From the Least to the Greatest, They will All Know Me!

Saturday November 11, 2017 – From the Least to the Greatest, They will All Know Me! 
Jeremiah 50 Hebrews 8

Both the passage from Jeremiah and the scripture from Hebrews 8 focus on God’s plan for Israel and what the future will hold.   The nation of Israel has always had a special place in God’s plan and even though I don’t always understand the on again and off again attitude of the nation of Israel I am afraid that my own personal life follows a similar pattern of being focused on God and following his commands and then becoming lazy and following my own desires.   The hope for the future is captured well towards the end of Hebrews 8.  10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, From the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

I know that this isn’t a statement about what things will be like in heaven, but that the world described here will be realized here on earth as part of God’s plan for believers and the nation of Israel.   I look forward to that day when “they all will know me!”

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The Perfect Priest Forever!

Friday November 10, 2017 – The Perfect Priest Forever!
Jeremiah 48-49 Hebrews 7

I am keenly aware of the limitations of any human in a godly role or profession.  My father was a preacher and I know many who are in full-time ministry.  I believe that the very large majority are keenly aware of their own humanity and imperfections, but I also know there are some who believe their role and training provided them divine capabilities.   The scripture in Hebrews 7 is very clear about the limitations that all men have and the amazing role that Jesus now plays as our direct connection to God23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.  Jesus is perfect and He lives forever as our Savior and Highest Priest!

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Be Diligent to Receive What God Has Promised

Thursday November 9, 2017 – Be Diligent to Receive What God Has Promised
Jeremiah 46-47 Hebrews 6

Each day God has new and different teaching that He wants to share with each of us if we only take the time to listen.  Today that teaching came in the form of a stern warning and last night I felt the teaching came in the form of the words in the songs I was listening.   Paul offers a serious caution to Christians not to fall away from the gifts that God has provided.  The consequences of falling away from the teaching and instructions of the Lord are significant.  4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Despite the serious tone of Paul’s admonition, he also takes the time to remind us again that God is not unjust and remembers the love that we show to him.  It is with this balanced perspective that Paul finally concludes with encouragement that we need to be diligent in our faith and relationship with God if we want to realize all that God has promised.

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We Need Solid Food!

Wednesday November 8, 2017 – We Need Solid Food!
Jeremiah 43-45 Hebrews 5

We are fortunate to have a few small ones as grandchildren in our family.  It is amazing to see how fast they all grow up and part of that process is based on eating well and growing physically.   They all started on a diet that was solely mother’s milk, but as they grew their need for solid food to support their ongoing growth was evident.  Today Hebrews 5 has a portion of scripture that uses that analogy with our spiritual growth.  11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

In order to grow spiritually and discern good from evil it is important for us to progress to the solid food of God’s teaching in the scripture.    What is your spiritual appetite today?

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The Word is Alive and Active

Tuesday November 7, 2017 – The Word is Alive and Active
Jeremiah 40-42 Hebrews 4  

God’s ability to know, see and understand all things is hard to comprehend, but when you consider that the same God who created the universe also cares about you and I on a personal basis it is easier to comprehend just how much this really impacts our lives.   12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.   The fact that nothing in creation is hidden from God’s sight provides a great reminder that we all should have for the accountability of how we should live each day.

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As Long as it is Today

Monday November 6, 2017 – As Long as it is Today
Jeremiah 37-39 Hebrews 3

The importance of encouraging others is something that I have long believed is critical since it inspires confidence and grows a team.   Paul offers strong admonition to encourage each other daily.   12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

We should keep encouraging each other as long as we have life and breath!  Today can be a very long time.

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Someday in Glory, What a Beautiful Day!

Sunday November 5, 2017 – Someday in Glory, What A Beautiful Day!
Jeremiah 34-36 Hebrews 2

Today I have the privilege to fly in a private jet from Austin to Denver.   As I fly 40,000 feet in the air I can only imagine what it must like to be in heaven.  I couldn’t help, but think of the words “someday in glory!.  One of the earliest portions that I memorized was Hebrews 2:6-8.  6 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them,  a son of man that you care for him?  7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor 8 and put everything under their feet.”In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.  The fact that God created us and gave us a place and power a little lower than the angels is an amazing thing about creation and God’s plan for man.   We are blessed that God also allowed His Son Jesus to pay the price for our sins and we have the promise of being crowned in glory with him.   What a beautiful day!

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The Unending Rule

Saturday November 4, 2017 – The Unending Rule          
Jeremiah 32-33 Hebrews 1

God is eternal.  He is and always will be.   Hebrews 1 restates what Paul must also struggle to fully comprehend.  10 He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”

The reality of God being from the beginning and everlasting is impossible for my mind to fully grasp, but God created the earth and the heavens and has never changed.   The one thing in that is always the same is God and the love that He has for each of us.

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God Really Has a Plan, No Really!

Friday November 3, 2017 – God Really Has a Plan, No Really!
Jeremiah 30-31 Philemon 1

The goodness of God to Israel is a great life lesson of his patience with each of us.  God has called Israel as He has called all his children and despite our tendency to lose our focus God still has a plan for the destiny of Israel and the destiny of all His people.   This definitely was one of those weeks that I will call an Old Testament week.   There were more than a few things that occurred in my life where I found myself saying openly to God, “Why?   Quite honestly there have been many times in my life where I have asked God, Why?   Despite those times where I question God’s immediate control of life’s circumstances I have learned over time that God is always in control and definitely is working my day-to-day life for His future glory.   Here is what God says to Jeremiah in Chapter 31, 18 “This is what the Lord says: “‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. 19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.  I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.  20 Their children will be as in days of old, and their community will be established before me; I will punish all who oppress them. 21 Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me— for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the Lord. 22 “‘So you will be my people, and I will be your God.’” 23 See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a driving wind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. 24 The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand this.

God will accomplish the purpose of His heart and admittedly there are days where I feel that I understand and then there are others where I fail to understand what God is doing.    I do know that He loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life no matter the circumstances of today!

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Be Subject To Rulers and Authorities!

Thursday November 2, 2017 – Be Subject To Rulers and Authorities!

Jeremiah 27-29 Titus 3

The following scripture from Titus 3 contain excellent words of wisdom that have benefit for all and when I think about the present state of our society I wonder why we can’t reinforce this teaching yet today.  1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

Being subject to our leaders and authorities and being gentle towards everyone. Couldn’t we all do with a little more of that type of behavior?

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