-41:18; 2 Tim. 1:1-18; Ps. 90:1-91:16; Pr. 26:1-2 The armies of Babylon attacked Jerusalem and king Zedekiah fled even though Jeremiah had warned him not to. He was captured and made to watch his sons killed and then had his own eyes gouged out. He was chained and carried to Babylon. I wonder what his fate would have been if he had surrendered like Jeremiah told him to. The walls were broken down and houses burned. Those that weren’t killed were carried away to Babylon except the very poor. They were left and given land and vineyards. Jeremiah was still in prison and sent a word from God to Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian who had spared his life. He told him that God was going to deliver him and spare his life as a reward for trusting in God. Jeremiah was freed from prison and led to stay with the people who remained. Gedediah was placed as governor over the people. Everyone was happy till Ishmael came and killed Gedediah then fled to Chimham which is close to Egypt. Even in great turmoil on the earth, the poor in spirit prosper. The poorest of the people were given land and vineyards! They had never been able to own land and now it is there’s for free. God knows who is faithful and He is a rewarder of those who put their trust in Him. Second Timothy 1:7 sums it up, “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tue.’s Devo - Jerusalem is Besieged

Read: Jer. 37:1-38:28; 1 Tim. 6:1-21; Ps. 89:38-52; Pr. 25:28 Jerusalem is besieged and everyone gets mad at Jeremiah as if it’s his fault because he prophesied the truth. He is put in three different prisons and rescued by a Gentile eunuch whose name means “servant of the king”. He was God’s servant sent to save Jeremiah. This reminds me of Joseph and Jesus. Now the king is ready to hear what God has to say so he secretly meets with Jeremiah to ask him what to do. Jeremiah tells him to go to Babylon or stay and burn. It is amazing how people aren’t open to hear the truth till they are facing death or huge adversity. But God is faithful to send it to those who need it. Israel needed a wake up call many times. Timothy exhorts us to honor those that are in authority over us. This is a great testimony to God. We are to be content no matter what our state is. There are many things much better than money like righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, faith, eternal life and a relationship with the godhead. Lord, help us to seek after the things that really matter.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Judgment Day

Read: Jer. 35:1-36:32; 1 Tim. 5:1-25; Ps. 89:14-37; Pr. 25:25-27 In chapter 35, Jeremiah calls the sons of the house of the Rechabites into the house of the Lord and offers them wine. They refused because they had been commanded by their father, Jonadab, not to drink wine and to be a nomad. Jeremiah is making the point that these people will obey an earthly father who can’t do for them what God can do for the Israelites, but still they honored him. Israel has a much better father who is all powerful and mighty and yet Israel refused to obey him. Since Israel had forsaken God, God was turning them over to the Babylonians. Israel still refused to turn to God so Jeremiah, still in prison, asked Baruch to write down his prophecy and take it to king Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was a bad king who refused to humble himself and obey God. When Jehoiakim got the message he had it read to him and cut up in little pieces and thrown into the fire even though his attendants begged him not to. Jeremiah was commanded to rewrite it with a personal rebuke to the king. First Timothy gives us some practical advise. Verse 24 stuck out to me which says, “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.” I’ve heard a wise man say that he prays that God will judge him while here on earth so he won’t have to be judged after. The next verse tells us that our good works that aren’t seen on earth will also go on to heaven. I believe that God in his mercy judges his children here on earth which is why we don’t get away with anything. The blood of Jesus covers us from eternal judgment. But that is not the case for the non-Christian. It might look like he is getting away with all kinds of evil but he will have to hear his evil works spoken out loud before all creation on Judgment Day. It is better to be disciplined here than judged later. Lord, thank you that your mercy knows no bounds. You are so good to us and long-suffering.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - Show Us Mighty Things!

