Monday, August 31, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Story of the Bride

Ezekiel 16-17
God describes Israel as a woman who he betrothed. He washed her with the law on Mt. Sinai. Moses even told them to wash their clothes to sanctify themselves. Then God watched her mature from a wandering people to a nation. He had told her to annihilate the Hittites and the Amorites but instead she had married them and taken their gods to be her gods. She was at her splendor at Solomon’s reign but quickly fell to become a harlot who prostituted herself for free to the other nations around her. In fact, she paid other nations to come and teach her idolatry. I can see this very thing happening in our day. I read in one commentary that sin weakens the intellect ("heart") but "the way of the Lord is strength to the upright" (Pr 10:29). It is so true and it was true of Judah. She had lost sight of what was sensible and right and had traded wisdom for foolishness.
Chapter 17 is an allegory where the king of Babylon is the great eagle and the king of Egypt is the second eagle. The story coincides with what happened in their land during this time. The eagle was the symbol of their great god, Nisroch. The eagle is also the symbol of America. May the Lord of Lords be our god!
Lord, raise up intercessors to pray for Israel and America and your people scattered around the world. May we be a bride that is holy devoted to You.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The False Prophets

Read: Ezekiel 13-15
God told Ezekiel to prophesy against the prophets who prophesied what they wanted to happen and what they knew the people wanted to hear, but not what God said. God described them as foxes in the desert - deceivers. They were suppose to be protectors of Israel but instead they were destroyers. They gave the people false hope and didn’t encourage them to repent. Their prophesies of peace were going to fall like walls made of bad mortar.
The false prophetess would make pillows and sew them under her arms and lay leaning on these pillows to signify the peace they were to experience. The kerchiefs were fabric they put over their faces to block out the world so they could enter into a trance to gain spiritual understanding. All of this was deceptive and an abomination to God.
Next, God addressed the idol worshippers of the land. He commanded them to put away their idols and seek his face. God was going to judge the prophet and the one who sought the prophet. Then God addressed the land. I’m not sure how the land transgresses but God punished the land in the garden and he was punishing it once again. The result would be barrenness and famine. It wouldn’t produce life and life and nourishment would be taken from it. God was serious and said that if Noah, Daniel, or Job was living during this time, they would be spared but not their families. God did promise to leave a remnant that would know that God is God. The rest would be destroyed by God’s fiery judgment and the land would lie desolate and enjoy her Sabbaths.
Lord, we pray that we not be deceived by false prophets that prophesy peace when You have not said peace. We pray that we would repent and turn back to you as a nation. Let us not trust in politicians to save us. You alone have the words of life.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Earth, Wind, and Fire

Read: Ezekiel 5-8
Ezekiel was given many signs to act out to show what God was going to do with the people. He was told to cut off all his hair from his head and chin and weigh it. For an Israelite to cut off his hair was a thing of shame and humility. He was then to divide the hair into three parts. To one part he was to burn it, the other he was to stab it with a knife and the last third he was to scatter it in the wind. But he was to leave out a few hairs and bind them in his skirt as the remnant.
The day would come when their abominations will come to judgment.
A third part of the people would die of pestilence and hunger which was portrayed as the fire. A third part would die by the sword in battle, and a third part would be scattered throughout the world.
In Chapter 6, God speaks against the rulers of Israel. He reminds the ones who will be scattered to remember Him when they come into their foreign homes. The land they once called home will be left desolate.
In Chapter 7, God warns that his judgment is very near and their sins are very bad. In the next chapter, God takes Ezekiel in the spirit to Jerusalem and shows him the abominations done in the temple and all the false Gods they are serving. They thought they were doing it in secret and no one knew, but it was open and blatant to God. I wonder if that is like going into the inner hearts of the church and seeing the abominations of our spiritual leaders. They think no one sees and since God doesn’t judge right away, they think they have gotten away with it. That should put the fear of God in all of us.
Lord, it is easy to point the finger but may we only point it at ourselves. Dig a tunnel to our hearts and root out all the secret sins and strongholds we still have.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - God Stregnthens

