Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Watchmen on the Wall

Read Ezekiel 32:17-end of chapter 33; Jeremiah 52:28-30; Psalm 137; 1 Chron. 4:24-5:17
God gave Ezekiel a message of judgment against Egypt on the day of Unleavened Bread. Unleavened Bread was when they were to get rid of all the yeast in their house. The yeast represented sin. God was definitely getting rid of the sin of Egypt. We get a peek into the underworld as we see that down in the grave there are fallen soldiers that will mock and ridicule the hoards of Egyptians that are doomed to die.
God set Ezekiel up as a watchman on the wall. He was to warn the people of approaching enemy armies. If he warned them and their didn’t take action to get ready, then he was released of his responsibility. If he saw the enemy coming and didn’t warn them, then God would hold him responsible for what happened.
That is the job of a prophet. He is to warn the people of what the devil is up to so they won’t be a victim.
God warns the people through Ezekiel to turn from their sins and repent because an invading army is coming and their sins have left them vulnerable to them. God told them that he did not like to see them die; he wanted them to turn to Him and live. They cannot blame God for what is happening to them - it is their fault.
The Babylonians did come and take thousands of captives - 4,600 in a span of 16 years. Psalm 137 was a song the captive sung. When they were asked to sing a happy song by the Babylonians, they could only sing sad ones. They longed for the day that God would take vengeance on their enemies.
At the end of our reading we have the genealogies of Simeon, Reuben and Gad. I’m not sure why they are put in this order but they are.
Lord, help us to have spiritual eyes to see when the enemy armies are coming and how to protect our land. May we be faithful watchmen on the walls.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tues.'s Devo - Live Bones

Read: Ezekiel 37-39; 32:1-16
Every story in the Bible is for then and for all the generations yet to come. The vision of the valley of dry bones was a picture to the Israelites then of a rebirth of their nation. To us now it can be a person who is dead in sin or our nation which is steeped in idolatry. It is to show us that God can bring life to anything that is dead. His power is stronger than death that devastation. It is our hope for every situation. Notice, God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind of the Spirit and commanded the bones to live. We can do that over the people we are praying for and for our nation.
God told Ezekiel to take two sticks and write “for Judah” on one and “for Joseph” on the other. Judah and Joseph were not close growing up and were separated most of their lives. Joseph was a picture of Jesus and Judah was a picture of Israel. God told Ezekiel to put them together as one stick showing that one day, Israel would embrace their Messiah, Jesus Christ.
The rest of the reading has to do with end times. It is the picture of last war, Armageddon. The nations involved are Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and the house of Togarmah. These are described in Revelation 20:8 as the nations which are in the four corners of the earth. They are the nations that resist the Messiah and his people. They will be destroyed and eaten by the birds and beasts of the earth in a feast called the Feast of Leviathan. We will be enjoying the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. I can’t tell when this will happen but I do know this….we win!
Lord, breath life into our spirit and let us prophesy to the dry bones around us.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - A Message of Warning and Hope

Read: Ezekiel 34-36
God first judges the spiritual leaders of the nation. If they are not servants to the people and givers of what God has given them, then they are judged severely. It is so sad to see a hero of the faith fall and find out they were living a life different from the one they were preaching. It is not our job to expose or judge our leaders, that is God’s job. He sees everything that goes on behind closed doors so nothing his hid from him. He faithfully waits for them to repent, but if they don’t, then he exposes them. God exposes them, not to harm them, but to lead them to repentance and to protect the people under them. God’s mercy always trumps over judgment.
God watches our response to other people’s troubles. If we judge them and turn away from them in their trouble, then God will return that response to us. That is what He did to Edom. They had been glad to see Israel fall and Jerusalem taken, so God did the same and worse to them.
To Israel, God gives such hope. He promises to cleanse them and put a new heart in them - one that is tender and responsive to his voice. He promises his spirit that will lead them in the truth. He promises prosperity and blessings. He makes sure that they know it is not because they deserve it but because of his grace. This is the covenant we are living under!
Lord, bring your increase! Pour out your spirit on the earth and let your praises be heard.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Israel's Loss

Read: Lamentations 5; Obadiah 1; 2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40-41
Israel had lost everything. They lost their inheritance, their future generations, their provision, their position, and their joy. They had totally lost control of their country. I feel like that is where we are if we don’t vote correctly at this next election. I encourage you not to listen to the media but to the Lord. We have got to see with spiritual eyes what is going on and what the over-all agenda is. If we vote against Israel, we are voting against America. It is not too late for America. God said that Jerusalem would become a refuge for those who escape; a holy place; that one day the people would come back and reclaim their inheritance. We pray that America would be that place.
Gedaliah was set up as the governor of Judah. He told the people what the prophets were saying. They would be safe if they stayed their and submitted to the Babylonians. Ishmael didn’t want God’s Word to thrive so he went to Judah and killed Gedaliah and all the Judea’s and Babylonians who supported Gedaliah. He stirred up a hornet’s nest. The people left were so afraid of what the Babylonians would do that they fled to Egypt for refuge. What a mess! A kingdom that refuses the Word of the Lord spirals out of control quickly.
Lord, help us as a nation to turn to You in our times of trouble. Let us not be side-tracked by the lies and slander that comes out of the mouths of the enemy. Help us to be courageous and not lose heart.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - The Rebellious Remnant