Read: Jer. 33:1-34:22; 1 Tim. 4:1-16; Ps. 89:1-13; Pr. 25:23-24 I love Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you don’t know.” After disciplining Israel, God promises to heal them and give them peace and truth - to rebuild them and cleanse them from all their sins and pardon them. They will in turn be a name of joy and praise and honor to all the nations of the earth. The prosperity and goodness God pours out on them will be a testimony to the world. God did do that to Israel. He brought them back and blessed them. I can’t help praying this same prayer for America. First Timothy reminds us of staying in the truth in these last days. Paul warns Timothy not to let anyone intimidate him because he is so young but to be an example in everything he does. He was not to neglect the spiritual gift that was imparted to him in prayer or the prophesy given him, but to meditate on it, giving himself to it. The thing about a prophecy is that it is rarely for the right now. It is usually a seed that must be watered with faith and not forgotten. It is easy to get discouraged when we don’t see it play out when or how we perceived it would happen. I have received many prophecies and some of them took 20 years to manifest, some have already happened, and some are yet to happen. The key is to not lose heart but give yourself to the fact that it will happen in God’s timetable. Lord, you are greatly to be feared. All the earth and the heavens are Yours. Show us great and mighty things today from Your goodness.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The New Covenant

Read: Jer. 31:27-32:44; 1 Tim. 3:1-16; Ps. 88:1-18; Pr. 25:20-22 Today, God promises Israel a new covenant. This one will be written in their hearts instead of on stone tablets. Everyone will be responsible for their own relationship with God and punished for their own sins instead of the sins of their fathers. They can all know God, the one who loves them and forgives their sins, not just the one who judges and disciplines them. In Chapter 32, Jeremiah’s long prophesied events come to pass. Babylon’s army besieges Jerusalem. Jeremiah is put in prison where God continues to speak to him and he continues to prophesy why this is happening. In the midst of their siege, God sends Jeremiah’s kin to him and he redeems inherited land as a promise that one day land will be bought and sold in this place. God always gives hope for the future. First Timothy 3 gives us the characteristics and guidelines of a godly leader. It can be summed up in the first requirement: blameless. If he’s blameless it means there is nothing you can find against him. He will be able to teach others, hospitable, a good father or mother, etc. I heard a teacher say, “If it doesn’t work at home; don’t export it.” In other words, you’re greatest ministry and fruit should come from your own family. You can not make your kids follow Christ, but you can show them the way. It is their decision and sometimes they don’t always choose it right away. Our job is to prioritize our families as our number one ministry then branch out from there. We plant and water our children’s heart with the seed of God and we let the Holy Spirit bring it to life. Lord, lead us by your Holy Spirit today to love what You love and hate what You hate. Thank you for a new and living covenant.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - God is Our Banner

Read: Jer. 30:1-31:26; 1 Tim. 2:1-15: Ps. 87:1-7: Pr. 24:18-19 The remnant of Israel will be taken to Babylon but Jeremiah prophesys words of hope and a future where they would return to their land and have joy and prosperity. I can just feel the heart of God wanting their punishment to be over so He can bless them. As a parent I know that feeling. I use to hate to ground my sons for something they had done and I couldn’t wait till the time was over. I think that is how God felt. He wanted them to dream of a better day. They were still his chosen people and He was still their God. I look at what is happening around the world right now and all the antisemitism going on and have to believe God is trying to gather his children back to Jerusalem. Israel is their homeland and God is calling them home. Sometimes the only way God can get us to move is by making the circumstances so difficult we want to leave. I think that is what is happening. First Timothy 2:8 tells us to lift up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. So why do we lift up our hands in church during worship? I was reading in Exodus 17 yesterday about Moses. He was in a war against the Amelekites and when he held up his hand Israel prevailed and when his hand dropped, Amelek prevailed. As the day went on the only way Moses could keep his hands up was to have Aaron hold one and Hur the other. They won the battle and Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah-nissi, which means God is our banner. We hold our hands up in worship to God because he is our banner in times of war and he causes our hands to battle in the spirit and win. Lord, thank you that You are our banner. You shelter us, fight for us and bring us victory.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Hope and Faith

Read: Jer. 28:1-29:32:1 Tim 1:1-20; Ps. 86:1-17; Pr. 25:17 We all want to be bearers of good news, and Hananiah was no exception. He prophesied that they would break the yoke of Babylon and be set free. Hananiah was prophesying from his own desires, not God’s. Jeremiah opposed him with God’s words. God said they would be in Babylon for 70 years then God would bring them back to Jerusalem. In the mean time they were to settle in Babylon and make it their home. Then he turned and prophesied that Hananiah would die in a year for lying to the people. He did. Reminds me of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 who lied about how much they sold their land for. They died that day. We can not lie to God and get away with it. In Chapter 29 we have the scripture everyone loves to quote: Jeremiah 29:11. I wonder how many of us that quote this scripture realize that Jeremiah gave it to a people in captivity. Many of them would die before their people came back to Jerusalem but this promise would go to their children and grand children. It is not only a promise of hope but of deliverance from captivity. God did not want them to lose hope and He doesn’t want us to lose hope either. In first Timothy we see Paul mentoring young Timothy and encouraging him in his walk. Paul ignorantly blasphemed the Lord and did harm to the gospel until God in his mercy, saved him. Paul charges Timothy to war a good warfare; keeping the faith and a good conscience. Then Paul adds that two men lost their faith so he turned them over to Satan so they would learn a lesson. That’s worth contemplation! Lord, thank you for hope and encouragement. We know that the end You have planned is good and victorious! We hope in You.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Judgment Vs. Trials

