DBRP – WEEK 41, Day 2, Tuesday, 9 October 2018

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Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 9 October 18:

1. Jeremiah 6:10, 11 — “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. Therefore, I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary of holding it in.”

– The rebellious see God’s word as offensive. However, God’s messenger can’t contain the Spirit inside that must proclaim the requirement for repentance and salvation from God’s wrath. The messenger doesn’t seek to tone down God’s message or make it more accommodating to those engaged in sin. On the contrary, the prophet is tasked with testifying to the truth in stark contrast to the message of the world — “from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall.” (Jeremiah 6:13-15) God’s messenger can’t remain silent before sin or make like of what God considers detestable. Additionally, in response to God’s word, God’s people “conduct [them]selves with fear… holy in all [their] conduct, remembering that they “were ransomed from the futile ways.., not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:13-19) It is an unthinkable thing to treat to blood of Christ carelessly. The repentant will respond to God’s word without the aid of marketing schemes, sales pitches, big bands, or light shows. The rest won’t. It is the role of the messenger to be faithful to God’s word, regardless the response.

2. Jeremiah 6:13-20 — “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’ Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.”

– God’s people had become wholly corrupt while the religious leaders preached a “feel good” message. Abominations had become acceptable to God’s people, while God’s word was deemed outdated and irrelevant. God’s written Law had been rejected and replaced with religiosity. Social tolerance became more important than obedience to God’s word. This Old Testament prophecy is a warning to the church today as is 1 Peter that calls us to, based on the grace we have received, remain holy, fearful, pure, and obedient to God’s word which remains unchanged forever. This is not hard to understand. We are called to obedience without excuses. Many sins are now celebrated in our culture but must be rejected by God’s people.

— 1 Peter 1:13-25 — Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

– “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown.” The more people practice sin, the more insensitive they are to their sin. What once would have shocked them no longer shocks them, and they lose all shame. Just look at what people accept today as entertainment.

3. Jeremiah 7:4 – “Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’” Claiming to be religious and going to church doesn’t make up for a person’s behavior which is a better revelation of what is truly in a person’s heart. God is not at all moved by unrepentant worship.

4. Jeremiah 7: 8-10 — “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations?” If someone thinks that grace through Jesus frees him or her to continue in sin without concern, that person may never have really received salvation through Jesus. Love is more powerful than the law and compels the Christian not to sin. (2 Cor 5:14) The only response to grace and saving faith is obedience, holiness, and joy. Any response to the sacrifice of Christ other than humble obedience and holiness leaves doubt as to what was actually received.

5. Jeremiah 7:16 — “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.” God doesn’t honor the prayers of the unrepentant.

6. Jeremiah 7:23 — “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.” Jesus said it like this: “If you love me, you will obey me.” Obedience isn’t the path of salvation – we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus – obedience is the evidence of salvation, the fruit of salvation.

7. Jeremiah 7:24 — “But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” To be your Savior, Jesus must be your Lord and Savior. It is impossible to both humbly surrender to Jesus and also to take Him for granted or to treat the blood of His sacrifice carelessly by continuing in sin.

8. Jeremiah 7:27 — “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.” Often, such as was the case with Moses, God sends His messengers to speak to a people He already knows will not listen. His word becomes a testimony against those who refuse to accept it. God’s word never returns void; it always accomplishes its purpose, whether to bless or to curse. You are Christ’s ambassador in this generation, called to proclaim the word of God, whether people will listen or not. Success for you is not measured in conversions but rather in commitment, in fidelity to your calling. Only the Holy Spirit can convict a person’s heart to receive salvation.

9. Jeremiah 7:27 — “This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.” There is no political hope for our nation apart from repentance and revival.

10. Proverbs 9:1 – “Wisdom has built her house.” Wisdom is orderly and industrious.

11. Proverbs 9:13 – “The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing.” Fools are loud, driven by emotion and passion, and lacking in self-control and gentleness.

12. Proverbs 9:17 — “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” Fools want something for nothing, take pleasure at the expense of others, seek self-gratification, have a weak sense of responsibility, and tell themselves that their selfishness can be kept to themselves without consequences. There is no such thing as secret sin, and everything done in the darkness will be exposed by the light.

Note: Here is a link to a short video overview of 1 Peter: https://youtu.be/WhP7AZQlzCg

13. 1 Peter 1:1 — “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” Peter’s identity was in Jesus, not in what he did to make money or what he did as a hobby. He introduced himself as an apostle of Jesus. How do you introduce yourself to others?

14. 1 Peter 1:2 — “May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” Peter’s ambition was to multiply the Grace of Jesus on earth. What is your ambition?

15. 1 Peter 1:8 — “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” Your daily endeavor must be to grow in love for Jesus. You can’t obey who you do not trust, and you cannot trust who you do not know. The more you know Jesus, the more you will love Him, and love will impassion you to do far more than what you would do from mere duty based on rules. Only love can truly change your heart and life. A person close to Jesus is not only marked by obedience but also by great joy.

16. 1 Peter 1:14-16 — “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

– God calls you to a much higher standard than mere moralism — He calls you to holiness, Christ-likeness. This endeavor must be inspired by love.

– From Henry T. Blackaby — Your mind is a wonderful thing! You can memorize life-changing passages of Scripture that can undergird you in your daily life; you can meditate upon God’s Word, discovering His magnificent truths; you can discern between truth and falsehood; you can recall God’s past blessings. Some of God’s most effective servants were those who disciplined their minds for His service. Moses, educated in the best schools of Egypt, assembled the books of the Law for the Israelites. Isaiah used his scholarly mind to write an exalted prophetic book in Scripture. Paul learned under Gamaliel, the outstanding teacher of his day, and it was through Paul that God presented much of the theology found in the New Testament. Sadly, many Christians today do not exercise their minds to be of service to God. They allow others to do their spiritual thinking for them. If they can find their theology from a book, they will not bother to study God’s Word themselves. If a speaker makes an authoritative statement, they readily accept it without verifying whether it is biblical. Paul urged Christians to strive for maturity in their thinking (1 Cor. 14:20). He said there was a time when his spiritual thinking was immature, but he had prepared his mind to know and understand the great truths of God (1 Cor. 13:11). He had not allowed others to do his thinking for him. When you became a Christian, God renewed your mind (Rom. 12:2). Be certain to use your mind in a way that brings glory to God.

17. 1 Peter 1:22 — “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” Love comes from a pure heart. We are not perfected in purity or love, but this is the goal. Remember, God IS Love. We grow in love only by growing closer to Jesus, and we love others only as much as we emanate the love of Christ by our proximity. Read Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17. He desires us to become one with Him and the Father that we can love and become one with fellow believers. Your ‘oneness’ is the measure of your success on earth. Judge the fruit of the love in your life and meditate upon what it tells you about your oneness. Consider the level of your purity and holiness and meditate upon what that tells you about your oneness. Rather than simply trying to change your behavior today, focus on growing in oneness with Jesus, loving Jesus today with more of your heart.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 9 Oct 18: Endeavor to see yourself, first and foremost, as an ambassador for Christ, entrusted with the message and ministry of reconciliation, a multiplier of God’s grace and peace. Don’t allow yourself to lose spiritual perspective during your physical walk today. Be guided by the Spirit. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14; see 1 Peter 1:1, 2)

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