Read: Ezekiel 1-4
Ezekiel was one of the priests that was carried captive to Chaldea under the reign of Jehoiachin. All his prophecies appear to have been delivered in that country, at some place north of Babylon. His name means “God stregnthens” and he was sent to comfort those in captivity. His mission is to warn Judea of the terrible things that would happen because of their departing from Him. It is also to tell them of the great and wonderful things God has prepared in the last days when Jesus reigns.
Ezekiel has a dramatic encounter with the Lord. He comes to him in a whirlwind as a ball of fire. Out of the midst of the fire emerges this four-faced creature with wings and feet. It had wheels with eyes all around it. This creature was the embodiment of God himself. The faces of the ox, lion, man and eagle were the characteristics of God. The eyes on the wheel were the all-seeing eyes of God.
The spirit of the Lord had to stand Ezekiel up on his feet and give him strength to stand. He calls his people a rebellious people so many times I lost count. He is sending Ezekiel to be his voice to a people that he is warning him ahead of time will probably not listen. He encourages Ezekiel not to look at their faces or listen to their words because they will not embrace him or his words. As a picture of this, God told Ezekiel to lock himself in his house and tie himself up. God would make him mute for a while until God is ready to speak, then he would loose his tongue.
He was also told to draw the city of Jerusalem on a tile and construct what has happened to Jerusalem so far on it. He was suppose to lie with his back to the tile on his left side 390 days to stand for 390 years to signify how long the house of Israel would be punished. He had to measure his food and have it there with him so he could stay on his side. This was to signify that their food would be measured and not enough for the time they were under judgment. I don’t know how Ezekiel could lie there for over a year except the spirit of God gave him the power to do it.
Lord, give us a holy backbone to stand against the rebellion of our day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Renew Our Days as Before

Read: Lamentations 3:37-5:22
The writer of Lamentations understands that nothing happens apart from what God says. Man can’t complain when he reaps what he sows. He describes God as covered with a cloud so thick that their prayers can’t penetrate it. This writer has watched his people being destroyed and everything that was once precious has lost its brilliance. The punishment of God’s people was worse than the destruction of Sodom that was over in a day. Sudden destruction is better than a slow death of starvation. Women were eating their own children. Their false prophets and sinful priests could not save them against the wrath of God. All of life has ceased to exist and they cry out for God to renew their days like before.
It is hard to not read this and be fearful of our nation and what it is choosing to trust in. The righteous people are holding back the judgment of God on America but I don’t know how long it will take before God says enough is enough. I pray that we will return to prayer and righteousness and I pray that God will pardon our sins and renew our days like before.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Great is the Lord’s Faithfulness

Read: Lamentations 1:1-3:36
Lamentations was probably written by Jeremiah. He is looking at what just happened to his city. It was once full of people and prosperous and in a moment it was desolate and destroyed. It would be like seeing New Orleans after Katrina. The people were marched away and their homes burned. Only the poor were left and no one knew what the future held. Fear was rampant and hope was gone. Even Jeremiah was devastated but then he remembered that he could have hope. God was a merciful God and his compassions don’t fail. They are new every morning and hope is still alive. God is good to them that wait for him and seek him. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
This is a good thing for us to remember. We received some bad news yesterday and my heart sank and my stomach turned over but then I remembered that God really is in control and knows what is going on. Things are being shaken and we are in a huge transition but after transition comes stability and change. When God is in control change is always for the better. We were chosen to live in this generation and it is the best yet. Everything is moving toward the Lord’s return and we get to be a part of the big picture. We are being conformed into the bride!
Lord, we lift our eyes to heaven because You are our help! Your mercies are new every morning!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Spiritual and Physical Babylon

Read: Jeremiah 51-52
The first destruction of physical Babylon is parallel to the destruction of spiritual Babylon even to the stone cast into the sea (Jer. 51:63 and Rev. 18:21) We have talked about this before but it bears repeating. Babylon means “confusion”. Babylon is where the children of Israel were trying to build a portal to heaven in Genesis 11 and God had to go down and confuse their languages. They couldn’t build or communicate so they spread out and divided. In Acts two, God gave his disciples a new language which the people could understand and it brought them together and from that day the Church was built. Babylon is in direct opposition to God. It is Satan’s domain. I have often heard people say that the devil is the author of confusion. The Bible doesn’t say those exact words but it does say in 1 Co. 14:33 that God is NOT the author of confusion, but of peace…
One day all confusion will be gone. I Co. 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Lord, as the days get darker and darker let us know your peace.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The End of Babylon

Read: Jeremiah 49-50
Reading today’s reading reminds me of WW2. So many nations that were once mighty and strong toppled and weak America immerged the strong nation. In a moment, God can bring down the mightiest of nations and raise up a new one in its place. Today we read the fall of
Rabbah of the Ammonites. Rabbah means “great”. It was great and I’m sure no one could see it every falling, but it did. Others that fell were Heshbon which means “reason” and Ai which means “heap of ruins”. The Edomites had been long enemies of Israel but they were to be overthrown.
Jeremiah even spoke against Babylon and the Chaldeans. This is a picture of the end times. Revelation 18 speaks of the fall of Babylon in the end. She had lived deliciously and boasted that she would see no sorrow. Bel and Merodach were names of the gods they served. They will be broken to pieces. A nation out of the north will come and take her. The next verse tells who that nation is. it is the children of Isreal and Judah. In the last days it will be Jesus with his army coming down from the north of heaven. The king of Babylon will be punished as Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and the children of God will inherit the land. Sin and iniquity will not be found.
Lord, you are our Redeemer and you are strong!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Judgment on Egypt

