“God told them about their deliverance ahead of time (Isaiah 48:5), even giving the deliverer’s name (Isaiah 45:1)—no mistaking who did it.
Jesus was willing to be cursed for us (Galatians 3:13) so that we could be blessed through Him (verse 14). What will you do to be a blessing?
Riches won’t bribe the Great Judge (Proverbs 11:4), therefore at death the wicked can hope for nothing more forever (verse 7).”
“God doesn’t just choose a servant; He forms him specially for the job (Isaiah 49:5). We might feel like all our work is for nothing (verse 4), but God will use us to bring others to Him (verse 5).
If I am a son of God, then the Holy Spirit is crying, “”Abba, Father”” in my heart (Galatians 4:6). “”Abba”” is a familiar term of affection. A loving son who will be an heir has more reason to work than a servant (verse 7).”
“Isaiah 53:6 may be the John 3:16 of the Old Testament. What could show God’s love for the world more than laying all our iniquities on His own Son?
If falling from grace means losing one’s salvation (Galatians 5:4), then how could Paul address this letter to “”all the brethren”” (1:2)?
The man who is “”always right”” is not revealing his intelligence (Proverbs 12:15). God has a name for such a person.”
“God takes away all our excuses for not taking possession of the blessings He offers (Isaiah 54:1). We don’t need the means of acquisition (money or even talent); we just have to be thirsty and come.
Any farmer can tell you that the crop you bring in will depend on which seed you sow (Galatians 6:7). Verse 8 gives us two different kinds of seeds with far different harvests. “”Corruption”” or “”life everlasting””—God leaves the choice up to us.”
“One section of God’s orchestra that is severely lacking is the trumpet section (Isaiah 58:1). Where are the prophets who are willing to face all opposition to point out the sins that are bringing God’s judgment upon us?
God has “”chosen us in him before the foundation of the world”” (Ephesians 1:4). The key words are “”in him.”” Only those in Him are chosen. We get “”in him”” by our choice (Revelation 22:17). God chose those who choose to be chosen.”
“Yesterday’s reading showed the need of speaking out against sin (Isaiah 58:1). But when we have done so, we have “”good tidings”” to declare (61:1)—the Gospel!
We are not saved by works (Ephesians 2:8); that would lead to our boasting (verse 9). But we are chosen to work (verse 10). What a glorious career we have!
A loving parent chastens his child “”betimes”” (Proverbs 13:24). That doesn’t mean “”often””; it means “”early.”” Stop sinful behavior before it becomes a habit.”
“Part of the original curse of sin was sorrow in childbearing (Genesis 3:16). If bearing physical children requires such travail, can we expect that bearing spiritual children will not (Isaiah 66:8)? Here too fervent effectual prayer avails much (James 5:16).
Is your prayer too big for God (Ephesians 3:20). He can do “”all that we ask.”” And He can do “”above”” that. Furthermore, He can “”abundantly above”” that. He can even do “”exceeding abundantly above”” that. That’s the kind of power at work in us.”
“If you ever doubted that you have always been part of God’s eternal plan, consider that He knew you before you even began to be formed (Jeremiah 1:5).
God gives abilities to men, but it is not so they can become great. It is so He can give these men to His church (Eph. 4:11) so it can be perfected and serve Him (v. 12).”
“The Great Physician gives the sure cure for backsliding (Jeremiah 3:22). “”Return””—and recognize that He is “”the LORD our God.””
“”Walk circumspectly”” (Ephesians 5:15)—circum means “”around””; spect means “”look.”” Wise walking involves looking around to see where your path is taking you.
“”The backslider”” will be “”filled with his own ways”” (Proverbs 14:14). The worst part of backsliding is that you get what you want—and lose what God wants for you.”
“God said the ground was “”fallow”” (Jeremiah 4:3). The dictionary says fallow ground is “”plowed and harrowed but left unsown.”” How much ground has God plowed, only to see us not sow the Seed (Luke 8:11)? Perhaps that’s why there are thorns.
Even those who are “”strong in the Lord”” (Ephesians 6:10) need to “”put on the whole armour of God”” (verse 11) if they intend to “”stand against the wiles of the devil.”” Clad in the armor, “”having done all”” we can stand (verse 13).”
“Facing the desolation of their land (Jer. 6:8), Israel’s great need was to “”be… instructed.”” But unto them were committed “”the oracles of God”” (Rom. 3:2). God spoke, but His Word was “”unto them a reproach”” (v. 10). We must listen (v. 17).
