October 12, 2017 Give Thanks

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Lamentations 3:22-23 New Compassions Daily

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is  your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

As the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, there was a lot of destruction and suffering. At the time, there did not seem to be a lot of hope. The end could not be seen and it appeared as though God had completely abandoned them for all eternity. Yet, Jeremiah notes that God’s love is so great that they would not be completely destroyed. Despite what was going on around them, he could see God’s compassion for them being renewed each day.

When people are going through hard times, they often feel as though they are completely alone and that God has abandoned them. It is common for a person to feel as though God is full of anger and hate, not wanting anything to do with him ever again.

These hard times can be something physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or one of many other difficulties in life. The pain that one is feeling is real.

You may be going through a situation right now in your life, or you may have gone through one, or you will go through one some day. Jesus had said that you will have troubles in this world.

As you are going through a troubling time, keep in mind that God has promised you life and salvation through Jesus. There is a hope that one day Jesus will return and take you away from all the troubles of this world.

Another thing to remember is that no matter how difficult your situation is, it could be worse. The situation could be worse if you had no hope of salvation. If you do not believe in Jesus, then you can only look forward to an eternity of separation from God. As long as you are believing in Jesus and trusting in His work in your life, you have the hope of eternity in heaven.

As you get up each morning, realize God has spared your life on this earth for a purpose. He is showing you great love in keeping you going forward. Do not lose hope or give up. You may be hard-pressed, but you are not crushed or destroyed. Trust God through the tough times because He is faithful and will not abandon you.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s faithfulness; that you will know God’s love and compassion; and that you will have hope in Jesus. 

Jeremiah 29:7 Praying For The Enemy

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7

Going into exile was a difficult thing for the Israelites of Judah to do. As they are going into exile, God now tells them to settle in and serve their enemy. Then on top of that God tells them to pray for their enemy to prosper. His reason for praying for the enemy to prosper is that if the enemy prospers, so do the Israelites.

Praying for the enemy is something many Christians have no problem doing. However, it is how they pray for the enemy that is different. It is common to hear a Christian pray for his enemy that God would strike them down, or remove them. The focus is to change that person, so that one can have a better life. The problem with this type of prayer is that it is totally self-focused.

Years later Jesus would tell all believers to pray for their enemy and bless them, not curse them. Praying for the prosperity of your enemy is a blessing upon them. Doing this shows the enemy the love of God, not the hatred of people.

Not blessing your enemy will fall back on you in the same way. If the economy of everyone around you is failing, your economy will also fail. If there is no peace with everyone around you, then you will not have any peace either. If there is poverty all around you, then you will also have poverty.

No person can have peace or prosperity completely alone. It takes a community to have either. There will always be some in your community that will be your enemy–those who do not follow Jesus. If they do not prosper, you cannot prosper.

Along with physical prosperity, every person needs to know the love of Jesus. If you are praying against them and for their downfall, where is there any love in that? How will they know the love of Jesus, when all they see is hatred?

You may not always agree with your enemy, but you can pray for God to bless them and draw them closer to Him by His love and care. It is His kindness that will draw them to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for your enemies; that you will show God’s love to your enemies; that you will be able to pray God’s blessings on your enemies; and that many will come to know Jesus through the love you show them.

Jeremiah 26:2 Speak All The Words

This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Jeremiah 26:2

God was going to have Jeremiah stand before the people and speak some of His words. The words that were to be spoken were not the most kind type of words. It would be words that were commands to change their ways or become a curse and be destroyed. They would be words that the people would become very angry about and attempt to kill Jeremiah. God did not want Jeremiah to miss a single word as he spoke to the people, despite how the people would react.

It is easy to talk about how much God loves a person and all the things that are good about God. For many people it is much harder to talk about God’s commands to change and the results of not giving up sin. It is more difficult because people may not accept the words or get angry about them.

In today’s society, often one has to be careful not to politically/socially offend someone else with their words. No Christian believer should ever attempt to offend someone on purpose. However, every Christian has a duty to speak God’s word in truth and love.

