October 8, 2011
Jeremiah 10:1-11:23; Colossians 3:18-4:18;
Psalm 78:56-72; Proverbs 24:28-29
Today's passage contains God's own argument about why He, alone, is to be worshiped. He is not dead. He can speak and move throughout the universe that He created. He has power and authority over all things. This is the kind of God that Israel should respect and follow. But, alas, they do not.
Jeremiah prophesies that because of their foolish ways, Judah will be taken under siege. Death and destruction await these people, and they will be taken into captivity by a mighty army.
God advises Jeremiah to stop weeping over these people. Remember, Jeremiah is a prophet who carries a handkerchief, rather than a hammer. His words are difficult, but he gives tough medicine with a tender heart. God tells Jeremiah that their punishment is justified. There is no need to weep. God also tells Jeremiah that some men from the town of Anathoth are plotting to kill him because of his prophesies. Jeremiah is shocked by this and cries out to God to protect him from his enemies.
God comforts Jeremiah and promises to destroy these plotters.
Are you tempted to rely on things that are not alive to give you comfort and happiness? What are your idols?
Very similar to the letter to the Ephesian church, Paul instructs believers in Colosse on how to conduct their lives in a manner that will please God and reflect faith in Christ. Paul focuses on the family. From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, the family unit provides the primary social construct for mankind. It is where God represents His qualities through social interaction between a man and a woman.
Our work attitude also reflects our faith in God. We are to work cheerfully, as if we were working directly for the Lord. Paul reminds us that our attitudes matter. God intends to reward behavior and attitudes. They do not save us, but they do make a difference in eternity. This life on earth is a training ground for a life in eternity, where we work and are assigned jobs according to how we lived our life of faith on earth. Your behavior matters!!
How in the world are we supposed to be cheerful when our world is fallen and broken? Paul encourages believers to pray with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Gratitude is a game changer for any person. Our speech should be seasoned with wisdom. Conversations with non-believers should be gracious and effective.
Other fellow Christian workers are in Rome with the Apostle Paul including Dr. Luke, the author of Luke and the book of Acts. Paul concludes this letter by asking them to share the letter with the church that meets in Laodicea. Paul ministered and established the doctrines of Christ's church through his epistles to the churches he had established on his missionary trips.
Do you cherish and read these letters in order to grasp how to conduct your life in a manner that pleases God? Do you have a teachable heart?
This is a psalm about God punishing Israel for disobedience, but then providing a king in Israel. This foreshadows God providing King Jesus to the world.
Do not be deceitful and backbiting to neighbors. That is ungodly behavior. Mean girls mentality does not fly with God. If you are trying to plot to get revenge on someone who has hurt you, you need to stop and repent.
What did you notice as you read today?