Daily Encouragement

October 10 – The time of prayer is over for Israel.

October 10
Jeremiah 14:11-16:15
1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13
Psalm 80:1-19
Proverbs 25:1-5

Jeremiah 14:11-12 – There is no hope for deliverance when God has told me not to pray, and doesn’t care if you fast or sacrifice. Jeremiah could pray but God would already protect him (Jeremiah 15:11), but he could not intercede for those that had knowledge of God and rejected it.

Jeremiah 14:14 – What was the punishment for prophets who prophesy lies? Deuteronomy 18:20 – death.

Jeremiah 14:17 – The weeping prophet again has his eyes running with tears night and day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah

Jeremiah 15:1 – Moses interceded for Israel in Exodus 32:12-14 and Deuteronomy 9:13-14. Samuel interceded for Israel in I Samuel 7:5-11. But God says they will not be able to intercede now. Tragically God allowed Abraham to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:22-33. Abraham could beg mercy for those who had not heard, but Moses and Samuel could not now intercede for those who heard and rejected.

Jeremiah 15:16 – Is God’s Word the joy and rejoicing of your heart? If not, are you called by Christ’s name? 

Jeremiah 16:2 – Interesting the role of God in determining our wives. Jeremiah was denied a wife. Hosea was given a prostitute for a wife (Hosea 1:2). Adam didn’t have a choice about his wife (Genesis 2:22). God doesn’t necessarily want us married or single, but obedient to Him. Even if we are married, God wants us to be Christlike first. Just started reading a great book on this topic: Discovering the Mind of a Woman. (Spoiler alert – it starts with being Christlike!)

Jeremiah 16:13-15 – From Jimmy DeYoung:

This is a “spiritual application” from this passage. As we come back now to the “technical interpretation” of the passage notice in verses 13-15 that the Lord speaks of scattering the Jews across the world, casting them out of their land to places they knew not, where they would serve other gods and the Lord would show them no favor.

Verse 14 reveals that the day will come when the Jews will not speak of the “Exodus” at the Passover Seder, as is the custom, but instead will talk about how the Lord brought them from the “land of the north” verse 15, and all the lands where they had been scattered for the last 2,000 years.

This prophecy is being fulfilled even today as we witness over one million Jews from Russia, the “land to the north,” immigrating into Israel. There are Jews who have come from over one hundred nations of the world, back into the land as Jeremiah said they would do in the last days.

http://devotional.prophecytoday.com/2017/12/jeremiah-1617.html

1 Thessalonians 2:12 – “Walk worthy” – this is the 3rd time Paul has exhorted his people to walk worthy. 

1 Thessalonians 2:13 – The word of God is effectually working! It’s time to unleash it! As Charles Spurgeon said, “Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.”

1 Thessalonians 3:10 – Wednesday night prayer meetings used to be a fixture at many churches, but now that has fallen by the wayside. Perhaps the prayers go long, and people feel it is has become routine. Imagine being at a prayer meeting with Paul! 

Psalm 80:4 – Yes, our sin can block God hearing our prayer, as we saw earlier in Jeremiah 14:11. But God will hear us if we repent (1 John 1:9).

Proverbs 25:5 – Maybe you’re not one of the 15 remaining kings on earth. But we can reign with Christ (Matthew 19:28, 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 3:21). How should you behave as a king? Take away the wickedness from your life! How do you find the wickedness? Ask God to search your heart! (Psalm 139:23-24).

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Daily Encouragement

October 9 – Rise and Shine!

October 9
Jeremiah 12:1-14:10
1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8
Psalm 79:1-13
Proverbs 24:30-34

Jeremiah 12:1 – This is a continual question of the Old Testament. We’ve seen this with Asaph in Psalm 73.

Jeremiah 12:12 – This is the 5th time the phrase “Sword of the LORD” is found in the Bible. David saw three days of the sword in 1 Chronicles 21:12, and seventy thousand men died in just three days.

Jeremiah 12:16 – Obedience, the universal call of God. Yes, God’s mercy extends even unto pagan nations (Jonah 1:2).

Jeremiah 13:9 – This object lesson is a vivid portrayal of how God marred the pride of Judah. God would later tell how long this judgment would be – Jeremiah 25:11-12, and Jeremiah 29:10 show the seventy years of judgment, that Daniel read about (Daniel 9:2).

Jeremiah 13:23 – Human reform falls short. We can try to change our actions, but only God can change our hearts.