Read: Lamentations 5; Obadiah 1; 2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40-41
I wonder why the people bothered to ask Jeremiah what God was saying if they never intended on obeying or believing it. They even went so far as to say that they would obey the lord even if they didn’t like what he said, but they were lying. God always needs a witness. His word has to go forth for it to be accomplished. They were sealing their own death warrants by asking. These people were the remnant - the nation’s last hope of repentance. They wanted to know whether to stay in Judah or go to Egypt. God said that if they stayed in their land, he would take care of them and they would be safe and prosper, but f they went to Egypt, they would be killed by war and famine. They chose death. That just seems stupid to us that look on, but it is no different than what we see in our land right now. People are choosing lies and things that lead to death instead of truth and the things that lead to life. Even the remnant is choosing to fear rather than fight. We are losing hope rather than trusting in the Lord.
The Lord was so mad at his people, he withdrew the power of his name from them. What a terrible thing to take away. It was his way of saying he was disowning them. God has given us his name to declare his Word and when we don’t use it or use it wrongly we are taking it in vain which is one of the Ten Commandments. We need to honor the blood and His name. We need to use them to accomplish His will on the earth.
We pray in the name of Jesus, that our nation would turn and seek You first. We plead the blood of Jesus over our families and our nation. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fri.’s Devo -God Loves in the Midst of Judgment

Read: Lamentations 2-4
Lamentations gives us a morbid picture of exile. The city has been destroyed. the kings and princes have been exiled to distant lands and they now live under new laws. People are starving and the men hang their heads in shame. God had planned this for a long time and it is finally being executed just as he said. When God removes his mercy, it is not a pretty picture. I think the most hideous part of today’s reading is when the women ate the very babies they bounced on their knees. How can it get that bad? This is what happens when the people invite terror by rebelling against the Lord.
There are verses that we have quoted that have new meaning when we see them in context. The nation is ravaged by the Babylonians and there are dead bodies lying in the streets. Homes and the Temple are burned to the ground and yet the writer of Lamentations dares to hope. He remembers that the faithful love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is God’s faithfulness. It goes on to say that the Lord is good to those who depend on him and to those who search for him. God says that it is good to wait for His salvation.
Lord, in the midst of all the destruction and confusion we see amongst us, let us be reminded that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - God Spared Jeremiah

Read: Jeremiah 39:11 - 40:6; 2 Kings 25:8-21; Jeremiah 52:12-27; 2 Chron. 36:15-21; Lamentations 1:1-22
King Nebuchadnezzar made sure Jeremiah was taken care of and saved. He was given the freedom to either go to Babylon with the rest of the people or go to Judah and live. He was told to go wherever he wanted to go. God took care of Jeremiah and gave him incredible favor in the eyes of his enemies. Even they recognized that he was a prophet whose words were the Lord’s. Everything happened just as Jeremiah had said. The Babylonians came and took everything that had any value and burned the rest. They kept the poorest people there to take care of the vineyards and the fields.
The leaders of the Israelites were taken to Babylon and killed. The rest of the people were made slaves in Babylon.
Lamentations says it best in verse 9: “She defiled herself with immorality and gave no thought to her future.” That was the fate of the nation who refused to turn from the pleasures of sin and repent and follow the Lord.
Lord, may we as a nation consider our future and turn to righteousness. Forgive our nation and give us your name.
Thurs.’s Devo - The Judgment 8-25-16

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Judgment is Finally Here

Read: Ezekiel 26: 15-end of chapter 28; 2 Kings 25:3-7; Jeremiah 52: 6-11; Jeremiah 39:2-10
The commerce of the whole world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. Tyre means “rock” which is a picture of a word. Tyre was strong and very prosperous as it was a seaport where the main commerce was made. It reminds me of the Twin Towers that we watched fall on 9/11. That is how devastating it was to those who watched as it fell. It affected countries all over the known world. In its prosperity it had forgotten the Lord.
Zedekiah refused to surrender like the Lord had told him to do so the king of Babylon had his sons executed before his eyes, then gouged out his eyes. So the deaths of his sons was the last thing he was allowed to see. Forever that image would haunt him. Then he was exiled to Babylon.
What a hard lesson to learn for the king. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your nation taken over by enemies and burned to the ground but that is actually happening in parts of the world as we read this. I feel like never before, we are living in Biblical times. It is not hard to read these stories and believe them because we hear about them in our news. God has not changed and he still deals with nations the way he did in the Bible. Our only hope is repentance and to hope in the Lord.
God, we do hope in you. Comfort those who have lost so much to war and famine. Gather your body together to love and care for one another.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Restoration and Mercy

