Category: Jeremiah–BibleTrekToday

Blessed doers of God’s Word

Scripture reading for October 5th: Jeremiah 17-20, James 1

James 1: 19-25 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

James was the pastor of the Jewish church in Jerusalem and the half-brother of Jesus Christ. He wrote affectionately to the church very clear and strong instruction about the importance of obedience to God’s Word. Many in the church were familiar with God’s Word in the Old Testament but they were still living in sin and wickedness and became angry when confronted with truth. James encouraged them to quickly hear and apply the Word of God. Failure to do so would lead to self-deception and worthless religion. True religion involved hearing God’s heart in His Word and applying it. Two areas of application Paul mentioned were visiting orphans and widows and living free from the corruption of Corinthian culture.

James 1:26-27 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the clear instructions written down by James for Your Church. Forgive me for being a hearer and sometimes failing to do what You have said. Help me to care for orphans and widows and to serve the hurting and helpless around me. As I look in the mirror of Your Word, may I see who I really am and remove the stains of worldliness and sin and live in Your smile and blessing.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

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Restoration to truth!

Scripture reading for October 4th: Jeremiah 14-16, Psalm 76, 2nd Corinthians 13

2nd Corinthians 13:5-9 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong–not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.”

The false teachers, some claiming to be ‘apostles of Jesus Christ’, had led some of these believers away from the truth of the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone. Paul encouraged the church to do a healthy self-examination to see if they were really in the faith. “Is Jesus Christ living in you?” was the question that must be answered individually. True faith is all about a living relationship with the Living God. The Holy Spirit gives us assurance that God is our Father and that He loves us. God’s love and goodness lead us to repentance and growth in holiness and service to God and one another.

Psalm 76:1-3 “In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel. His abode has been established in Salem, His dwelling place in Zion. There He broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for pastors, apostles, and prophets who call us to repentance and faith through the truth of Your Word. Fill my heart and lips with Your Truth and use me to call Your people to renewed faith and holy living. Forgive me of sins of omission and commission and may the true Gospel of grace and faith bring restoration to many.

Jeremiah 14:20-21 “We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You. Do not spurn us, for Your Name’s sake; do not dishonor Your glorious throne; remember and do not break Your covenant with us.”

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God’s power displayed through weakness

Scripture reading for October 3rd: Jeremiah 11-13, 2nd Corinthians 12

2nd Corinthians 12: 7-9 “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Paul shared with the Church at Corinth how God had graciously caught him up into heaven and given him revelations that no one else had received and could not be revealed to others. Along with this special grace from God, God permitted Paul to be buffeted by a messenger from Satan who afflicted Paul in his flesh. Paul prayed three times for healing and relief, but God told him simply, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” This satisfied Paul and Paul began to boast not in the revelations but in his own weaknesses that the power of Christ might rest upon him to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus and see souls saved, no matter what the affliction, hardship, or persecution he was experiencing.

2nd Corinthians 12:10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing and faithful grace towards me and Your people. Thank You for testing our hearts and drawing us closer to You through trials and weaknesses and even messengers of Satan bringing afflictions in our flesh. I invite You to show Yourself strong in my weaknesses, which are many. Use me to proclaim Your power and might through Jesus Christ today.

Jeremiah 12:1-3 “Righteous are You, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before You. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. But you, O Lord. know me; You see me, and test my heart toward you.”

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Another Jesus? A different Gospel?

Scripture reading for September 30th: Jeremiah 8-10, 2nd Corinthians 11

2nd Corinthians 11:1-4 “I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the One you received, or if you accept a different Gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

False teachers had followed Paul in the church at Corinth. Paul was writing to warn the believers to be watchful and beware as it seemed to him that they were not discerning the truth. Paul had carefully preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ–Jesus crucified, buried, and resurrected and coming again was the message. He proclaimed Jesus Christ, God’s only Son dying for the sins of all men and calling them to repentance and holiness. The false teachers were presenting ‘another Jesus’, not the Son of God and had ‘another spirit’, not the Holy Spirit of God. Their ‘different gospel’ was not the true Gospel and God’s call to repentance and holiness. Beware of those in the church who are the serpent’s deceiving messengers!

2nd Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

Prayer: Father God, I often pray the prayer Jesus taught His followers to pray: “Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil (the evil one).” Give Your church discernment and expose those who disguise themselves as leaders or workers in Your Church but are really Satan’s tools. Help me to proclaim the real Jesus Christ, Son of God and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel.

Jeremiah 8:5-7 “Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit: they refuse to return. I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow and crane keep the time of their coming, but My people know not the rules of the Lord.”

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Destroying strongholds of fleshly thought

Scripture reading for September 29th: Jeremiah 5-7, Psalm 75, 2nd Corinthians 10

2nd Corinthians 10: 1-6 “I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away. I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every though captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Paul’s heart as a pastor was to help those under his oversight to grow in spiritual understanding of Christ Jesus and His Word. Paul was meek and gentle and humbly implored them while in person to follow Christ. There were other false teachers that maligned Paul and sought to manipulate people into following them. They used arguments and myths and opinions to destroy the truth of God’s Word. Paul assured the believers that even though he appeared meek and humble, he was bold because of God’s truth and the powerful weapon that Truth was in destroying these fleshly strongholds and those who espoused them. Obedience to Christ and His Word would spare them and us from punishment and eternal loss.

Psalm 75:2, 7-8 “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. . .but it is God Who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.” For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and He pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving watchful prophets, pastors, and apostles to humbly speak Your Word to Your people to turn them to reverence and obedience. Protect Your people from those who use arguments, opinions of men, and lies to trap men and cause division in Your Church. Thank You for the powerful weapons of Truth, righteousness, and humility that destroy satanic strongholds.