Read: Jeremiah 46-48
Jeremiah prophesies that Babylon will attack Egypt and win. It will be the Lord’s doing and there is no power that can stop him. Judah had chosen to flee there for safety against Jeremiah’s prophesies. God does offer hope that He will one day save Israel from their captivity and they will return to their land.
Every nation that Israel has been a captive in will be punished. Jeremiah goes through the list of nations that will be punished because of their treatment of his people and their idolatry. He says much about the judgment of Moab who worshipped the god called Chemosh. Chemosh is considered by some scholars to be the same god as Molech. He required blood sacrifices and was a god of war. He was also known as the fish god which reminds me of Dagon. He was an abomination to God. When God chooses to judge a nation their joy and feasting is replaced with fear and death.
Lord, once again we pray for Israel and your chosen people. We pray protection and peace. Would you turn their mourning into dancing really soon. We also pray for our nation that it will repent and turn from its sin and follow You.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Habakkuk’s Great Awakening

Read: Habakkuk 1-3
Habakkuk’s name means “embrace”. We see his transition as Habakkuk goes from despair to embracing the day he was living in and knowing that God was in control. In the first chapter, Habakkuk can only see with his natural eyes. His nation is going under fast. It is full of evil, unjust judgment, violence, strife and contention. He foretells of the Chaldeans coming into their land and ravaging them. They sound like ISIS of today. As Habakkuk sees these bloodthirsty people coming he wonders if God is too pure to look on this horrible evil. He questions God’s deliverance.
In his second chapter, Habakkuk learns that the just shall live by faith. Evil was determined against them because of their sins, but their power is dung compared to the Lord’s. Their stance should be in worship before God, waiting for his deliverance.
Habakkuk prays in the third chapter for God to have mercy. He acknowledges the great and awesome power of the Lord. He prays that he might rest in the day of trouble. When he sees the word of the Lord being fullfilled he determines to rejoice in the Lord and have joy in Him.
Lord, we pray with Habakkuk: You are our strength. You will make our feet like hind’s feet, and will make us to walk upon high places with You.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - There is Always Hope

Read: 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36
Today we have the details of the fall of Jerusalem. The Babylonians came in and took the best of Jerusalem and left the poor. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were some of the captives taken to Babylon.
It is hard to comprehend the fact that Jehoiachin was the king at eighteen and had to face Babylon taking over his country. He held out for eight years before giving in.
We read about this yesterday in Jeremiah. I couldn’t help thinking about America when I read all the things the king of Babylon took. We have seen the civil liberty groups take God from our schools, the Ten Commandments from government buildings, the meaning of marriage from our laws, and a whole list of other things that made up the best of our land. We are being besieged by political rightness and the spirit of the world. It is a very disheartening thing to watch.
I did see some hope in today’s reading. After 37 years, a new king came to reign in Babylon and he brought Jehoiachin out of prison and set him above all the other men of his land. He gave him new garments and he fed him and gave him an allowance for the rest of his life. It just shows us that God can rescue us unexpectedly over night. He can turn our bondage into liberty and our poverty into blessing.
Lord, give your children hope and strength for the coming days.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The Fall of Jerusalem

Jeremiah 38-40; Psalms 74; 79
When some of the men of the city heard Jeremiah’s prophecy against the city, they threw Jeremiah into a dungeon where he would die. Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian told the king and they had Jeremiah lifted out. Then the king met with Jeremiah and asked what God was saying to him. Jeremiah told king Zedekiah that if he would surrender to the king of Babylon he and his family would live and God would not destroy Jerusalem with fire. If he refused everything Jeremiah had previously said about Jerusalem would happen. Zedekiah chose to escape so he was caught, his sons killed and his eyes put out. He was taken to Babylon and the Chaldeans set the city on fire.
Jeremiah was set free to come back and live with the remnant. Gedaliah, an Israelite was made the governor of the remnant. He was a good leader who encouraged them to do as Jeremiah had said and serve the Chaldeans. We end with a plot to kill Gedaliah exposed by Johanan. He warned Gedaliah that Ishamael was planning to kill him but Gedaliah didn’t believe him.
Lord, help us to obey Your Word and not try to run or escape it. Let us walk in the path your have chosen for us even if it looks scary or unpleasant.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Sacrificial Life of Jeremiah

