Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 2:31-4:18; Colossians 1:1-17; Psalm 76:1-12; Proverbs 24:21-22
God had given Israel no reason to abandon Him, yet they did anyway (Jeremiah 2:31). In the United States today we have many who don’t want to hear what God says about issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage. They erroneously believe that God’s way of doing things is constraining and that going through life without God brings freedom. As Israel found out, this isn’t true.
God is always looking out for our best interests and the Bible was written for that exact purpose. Anything else we put our trust in will surely let us down (Jeremiah 2:36). We can look back on our recent history and see this is clearly true. But those who hate God conveniently ignore history or manipulate facts to create a false reality. Doing either is a recipe for disaster.
No matter what Al Gore says, there is no man-made global warming. God is in control of the weather and He often tells us in the BIble that He will use it to get our attention. We’ve already read a few of those verses this year. Jeremiah 3:3 is another one. We can expect more natural disasters as we turn further away from God. And we can expect more mistaken conclusions by scientists who don’t know their Bible. As we’ve also read a few times, God gives sinful people poor judgement too.
The original reason God created Israel was so He could demonstrate Himself to the entire world through her. If she was faithful, God would bless her immensely. If not, God would punish immensely. The choice was theirs but either way God’s power would be displayed and people all over the world would “see” Him. Israel chose to be unfaithful so God wiped them out. But notice that their bad behavior was an influence on Judah, their sister nation (Jeremiah 3:8). This is important to keep in mind. As Christians people are watching our behavior. If we want people to believe in Jesus (and we should) then we should act in a way that demonstrates that Jesus is real and important in our lives. If we behave as if He is not, others won’t believe in Him either.
God is always willing to take back a rebellious person. But we must confess our sinfulness for that to happen (Jeremiah 3:13). What God wants is genuine repentance, not superficial apologies. Notice one of the benefits of walking with God: He will give us good leaders (Jeremiah 3:15). We can conclude therefore that rejecting God will result in leaders who take us in the wrong direction.
Jeremiah predicts that someday Jews will realize that they made a mistake in rejecting God (Jeremiah 3:22-25). Although some Jews have come to faith in Christ over the years, it won’t be until Jesus returns to earth that the Jewish people will recognize Him as their God en-masse.
Notice God is always willing to take back anyone who is willing to give up their other “gods” (Jeremiah 4:1). Its up to us. If we want to, we can. God will never reject anyone who earnestly seeks Him. Instead, He will bless them (Jeremiah 4:2).
If and when the United States is severely punished by God (and I think it certainly will be) we will have no one to blame but ourselves (Jeremiah 4:18). God has warned us. Its no one’s fault but our own if we reject, or do not hear, that warning.
Today we start reading Paul’s letter to the people in Colosse which is another of his “prison letters” – letters to churches he wrote while imprisoned in Rome. Unlike the other cities to which Paul wrote, he had not previously founded a church there or, as far as we know, ever visited the city.
Yesterday we read God’s command to pray and give thanks for all we have. Paul does this very thing for the Colossians (1:3-4) even though he had never met them. This demonstrates that Christians can, and should, have love and concern for other Christians around the world and we can pray for those we’ve never met. A while back I started praying for a different country every day. I would pray for the non believers and also the believers especially those in countries hostile to Jesus. Admittedly I haven’t kept doing this but after reading these verses in Colossians I’m reminded to start doing it again.
Paul discusses some of the things we can pray for in Colossians 1:9-11. These aren’t bad things to pray for ourselves either.
Those who claim that the Bible doesn’t say Jesus is God are incorrect. One of the many places the Bible clearly states this is Colossians 1:13-18. In this passage we read that Jesus is the one who forgave our sins (v 14); He existed before anything else (v 16, 17); and He made all of creation (v 16). Sounds like God to me.
Psalm 76 is a psalm of praise that was written after God protected Judah from the attacking Assyrians. God does so much for us – many things we don’t even realize. But if we take the time to think about it, we can find all kinds of things that God has rescued us from. For these things God deserves to be praised.
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