Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18- Putting The Law In Your Mind

October 18, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Jeremiah 31:27-32:44; 1 Timothy 3:1-16;
Psalm 88:1-18; Proverbs 25:20-22

Jeremiah 31:27-32:44

My husband went to law school.  I am proud to say that he graduated 14th in his class and had the distinction of being named to the Order of the Coif.  That is an elite group of honor students.  It would be nice if this honor came with great ease, but the truth of the matter is that although my husband is very smart, he had to work many hours to become proficient in the law.  Hours and hours of study resulted in the law being firmly planted in his brain.  Today, God promises the people of Israel that in that future day when they are reconciled to Him, He will put the laws of God in their minds and will write them on their hearts automatically.  They will not even have to teach their children about God, because everyone will know Him intimately.  

Today, Jeremiah has to trust God with the future. In chapter 32, Jeremiah is told by God to buy a field from his cousin, Hananmel.  At this time, Jeremiah is in prison having been jailed by King Zedekiah.  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has breached the walls of Jerusalem and is prepared to conquer the city.  It is a dark time for Israel, and yet, the Lord is encouraging Jeremiah to purchase property.
This may seem like a strange thing for God to ask Jeremiah to do, but Jeremiah puts his trust in God and purchases the field.  The deed is put into a pottery jar for safe keeping and God declares that someday people will again own property in this land. 
Jeremiah cries out to God questioning the wisdom of buying property when God has declared that Babylon will conquer Jerusalem and take the people into captivity. We can all learn from Jeremiah’s faith and his honesty with God.  We can believe in God and yet cry out to Him with questions and concerns.
God responds that nothing is too hard for Him. Jerusalem will fall as a result of God’s punishment of the Israelites, but God will surely bring His people back to the land from all the countries where He scattered them. It is then that the law will be in their hearts and minds.  They will follow Him with one heart and one mind in the future.
Jeremiah is reassured by God that purchasing the field was no mistake.  Not only will a remnant of Israel be gathered back into the Promised Land in seventy years, they will one day be gathered back permanently to live with God in peace. What steps of faith have you taken based on God’s promises?
1 Timothy 3:16
Today we get more instruction from the Apostle Paul on how the Church should conduct itself.  Good leadership is the key to success in our endeavors here on this earth.  God inspires Paul to list the qualities that an elder of the Church must possess. This word is translated “bishop,” which means overseer.  This could also be called a shepherd, pastor, or minister.  This title was always meant as one who served the body of Christ, rather than one who was to rule over the church. 
Here are what qualifies someone to be a pastor/elder:
·        The husband of one wife. Polygamy was common in this day, but was not to be practiced by Christian leaders.
·        He must exhibit self-control, be serious about his position and have a good reputation in the community.
·        He is to be hospitable, able and willing to invite people into his home.
·        He must have the gift of being able to teach the Word of God to people.
·        He must not be a heavy drinker.  No need to explain this.
·        He must be gentle and oriented towards peace with others.
·        He must not love money and rely on it as an idol in his life.
·        He must be able to manage his own family well.  This shows wisdom and discernment. A man cannot serve the house of God if he cannot serve his own house well.
·        He should not be a new Christian.  Leadership would lead to pride in this case. 
Next, we have qualifications to be a deacon.  Deacon means servant or worker. These people deal with the practical and material concerns of the Church, but should also be spiritual in their qualifications. Here are the qualifications for a deacon:
·        A person who is respected and has integrity.  They must be honest in nature.
·        Should not be heavy drinkers.
·        Should not be greedy for money.
·        Should be committed to the truth of Christ and live lives of clear conscience.
·        Have proven their trustworthiness through other service to the Church.
·        Wives/families should not be gossips and speak evil of others.
·        They should be faithful to spouses and faithful in all things.
Paul reminds Timothy that everyone’s faith must rest on the mystery that Christ appeared in the flesh, was righteous by the Holy Spirit, was seen by angels and the nations, was believed and taken up into Heaven.  This is what leaders in the Church must believe.
Do you believe this?
Psalm 88:1-18
Read this as if you are hearing Christ in His death. These are the words of the God who died for our sins.
Proverbs 25:20-22
We are to care for our enemies according to the Bible.  This goes against human nature.

What did you notice as you read today?
Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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