Read: Jeremiah 35-37
Jeremiah invited some of the leaders of the Rechabites into the house of the Lord and offered them wine, knowing their tradition of abstinence. They refused to drink the wine in obedience to their father. They were nomads who didn’t believe in building houses or settling in the land. Jeremiah used them as an example to the Jewish people. The Rechabites were obedient to their father and yet Judah refused to obey their father, God. The Rechabites were also known as the Kenites and had been allies of Israel since they came out of Egypt. Moses’ wife was from their tribe. They were a type of the Gentile church today. We chose a Jewish man to be our Savior and we choose to obey him. This world is not our home so we refuse to set roots. Our roots are in heavenly places with God. We will provoke God’s people to return to their God.
God never gave up trying to get Judah’s attention. He had Baruch write Jeremiah’s words down again in hopes that they would repent. A fast was proclaimed and they read the words to the people. The princes heard the words of Jeremiah and were afraid. They took the scroll to the king, Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim listened and then tore the scroll into bits and burned it against the protests of his men. So Jeremiah told him that since he burned the scroll, he would die and his body would rot in the open; his offspring would also be punished. Zedekiah was put on the throne instead of Jehoiakim but he didn’t listen to the words of Jeremiah or repent of his sins. The Pharaoh of Egypt came and scared the Chaldeans away giving the people of Jerusalem false hope. Jeremiah told them that the Chaldeans would be back . Even if they wounded every Chaldean they would still burn down the city.
Jeremiah was once again thrown into the deepest part of prison. The king secretly brought him out and asked him if he had a word from the Lord. He told him that the king would delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon. Jeremiah also asked to be let out of prison. Zedekiah allowed him to be let out in the court of the prison and fed bread until they ran out.
Jeremiah paid a price to fulfill his destiny but I’m sure his reward was great.
Lord, remind us of Jeremiah’s sacrificial life when we get weary.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sun.’s Devo -God’s Good Promises

Read: Jeremiah 32-34
Babylon’s army surrounded Jerusalem and the king throws Jeremiah in jail for prophesying it. How insane is that? I guess he thought that if he threw him in prison his words would be locked up too and not happen.
God showed Jeremiah that his uncle would come to him and ask him to redeem some land that fell under his inheritance. Sure enough his uncle showed up with the proposal. He bought the land as a sign that one day people would come back to this place and buy and sell land. We see this happening today. Jeremiah said, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord.?” God told him that the Chaldeans would come and burn the city down. Fire always cleanses and the land needed to be cleansed of their idolatry. After that, he would give them one heart, and one way, that they would fear God for ever and it would be good for them and their posterity.
In the midst of prison, God spoke to Jeremiah and told him to call upon him and he would show him great and mighty things that he didn’t already know. God told him that he would one day heal them and give them abundant peace and truth. He would cleanse them from their sins and pardon their iniquities. The good things God would do for his people would fill the whole earth with holy fear. The voice of joy, the voice of the bridegroom and the bride would return. God would bring them back to the land and have mercy on them.
We have seen this happen in our day as Israel has become a nation and some of the most brilliant men are Jews. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for their safety. We pray that our nation would be a friend once again to Israel.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Restoration

Read: Jeremiah 30-31
God spoke of the day when in their captivity they would cry out to Him to save them. They will have to reap what they have sown but after a while God promised to restore them and heal them. When God foretells of judgment he always talks about restoration afterward. We see the lovingkindness of a father that has to discipline his children but ultimately wants the best for them. He would rather be blessing them than tearing down. We are in the midst of God’s judgment but we can look forward to the time when his wrath will be turned away and he will once again bless us.
In that day, God will write a new covenant with his people. He will write his law in our inward parts and write it on our hearts. We will be his people and he will be our god. We will all know him and he will forgive us our sins and rebuild our walls and establish us as a people just like he will in Israel.
Lord thank you for your lovingkindness that draws us to You. Cause us to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way and not stumble because we are your children.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Hope in the Midst of Judgment