Jeremiah 14:8 – The Saviour stands as a stranger in the land, waiting at the door (Revelation 3:20). The hymn Abide With Me is based on this passage – inviting the Savior to come in. Oscar Eliason also wrote a song based on this verse:

Why should He stand as a stranger

Close to your heart’s bolted door?

Graciously, tenderly, pleading,

Gently He knocks o’er and o’er

 

Why should He stand as a stranger,

He Who can save you from sin?

Peace to your heart Jesus waits to impart

The moment that you let Him in

1 Thessalonians 1:1 – Welcome to a new epistle! No, the epistles were not the wives of the apostles! Here’s from J. Vernon McGee on 1 Thessalonians:

This wonderful epistle is almost at the end of Paul’s epistles as far as their arrangement in the New Testament is concerned. However, it was actually the first epistle that Paul wrote. It was written by Paul in A.D. 52 or 53.

Thessalonica was a Roman colony. Rome had a somewhat different policy with their captured people from what many other nations have had. For example, it seems that we try to Americanize all the people throughout the world, as if that would be the ideal. Rome was much wiser than that. She did not attempt to directly change the culture, the habits, the customs, or the language of the people whom she conquered. Instead, she would set up colonies which were arranged geographically in strategic spots throughout the empire. A city which was a Roman colony would gradually adopt Roman laws and customs and ways. In the local department stores you would see the latest things they were wearing in Rome itself. Thus these colonies were very much like a little Rome. Thessalonica was such a Roman colony, and it was an important city in the life of the Roman Empire.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 – We encounter again the virtue trinity of faith, hope, and love. Paul highlighted this in 1 Corinthians 13:13, referred to this in Colossians 1:4-5, and will reiterate this in 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

1 Thessalonians 1:9 – Paul commended the Thessalonians for turning from idols to the living and true God, while the Jews turned from the living and true God to swearing by Baal (Jeremiah 12:16).

1 Thessalonians 2:2 – Sometimes it’s difficult to continue sharing the gospel when we get shut down. Paul suffered in Philippi but kept preaching in Thessalonica.

640px-Broad_overview_of_geography_relevant_to_paul_of_tarsus

1 Thessalonians 2:5-6 – Paul lived his life for “an audience of one.” As he liked quoting Jeremiah, Glory in the Lord! (Jeremiah 9:24, 1 Corinthians 1:31, 2 Corinthians 10:17).

Psalm 79:1 – As we saw earlier, God doesn’t value relics. From Enduring Word:

Psalm 79 is titled, A Psalm of Asaph, though it was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies. This event was so traumatic and important in the scope of Jewish history that it is described four times in the Hebrew Scriptures: 2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36:11-21Jeremiah 39:1-14, and Jeremiah 52. Since the Asaph most prominent in the Old Testament lived and served during the reigns of King David and King Solomon, this is likely a later Asaph.

Boice (writing regarding Psalm 74) explains the concept of a later Asaph: “Either this is a later Asaph, which is not unlikely since the name might have been perpetuated among the temple musicians, or, more likely, the name was affixed to many psalms produced by this body of musicians. We know that the ‘descendants of Asaph’ were functioning as late as the reign of Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:15).”

Psalm 79:13 – The Psalmist echoes Psalm 100:3, “we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Proverbs 24:34 – Patch the Pirate had a great song for this: Rise and Shine!

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

 

Daily Encouragement

October 8 – Does the Bible prohibit Christmas trees?

October 8
Jeremiah 10:1-11:23
Colossians 3:18-4:18
Psalm 78:56-72
Proverbs 24:28-29

Jeremiah 10:3 – Is this passage talking about Christmas trees?

If people were praying to their Christmas trees or worshiping them as deities, these passages would certainly apply. But that is not, nor has it ever been, how Christmas trees are used. Christmas trees were never appealed to for blessings nor incorporated into religious rituals or acts of worship. While the exact origin of Christmas trees is unknown and highly disputed, the tradition seems to have come into existence as late as the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation in Germany. There is no evidence that Christians ever used them as anything other than home decorations for the holidays. There is nothing in this tradition that is innately idolatrous or in any way contrary to the biblical prohibitions against carving trees into false gods.

https://carm.org/does-jeremiah-10-forbid-christmas-trees

The better argument (in addition to anachronism) seems to be analyzing Jeremiah 10:6. These trees kept the people in fear because of an association with evil. 

Jeremiah 10:13 – This verse helps us possibly identify Psalm 135 as being written by Jeremiah. 