Read: Jeremiah 32-33; Ezekiel 26
Zedekiah had thrown Zedekiah into prison because he kept prophesying that Babylon would prevail against them. The siege had been going on for years and the king wanted to hear good news. Ezekiel told Zedikiah that if he fought against Babylon he would be fighting against the Lord. He also told Ezekiel that his cousin would come and offer family land for him to buy. He was to buy it to show that God would one day bring his people back to this land and restore their inheritance back to them.
Since it was getting closer to Jerusalem’s destruction and the people refused to repent, God started giving them a promise of restoration. One day, their posterity would return to their land and be fruitful once again. From this people would come the Messiah who would bring righteousness and salvation.
The siege had become so bad, the people had torn down their homes to build up the wall. Even materials from the king’s palace had been used. He told the people that the people in this city were as good as dead because God’s anger was blazing against the sin of the people.
I put a star on Jeremiah 33:20. It says that God has a covenant with the day and the night so that one follows the other. We have never seen this covenant broken so we can look at this example and know that God’s promises in his Word are just as sure as his covenant with day and night. His promise for us is restoration and mercy. We always think that we have to do something to right our wrong, but God is a god of restoration and mercy. Our good deeds will never cover our sins but the blood of Jesus can. Our part is to believe.
Lord, help us to come out of condemnation into mercy and grace. We fall on the altar of the cross and walk in confident righteousness.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - No Remorse

Read: Ezekiel 24:15-end of chapter 25; Jeremiah 34, 21, Ezekiel 29-31
Ezekiel was told that his wife would die and he was not to mourn openly for her. He could mourn quietly, but no one could see his sadness. The people asked him why he was doing this and he told them it was a picture of how God felt about them. They would see their loved ones destroyed and their beloved Temple and land die and not be able to mourn.
Then God pronounced his judgment on the enemies of Israel. Ammon had cheered when they saw the Temple defiled and mocked Israel when she was desolate. They laughed when Judah went into exile. This is a picture of the people of the world that love to see our leaders fall into moral sin or a church split. God said that he would make them a plunder to many nations. Today, this would mean that they would be destroyed and it will make others glad.
Moab had said that Judah was just like all the other nations. This would be like saying our God was just like all the other gods: Allah, Mohammed, etc….that he was just a higher power. God told them that he would wipe out their glorious frontier towns and they would be taken over by nomads. This would be like losing the prominent fortresses they had built only to have them taken over by someone who dismantles them and sells them off.
The next nation God condemned was the Edomites. They had brought vengeance against God’s people. God would repay them with vengeance. These are the people who hate the church and are out to destroy everything we hold sacred. God promised to personally pour out his vengeance on them.
The last nation was Philistia. They were a lot like the Edomites. They wanted bitter revenge and had long-standing contempt against God’s people. We see that group as we get closer and closer to election day. God said he would raise his fist against them and they would know that He is Lord.
To the King, Zedekiah, God said the Babylonians would take the city of Jerusalem and burn it to the ground. He promised the king that he would not die by the sword, but he would die peacefully and be mourned in his death.
God changed his word to Zedekiah when he was not merciful to his own people by setting them free during Jubilee. Now King Zedekiah would die if they stayed in Jerusalem. Only the ones who surrendered to the Babylonians would live.
Lord, thank you for reminding us that you always have the final word. You will punish our enemies and bring justice.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Repentance

Read: Ezekiel 20-22:16
The leaders of Israel came to ask Ezekiel what the Lord was saying. God told Ezekiel to remind them of the covenant He had made with their ancestors and how badly they had broken it. He told them to get rid of the vile images they were so obsessed with. They had fallen in love with the idols of Egypt. God had threatened to punish them while they were in Egypt, but since God didn’t want to defile his name by punishing them in front of their enemies, he waited, hoping they would repent. They didn’t repent. Like their parents before them, they chose to follow after their idolatry. God was so tired of their idolatry he told them to go ahead and practice their evil because one day they would turn and stop bringing shame on God’s name. One day they would be ashamed of their past and receive God’s mercy. Until then, God would send fire to burn everything. It will be fire that could not be put out.
Ezekiel complained to the Lord that everyone accused him of speaking in riddles and didn’t think God was being literal in his judgment. God told him to tell them he meant everything he said. He was going to destroy the evil along with the good people. God was going to lead the army of Babylon to Jerusalem to besiege it. The people of Jerusalem would be utterly wiped out.
This is such a sad reading. History repeats itself and this will be the picture of the end. The world will be destroyed by fire and no one will be left. Those who love the Lord will live eternally with him.
Lord, expand our vision to see the big picture of your ways. You are faithful to judge and faithful to save.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Parables of Israel

