“Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.”
Jeremiah was standing in the gate of the Lord’s house.
“Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.”
He was proclaiming the Word of the Lord, begging for people to enter into house of the Lord. But there was a problem.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.”
They must first amend their ways.
They had made the Word of the Lord a reproach unto themselves.
They had no delight in the Word.
They had chosen not to stand in the old paths.
They had chosen not to walk in the good way.
They had rejected the Words of the Lord.
So, the Lord sent stumblingblocks.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.”
Stumblingblocks can cause us to trust in things that are untruthful.
“Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.”
Even people who portray themselves to be spiritual Christians, can become stumblingblocks to our walk with the Lord.
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
The Lord hates these things, yet so often we find ourselves trusting those who are consumed by them.
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
There is no profit is putting our trust in lying words.
Instead, may we choose to only trust the Lord.
“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Job 9-10 | 1 Peter 5
2 Corinthians 12:7
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”
Paul was perhaps the greatest disciple to walk the face of the earth.
He never forgot what the Lord had delivered him from.
He had a pedigree of accolades, yet he remained humble.
2 Corinthians 12:6
“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.”
God allowed a thorn of the flesh to remind Paul of his need for Him.
Although he besought the Lord to remove it, he chose to allow his infirmity to make his faith stronger.
2 Corinthians 12:9
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Paul gladly chose the pain of his thorn in the flesh so that the Lord’s strength could be shown through his weakness.
We are faced with the same choice today.
Will we allow a thorn of the flesh to hinder our service to Him?
May we admit our weaknesses and allow the Lord to show His strength in us.
2 Corinthians 12:10
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Job 7-8 | 1 Peter 4
“Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.”
We have all experienced someone being “a thorn in our side”.
It’s likely there is a face, or perhaps many faces, showing up in your mind.
Have we ever stopped to consider the purpose of that thorn? Often, we do not give it much thought, other than the annoyance the person causes us.
At this point within the children of Israel’s journey, these thorns were sent by the Lord Himself. Yes, you read that right.
The people had directly disobeyed what the Lord told them to do.
“…but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?”
How many times has the Lord said and asked the same thing about us?
When God sends us thorns, He is trying to teach us a lesson.
Sometimes, that even involves allowing our adversary to have his way.
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Thorns can lead us to repentance.
They can cause us to admit our sin and allow us to weep and worship the Lord.
“And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.”
Whatever or whoever your thorn is today, choose to allow it to bring you closer to Him.
Job 5-6 | 1 Peter 3
“And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”
In politics there is always an ulterior motive.
We have learned from experience that there are very few people you can trust to do what they say they will do.
Pilate marvelled over the silence of Jesus as He was accused of many things by the chief priests. Pilate himself even asked Him why He was silent.
He knew there was something different about Jesus.
“Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:”
So, Pilate devised a plan to save his career by giving the people a choice of who he should release at the feast.
He found Barabbas, who was guilty of insurrection and murder.
Surely the people would choose to free Jesus instead of such a wicked man.
Yet, his plan backfired.
The chief priests moved the people to choose to release Barabbas.
“And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him.”
Pilate was dumbfounded.
“Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.”
He had to choose.
The ball was in his court. It was up to him to decide the fate of Jesus.
Pilate was willing to content the people, so he compromised what he knew in his heart was right.
He chose popularity and politics over the Truth.
How many times in our lives have we been presented with the same decision?
Choosing to stand for the Truth is never popular or easy.
Choosing right over wrong seems to be a rarity today.
Are we willing to content the people around us rather than stand on the Lord’s side?
Oftentimes, we are no better than Pilate.
Day after day we are left with the same choice… Him or people.
Job 3-4 | 1 Peter 2
“And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.”
Peter had heard Christ Himself tell him what would happen that evening.
Even though he vehemently denied that it would.
“And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.”
The cock crew immediately after Peter had denied Him the third time.
Just as Jesus had said.
As soon as Peter heard the cock crow the second time, he remembered.
“And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”
The Word of the Lord was called to his mind.