Read: Jeremiah 26-29
The theme of today’s reading is to prophesy only what God says. Jeremiah paid a price to say only what God said even though it made him the most unpopular person in Judah. He almost lost his life when he prophesied that they should surrender to the Babylonians and let them take them captive. He even sent word to all their enemies that they were to surrender to Babylon also. God was judging most of the world and he was using Babylon as his tool. Then he would judge Babylon.
Two other prophets rose up and spoke of peace and prosperity and the end of judgment for Judah. It cost both of them their lives. They prophesied lies and false hope. Jeremiah offered hope. He gave them one of Jeremiah’s most famous lines: “I know the plans I have for you…to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) It was in this setting that God promised these words we often quote. The next verse says to call upon God and pray to him and he will hear and be found of those who seek him with all their heart. God will turn their captivity away and bring them back to the place they started in His timing.
I am watching this scenario play out in the life of someone very dear to me. They started out where they were suppose to be but when things didn’t go like they thought they should, they jumped ship and did their own thing. They went through two years of wandering in the wilderness of joblessness and poverty. During that time God did a great work in their hearts and they are starting over at the place they left with totally new perspectives and a much closer walk with God. It was worth the trip.
Lord, thank you that You never leave us in our wilderness but you lead us right back to your open arms.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Pray for Pastors

Jeremiah 23-25
God holds the pastors responsible for not gathering the sheep and teaching them to follow him. Jeremiah prophesies of the day when Jesus will come and rule with righteous judgment and justice.
Next God rebukes the prophets that said many words in His name that weren’t His. Both the prophet and the priests lived their lives as a mockery to righteousness.
Jeremiah was shown two baskets of figs which were set before the temple of the Lord which means that these baskets are before God’s face and getting his attention in heaven. The good ones represented the people that were saved and sent to the land of the Chaldeans. They would one day come back to the land. The other one was full of bad figs and they represented the people who determined to do evil and refused to repent. Their end would be dispersion, famine, and pestilence. They would not return to God’s land.
Jeremiah laid out the plan in chapter 25. God would send them to Babylon for seventy years then after that time, they would come back to the land. Then God would judge the nations that came against his people.
Lord, we pray for our pastors and spiritual leaders that You would put Your word in their mouth and that the fear of You would keep them holy and set apart. May they prosper in gifts of the Holy Spirit and lead us with righteousness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Pray for Our Nation

Read: Jeremiah 18-22
If you have read the Harbinger or the Mystery of the Shemitah then you know what has be prophesied about September 13th and 9/11. It is our part to do what Jeremiah 18:7-8 says and turn from our evil. America has been a vessel that has sent the message of the Gospel around the world. We have blessed other nations with food and water and help in their time of need. We have done many good things but we have also done many evil things. We have turned from God and served our selves and other gods. We have killed our unborn sons and daughters and sold their remains. We have constructed images of other gods and looked for help in things other than God. We have fallen into the trap of fear and dread. We have tried to do what only God can do and thought he didn’t care. We are guilty but we can repent and turn and God can repent of what he has planned. Remember Jonah and Nineveh.
Jeremiah said that Jerusalem would be defiled as the place of Tophet which means “ place of spitting” because all the houses have burned incense from their roofs. When the priest, Pashur heard this, he took Jeremiah and put him in prison. Pashur means “liberation” which is ironic because when Pashur brought Jeremiah out of prison Jeremiah changed Pashur’s name to Magor-missabib which means “fear from round about”. So Jeremiah who was spiritually free could not be bound and Pashur who was named liberated was bound in his own fear.
Pusher had been one of the priests who was a false prophet and an enemy of the truth. I wonder how hard it was for him in chapter 21 to be sent by the king to Jeremiah and beg him to pray for the nation. Everything Jeremiah had said about the king of Babylon was coming to pass and they were panicking. It was too late. God was fighting with Babylon and the Chaldeans against them so they didn’t stand a chance. They had had their time to repent and didn’t do it. I pray it is not too late for America! But, Jeremiah did tell the people that they could still choose to live if they leave the city. God always has a plan of escape.
Lord, we repent for our nation of all its evil and for turning away from You. You founded this nation as an escape to those who wanted spiritual freedom and it has become a place of spiritual oppression. May we rise up and fight the spirits of darkness in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Rest in the Midst of Judgment and Persecution

