Devotional Reading for August 4, 2021

Jeremiah 16-20 (The Daily Walk Bible).

It’s not so bad being a simple preacher and not a prophet. Jeremiah had some significant physical and psychological pain as a result of his calling. In addition to the message he shared, he also had to live out some object lessons: the ruined belt (chap. 13), abstinence from marriage (chap. 16), the potter’s jar (chap. 19), the yoke (chap. 27), and the purchase of a field (chap. 32).

Jeremiah 18 may have inspired Paul to say: “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:20–24)

Jeremiah 17:7-8 is amazing (and it reminds me of Psalm 1): “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Devotional Reading for August 3, 2021

Jeremiah 11-15 (The Daily Walk Bible).

When you aren’t sure what God is doing in the world, remember that the Lord is Sovereign and just (11:20).

When you find yourself ashamed and caught in sin, remember that if you return to God He will restore you so that you can continue to serve Him (15:19)!

Why is it so important to understand God’s punishment of His people? Why do we see so much of it over and over again? Why do we keep reading about it? Because it reminds us of the need for holiness and the consequences if we fail. 1 Peter 4:17 gives us a warning: “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God.”

Devotional Reading for August 2, 2021

Jeremiah 7-10 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Psalm 78:60-64 details what happened in Shiloh when God allowed the Philistines to overrun it: “He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mankind, and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe. He gave his people over to the sword and vented his wrath on his heritage. Fire devoured their young men, and their young women had no marriage song. Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.” This is the warning to Judah!

Child sacrifice is an abomination to God, no matter what century or how it’s practiced (7:31).

Jeremiah 8:22 —

This is a wonderful reminder: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord (9:23-24).”

Devotional Reading for August 1, 2021

Jeremiah 1-6 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt disconnected from God? Perhaps you stopped attending church, let your prayer life slide, or didn’t engage in regular devotions. Or maybe you were engaging in ongoing sin. You asked, “Where is the Lord?” and drew further and further away from him by your sin and your actions.

God’s reminder to us today is that we are to “plow up the hard ground of our hearts!” That is certainly excellent advice for when we feel far from God, but it’s also good advice for when we are close to him. We need to make sure that we are ready, willing, and able to hear from God. We do that by submitting ourselves to the authority of His Word and living for Him!

Jesus told the parable of the soils (or parable of the sower, as it is more commonly called) to His disciples (Matthew 13). It echoes God’s message to Judah through Jeremiah. A sower went out sowing seed. The seed was the Word of God. The soil was people’s hearts. Their hearts had to be soft and ready for the Word of God to take effect in their lives. While the parable certainly applies to salvation, it also speaks to us as believers today. When we go to God, when we seek Him through His Word, we need to make sure that we are willing to listen and obey. We need to “plow up the hard ground of our hearts!”

Devotional Reading for July 31

Isaiah 63-66 (The Daily Walk Bible).

From Halley’s Bible Handbook (regarding Isaiah 65-66): “These two chapters are God’s answer to the exiles’ prayer of the previous two chapters. The prayer shall be answered. The faithful remnant shall be restored (65:8–10). New nations shall be brought into the fold (65:1; 66:8). All shall be called by a new name (65:15). They shall inherit new heavens and a new earth (65:17; 66:22). The faithful and the disobedient shall be forever separated, with eternal blessedness for the righteous ones, eternal punishment for the others (66:22–24). Jesus Himself endorsed these words (Mark 9:48). Peter’s closing message to Christians was to keep their eyes on the new heavens and the new earth (2 Peter 3:10–14). The Bible reaches its final climax in a magnificent vision of the new heavens and the new earth in Revelation 21–22, which is an expansion of the vision of Isaiah 66. No temple or sacrifice, it seems, will be needed in the new order (66:1–4), because ‘now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them’ (Revelation 21:3).” Hallelujah!