Read: Ezekiel 17-19
God gives Ezekiel a parable of two great eagles. The first one came and seized the top of a cedar tree in Lebanon. The Israelites referred to Jerusalem as Lebanon since so much of it was made from the cedars of Lebanon. This parable is explaining how Babylon came into Jerusalem and took off the cream of the crop of people and treasures from Jerusalem. When Babylon took over it had placed Zedikiah as the leader but the Israelites killed him and put Jehoiachin in his place. God was going to punish him for usurping the throne. He would be taken to Babylon and stand trial for his treason. Then God would take a new branch, the Messiah and plant him in the land. He will be fruitful and cause everyone who comes under his branches safe.
Israel had a saying about Israel, that if their forefathers sinned then the children would reap the consequences. But God was changing that saying to say if you sin you will reap your own consequences. They thought God was being unjust in this which just shows us how wrong their thinking was. God told them that he was not the one doing wrong…they were. He bold them to put their rebellion behind them and find a new heart and a new spirit so they could live and not die.
The choice is always ours to choose. We can have life or death.
Lord, we choose life and your way.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Noah, Daniel, and Job

Read: Ezekiel 14-16
The leaders of Israel came to Ezekiel to hear what God had to say about their nation. God rebuked them for having idols in their hearts yet wanting to hear from the Lord. They must have prided themselves in their righteous living yet forgot that God looks at the heart. Their hearts were far from the Lord. God referred to three men in the past and said if they were there, even they wouldn’t be able to save their nation from the destruction planned it. These three men were Noah, Daniel and Job. All three of these men lived during a time of great national sin and judgment. They were wealthy, exalted and of great reputation yet the chose to lay all of that down to stand for the Lord. They chose to be outcasts in the name of righteousness rather than play with the pleasures of sin. They were rewarded in the end.
Noah saw the judgment of the Lord on the whole earth and he and his family were the only ones to survive. Job saw the destruction of his whole family and he and his wife were the only ones to survive. Daniel saw the destruction of his nation and he and his friends were the only ones to survive. These men survived very hard and sad times but came through victoriously.
God described Jerusalem as an unfaithful wife. Even Noah, Daniel, or Job would be able to save her. She would get what she deserved until she repented, then the Lord would forgive her.
Lord, thank you for your long-suffering, faithful love towards us. You never give up on your people.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - No More Delay!

Read: Ezekiel 10-13
Ezekiel is taken into the Temple of the Lord. God sends a man in linen clothing to go in and take the burning ember off the altar and take it away. It was as if he was demonstrating God taking the last glowing ember of the presence of God away from Jerusalem. The spirit went to the eastern gate where Ezekiel was taken and shown the hypocrisy of the spiritual leaders. They were telling the people they were safe in God’s hands which was just the opposite that God and Ezekiel were saying. They were telling the people that the things Ezekiel was saying were going to happen in the far future, but God was saying it was time for them to happen now. No more delay!
One day, God will say that, but he is not saying that yet. Much change is happening infall the nations. Powers are shifting but, there are many things that must take place before the end. A harvest of souls is coming in and we are invited to be a part of it if we want to.
The last group God addressed were the false prophetesses. Women are very sensitive to the spirits and very manipulative. it is important that we be discerning and stay grounded in the Word.
Lord, use us for your glory in the days we are here on the earth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Mark of the Lord

Read: Ezekiel 5-9
Through a word picture, God showed Ezekiel that a third of the people would be destroyed, a third would be scattered, and a third would be saved as the remnant. First, Ezekiel was to warn them of what was to come. That is the job of the prophet. The time of repenting was over and the end was here. The remnant would be those that looked at the sin the rest were enjoying, and were destained by it. No amount of money could buy them out of the words that were proclaimed against Jerusalem.
In the season of the feast of Tabernacles, which represents the end, God transported Ezekiel to Jerusalem and showed him the sin that was going on in the Temple. God was judging the religious leaders and what was going on in His temple. Instead of worshipping him in spirit and truth, they had brought in all types of other religions and false doctrines.
God does not expect the ungodly to worship him, he expects the ones called by his name to worship him. God told the angel to put a mark on the heads of all the people that didn’t participate in the deceptive teachings of the false teachers and prophets of the day. Our false prophets look like the phychics and New-Agers but they can also be those in our own churches. We don’t have to worry about exposing them because God will in his timing. We just need to have discernment to know what to listen to.
Lord, thank you for marking us for your purposes.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - God is Near