Read: Jeremiah 14-17
The sins of Judah were so horrible that God told Jeremiah that he wasn’t to get married or have children in Jerusalem. It was because if he did they would die gruesome deaths and no one would be there to mourn or bury them. He later says in Jeremiah 17:13 that those who depart from Him will have their name written in the earth. I wonder if that is what Jesus wrote in the earth the day he saved the woman caught in adultery. If he wrote their names, which he would have not natural way of knowing them, those students of the law would have known this scripture and the fear of the Lord would have fallen on them. They would have known that something supernatural was happening and leave. That is just my thoughts.
Jeremiah does give us some encouraging words in 17:7-8. He says that the man who trusts the Lord will be like a tree planted by the water. He will not fear when the persecution comes because he will prosper in it. And he will not be anxious when the water fails because he will not cease to produce fruit. I believe this is true both naturally and spiritually.
He warns them not to carry a burden on the sabbath day. To us spiritually that means that during our lives we are not to carry the burden that Jesus has already born for us. We should live in complete freedom and rest. God talks about this sabbath rest in Hebrews. We are all invited to walk in God’s 7th day rest.
Lord, in light of what is going on around us, we pray for our nation and that we would repent as a nation and turn to You. As Christians, we pray that we find rest in You.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Seek the Lord First

Read: Jer. 10-13
God rebukes Judah for seeking supernatural help through means other than Him. The supernatural is obtainable through other sources than God, but the result is not good. God’s supernatural power brings life, healing, hope, restoration, salvation, etc. Satan’s supernatural brings deception, pain, brief happiness, false hope, momentary healing and always ends in death.
God had brought Judah out of bondage and slavery and commanded them to obey his voice. Instead they had conspired to go back to serving the gods of their past and broke their covenant with God. God was so angry with Judah he told Jeremiah not to pray for them because he would not hear them.
God rebuked the pastors for destroying the vineyard and walking over the people.
God told Jeremiah to bury a girdle in rocks and then dig it up. It was marred and unusable to represent how he was going to mar the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. They would be good for nothing and scattered among the nations.
I wonder how many times we seek help from things other than God. Or are we tempted to fall into our old patterns of worry and stress when God has invited us into his rest. It is not hard to find ourselves in the same place Judah was in.
Lord, help us to recognize when we are seeking other means of salvation and help us to walk in your spirit minute by minute.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Judgment to God’s People

Read: Jer. 7-9
Notice where God told Jeremiah to give his prophesy of judgment. It was not in the governmental building of the day but at the gate of the Lord’s house. It is not the heathen that God is speaking to but His people…the ones that should know better. He keeps telling them that if they would just turn and do what is right then God would allow them to stay and live in their land and it would go well with them. Their list of sins was pretty long. God’s house had become a den of robbers.
Jeremiah must have felt like his ministry was a failure because no one seemed to listen and change. The sad thing was that they claimed to be wise and have the law of the Lord to protect them. They just didn’t realize they had to read it and obey it. Jeremiah wept over God’s people and what he was seeing. He felt God’s heart for a lost people who had missed their time of visitation. When a nation is deceived and walks after the imagination of their own heart they fall into the same deception our nation is experiencing where political correctness trumps the Bible. It is not our church buildings that are going to turn God’s wrath away but our earnest cry of repentance and our desire to walk in God’s righteousness that will grant God’s favor. God warned them to let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the mighty man glory in his might, nor the rich man glory in his riches. But let him glory in the fact that he understands and knows the Lord.
Lord, You are the Lord who exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. We delight in You.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Repent America!

Read: Jer. 4-6
Jeremiah was sent first to call them to repentance. God never judges a nation unless he first sends his prophet/s to call the nation back to Him. Jeremiah warned them of what would happen if they didn’t repent and what God thought of their abominations. He foresaw the whole land devastated and spoiled but prayed it wouldn’t be. God called them sottish children that didn’t know how to do good. In 4:23-25 God took Jeremiah back to Genesis One when he created the earth. God created the earth in the first verse and men inhabited the land. During that time, Satan rebelled in heaven and wanted to usurp God’s throne. God threw him to earth and turned the light out. Earth went into the Ice Age and everything froze and died. God came back in verse two and recreated it and took dominion back. God spoke life back on the earth but our enemy wanted it back. He deceived Eve and got the title deed to the earth. Jesus conquered Satan on the cross and gave that title deed back to the Church. We now have dominion over the earth but don’t exercise our rights. We need to recognize our authority and rule it.
In Jeremiah 5, God tells Jeremiah to go through the streets and see if there is any man who executes judgment or seeks truth. If he could find such a man, God would pardon the land. Jeremiah couldn’t find one man who fit this description; they were all deceived and wicked. This is a picture of the end. God has to rapture his people out of the earth before he can bring total judgment. This should be a comfort to us and a catalyst to make us want to work harder to bring in the harvest. The fruit have to be harvested before the judgment.
Lord, let us not be a nation that refuses to hearken to the sound of the trumpet but let us repent and turn to you!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fri.’s Devo- A Call to Repentence