Read: Jer. 26:1-27:22; 2 Thes. 3:1-18; Ps. 85:1-13; Pr. 25:16 One thing that hits me about Jeremiah is how many times he prophesied the same thing. It just shows us the long-suffering character of God and that he doesn’t want any to perish without Him. How loving is our God! Today we see Jeremiah prophesying in the temple for the people to turn to God or suffer His judgment. The princes and leaders were there listening and so were the prophets. The prophets wanted to kill Jeremiah for his words but the princes believed Jeremiah. The elders stood up for Jeremiah and reminded the people of other prophets like Micah and Urijah who prophesied the same thing. King Hezekiah repented when he heard Micah’s words but King Jehoiakim tried to kill Urijah. He hunted Urijah down and planned to kill him but the people stood up for him and spared his life. In Chapter 27, Jeremiah pleads with the people to allow the king of Babylon to rule over them because this is God’s will. Those who appose him will be killed. The prophets of the land were saying the opposite. This is so true. The prophets of the land will never prophesy the truth because their source is wrong. God has his prophets everywhere and they are the ones we listen to for direction and hope. Paul reminds the people that trials and persecutions are going to come, but don’t let them cause you to falter. Trials are not the same as judgment. What the people were facing in Jerimiah was judgment for their rebellion, what we face as Christians is trials for our faith. They are to make us increase and abound in love toward one another and all men. In the end they are to establish our hearts in holiness to God. We are free from judgment. Everything in our lives works toward our good! Lord, thank you for your salvation and grace that comforts and strengthens us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Prophecy Fulfilled

Read: Jer. 51:1--52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Ps. 100:1-5; Pr. 26:18-19 Everything that Jeremiah said would happen happened. King Zedekiah refused to surrender to Babylon when they besieged the city. He was hunted down and taken to Babylon where the last thing he saw before they gouged out his eyes was his sons being killed. Then he spent the rest of his life in a prison in Babylon. Most of the people were either killed or carried captive to Babyon. The poor were left to take care of the land. The temple was stripped of its treasures and torn down. The king of Judah, Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon and imprisoned for 37 years. When Evil-merodack became king of Babylon, king Jehoiachin was released from prison and fed from the king’s table. Titus warns us of things that are not profitable to man. We are to avoid asking stupid questions. I’ve heard all my life that there are no stupid questions but I guess there are. He goes on to tell us to avoid genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law because they are unprofitable and vain. So we should avoid studying for debates on things pertaining to law and condemnation. If we are studying genealogies to find out if we are important or to give us clout then it is not profitable. We are not to use our pedigree to impress or gain power. Our Psalms tells us that we are his people and the sheep of his pasture and that is good enough. Lord, may we be profitable to your kingdom today.

Tues.’s Devo - The End

Read: Jer. 23:21-25:38; 2 Thes. 2:1-17; Ps. 84:1-12; Pr. Jeremiah continues his word against the false prophets who turn God’s people against him with their lies. God promised to forsake them and bring them to shame. Then God showed Jeremiah two baskets of figs. One basket was full of good ripe figs which represented the remnant of people that God would send to the land of the Chaldeans for their good. After a while God would bring them back to their land and plant them once again. They will be given a heart to know the Lord and love him with their whole heart. The other basket was full of evil figs. They represented Zedekiah, his princes, and the rest of Jerusalem. They would be removed to their hurt instead of good. They would die of war, famine and plagues. In Chapter 25, Jeremiah pleads with the prophets once again to repent and turn to God. Since they refuse to listen, the king of Babylon, Nebuchadrezzar would come and take them and they would live in Babylon 70 years. At the end of the 70 years, God would punish the king of Babylon and the whole nation and the rest of the earth. This is a picture of the end of time. Second Thessalonians talks about the end also. We are told to not be shaken about the second coming of Christ or the rapture. Before Jesus comes there will be a great falling away from the faith and the Antichrist will rise to power. He will do signs and wonders but they will be deception. Many will be deceived except those who walk in the truth. God has chosen us from the beginning to be saved and walk in truth. Lord, thank you that You are a sun and a shield and You give grace and glory; no good thing will you withhold from us who walk uprightly.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Words of Power