Read: Jeremiah 37:11 - 38:14; Ezekiel 1, 2
In reading today’s reading it is not hard to see that King Zedekiah was fickle. He turned with whoever was in front of him. When he was with Jeremiah, he was loyal to him but as soon as one of his officials had a problem with Jeremiah, he let them do what they saw fit. He did make sure Jeremiah had bread and he did let the Ethiopian deliver him out of the cistern. But he also let the man put him there. Jeremiah held to God’s Word. When the king asked him what was going to happen to Jerusalem, he told him the truth even though he knew it was not what the king wanted to hear. Jeremiah defended God’s Word with his life and God saved his. The truth was that the Babylonians would take Jerusalem and if the king would surrender to them then things would go good for him and Jerusalem would be spared destruction. If he did not, then he would be killed, his wives and children led to captivity and Jerusalem would be burned to the ground.
During this time Ezekiel had a vision of heaven. He saw the four creatures mentioned in the fourth chapter of Revelation. These creatures were the embodiment of God’s Spirit - the four faces of Jesus, the four faces of God. These faces were of a human, an lion, an ox, and an eagle. These creatures had wings and wheels by which they flew illumined in brilliant light. Ezekiel’s vision left him overwhelmed in silence for seven days.
This is a reminder to me that when everything looks terribly bleak, God is hovering over earth watching over everything that is going on. He is always near.
Lord, thank you for your presence in our lives and in our nation. We need your nearness and your assurance that everything will be as you plan. Thank you that You are not fickle; you know exactly what you are doing and it is good. We trust in You.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Be God’s Sword

Read: Jeremiah 51:15-52:3 ; 2 Kings 24:10-20; 2 Chron. 36:10-14; 1 Chron. 3:10-16; Jeremiah 37:1-10
God told Jeremiah that he was a battle-ax and a sword though Jeremiah never fought in a battle. It was not Jeremiah’s hand that held a sword that the Lord was referring to; it was Jeremiah’s mouth that was a sword because he spoke what the Lord told him to speak. He proclaimed it and God did it. He told Jerusalem that the Babylonians would take them captive and they did. He said that the Medes would destroy Babylon, and they did.
Our mouths are swords too. They can be swords that bring death and judgment or swords that bring life. If it is the Lord’s words we are speaking, they will bring life. Life comes through death. Jeremiah spoke of judgment and wrath against nations that defied the Lord, but God always said that out of this death would sprout restoration and life. Divorce looks like death, but out of it can come life. We are all going through some semblance of death all the time because God is out to kill our flesh so that His spirit can spring forth. It doesn’t always look like we think it should because God is a physician who carefully and meticulously operates on us with the utmost care and love. He is not concerned with how long it takes, but in how complete it is. God’s timing is always perfectly planned to fit his timeline….not ours.
Lord, we submit our bodies to your knife so that we can be your sword in the battles that count for the kingdom. Let us not get weary in well-doing knowing that we will receive a crown of life and glory in the end.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fri.’s Devo.- Wake Up!

Read: Jeremiah 31:15-41; 49:34 - 51:14:16-17
If you are praying for a wayward child Jeremiah has some great promises to pray. “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you. Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. Their is hope for your future. Your children will come again to their own land.” Jeremiah 31:16.
God had used Babylon to punish the nations for their sin and now it was time to punish Babylon, the great whore. He was going to send the Medes from the north. Mede means “my garment”. The Medes were the garment God was using to cover the earth with his glory and power. This is a picture of God’s end-time judgement when he will judge Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17. Both Jeremiah 51:7 and Revelation 17:4 talk about a golden cup full of abominations and filthiness that made the nations drunk. Jeremiah promises that the Lord will fulfill all his plans against Babylon. In Revelation 18 it says that Babylon will fall because it had become the habitation of devils. To the people of Israel, Jeremiah tells them to get out of Babylon and flee back to their own land. In Revelation 17:4, God tells his people to come out of her and to not partake in her sins. So we see that the days of Jeremiah parallel the end times.
God does this over and over. He repeats history to give us something to relate to. The end judgment will supersede any judgment that has gone before but it is God’s way of preparing us and letting us know he is serious. We need to wake up to what is going on in the world and in the heavenly realm. God is speaking loudly to his children to repent and turn to them with their whole heart. Nothing we do should be done without asking him first. Our life is his and we are his. We need to live like we believe that. I am speaking to myself.
Lord, help us be mindful of the things you are mindful of. Forgive us of our pettiness and selfishness. Awaken your Bride! Awaken your Church!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - A Hope and a Future

Read: Jeremiah 23:33 - 24:10; 29-31:14
Jeremiah sent a message to the exiles in Babylonia. They were to live in the land as if it was their own land. They were to settle there and build a life and pray for the land because its welfare would determine their welfare. This is a word for us in our nation. We might not like what we see going on but we cannot “check out”. We must be a part of it and pray for it. This is still our nation and we determine the outcome of our nation, not the politicians or leaders - the prayers of God’s people determine the outcome of a nation. We have to hold on to the fact that God will set us free from the oppression and sin of our nation. He has plans for America for good and not for disaster, to give it a future and a hope. We have to pray wholeheartedly for our nation and not give up.
God told Israel that she could not go unpunished and we as a nation can not go unpunished for our sin, but we hold on to the hope that God is our deliverer who is bringing us a great revival of souls and we will be safe, healthy, restored and established once again. That was God’s promise to Israel and that is God’s promise for America.
We are all going through some deep trials that are tremendously hard but God promised us that if we survive and not lose heart then we will find blessings even in the barrenness of the land and we will have rest. Because God loves us, we will be happy once again and be rebuilt and prosperous. So, let us not be weary in well doing because we will receive a reward if we don’t faint.
Lord, thank you for your marvelous promises even in the midst of pain and suffering.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The Head and Not the Tail