Jeremiah 5:24-26 “They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, Who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned these away and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among My people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. The set a trap, they catch men.”

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Generosity produces a great harvest!

Scripture reading for September 28th: Jeremiah 1-4, Psalm 130, 2nd Corinthians 9

2nd Corinthians 9: 10-15 “He Who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!”

Paul spoke to believers in Corinth who were familiar with an agrarian culture. He reminded them of the law of sowing and reaping. He reminded the Corinthians that it was God that supplied the seed for sowing and it was also God that caused the seed to sprout and produce the wheat to supply their bread to eat. Not only enough to eat, but more seed for next year’s sowing! Our giving is like that sowing of seed. As we wait on God, in time it produces a harvest of righteousness as we please God through our willing generosity. It produces thanksgiving in those receiving the gifts and they thank God for the givers and God for supplying! The givers receive blessings from God in more seed for sowing so that the harvest may overflow continuously! The harvest is promised by God the Giver of His only Son!

Psalm 130:5-7 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with Him is plentiful redemption.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your indescribable Gift, Jesus Christ our Lord! Your giving and extreme generosity inspires me to also bless others. Thank You for teaching me to trust you through this teaching on sowing and reaping. I am learning to joyfully sow and trust You for the promised harvest of righteousness, bread for my family, and more seed to sow! Let the harvest overflow with thanksgiving!

Jeremiah 1:11-12 “And the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it.””

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Who are You, Lord?

Scripture reading for April 16th: Acts 9

Key Scriptures: Acts 9:1-6 “But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.””

Luke was a Gentile doctor and traveling companion of Paul after he was converted. He gives us this record of Paul’s conversion, probably directly from the source. Paul was a zealous Jew and Pharisee who thought he was doing God’s work to root out false teachers who claimed Jesus was the Christ. He held the coats of those who stoned Stephen and gave approval. He obtained papers to go to Damascus and round up more “Christ followers” when his plans were interrupted by a visit from Jesus, Himself. He was knocked down and blinded by a bright light from heaven and a voice asked him why he was persecuting Him. Saul (Paul) replied, “Who are You, Lord?” He was ignorant of the basic truth needed to repent. Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and instructed him in the next steps of a new life with a new purpose.

Acts 9:15-16 “But the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Go, for he (Saul) is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing Yourself to me and all who follow You. You are the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and my Lord. As Your chosen instrument, send me today to those You have ordained to reach with the Gospel.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 “Now the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.””

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Ignorance is not bliss!

Scripture reading for March 29th: Luke 19

Key Scriptures: Luke 19:41-44 “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He stopped to weep over the city and His own people. He had taught and demonstrated the kingdom of God in healing, forgiving sins, casting out demons, and teaching with authority. He revealed God His Father and His heart for the lost sons and daughters through kindness and compassion and demonstrating God’s love. But His own people refused to receive Him and gain true peace with God. Instead, they would charge Him falsely, beat Him, crucify Him and denounce Him as an imposter. Jesus wept over the city and its people, prophetically pronouncing the coming darkness of judgment and scattering that would result from their blind ignorance and refusal to believe. The Light of the World was hidden from those who refused to see. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth by those who will miss His coming again!

Luke 19:9-10 “And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham, for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I weep with You over those who are lost and missing the time of visitation and grace. Give me grace and compassion to seek them out and share Your Word. Open their eyes by the Holy Spirit today, before its too late!

Jeremiah 9:1 “Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.”

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Dead to sin, alive to God!

Scripture reading for February 16th: Romans 6

Key Scriptures: Romans 6:11-14 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

Paul was explaining the reality behind the sacrament of water baptism. In water baptism, the one being baptized is plunged under the water identifying with Jesus’ death and burial. The old carnal man has died with Jesus on the cross and was buried with Jesus. But as Jesus Christ did not stay in the grave, but was resurrected on the third day, so the baptismal candidate comes up out of the water a new man, out of death’s reach and freed from the grip of sin. Grace abounds through repentance and submission to Jesus Christ. But we still have a responsibility to choose daily to offer our bodies and its members to Christ as redeemed from death and alive in Him. Sin now has no dominion over us as a slave-master. We are dead to sin and no longer under law either. Grace is our new master through faith in Jesus!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You that you have told me to declare my old man as dead and buried. I was baptized in obedience and trust in my resurrection to a new life and eternal life with You. Help me each day to count my members dead to sin and alive to You for worship and service.

Jeremiah 31:33-34 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sins I will remember no more.”

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“Do not Fear! Only Believe!”

Scripture reading for January 22nd: Mark 5

Key Scriptures: Mark 5:21-24; 35-36 “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about Him, and He was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing Him, he fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And He went with him.” . . .”While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.””

Jesus was approached by a synagogue ruler, Jairus, with a desperate request. He had a little daughter who was near death. He approached Jesus with great humility and asked for a personal visit by Jesus and the laying on of His hands. As they went, Jesus was interrupted by a woman with an issue of blood. He took time to minister to her and free her from her long infirmity. As Jesus was speaking to her, He overheard some messengers from Jairus’s house tell him not to bother the Teacher, as the little girl was dead. Jesus spoke authoritatively, “Do not fear, only believe.” The result was an amazing raising of the 12 year old girl from sickness and death. All were amazed at the immediate miracle!

Jeremiah 32:26-27 “The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?”‘

Faith confession and prayer: You are the Lord of all and nothing is too hard for You! Lord Jesus, help me to defeat all fear and hold fast to You and Your unfailing Word. Use me to speak Your Word and live by faith, inspiring others to trust You and Your eternal Word.

John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

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