Read: Jer. 22:1-23:20; 2 Thes. 1:1-12; Ps. 83:1-18; Pr. 25:11-14 Josiah was a righteous king who had two sons, Shallum and Jehoiakim. Both of Josiah’s sons were wicked. They extorted money to build their own houses and buildings and treated their laborers wrongly. They thought they could get away with it since they were the king, but God was going to show them that He is the king who saw all they did. In Chapter 23, God deals with the pastors who weren’t true pastors. Pastors are suppose to be shepherds who gather sheep and care for them. Their pastors were scattering the sheep and destroying them. God as the Great Shepherd promised to bring them back into His fold and care for them in the future. One day Jesus, the righteous Branch would reign and bring justice and prosperity to His sheep. Next, God deals with the false prophets. His anger was sent to bring justice and judgment on them. They lied about their prophesies and caused the people to forget God’s name and pray to Baal instead. Paul’s gospel was so different from the prophets of Jeremiah’s days. They prophesied lies and empty words where Paul’s were not just words but power. Paul backed what he said by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. Our Psalms gives us a reason for God’s judgment: that men might seek Him and know that God is the most high over all the earth. Lord, may your shaking on the earth bring people to seek You and know that You are king of the whole earth. May we walk in the same power of the Holy Spirit that Paul walked in.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - God is Always Right

Read: Jer. 19:1-21:14; 1 Thes. 5:4-28; Ps. 82:1-8; Pr. 25:1-23:20 Jeremiah consistently prophesied destruction of Jerusalem because they had turned from God to worship idols. When God told him to go to the court of the temple and prophesy judgment on the city the governor and false prophet, Pashur struck him and threw him in prison. When he came to get Jeremiah the next day Jeremiah told him his name was not to be called Pashur but Magor-missabib. Pashur means liberation and Magor-missabib means terror from all around, because that is what was going to happen when their enemies come against them. Jeremiah told him that he and all his family would be taken to Babylon as captives. King Zedekiah asked Pashur to ask the Lord what was going to happen to them because Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had come to make war with them. Jeremiah told them to tell King Zedekiah that they would lose because God would fight against them. Paul gives us some commandments that should be meditated on. Rejoice evermore. If we did that we would never be anxious or depressed. Pray without ceasing. This may seem impossible but if we seek the Lord and run after Him we will find ourselves praying all the time and not even realizing we are doing it. In EVERYTHING give thanks! When we get that God is in control then we can thank Him for everything because we know it is working a good work in us for our good. Quench not the spirit. Don’t do anything to offend the Holy Spirit in your life. Despise not prophesying. I think the only people who would do this is people who don’t understand the prophetic. Those who do, love prophesying. The list goes on. You might want to meditate on all of them. Lord, I pray that the very God of peace will sanctify us wholly and that our whole spirit, soul, and body will be preserved blameless until the coming of Jesus.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Ready for the Rapture

Read: Jer. 16:16-18:23; 1 Thes. 4:1-5:3; Ps. 81:1-16; Pr. 25:6-7a Jeremiah 16 is full of wonderful promises we can stand on. Verses 7-8 blesses the man who trusts in the Lord. It reads just like Psalms 1. This man will be planted by waters that have deep roots. (He will be sealed by the Holy Spirit.) He wont’ see when the heat comes. (He won’t be affected by the trials of judgment on the earth.) His leaf will be green. (He will prosper in tough times.) He will not be afraid when the world lacks water, neither will he cease yielding fruit. (He will not be anxious of current events because they won’t affect him.) This is a great encouragement to us in the times we are living right now. Verse 17 sums it up: “You, O Lord, are my hope in the day of evil.” God will take care of us. In the same chapter, verse 13 is the verse the Lord gave me when I asked him what Jesus wrote in the dirt when he released the woman caught in adultery. It says that all that depart from him shall be written in the earth. I wonder if Jesus didn’t start writing their names in the dirt and the Holy Spirit brought back to their remembrance this scripture. There are so many scriptures that seem to contradict one another but really don’t. The scriptures about the end of time are confusing because we don’t see the big picture yet. When Jesus comes back and we hear the trumpet, this is referring to Roshashana or the feast of Trumpets. This is when the bride of Christ will be raptured or taken from the earth. It will come as a surprise to the world but if you read on in chapter 5, it will not come as a surprise to us because we don’t walk in darkness but in the light. When the Bible says that no man knows the time of His returning it is talking about when we come back with the Lord to fight the battle of Armagedon… not the rapture. God never does anything he doesn’t first tell his prophets. We can be wise virgins with the Holy Spirit burning in us waiting for our bridegroom to come. Lord, may we be preserved during hard times and ready when You come to take us.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Establish Our Hearts in You