Read: Jer. 1-3
Jeremiah gives us the account of his calling. He was ordained a prophet from the womb and given the hard job of prophesying to a rebellious people. God told him not to be afraid of their faces because what he would give him to say would not be well received. He was set over the nations and over kingdoms to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant.
In today’s reading he is sent to Judah when Josiah was king. He reminded them of how He had brought then into the land and made them a nation and they forsook the Lord and chose to follow after the gods of the land. They lost the fear of the Lord. Sound familiar? One of the things he rebuked them for was not correcting their children. They also killed their own prophets. No wonder God told Jeremiah not to be afraid.
He reminded them of how Israel had turned from serving him and now they were following in their footsteps. He told them to acknowledge their sin, turn from them and he would bring them to Zion. He promised to give them pastors who he would send who would teach them and cause them to understand his ways. They would call God their father and not turn away.
Lord, we pray Jeremiah’s prayer: “We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covers us; for we have sinned against You, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day,and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.” Please hear our prayers and heal our land.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - The Fate of Jerusalem

Read: 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chron. 36
God never forgets. Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son, had done more evil during his reign than the heathens did and God was ready to punish the nation because of it. They were being judged for all the innocent blood they shed. In light of what has been revealed about Planned Parenthood, we ought to be shaking in our boots. Our nation has shed more innocent blood through abortion than during any of our wars. Now we are selling body parts like shoes. God forgive our nation!
Jehoiachin which means “God will establish” was taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar took all the treasures in the house of the Lord. He also took the best men of the land and left the poor and sickly. He put Zedikiah over Jerusalem. Zedikiah was evil and eventually rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar came in person and besieged Jerusalem for over two years. Zedikiah was captured trying to escape the city. He had to watch his two sons killed before they blinded him. They bound him and took him to Babylon. The next month they burned Jerusalem with fire. What a picture of the end of time. The survivors were taken to Jerusalem.
After some time blind Jehoiachin was let out of prison and given back his kingdom. He served the king of Babylon which he took care of Jehoiachin. What a strange turn of events!
Lord, our times are in your hands but I know that you honor repentance and humility. May our nation turn to you with humility and repentance. Forgive us of our sins and show us how to please you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - God’s Words Never Fail

Read: 2 Kings 22-23, 2 Chon. 34-35
Finally we have a good king. Josiah was only eight when he came to the throne and is the only king that the Bible says he walked in all the way of David his father. He was given a copy of the law and when he read it, he realized the sin his nation was operating under. He did a massive sweep to get rid of the abomination in the land and a massive rebuilding of the things of the Lord. He restored the temple, reinstated the Passover feast, gave the priest honor and respect and allowed them to do their calling. God saw his repentance and promised that Josiah wouldn’t see the destruction of Judah during his day.
Josiah made a covenant with God before all the people to follow Him. All the people entered into that covenant which they later broke. As Josiah was tearing down the high places where the people worshipped their foreign gods he came upon some sepultures. They began digging the bones up and burning them when one of them caught his attention. He asked whose it was and it was the very prophet that had said, “Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you and men’s bones shall be burned on you.” 1 Kings 13:2. He was speaking of the altar that God split to show that what this prophet said would happen and it did. This nameless prophet had prophesied this 300 years before. Josiah let his bones stay.
No king before Josiah had ever turned to the Lord with all his heart like Josiah did. Too bad he didn’t train his sons to follow the Lord, or too bad they didn’t listen.
Lord, you have called our names before the foundation of the earth and put your destiny in us. Help us to walk out that destiny and not miss one assignment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The Fall of Ninveh

Read: Nahum 1-3
Nahum means “comforter” so he is a type of the Holy Spirit. He prophesies the fate of Nineveh which is Assyria’s capital. It was known for its years of conquests of other nations and for its cruel torture of its captors. It had conquered Israel and would have conquered Judah if God hadn’t miraculously saved them. The Assyrian Empire was falling and the climax would be Nineveh. Though Nahum speaks of judgement to Assyria, it is great comfort for Judah. He proclaims that God is good and a strong hold in times of trouble. He knows whose are his and he will destroy their enemies. God hates sin but because of his mercy and patience he withholds is judgment for a season but when he decides it is time to act, nothing can stand against him.
Nineveh means “offspring of ease” which could identify so many in America. If we don’t let our children experience pain, suffering, loss, discipline, sadness, and self-control, then they will end up like the Ninevites who did whatever it took to get what they wanted. We don’t have to be poor and desolate to practice self-control. If we fall in love with Jesus, the things of the world seem less important.
Lord, thank you for trials and tribulation that makes us prioritize what is really important. You are the prize we are living for.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Arm of the Flesh vs. the Hand of God