How many times in our lives do we find ourselves in the middle of something we should not be doing and suddenly a verse of Scripture comes to mind?
That is the reason we are to hide His Word within our hearts.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Hide His Word within your heart, then ask the Lord to call His Word to your mind.
For every situation that you face…
For every trial you endure…
For every temptation you experience…
For every thought…
For every word…
For every action…
For every inaction…there is a verse.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Allow His Word to pierce through you today, so that you can recall the Scriptures to your mind just when you need to be reminded of the Truth.
Job 1-2 | 1 Peter 1
“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.”
The figs come before the leaves, yet this fig tree stood afar off from Jesus with many leaves…seemly promising fruit, yet leaving Jesus empty handed.
The fig tree gave the appearance that it bore fruit, yet it was fruitless.
Jesus then declared the tree unfruitful forever.
There are many today whose lives bear leaves which portrays themselves as fruit-bearing, yet they are fruitless. Their leaves indicate there is fruit hanging from the branches, yet they are empty.
Imagine yourself as that fig tree which Jesus saw afar off.
Would He find nothing but leaves?
Will you be left empty handed at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
What a solemn and convicting reminder of our need to be fruitful for His glory!
God’s first blessing upon Adam and Eve was for them to be fruitful.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…”
It is His desire that we be fruitful, not fruitless.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
There is fruit to bear, if only we will abide in Him.
He has left us here for the purpose of bringing forth fruit for His glory.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
Ask Him to enable you to be fruitful for His glory.
Esther 9-10 | James 5
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar.
He was desperate both for help and for a drastic change in his life.
He could not see, but he could hear.
When he heard that Jesus was nearby, he cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him.
Jesus stood still when He heard him cry.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
He is asking today.
What would be your answer to that same question…“What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?”
What do you desire for Him to do in your life?
He is Able, yet so often we neglect to have the faith that He can and will.
Doubt is the thief of faith.
If Bartimaeus would have doubted the Lord could heal him, he would have never received his sight.
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way…And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
Bartimaeus’ way became following the Way.
The drastic change he had longed for was more than just an immediate physical healing, his direction was changed when he decided to followed Jesus.
Tell the Lord the answer to the question today, then choose to immediately follow His direction.
Esther 7-8 | James 4
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
The law could not and cannot bring salvation or justify our guilt.
It is simply a schoolmaster to show us that we come short of God’s glory.
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
It took the precious blood of Jesus Christ to make justification possible.
When we have faith in Him, we are no longer under the law.
He is that “better hope”, and the only way we can draw nigh unto God.
“By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
He is the Anchor of our salvation.
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”
When we are unsure and drifting without hope, He is stedfast.
He never changes.
“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
He is Able, willing and ready to save anyone who comes to Him.
Do you need a “better hope” today?
Look to Him.
Esther 5-6 | James 3
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”
What is your mind attentively fixed upon today?
Many people only consider themselves.
They are only concerned with what is best for them.
As God’s children, we can set an example for the world in how we consider one another.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
Open the door for someone. Let the other car go first.
In this crazy world we live in, the “little” things that no longer seem so little.
Allow the world to see something, or rather Someone, different in you.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Above all, consider Him.
Esther 3-4 | James 2
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
Surface deep the words “hold fast” imply to believe strongly in something; and while we should definitely feel that way in regards to our profession of faith, perhaps there is more meaning here.
To “hold fast the profession of our faith” here suggests remaining tightly secure despite any raging waters around us.
Deep within the ocean, root-like aquatic structures that anchor themselves to substrates are called holdfasts. They vary in shapes and forms, but regardless of their size they all have one thing in common…they are secure because of their anchor.
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
There is no reason to waver when our faith is anchored in Him.
Job realized the Source of his righteousness.
“My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.”
His faith never wavered, simply because he never depended upon himself.
“…without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
He is Faithful.
He has promised, and He always keeps His promises.
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
Embrace the Source of your faith today by holding fast to Him.
Esther 1-2 | James 1
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