Read: Jer. 14:11-16:15; 1 Thes. 2:10-3:13; Ps. 80:1-19; Pr. 25:1-5 Jeremiah cries out for the people and for mercy but God told him that even if Moses or Samuel tried to change his mind, He wouldn’t. They had three choices: death by sword, death by famine, or captivity. Those that went into captivity would be scattered throughout the earth. This remnant will be preserved and treated well in a foreign land. Those killed will not even have the privilege of being buried. God will take peace from them along with His lovingkindness and mercy. When the people ask why God would pronounce such a sentence of calamity on them, Jeremiah was to tell them that it was because they forsook Him and worshipped other gods worse than their fathers before them. What was happening in Thessalonians was the opposite of what was happening in Jeremiah. In Thessalonians Paul is expressing his thankfulness of the way the members of the church in Thessalonica have continued to grow during his absence. News of their faithfulness had spread across Macedonia and Achaia and though Paul longed to visit with them, he had other things he needed to do first. So Paul prayed that their love toward God and one another increase that their hearts would be established and unblameable before God when Jesus returned. This is our prayer also.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Thessalonians

Read: Jer. 12:1-14:10; 1 Thes. 1:1-2:9; Ps. 79:1-13; Pr. 24:30-34 Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and that the people would be taken as slaves while the false prophets prophesied peace. God promised to judge the false prophets by Jeremiah’s prophesy. They would see the sword and famine and wickedness because they lied in God’s name. If there is one thing the Lord hates it’s a false prophet. A false prophet is not a person who loves God but wrongly prophecies but a person whose heart hates God and he prophecies by a different spirit then the spirit of God. Paul and Silas were on their second missionary tour when Pual had a vision of a man from Macedonia, an angel, begging them to come to him. They responded and went to Phillipi where they met Lydia and cast out the spirit of divination out of her female slave. Paul and Silas were beaten by the authorities until they found out Paul and Silas were Roman citizens then they apologized and sent them on their way. Their way led them to Thessalonica where Paul went immediately to the synagogue and started preaching that Jesus was the Messiah. After reading Jeremiah, it is comforting to read that in Thessalonica they turned from their idols to worship the living and true God. Lord, help our nation to turn from their idols and worship You.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Pray For Your Enemies

Read: Jer. 10:1-11:23; Col. 3:18-4:18; Ps. 78:56-72: Pr. 24:28-29 The people of the days of Jeremiah remind me of the people of today. Times were troublesome then like they are now. The people of Jeremiah’s city where he lived plotted his death but God preserved him and he outlived most of his enemies. They wanted to blot out the memory of Jeremiah but his legacy and words live on. God knows the plans of the enemy and will make them known to the righteous. God defends his people and brings justice to all who commit their cause to Him. We need to guard our own hearts that we don’t hate our enemies like ISIS but that we pray for them. God turned Saul, an enemy of God into Paul, the great apostle. He can do that with the terrorists of today. In Colossians, Paul speaks to every person a personal command: to wives he says to submit to their husbands as long as it fits in God’s laws. To husbands he tells them to love their wives and be forgiving toward them. To the children he says to obey their parents no matter what they tell them to do because this will please God. To the fathers he warns them not to do things that would stimulate them to anger and discouragement. And to servants he says to obey everything their masters tell them to do in the spirit of Christ. Everything we do should be to honor God so our relationships with others should exhibit what is in our hearts. When we honor and obey the ones God has put over us then we honor God. Lord, help us today to honor the ones You have put over us. We pray that you would raise up a Paul in the midst of our enemies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tues.’s Devo -Encourage Yourself Today in the Lord

