Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 45-47
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Key Verse: Jeremiah 46:27
But do not fear, O My servant Jacob,
And do not be dismayed, O Israel!
For behold, I will save you from afar,
And your offspring from the land of their captivity;
Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease;
No one shall make him afraid.
Jeremiah 45 is Jeremiah’s word from God for his personal assistant and secretary (scribe), Baruch. Baruch’s prize was “Life.” He went as a guest of honour to Babylon where he was allowed to buy property and to prosper. There is an Apocryphal book called by his name. The Apocrypha is a collection of writings judged by the Jewish scholars as not inspired by God, yet somewhat valuable for study.
Jeremiah 46 tells us of Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt. Necho had killed good King Josiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 35:20-27). After his return to Egypt, Necho deposed and deported Josiah’s son Jehoahaz, and made Jehoiakim his puppet king in Jerusalem. In 606 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Necho and world history was forever altered. Egypt would never again be considered a world power (46:13). In the midst of all this, God’s Word to His people is stated in our key verse. Jeremiah 47 tells us of the Philistine cities which were also caught in the midst of the wars between Egypt and Babylon (Iraq).
This Valentines Day, let’s contrast the message of Jesus with that of Muhammed. The Koran says, “God loves those who love him.” In contrast to this, the Bible says, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Let’s take time to read 1 John 4:7-19 as our St. Valentine’s Day meditation. Recently a man from Mecca called in to the Light For All Nations Arabic ministry and received the unconditional love of Jesus by grace through faith.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I love You because You first loved me! Not as the Koran says, in effect, that You love me because I first loved You! You are the Initiator! You courted and wooed me! You won my heart!!! Increase my capacity to be filled with more of Your love than ever before, I pray. In the Name of the One of Whom it is written, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16a), Jesus Christ! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I have asked our son Ron to write the personal words for today. He posts the blog every morning for me at 6 a.m.
Hi Friends! The Bible tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Dad embedded prayer into the DNA of Crossroads from the very beginning. I know this will take me well over the 100 words Dad asked me to write, but allow me to share a story that illustrates what I’m talking about…
When I was a teenager, I was part of our high school basketball team. I remember having to wake up extremely early one morning in order to attend a practice, which our overly zealous coach had scheduled well before the school day began. My teammates and I were far from enthusiastic about having to get our bodies out of bed that early, but that was the only time the gymnasium was available before our big championship game. So I set my alarm for “dark and early.” When the dreaded beeping noise hit my ears, I reluctantly rolled out of bed, got dressed, and tiptoed my way through the dark hallway and down the stairs, being careful not to wake anyone else in the family. However, when I got to the living room, I was surprised to see the lights on and hear someone speaking. When I looked to my left, I saw my Dad kneeling next to the couch with dozens of pieces of paper spread out all over the furniture. I paused long enough to figure out what was going on. Dad was in prayer, weeping and interceding before God on behalf of the many who had written to him as a result of the recently launched 100 Huntley Street daily TV program. He never saw me as I continued tiptoeing out the door and off to my practice. That experience deeply impacted me. It strongly reinforced to my heart the truth of Dad’s genuine passion for God and passion for people. He wasn’t on television because of any ego trip or because he needed a job. He was called by God to share the love of Jesus to a lost and hurting world. He lived what he believed about the infinite value of a soul. After that, I could think of nothing else I wanted to do with my life than work with my Dad, which I had the privilege of doing from 1985 to 2015.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone,