September 30, 2017
Read: Jeremiah 38:1-13
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Scripture- Jeremiah 38:6- So the officials took Jeremiah from his cell and lowered him by ropes into an empty cistern in the prison yard. It belonged to Malkijah, a member of the royal family. There was no water in the cistern, but there was a thick layer of mud at the bottom, and Jeremiah sank down into it.
Observations- Jeremiah faced constant persecution as he faithfully proclaimed God's message to the people of Judah. He never sugar-coated or held back the truth of how difficult the days and years ahead would be for the people who had turned away from God, but they didn't want to listen for over 40 years.
Application- With echoes of Jeremiah ringing in his ears Paul said, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." (2 Corinthians 4:8-10) We choose to be faithful to God not because it's easy, convenient, or in line with where our culture is heading, but simply because God is good, worthy, and true. We need to count on tough times as we honor God and trust that He will never abandon or forsake us.
Prayer- O God, I am so gifted at running and hiding from Your call in my life! I want things to be easy. I want to be liked by the world, and yet Your Word reminds me that there will be times when people hate me because I love Jesus. Why does it always surprise me when this rings true? Give me holy boldness to speak Your truth in love. Give me Your love so I honor Your graceful limits, in Jesus' name. Amen.
"We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering." (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5)