It’s getting tougher all the time. Jeremiah has more prophecy urging the people to turn back to God, warning them that they will be carried off into captivity if they don’t. But, once again, they don’t listen.
In fact, the priests and other prophets plot together to kill Jeremiah. Once again, they think that if they get rid of him, the word will go away. But, of course, it won’t go away when it’s God’s word.
One of the elders, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, stands up for Jeremiah and prevents the untimely death.
In the middle of these chapters something very significant is slipped in. (If our ears aren’t in tune, we might miss it).
Jeremiah says, “And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”(25:11) When you are reading, you can almost pass over the term “seventy years” without noticing, but later there will be those who notice. Daniel will notice from the land of Babylon, and know that the time has come for the return to take place. He will see it as a promise from God.
This is a lesson for us. There are many promises in the Word given to those who believe. Some will pass right by them, and their lives will never be affected at all. Others will see and allow the word to penetrate their hearts. They will grab hold of the promises which God has spoken, and they will see His truth being manifested in their lives.
When the seventy years are complete in Babylon, Daniel is reading the Word and sees that promise. He begins to fast and pray that the word would be fulfilled. His prayers start the process which cause Cyrus to be called to return those to Jerusalem to rebuild.
What is your need today? Is it for family? Health? Finances? If it is for any of those things, find what your Father has to say about it and begin to meditate on that word until you believe it. Grab hold of it just as Daniel did the word he saw.
There are many promises available to those who believe. Ask your father to enlarge your heart so that you believe His Word. Ask Him to show you what you need to see – and ask Him to “quicken” those words to you so that you know that He is speaking to you directly.
This letter is written to another of Paul’s sons in the faith. Titus, like Timothy, is a true man of God, and a protegé of Paul.
Just as with Timothy’s letters, we see some of the problems faced by the early church – and for that matter, the present day church.
First paul reminds Titus to appoint only elders who have good solid credentials of honesty, decency, and so forth. Then he goes on to the subject of “empty talkers, deceivers, and rebellious men” who creep into the fellowships.
Many, for the sake of sordid gain, are teaching false doctrines. Some are teaching prejudice against whole groups of people; others are teaching the law of the Old Testament and Jewish myths.
They “profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”(V.16)
Jesus said that “you will know them by their fruits.” Not just by what they say.
In our day, we have many “ear-ticklers,” who sometimes amass large crowds, but who are teaching false or imbalanced doctrine. We are told to avoid those who aren’t “rightly dividing the Word” and teaching the truth.
The Lord is looking for those who will be true to His Word. Just as Jesus came full of “grace and truth,” we must follow in His steps. Grace is being over taught in some quarters, because it is essentially giving a license to sin. Jesus never came to give people a license to sin; He came to give them power over sin.
Truth doesn’t always “feel good,” but it is good, for it brings deliverance to those who receive it. A child might not “like” having to come in out of the street, but our love for them protects them and helps them to do what will be good for them.
Let’s “endure sound doctrine,” as Paul tells us to do. Our Father’s plans are so remarkably wonderful for all of us – if we embrace them fully. After all, He is smarter than we are. Right?