Read: Jeremiah 49; 2 Kings 24:5-9; 2 Chron. 36: 6-9; Jeremiah 22:24 - end of chapter 23
God’s plan is for his people to be the head and not the tail. They are to be the leaders. When God’s people rebel everything gets turned upside down. The head becomes the tail. That is what had happened to Israel. They were going to be taken into captivity by the people they should have been ruling.
When God judges his people, he also judges the world. This was a time when all the world was being judged and God used Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon to bring his judgment. Nebuchadnezzar means “confusion of the abode of treasure”. It also means “prophesy, the earthen vessel is preserved.” Nebuchadnezzar was a type of anti-christ that was preserved to bring judgment on the earth. Babylon means “confusion”. Confusion destroys faith and stirs up doubt and unbelief which are two things that will keep you from the promised land.
In Jeremiah 23, God came down heavy on the false prophets that prophecy in Baal. They prophesied what the people want to hear and not what God was saying. They prophesied peace when God was saying destruction. They were suppose to be the upholders of truth and God’s Word but instead, they were liars working against God. They brought confusion; God brings peace.
Lord, we rest in the peace that comes from your Word. May we be the head and not the tail.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Be an Example of Faith

Read: Jeremiah 16-18; 35
God gave Jeremiah a tangible example of Israel and what God was going to do. God told Jeremiah to go to the potter and see the picture. The potter was turning a pot on his wheel. When the pot didn’t turn out the way he had hoped, he threw it down on the ground and broke it. Then he took new clay and started over. This is exactly what God was doing to Israel. He was rejecting her because she refused to be molded in his hand. He would start over with the Gentiles and a remnant of Jews who would accept his transforming power.
When God judges he removes his protection and peace. Ever since 9/11 we have been vulnerable as a nation and it is hard to find peace. Only those who trust in God can live in peace now. We who trust in the Lord are blessed. We will have plenty of spiritual water and we will thrive and continuously bear fruit.
God reminded his people of the Recabites. They were a people who refused to drink wine because their ancestors refused to drink wine. God’s people couldn’t keep a single law passed down by their ancestors. God told the Recabites that because they stayed true to their fathers, they would always have descendants who served the Lord. What a promise!
Lord, we pray that our offspring would be like the Recabites and follow in our footsteps of faith. We pray that they would go further than we do in faith and devotion to You.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Time Is Up

Read Jeremiah 12-15
Jeremiah started out with this question: “Why are the wicked so prosperous?” They seemed happy, stable, and prosperous. They talked about God but he was not in their hearts. God answered his question with a promise. He promised to take care of Jeremiah and that one day these evil people would come to him and ask him to pray for them because they would be in trouble and distress.
Everyone can identify with Jeremiah. One moment he is wishing he had never been born and wants to die and the next he is begging God to let him live a long life! How fickle we are in the midst of trials. Jeremiah was living in a very unstable time. Chaos and sin was everywhere and God had had enough. They were about to harvest a crop of shame…in other words, they were about to be sorry they had turned away from God. Their rebellion had caught up with them.
God does in the physical world things that mirror what is going on in the spirit. There was a spiritual drought. People didn’t even care what the law said. Most of them didn’t even know what it said. So God sent them a physical drought. There was no rain which caused their business, lifestyles and harvests to grind to a halt. They expected God to come to their rescue and save the day for his name sake and his own reputation since they were known as his children. But, God told them that because they loved their sin so much and didn’t want to be close to him, he no longer considered them his people. Instead He would punish them for their sins. He told Jeremiah that he was not to pray for the people or fast for them; their time was up. That must have been a slap in their faces. Jeremiah reminded God that he didn’t join in their sin and God knew this. He promised Jeremiah that he would be protected and taken care of.
This is a great reminder to us who live in the land of grace. God is still disciplines and will put up with our sin for just so long.
Lord, help us to repent for ourselves and our nation before it is too late for us. Expose evil so it can be dealt with and judged. Remember your people who have stayed true to You in the midst of the times we are living in and keep us safe.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Preservation