Read: 2 Chronicles 32-33
When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was coming against Judah, he did all he could do physically to prepare for his attack. Then he told his army to be strong and courageous because Sennacherib was fighting in the flesh but God would be fighting for them. Sennacherib’s army might be a multitude but God’s army is greater. The people found peace in Hezekiah’s words. Sennacherib came to Jerusalem and besieged Lachish. “Lachish” means “walk of a man”. Sennacherib came with the arm the flesh, i.e. in his own strength. He used intimidation telling Judah’s men that even Israel’s god was not able to deliver them out of his hand. He boasted that they were stronger than God. The men of Lachish had their walk tested and they passed.
Isaiah and Hezekiah both prayed together and the angel of the Lord came and killed most of Sennacherib’s army during the night. Sennecherib left in shame and went back to Assyria.
Because of this great victory, the people elevated Hezekiah and brought him gifts. Instead of giving God the glory, he took it to himself which was his down fall. Isaiah came to tell him he was going to die and he repented so quickly that Isaiah had to turn around and tell him he would have 15 more years to live. They were prosperous years and he stored up much wealth and God blessed him. God tried him by sending the ambassadors from Babylon. He failed his test and showed off all his treasures to them. God sent Isaiah to tell him that because he did that he would lose everything. It would happen during the days of his sons. During his 15 God-given years he had a son named Manasseh. He should have spent them raising him up to be a good king but by the way Manasseh started out, I’m not too sure. Manasseh worshipped everything but God and led the nation into idolatry that was worse that the heathen’s idolatry. God used the Assyrians to discipline Manasseh. He was taken to Syria where he cried out to God in his affliction. God restored him to his kingdom and he was a different king. He cleansed the land of all the idolatry he had brought in and restored worship to God. Sadly, his son Ammon followed him in his sinful ways and never repented. He was killed by his own servants and his son, Josiah became king.
Lord, may we have leaders who will humble themselves and turn back to You. May they rid our nation of it idolatry. Raise up a leader who will follow You.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Hezekiah’s Last Days

Read: 2 Kings 20-21
Hezekiah went down as being a good king because he rid the land of idolatry. But he made his mistakes also which is evident by who came to present him with gifts when he miraculously recovered. The king of Babylon came whose name was Berodach-baladan. Berodach-baladan means “the causer of oppression”. Hezekiah showed him all of his wealth and secrets so he was doomed to lose them. When Isaiah gave him the word that he would lose everything to Babylon and his sons would be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon one day all he could say was ‘good’. He was just glad that peace and truth would be in his days. This tells me that he was only concerned with his life and not the one he would leave to his posterity.
His son Manasseh did not share his love for God. Manasseh was an evil king who lead the nation back into idolatry. His name means “causing to forget”. He caused the people to forget God and all he had done for them. He built back everything his father had destroyed. He caused the people to do more evil than the enemies they had driven out of the land. God was not pleased and promised to forsake them and turn them over to their enemies. His son, Amon became king when he died and was so hated that his own servants killed him. The people rose up and killed the servants who killed Amon and put Josiah, his son, in as the king. We’ll see tomorrow that Josiah was a good king.
Lord, we cry out to you as a nation. Forgive us of turning away from you. Hear the cry of your remnant and save us!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Final Words of Isaiah

Read: Isaiah 64-66
Isaiah 64 is our prayer today, that God would rend the heavens and come back. Jesus is coming back for a people who love his returning, not those that love this life. We all have future plans on earth, but nothing on this earth is worth having compared to what God has prepared for us after he comes. When the church recognizes her sin compared to the holiness of God, we will see true repentance. I know I need a revelation of God’s holiness in my own life.
Isaiah 65 is talking about the rejection of the Jews and the coming in of the Gentiles. In the end, Israel will come back to the Lord and accept his son, Jesus as their Messiah. God will create new heavens and a new earth and we will not remember the sorrow of this earth. Death will be defeated and man will enjoy the fruit of his labor with no fear of harm. God will answer us before we can ask and peace will reign over the new earth.
Isaiah 66 speaks of a judgment to the wicked and a reward
to God’s righteous. I truly believe that we can live beyond our time. If we are saved, we are living in the New Testament, the new covenant. If we can see it, we can live in the millennium and experience the promises of it right now. Many of the prophets did just this. David saw God as his father and Solomon saw him as his lover. They lived far beyond their time. We can too. Few will see this, but a remnant will catch it and see the glory of God in this life. I want to be that person.
Lord, expand our vision and our faith to live all the promises of your Word.