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Selected devotions before September 2015
Rev E Stegen - Jeremiah
Jeremiah's tears were not self‑centred mourning over personal loss. He wept because the people rejected God. Their God who created them and repeatedly blessed them.
Jeremiah was one of God's choice servants. He cried because of the things that would happen to his nation and to his people, because he saw what was ahead of them. He saw their future.
We may rejoice today but we don't know what lies around the corner awaiting us tomorrow.
If you want to be successful there are three things you've got to heed from the life and book of Jeremiah.
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
"Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee." (1 Kings 3:12).
"Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear."
"And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son." (1 Kings 17:8-13).
"And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days." (1 Kings 17:15).
"Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put
it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. So I got a girdle
according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. And the
word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle
that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to
Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and hid
it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me,
Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I
commanded thee to hide there. Then I went to Euphrates, and digged,
and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold,
the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. Then the word of
the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, After this manner
will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This
evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the
imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them,
and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for
nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I
caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house
of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and
for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not
hear." (Jeremiah 13:1-11).
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of
you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God
resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves
therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober,
be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the
faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your
brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath
called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have
suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
(1 Peter 5:5-10).
Ps 78:50-53 "He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but
gave their life over to the pestilence; And smote all the firstborn in
Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham: But made
his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the
wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they
feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies."
2 Pet 3:10, 11, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the
night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the
elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works
that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things
will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy
conduct and godliness”
1Cor 11:1, “Follow me as I follow Christ”
When the Spirit of God works in your life you become quiet before Him. He takes all the noise and clutter from your life.
When others look at your life, do they long for what you have or are they not interested?
A good illustration is the African sacred ibis, that attracts the gaze of the eye as they come together in groups to look for insects. They are quiet birds, yet beautifully attractive.
In contrast one finds crows that are ugly and noisy. When one sees and hears them you simply want to close your ears and run away because of their ugly noises.
"And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had
blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest
servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray
thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD,
the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take
a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I
dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take
a wife unto my son Isaac. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure
the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I
needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And
Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither
again." (Genesis 24:1-6).