Read: Jeremiah 8:4-chapter 11
The path that God’s people were on was leading them to self-destruction. The devil’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy, but when he can get us to do his job on ourselves, he is being more than a conqueror. Judah’s heart was completely deceived into worshiping anything and everything but God. The word that Jeremiah brought the people was one of sadness and grief over their sin. He told them the consequences of their ways if they continued in them. Instead of repenting, they plotted to kill Jeremiah for speaking the Word of the Lord. His enemies were the men of Ananthoth which means “affliction”. I see this happening in the Body today. When a godly man stands up against the wiles of the enemy and exposes the devil’s schemes, the devil will try to take that person out with affliction. It might look like cancer or another disease, but God promises to punish the devil for this. We need to discern where the root is and pull it up.
God talked about a conspiracy against him which was people returning to the sins of their ancestors. We all have ancestors that have done things wrong. We can sever the power of their sins with the blood of Jesus, or we can return and do the same thing and continue the cycle. We must put the axe to the root of the sin and cut it down. That means we find scriptures in the Bible that have to do with that sin and we confess them over ourselves and stay away from things that tempt us. We can win over ancestral sins and curses.
We join with Jeremiah in praying: “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct us, Lord, but please be gentle.” Teach us to wield our sword to victory.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Turning the Heart of the King

Read: Daniel 2, 3, Jeremiah 7
In today’s reading we learn some deep things about God. “He controls the course of world events; and removes leaders and sets up others. He reveals deep mysteries that are hidden and brings them to light. When the king had a dream that he required his wise men to recall to him and give him the interpretation or face death. We learn that the forces of satan don’t know all. They were not able to give the dream which shows us Satan can not read our thoughts or dreams. But God reveals secrets that no man could know or Satan. God gave Daniel the dream and the interpretation. Through this Daniel was promoted and rewarded. He had his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego promoted also.
When the other officials became jealous of them, they set out to trap him and the only thing they could find to discredit them was their faith in God. So they drew up a law that everyone had to bow before the statue of Nebuchadnezzar. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abdenego refused, they were thrown into the fire. God’s angel met them and kept them from harm of the flames. The king not only called them out of the fire, but he changed the decree that no one could speak a word against their God. Then he promoted them even higher.
When we are facing death, a fiery trial, persecution, misunderstanding, etc., if we will just trust in the Lord and lean not to our understanding he will deliver us. He will bring us through unharmed and promote us and bless us.
This was what was going on in Babylon while in Jerusalem, Jeremiah was trying to get them to repent and turn back to God. Amazing how the Babylonians saw the power of God and were convinced where the Jews heard the warnings and it didn’t seem to phase them.
Lord, help us to be uncompromising and realize our decisions can change the hearts of kings and change the course of nations. It is comforting to know that all our trials will be rewarded with promotion and blessing if we endure in faith.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - No Compromise

Read: Jeremiah 19, 20: Daniel 1
Jeremiah is temporarily out of prison so God told him to buy a clay jar and ask the leaders of the political and religious sector to follow him. He took them to the garbage dump and gave him God’s word. They had allowed the land to be filled with wickedness and idolatry it resembled this garbage dump. Jerusalem would be reduced to ruins as a monument to their stupidity. He smashed the jar to the ground to give them a visual of what God was going to do to their nation. This got him arrested by the chief priest, Pashhur, who beat him and put him in prison for the night. When he released Jeremiah, Jeremiah changed Pashhur’s name which meant “increasing of white linen”, to “The Man Who Lives in Terror”. That would be the description of his life from then on.
Jeremiah was only human and he had been given a tough assignment for his life. He had a pity party cursing the day he was born. This is a reminder to us that our lives are not always going to be fun and roses if we follow Jesus. We are called to fellowship is Christ’s sufferings and this is not easy but totally rewarding in the end.
Babylon did come to besiege Jerusalem and take the best of their possessions and people. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were among the best students that Babylon took away. God tested them from the moment they got there. They were to assimilate into the Babylonian lifestyle, but these four took a stand and God stood up for them. They put their enemy to the test and won. We need to be like them in a world that is wanting us to compromise our convictions for the sake of coexistence. We must not bend! They rebelled in a very respectful way and won respect. That is the way we need to fight, not with muscle but with love.
Lord, help us to stand remembering that the greatest weapon we have is Your love.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - From Destruction to Restoration