Read: Jer. 8:8-9:26; Col. 3:1-17; Ps. 78:32-55; Pr. 24:27 The sin of Judah was great and God was tired of it. He begs the people to repent for walking in the imaginations of their hearts and not caring about God’s heart. Jeremiah warns them that God’s judgment is close. They have gloried in their wisdom, strength and wealth but the only thing that is worthy of glory is knowing God which they forsook. God is not only judging His people but the Gentiles will be held responsible for rejecting him also. Too bad the people in Jeremiah lived before Christ. They needed to read Colossians 3. Since we are new creatures in Christ our old nature doesn’t belong so we need to shed it. Putting to death the old man is our part. The good news is that we have the Holy Spirit to help us. We are to put on kindness, mercy, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness and love. We are also to allow God’s peace to permeate our lives. We do this by putting God’s Word into our daily lives. It will give us wisdom and clarity to honor God in all we do. We are also to encourage others with the promises of God. Singing hymns and the promises of God nourishes our spirits and brings joy and peace into our situations. It was the tool David used to fight his enemies, encourage himself and others, and talk to God. Lord, today, may we sing You a new song!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Our Authority

Read: Jer. 6:15-8:7; Col. 2:8-23: Ps. 78:1-31: Pr. 24:26 Jeremiah prophesies judgment to a rebellious people who defile their own consciences to do evil. Even animals know to follow their instincts but these people don’t even pay attention to God’s laws. Jeremiah admonishes their high places of Topheth and the Valley of Ben Hinnom. These were places they sacrificed their babies to the God’s of Moloch and Baal. These are places that represent Hell. We do this same idol worship in our country by a different name: abortion. Our gods are convienence and selfishness. Colossians 2:9 says that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus. We learned in Col. 1:26 that Christ is in us, so in us is the fullness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are complete in Him and lack nothing. God is the head and has control over all principality and power so so do we. Jesus put off all principalities and powers and triumped over them so so did we! If this is right then there is nothing that can make us afraid. The world has no power over us. We are dead and buried with Christ in our flesh and risen with Him in our spirits. We must guard against allowing the devil to try to trip us up with rules and doctrines of work. Our law is the law of Christ. Lord, help us to grasp our position and all that You have given us.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - Christ in Us

Read: Jer. 4:19-6:14; Col. 1:21-2:7; Ps. 77:1-20; Pr. 24:23-25 God has pronounced judgment on Judah since they have refused to turn back to God. According to Jeremiah 5:1 there was not one person that sought the truth. Jeremiah told them truth but they refused to listen and heed. In Colossians we learn that God has a great mystery that had been hidden from the people and the prophets of the Old Testament. It is now being released and it is the fact that Christ is inside us. He is also releasing the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that have been hidden in God . They tell us about Him as our Father and as our Christ. We are not to be deceived by philosophy or someone else’s confidence or past traditions of men or the rules of the world. Our rules are found in Christ and in Him is everything we need to know about the God head. Our walk should look like He is in us walking out our lives for us. Lord, today may we walk our your mystery of Christ in us the hope of glory

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Watchmen on the Wall

Read: Jer. 2:31-4:18; Col. 1:1-20; Ps. 76:1-12; Pr. 24:21-22 Jeremiah was a watchman on the wall, a prophet who watches and sees what is coming by the Spirit before it happens. He saw the siege of Jerusalem and warned the people. Every generation has watchers on the wall that warn the people of God what is happening. I had a dream last night that I believe is a prophetic warning. In my dream I was in high school and realized that I had a test to take second period that I had totally forgotten to study for. One of my fellow students walked up to me and told me she had memorized her notes for the test. She was ready. I was not. I decided to skip first period so I could study. I snuck back into the school to get my book out of my locker. It wasn’t there. I couldn’t find my notes in my car so I went to my first period class and the teacher had finished teaching and was letting them study for the test. I walked up to the first desk I came to and took the girls notes to read them. It was about forests and I got an image of big semi’s. She seemed to think this was important. I kept trying to decide whether to just take the test and guess which would probably get me a bad grade or fake sickness and go home and take it the next day. The problem was I still didn’t have anything to study. I woke up. I think God is showing us that in the Body there are people that have prepared for the harvest that is coming. In the Bible trees had to do with people so a forest had to do with many trees. The semi’s were filled with provision. We have been promised a huge harvest that is coming in. Are we prepared for it? The girl in my dream who was had memorized her book. We need to know God’s Word and put it to memory. There is nothing to fear about a test if you are prepared. They can actually be rewarding and fun when you know the material. We need to know our material. Lord, may we be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding so that we might walk worthy of You and fruitful in every good work.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Jeremiah

