The Book of Jeremiah

 

A few months after the beginning of January, 2017 I decided to start reading the Bible through from start to finish. In the Old Testament, I’m only in the book of Jeremiah. I wouldn’t want to be a false prophet. God’s anger seethed against them and they either got imprisoned or they ended up dying before the end of the year.

 

Some years ago, I had a next-door neighbor. She never wanted to be on a jury because she could always feel sorry for the law-breaker, no matter what she or he did. I think she thought God doesn’t get mad, either. In Jeremiah, he prophesies by saying, “Thus says the Lord God Almighty,…”

 

Jeremiah 28:11, (NKJV)  And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.’ ” And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

Jer 28:12  Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

Jer 28:13  “Go and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron.”

Jer 28:14  For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also.” ‘ ”

Jer 28:15  Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.

Jer 28:16  Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.’ ”

Jer 28:17  So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

 

God allowed the Babylonians to capture the Israelite’s, both North and South kingdoms-Israel and Judah, and take most of them to Babylon. The ones that stayed behind, God told them they’d be devoured by the sword, famine and pestilence, in Jeremiah 21:9.

 

It concerns me when I read Jeremiah because one of the sins the Israelite’s committed was to follow and worship Baal, the god also known as Satan. They threw their babies into the fire as an offering to Baal. We in America have killed over 63 million babies. God says He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Surely, He’s furious with us as a nation. I don’t even know how to pray for our country, other than for revival and repentance. Even after the Israelite’s repented over the years, they seemed to go through cycles and when they chose sin over God, He eventually sent punishment. He’s merciful, but after a while, He says, “Enough is enough!”

 

That is the benefit of reading the Bible through from cover to cover. We can see the character of God and His behaviors. He is loving and kind and compassionate and gives us undeserved grace, but after we’ve wallowed in sin for a long time, and ignored His Word and His prophets, He usually sends severe weather, famine, plagues, etc. Mostly to get our attention so we’ll cry out to Him, but as in Jeremiah, even our most merciful and loving God says, “You’ve gone too far. What kind of a loving parent would I be if I didn’t discipline you and try to turn you around?”

 

Some people resent the authority of God. Some want to serve Satan. If they studied those who allowed Satan to be their god, they would see that many end up committing suicide. Satan is dark and hateful and wants the glory that belongs to God, so he deceives multitudes of people. I see young people wearing a tattoo around their wrist. I asked one, “What does your tat represent?”

 

“It’s my pledge, I belong to Satan.”

 

A friend and I talked to him and found out his heritage is Jewish. I said, “You are one of God’s chosen people, why would you bow down to Satan?”

 

I then told him many of the things God had done for me over the years. One is: I’ve never been hungry a day in my life unless I chose to fast.

 

His mouth dropped open. “You’ve never been hungry?”

 

My dad was a hard worker and a good provider. If he couldn’t work in his home town, he drove an hour or two to another city to work until he could be gainfully employed at home again.

 

My mom stayed home with us and sewed clothes, canned fresh produce, baked and cooked for us all, cleaned the house, nursed our wounds, and helped us with homework. She welcomed our friends with open arms, taught us about Jesus, and listened to us when we needed to talk. She wasn’t perfect, nobody is perfect, but I’ve found Jesus to be faithful to me even when I messed up. She would agree, based on 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, God forgives us and cleans us up.

 

I hope that young man reconsidered his allegiance to Satan. From all that Jesus spoke about hell, I wouldn’t wish that place on anyone.

 

May God bless you. He came to give life and that abundantly, according to John 10:10.

 

 

 

Curve Ball

Life throws curve balls sometimes. I remember being at someone’s house when a lady got hurt. As our aunt felt pity for the injured person, neither of us knew she’d be gone in a few days from a blood clot.

This happened many years ago, but it always reminds me to live my life in a manner most pleasing to God. My husband calls it keeping short accounts with God: if we stumble and fall, immediately and sincerely we repent.

Jesus throws curve balls many times in the New Testament. When I look at the Scriptures with new eyes, trying to get past the familiarity of the stories, possibly by putting myself in the main characters shoes, I’ll realize just how unorthodox Jesus was.

Jesus spoke to the multitudes on a mountaintop. When He spoke what are commonly known as the beatitudes, he also said as recorded in Mat 7:15, (KJV) “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Loudly and clearly, Jesus is saying that we need to be living a life that shows forth love, kindness, compassion, truth, mercy, goodness, and many other fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5: 22, 23. If we live for ourselves and don’t consider God and His desires, we may think we’re on our way to heaven and He’ll say, as in the above verses, “You need to leave. I never knew you. You are a sinner and you are not welcome to come with me.”

He also told the religious leaders that most people honored and respected that they were hypocrites. Then He called them a brood of vipers!

Mat 23:23 (KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Mat 23:24  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Mat 23:25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Mat 23:26  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Mat 23:27  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

Mat 23:28  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Mat 23:29  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

Mat 23:30  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

Mat 23:31  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

Mat 23:32  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Mat 23:33  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mat 23:34  Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

Mat 23:35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Mat 23:36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Mat 23:38  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Mat 23:39  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Jesus spoke what He heard the Father speaking, He said in  John_12:49 – 50, (KJV) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

That statement riled up the Pharisees as well.

Some of these verses are not encouraging and some are. I like to read about what Jesus said and about what He did. Then I pray that God will teach me from His word. When Jesus speaks things that I don’t get and that seem hard to swallow, I seek Him and information so it makes sense, even if it is a curve ball.

May God bless you.

Day is Done

“Day is done, gone the sun…” was a song I remember singing as a Brownie, the lowest age group of the Girl Scouts years ago. Tonight, I got thinking about the night coming in after a full day catching up with chores.

God is doing something new in me and from what I hear from prophets, all over the world God is moving and drawing many to himself. People are coming to Christ because of seeing Him in their dreams. Some are watching the “Jesus Film” and finding reason to believe. People groups familiar with demonic oppression and possession are finding relief by calling on the name of Jesus after hearing about Jesus from missionaries. I love hearing from missionaries.

What is He doing new in me? He’s pouring out love and provision to me and my family through people we know. In big ways and small ways, I see God working in people and they’re pouring out love and service and my trust in God over obstacles I’m facing or may be facing is increasing.

My trust in God is growing! Years ago, at a prophesy meeting, a lady said, “You don’t trust God.”

I was shocked. I began to check my heart and notice my reactions to life. She was right. Every once in a while I’d ask God, “How am I doing? Do I trust you more now?”

Then I’d keep on with the faith. I’ve been babysitting some and washing table linens and doing dishes from morning until night, straightening the house after the grandkids left and I’m not bored to tears.

This is an answer to prayer. God changes people when they commit to Him, “from glory to glory,” it says in 2 Corinthians 3:18.

He doesn’t change us overnight once we accept Christ. There are noticeable differences, yet some sins are deeply rooted and take time to get loosened out.

Some get radically transformed. Others show a gradual increase in the fruits of the spirit as listed in Galatians 5: 22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

When “day is done, gone the sun,”as the song goes, I like to look back and judge it and myself. I hope God is glorified every day in my life because He is worthy of praise.