Read: Jeremiah 25:15-38; 36; 45: 1-5; 46
God gave Jeremiah a cup that symbolized His cup of wrath over specific nations. He was to take this cup and have the officials of these nations drink from it. When they drank from it, horror, contempt and ruin would fall on their nation. If they refused to drink from it the disasters would fall on them anyway. Jeremiah was sent first to Jerusalem, then Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, Sidon, Dedan, Tema, Buz, Arabia, Zimri, Elam, Media and last of all to Babylon. God always begins judgment in his own house; he judges the Church before he judges the world. He also heals us first.
Next, God told Jeremiah to write down every prophecy he had given Judah through him. At this time, Jeremiah had made king Jehoiakim so angry, Jeremiah had been put in prison. He sent for Baruch and dictated God’s words to Baruch who wrote it on a scroll. Baruch took the scroll and read it aloud in the Temple. It was the Day of Atonement which was a national day of fasting and praying for the nation. When the officials of the land heard the words they were greatly concerned and sent the scroll to the king. He arrogantly ripped the scroll in spreads and threw it in the fire as if this would negate God’s Word. So, God told Jeremiah to not only rewrite it but to add even greater curses to it.
God also gave him a word about Egypt that he was going to send a small nation from the north to destroy their great nation. It would be like a house fly bringing down a big heifer.
He ended his message with the hope of restoration and rebuilding for Judah, because that is always God’s plan.
Lord, thank you for your discipline. It always leads to repentance and restoration for your people.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wed.’s Devo- Reward for Rebellion

Read: 2 Chron. 36:1-4; 2 Kings 23:31-24:4; Jeremiah 22, 25: 1-14, 26
Josiah was one of the most godly kings next to David yet both his sons refused to walk in his foot steps. As a parent I think this is a sad scenario. We see two pictures of what happens to those who refuse to walk with God. The first one was Jehoahaz which means “God will take hold”. God took hold of him after three months and caused Neco to take him into Egypt where he lived the rest of his life in captivity. Neco means “his smiting”. Neco was used by God to smite the evil of Jehoahaz. Neco put Eliakim (“God will establish”) as king and changed his name to Jehoiakim (“God will set up”). God was establishing himself as their king and was about to bring down the gauntlet of judgment over their nation. Jehoiakim had to send enormous tribute to Neco for payment. Both kings went into captivity: one physically and the other mentally. When we rebel against the Lord we will find ourselves in some sort of captivity. Sometimes it manifests openly for all to see and other times it is our secret anguishes that destroy us from within. Only God can bring true peace and prosperity and only repentance can deliver us from bondage.
God sent them prophets like Uriah and Jeremiah to tell them what would happen because they turned away from the Lord …again. They killed Uriah and were about to kill Jeremiah when some of the elders of the land stood up for him and reminded the people about Micah. Micah was a prophet from years past who had prophesied the same thing against Jerusalem. At that time the people had repented and God saved Jerusalem. It looks like “lights out” this time.
Lord, help us to listen to the voice of the prophets of our day and repent. Please have mercy on our nation and raise up god-fearing leaders that will judge fairly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tues.’s Devo- God’s New Army

Read Zephaniah 2:8-3:20; 2 Chron. 35:20-27; 2 Kings 23:29-30; Jeremiah 47
Zephaniah was sent as a prophet to the nations. He prophesied against Moab, Ammon, Ethiopia, Assyria, and Jerusalem. The whole known world was being judged. They would be plundered by the remnant who would take their land. Do you hear that in your spirit. We are to take the land back for God! Those nations who boast to be so strong will fall at God’s command. It was what God said about Jerusalem that strikes home. Jerusalem couldn’t be told anything. She was full of pride, violence and crime. She refused all correction and refused to trust in God. But God was still in their city and he does no wrong. He waited patiently for them to repent but when they would not, he poured down his anger. In the end, they would change their words and praise Him together. God would remove the rebellious and raise up a remnant of people who would do not wrong. They would live in safety and delight in the Lord. God would gather them together and remove their disgrace and strengthen them.
That is what God is doing right now in the Body of Christ. He is refining us through the fire of trials and making us warriors who will stand against injustice and not be afraid of the enemies of this world. God is giving us a good name, a name of distinction and he will restore our fortunes before our very eyes.
Lord, it is an exciting day to live in. Your Church is rising up and taking its place as the head and not the tail. We are laying down our lives to take up yours and it is a great thing to see. Help us stay humble and move only at your command. We want to see You glorified on the earth!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Judgment on Darkness

Read Habakkuk 1-3; Zephaniah 1-2:7
Habakkuk and Zephaniah were prophets during a time like today. God sent a people like ISIS to discipline them and turn them back to him. They are coming to America and we need to be ready. He is doing this so that the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. We will have to do what Habakkuk said and with quietly for the day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. We will learn to rejoice in the Lord and not our circumstances.
Two of the places God was coming to judge were Cushan and Midian. Cushion means “their blackness” which means their sin. Midian means “contention and strife”. We don’t have to look tot he Middle East to see that. It is in our own land. God says that these people will tremble in fear when God comes.
These verses are also a picture of the end of days when the earth will be destroyed. We who are God’s children are to seek to do what is right and live humbly and pray for God’s protection. God always preserves a remnant. Of them he says he will visit in kindness and restore their prosperity again.
In the midst of all the destruction, Habakkuk saw the Lord coming. He comes in splendor and majesty. His coming is salvation to His people but judgment and destruction to the people of the world.
Lord, help us to stand strong in the day we are living. We will not shrink back in fear but we will boldly crash the gates of hell.