Read: Jer. 1:1-2:30;Phil. 4:1-23; Ps. 75:1-10; Pr. 24:17-20 Today we start the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a young man who started his ministry under king Josiah, a good king of Judah. Jeremiah lets us see into his life and his insecurities of his age. God encourages him by touching his lips and proclaiming that He is putting His words into Jeremiah’s mouth. Jeremiah sees pictures in his mind that God interprets for him like rods of almond trees and boiling pots. Though Josiah was a good king who delayed God’s judgment, he came after Manasseh who had caused the nation to live in so much sin and idolatry. God had to punish. Jeremiah’s message was not one of hope, but of judgment. God told him to not be afraid of the faces of the people but to be strong. The people would not like him but God would defend and protect him. He told them they had committed two evils: they had forsaken God, the fountain of living waters, and they had hewed out cisterns that were broken and couldn’t hold water. The living waters are the Holy Spirit. The cisterns were their hearts. Their hearts were so broken and hardened they couldn’t hold His spirit. In the New Testament Jesus explains it as trying to put new wine in old wineskins. It would crack them. They couldn’t hold God’s presence in their hearts. There are so many great promises worth memorizing in Philippians 4, I don’t know where to start. Lord, soften our hearts to hold Your Spirit and let our minds meditate on what is honest, true, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - The End

Read: Isaiah 66:1-24; Phil. 3:4b-21; Ps. 74:1-233; Pr. 24:15-16 We end Isaiah with a description of the end of times. God establishes that heaven is his throne and earth his footstool and we are the houses built for him to rest in. He is looking for the people who consider themselves poor and humble and tremble at his word. Those that are wicked and offer God their sacrifices will fall to their worse fears. Those that persecuted the church will one day have to see their joy and be ashamed. It will look bad on earth but God will come in a day and change everything. Israel came to birth in a day in 1948. It will spiritually come to birth again in a day. She is the baby that will be born. When that happens there will be peace in Jerusalem and the Jews will come to Christ like the Gentiles have. They will worship God together. Then God will come and destroy the earth with fire and a sword and the wicked will be destroyed. All nations will see the glory of God and God’s fame will be proclaimed. God will usher in the new heavens and the new earth and establish his worship upon the earth. The wicked will experience eternal torment. Ephesians follows this same theme. Paul describes the life of the followers of Christ and contrasts it with the reward of the wicked. Paul had every reason to boast in his self. He was from the right lineage, the right schools, and highly esteemed of men. He gave it all up to follow God and be abased. His goal was Jesus and Him alone. He describes the wicked as those whose end is destruction, they live for their own pleasure and care only about earthly things. Lord, may we be those who tremble at your Word and count you more glorious than anything earth can give.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wed.’s Devo- Our Confidence is in You

Read: Isa. 62:6-65:25; Phil. 2:19-3:4a; Ps. 73:1-28; Pr. 24:13-14 In Isaiah we read about God’s love for the Church and what she goes through. I love the prayer of the church in chapter 64. She is desperately praying that God would manifest his power on the earth. Isaiah acknowledges that God is our Father and has power to do great things. He cries out for mercy and deliverance. God responds in chapter 65 showing us the depth of His mercy. His judgement is for a moment but his mercy for a lifetime. We are the new wine found in the cluster (vs. 8). To the remnant there will be rejoicing and joy. We will live a long fruitful life. We will build houses and live in them and enjoy the fruit of our labor. God will answer our prayers before we pray them. In Philippians, Paul complains that there are few men he trusts to be leaders. He said they all seek their own and not the things which are Christ’s. In the next chapter he admits that though he would have a reason to trust in his flesh, he choses not to. He puts his confidence in Christ. We tend to do the things we feel comfortable in by ourselves and bother God with the things we don’t feel adequate in but we need to trust Him even in the things that come easy for us. Lord, we cry out for Your Church that she would have a heart to love You and serve You.