God has spoken a lot of words and told His people to speak all of them. Some of those words are easy to hear because they are just about God’s love. Other words are harder to hear, because they are about change and giving up sinful ways. Not everyone will accept the words, but they still need to be spoken.

When you go out today in this world, be willing to speak every word God has given you. Be led by His Holy Spirit in what to say to those you come in contact with.

Some people may accept those words and change, while others may reject them and get angry. Regardless of the outcome, you need to be faithful to God’s Word and commands.

Are you speaking God’s word today?

Are you being a witness of what God wants to do and is doing?

Do not be afraid to speak His words today.

I pray today that you will know what God wants to be said; that you will not fear speaking God’s word to everyone you meet; that you will speak with the love and compassion for people that God has; and that you will be God’s witness to this world of His love and judgment.

Jeremiah 20:9 A Fire Burning Inside

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9

The message God had given Jeremiah to speak to the people was not exactly a comforting message. It was one of doom and destruction for a time. Since that was the message, it was not very well received by the people. Each time he spoke, people would beat him, threaten and ridicule him. It was a very hard message to keep speaking.

At times Jeremiah would get frustrated with the struggle of it and choose not say anything. When he did that, his misery increased all the more. God’s word was so strong in his life, that he felt like it was a fire in his bones and he had to say something, regardless of the outcome.

Every person has times in their life where something happens that is so great that they are bursting to tell someone. Most often it is good news that people want to speak about. Things like a new child on the way, a proposal for marriage, a new large promotion, graduating college, or some other event. When news like this happens, it is so great that the person cannot help but talk about it.

God has a message for you to speak to the world. You may not be a prophet or pastor, or any other ‘titled’ position in the church, but God has a word for you to speak to the world. That message is the gospel message of Jesus.

The world is dying and you have the message to keep them alive. It is, by far, the greatest message the world could ever receive. Not every one will accept it. There will be some who will fight or ridicule you when you speak it, yet, you must speak it.

Do you realize how much God has done for you? Do you realize how much God loves the people of this world?

If you have a full realization of those things, God’s word will burn in your heart to tell others. You will not want to see them condemned to hell, because you chose to be silent.

Let that fire out to shine in this dark world. Don’t be silent.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will strengthen you to speak His words; and that God’s word will burn in your heart to be spoken.

Jeremiah 14:14 False Visions And Delusions

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14

As the people of Israel were being cast into captivity, there were many prophets who were proclaiming that God would come in and rescue them. They would say that God would bring them peace and give them back their land. Many were telling the people that they needed to fight against the invading nations and that God was on their side. All these things were being said because they believed that they were the nation of God.

God did not tell any of these prophets any of those words. The only prophet God was speaking to was Jeremiah and the words given him were much different.

Words like this are still spoken to this day. Speakers, preachers, teachers, and prophets all proclaim many things. There may be peace in America, or whatever nation you live in, but that is not the problem with a lot of the teachings that are occurring.

Many of the current prophesies or teachings are saying that God is accepting of sin. “Christian” leaders are now saying that various sins are acceptable in God’s sight and that God will not punish anyone for these sins. Words are said that if a believer accepts people in these sins, then God will love them and help them prosper.

God does not, now, nor ever has He, accepted sin or a sinful lifestyle as acceptable behavior. God is against all sin, regardless of political correctness or popularity.

These are the false visions and delusions that many people have. As a believer in Jesus, you must keep yourself focused on what God’s Word said from beginning to end. Do not allow yourself to deluded into believing that sin is acceptable.

God does love everyone who is living in sin, but He hates the sin. If one does not repent of the sin, there will be destruction in the end. If a nation lives in sin as a whole, there will be destruction in the end.

Who are you believing today?

God’s word?

Or the false prophets of today?

I pray today that you will know what God’s word says; that you will speak the true words of God; that you will walk in the truth of God; and that God will reveal the truth in the words people speak.