Also from HBH:

A Summary of Isaiah’s Predictions
Fulfilled in His Own Lifetime

• Judah will be delivered from Syria and Israel (7:4–7, 16)
• Syria and Israel will be destroyed by Assyria (8:4; 17:1–14)
• Assyria will invade Judah (8:7–8)
• Philistines will be subjugated (14:28–32)
• Moab will be plundered (15 and 16)
• Egypt and Ethiopia will be conquered by Assyria (20:4)
• Arabia will be pillaged (21:13–17)
• Tyre will be subdued (23:1–12)
• Jerusalem will be delivered from Assyria (see under 36)
• Hezekiah’s life will be extended 15 years (38:5)

Fulfilled After Isaiah’s Time

• Babylonian captivity (39:5–7)
• Babylon will be overthrown by Cyrus (46:11)
• And the Medes and Elamites (13:17; 21:2; 48:14)
• Babylon’s perpetual desolation (13:20–22)
• Cyrus called by name (44:28; 45:13)
• Israel will be restored (27:12–13; 48:20; 51:14)
• Israel’s religion will permeate Egypt and Assyria (19:18–25)
• Israel’s religion will spread over the whole world (27:2–6)
• Tyre’s captivity and restoration (23:13–18)
• Edom’s perpetual desolation (34:5–17)

About the Messiah

• His advent (40:3–5)
• His virgin birth (7:14)
• Galilee will be the scene of His ministry (9:1–2)
• His deity and the eternity of His throne (9:6–7)
• His sufferings (53)
• He will die with the wicked (53:9)
• He will be buried with the rich (53:9)
• The might and gentleness of His reign (40:10–11)
• The righteousness and blessings of His reign (32:1–8; 61:1–3)
• His justice and kindness (42:3–4, 7)
• His rule over Gentiles (2:2–3; 42:1, 6; 49:6; 55:4–5; 56:6; 60:3–5)
• His vast influence (49:7, 23)
• Idols will disappear (2:18)
• A warless world will be brought into being (2:4; 65:25)
• The earth will be destroyed (24; 26:21; 34:1–4)
• Death will be destroyed (25:8; 26:19)
• God’s people will be called by a new name (62:2; 65:15)
• A new heaven and a new earth will be created (65:17; 66:22)
• The righteous and the wicked will be eternally separated (66:15, 22–24

Devotional Reading for July 30, 2021

Isaiah 58-62 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Isaiah 58 reminds us of the danger of empty religion. We can engage in practices that seem to be spiritual (like fasting), but we can actually be far from God. God expects us to live for Him if we love Him! He warns Israel (and us) that, “Your mouth is full of lies, and your lips are tainted with corruption. No one cares about being fair and honest” (Isaiah 59:3-4). Fasting won’t fix that, but obedience will!

Jesus warns us of empty religion too: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” (Matthew 6:1-5).

Jesus uses Isaiah 61:1 to describe his own ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).

We also have a wonderful prediction in 59:20 of the coming of the Savior as well as the need for repentance: “‘And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,’ declares the Lord.”

Sermon Outline for 7/25/21 (Radio Broadcast 8/1/21)

How Can I Live in the Spirit (Part 4)?
Living in Christian Community
Galatians 5:25-6:5

I) Assumption: Believers have the __________!

II) Question: How do we keep in ________ with the Spirit?

III) We stay in step with the Spirit by…

     A) Being ____________

     B) Getting ___________

     C) Being ___________

     D) Caring about _______________

          1) Not overlooking ___________

          2) But helping others _____________

          3) And realizing that we might be __________

          4) We are most like Jesus when we _________ one another

          5) __________ keeps us from love

     E) Engaging in self ________________

          1) We judge ourselves against the ____________

          2) Because we will have to give an ____________

Devotional Reading for July 29, 2021

Isaiah 52-57 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Romans 10:14-15 uses a quote from Isaiah 52 to show the importance of preaching the gospel: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”

Isaiah 53. Just wow.

Isaiah 55 reminds us that salvation is free and is the only thing that really satisfies, and Isaiah 56 reminds us that salvation is for all (“I will also bless the Gentiles”).

Devotional Reading for July 27, 2021

Isaiah 49-51 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Isaiah 49:16 is a wonderful promise: “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Is it for us?

Consider this: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).

Isn’t God’s love for his chosen amazing?!?!