Do you want people who remember you to thank God because of it (Philippians 1:3) and to rejoice in praying for you (verse 4)? The key is verse 5: fellowship in the Gospel, even with those who are despised by the world (verse 7).”
“The “”dumb”” animals know enough to obey God (Jeremiah 8:7). But the “”wise”” people went their own way (verse 8). Fools (see Romans 1:22)!
How can we be “”likeminded…of one accord”” (Philippians 2:2)? By all having the mind “”which was also in Christ Jesus”” (verse 5—described in verses 6–8).
A few things are worth fighting for, but the best time to win most fights is before they start (Proverbs 15:1—see verse 18).”
“A nation of those who lie (Jer. 9:3) will be unable to trust anyone (v. 4) for fear that others want to take their place (“”supplant””). Even those who sound good have evil designs (v. 8). The God of Truth will judge such people (v. 9). See Ephesians 4:25.
Paul said to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5) and described it (vv. 6–8. He himself followed that advice. Jesus left Heaven and all that was there to serve His Father; Paul left his high standing (vv. 4–6) and gave up all to serve Christ (vv. 7–8).”
“A man has as much chance of making himself righteous as a leopard has of changing his spots (Jer. 13:23). But anyone who will come to Christ will be made a new creature by God’s power (II Cor. 5:17). Do you want to be clean (Jer. 13:27)?
When we realize that “”the Lord is at hand”” (Philippians 4:5), we need not be “”careful for”” (worried about) anything (verse 6). That gives us a peace that neither we nor the world will understand (verse 7).”
“In a time of spiritual drought (Jeremiah 14:1–6), there is no help in prophets that speak lies (verses 14–16). The only help is in confessing our sin (verse 20). There is no other source for spiritual rain than the Lord (verse 22).
Some won’t admit they ever do anything wrong (Prov. 16:2), but keep two things in mind: the Lord “”weigheth the spirits”” (considers why you did even that “”good”” deed), and the way that seems right to man is not always God’s way (v. 25).”
“Nations don’t fall under the judgment of God all at once. He is longsuffering. When a generation sins (Jeremiah 16:11), their children have the opportunity to return to the Lord. If they just get worse, judgment comes (verse 12).
Sometimes we have to remind someone, “”It’s not all about you.”” Only one Person can make that claim, and that is Jesus (Colossians 1:16). All was “”created by him, and for him.”” Thankfully, He desires to share it with us.”
“When we don’t seek God’s face in the time of His blessings, we might find only His back when we need to see His face the most (Jer. 18:17). He’s longsuffering (verse 6), but Israel reached the end of His patience by refusing to hear (v. 18).
Becoming a Christian, we ‘put off the body’ (Colossians 2:11), so there is a burial (baptism—verse 12). But God doesn’t accept the death of His children as final, so there’s a resurrection (verse 13). Understand if He “”shows off”” a little (verse 15).”
“Zedekiah wanted God’s help against Babylon (Jer. 21:1–2). Because of his sin, God helped Babylon against him (vv. 4–6). He chose death over life (v. 8).
Paul says you should “”set your affection on things above”” (Colossians 3:2). That should be easy—that’s where Christ is sitting (verse 1)!
Much of our trouble today comes by “”excellent speech”” from fools and “”lying lips”” from our princes (Prov. 17:7). Filter what you hear through the Word of God.”
“Israel’s problem revolved around the Word of God. It could burn all that was combustible and break all that wasn’t (Jeremiah 23:29). But the message they were getting was made up to please man and wasn’t from God (verses 25–28).
“”Continue in prayer”” (Colossians 4:2) sounds like more than “”Now I lay me down to sleep””; but the important thing is “”watch in the same.”” In other words, when you pray, really be praying. It’s not for religious ritual but for fellowship with God.”
I Thessalonians 1-2
“Evidence of God’s omniscience and omnipotence is that He can tell in advance what He is going to do and then do it exactly as He said (Jeremiah 25:11–12).
The Thessalonians waited “”for his Son from heaven”” (I Thess. 1:10); but while they waited, they were serving “”the living and true God”” (v. 9). Wait, but work.
“”Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me””? Not according to Proverbs 18:8. See also verses 14 and 21.”
I Thessalonians 3-4
“Israel wanted to kill Jeremiah because he spoke against them (Jeremiah 26:8), but he had the same message for the surrounding nations (27:3–6). God isn’t singling you out; His Word demands the same of all.
Afflictions will come to all who serve the Lord (I Thessalonians 3:3). It helps if we know they are coming and are prepared (verse 4); it also helps when we see the benefit others get when we go on in spite of affliction (verse 7).”
I Thessalonians 5
“Satan has always had his false prophets to deny God’s true message (Jeremiah 28:1–4). Jeremiah didn’t want to preach judgment (verses 5–6); he just knew the truth and was commissioned to deliver it. God showed who was right (verse 17).
On the eve of destruction, the world will still be convinced that they are capable of bringing about “”peace and safety”” (I Thessalonians 5:3). Children of light know better (vv. 2, 5); children of night will sleep until it is too late (vv. 6–7).”
II Thessalonians 1-2
“God’s great love (Jeremiah 31:3) brought about redemption (verse 11). That would be accomplished through a miracle birth (verse 22). Through this Child would be a New Covenant (verse 31). The prophets outlined New Testament revelation.
We can see that “”the mystery of iniquity doth already work”” (II Thess. 2:7). It is sobering to realize that what is going on around us happens despite the hindering (“”letteth””) work of God. What will be when that is “”taken out of the way””?”
II Thessalonians 3
“Israel’s falling to the Babylonians was not due to the inability of God to deliver them (Jeremiah 27). Their captivity was his doing (verse 28) because of their sin (verse 30). That same power would later effect their return.
If God’s Worde is given “”free course”” to do its work, it will be “”glorified”” (II Thessalonians 3:1), but we will also be “”delivered from unreasonable and wicked men”” (verse 2).”
“God is practically begging His people to ask for something big (Jeremiah 33:3). He is not limited by the extent of our knowledge. He can do “”exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think”” (Ephesians 3:20).
It’s not uncommon today to hear someone ‘fret against the Lord’ (Proverbs 19:3). But it is generally a result of their having ‘perverted their way.’ Don’t get mad at God when the seed of foolishness produces a hard harvest.”
I Timothy 1
“Rechab had charged his sons to drink no wine, and over four hundred years later they were still observing his commandment (Jeremiah 35:6–9). They expected to reap the blessing of honoring parents (verse 7; see Exodus 20:12).
Sadly, many who try to teach don’t really understand what they are talking about (I Timothy 1:7). Be very discerning about the ones to whom you choose to listen. Not everyone with a Bible under his arm was sent by God.”
I Timothy 2-4
“Zedekiah didn’t want Jeremiah to speak to him for God (Jer. 37:1–2) but wanted him to speak to God for him (v. 3). If you won’t listen, why should God?
Voting is the duty of the citizen; praying is the duty of the Christian (I Timothy 2:1–2). Prayer can bring a quiet, peaceful, godly life even under a wicked ruler.
When the sluggard begs in time of harvest (Proverbs 20:4), he is trying to get something from someone who plowed because he wouldn’t let the cold stop him.”
I Timothy 5-6
“Jeremiah was put into a pit where he was likely to die (Jeremiah 38:6). He’s not the only one to be in a pit of death, but thankfully there was one who would draw him up (verse 13). Ebed-melech was doing the work of the Saviour (see Psalm 40:2).
Leaders of the church are worthy of more honor than leaders of state (I Timothy 5:17). This honor is expressed with both finances (verse 18) and with loyalty (verse 19). Choose carefully which spiritual leaders you follow (verse 22).”
“Jeremiah was taken captive just like all the rest (Jer. 40:1), but the Babylonians released him and gave him a choice of where to live (v. 4). Apparently Jeremiah’s ways pleased the Lord; he made his enemies to be at peace with him (Prov. 16:7).
Prosperity is the result of two things: thinking and diligence (Proverbs 21:5). Thinking without following up by doing produces nothing, but he that “”is hasty”” often tries to do without first thinking. This leads only to “”want.”””
II Timothy 1-2
“The Jews asked Jeremiah to pray for them and promised to obey what God told them to do (Jer. 42:1–3), but not even Jeremiah was fooled by their hypocrisy (v. 20). Prayers that are only willing to accept one answer aren’t answered at all.
The spirit that the Lord gives is easily discernible. It does not quake in fear; rather, it exhibits power, love, and a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7). When those who are mentally gifted and who wield power show Christ’s love, God’s blessings are seen.”
” The Jews in Egypt kept doing the things that caused God to judge them in the first place (Jeremiah 44:8). But when Jeremiah pointed it out, they tried to blame God (verses 15–18) because they had previously worshiped idols and been prosperous. Because God didn’t judge them immediately, they mistook it for approval by not understanding His long-suffering (verse 21). God’s patience shows His mercy; His eventual judgment shows His holiness.
Notations and thoughts by Terry Frala