[Psalm 135:7] is practically identical with Jeremiah 10:13 and Jeremiah 51:16, suggesting the possibility that the prophet Jeremiah may have written the otherwise anonymous Psalm 135. The two Jeremiah passages do preface this statement with the note that there is “a multitude of waters in the heavens” in connection with the processes described in the verse.

In any case, this thrice-mentioned mechanism beautifully summarized what we now call the hydrologic cycle, and it did so over 2,000 years before the cycle began to be understood by modern scientists. In order to provide rain to water the earth, there must be vapors ascending all over the earth (that is, evaporation from the world’s great oceans), winds then blowing from God’s unseen treasury (actually the global atmospheric circulation), and, finally, lightnings for (or “with”) the rain (electrical discharges associated with the condensation and coalescence of the particles of water vapor in the atmosphere). All of this repeatedly transports purified waters from the ocean back over the lands to fall as rain and snow, there finally to run off back to the oceans after performing their life-sustaining ministries on the lands. “Unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again” (Ecclesiastes 1:7).

http://www.icr.org/article/ascending-vapors/

Jeremiah 11:17 – Good thing today nobody offers incense unto Baal. But do we cast our care upon the LORD (I Peter 5:7) or other people? Do we seek Him early (Psalm 63:1) or do we seek other things?

Colossians 3:24 – Wives, Husbands, Children, Fathers, Servants all are given instructions – and then we’re told that we shall be rewarded for our work not by our spouses, parents, children, or masters, but of the LORD! For we are serving Him! That will change the way you approach your job!

Colossians 4:5Rick Grubbs of the radio feature Redeeming The Time shares many timely truths.

Colossians 4:12 – Ah, for a prayer warrior like Epaphras!

Colossians 4:14 – Poor Demas, in Philemon 1:24 he’s still a fellow laborer, but in 2 Timothy 4:10, he will have forsaken Paul for love of the present world.

Psalm 78:72 – Integrity of heart, Skilfulness of hands. May we seek to have a singleminded heart for God but also the capacity to serve Him!

Proverbs 24:29 – The golden rule is not “do unto others as they have done unto me” but (Matthew 7:12), “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

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Daily Encouragement

October 7 – Covetousness and the negative promise

October 7
Jeremiah 8:8-9:26
Colossians 3:1-17
Psalm 78:32-55
Proverbs 24:27

Jeremiah 8:8 – This is truly a sad verse. The scribes who spent their lives preserving God’s Holy Word – we’ve benefited from today! The Word of God that you hold in your hands was preserved through scribes like this. But the scribes did not follow the Word! Romans 1:18 describes these men who are touching the truth – they are holding the truth – but they are forcing it down when it could shine thru them! The wrath of God is coming against them.

Jeremiah 8:10 – The tenth commandment (Exodus 20:17) is a unique one. Western society had adopted commandments 6-9 (commandment 7 fell out of favor in the twentieth century), but the 10th was difficult as it is a heart issue as opposed to a physical act like 6-9. The 5th (obey parents) is the first commandment with promise, but not the only with a promise. Here we see every one here is committing covetousness, presumably coveting their neighbor’s estate and wife, and so God promises to give their estates and wives to others. Those that try to gain, end up losing. One of many “opposites” found in the Bible (Luke 6:38).

Jeremiah 8:22 – What is the Balm of Gilead? There is the plant – the physical balm, But there’s the ultimate healing balm.

By Deror_avi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36512852
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN9JALQRMb0

Jeremiah 9:1 – This is the verse that gave Jeremiah the nickname, “the weeping prophet.” We talked earlier about the “weeping patriarch” – Joseph.

Jeremiah 9:24 – Paul echoed Jeremiah –  Don’t boast in your wisdom, might, or riches, but boast in the LORD!

Colossians 3:2 – Paul is not saying to quit your (earthly) job, what are the earthly things he says to avoid? Colossians 3:5 – among which is the sin of Jeremiah’s day – covetousness! Paul doesn’t have a problem with you having an earthly job, or earthly possessions, but he has a problem if your desires are directed to the earth. And just as Jeremiah 8:8 warned about wrath, Paul echoed that this still happens in Colossians 3:6.

Colossians 3:8-14 – God calls for a married man to leave and to cleave (Genesis 2:24). God commands separation then adoption (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). God calls for a Christian to put off, and put on. Otherwise it will be seven times worse (Matthew 12:44) if you put off but not put on, separate but not adopt, leave but not cleave.

Colossians 3:16 – Why do I embed songs that relate to Scripture? So I can help you let the word of Christ dwell in you in “psalm and hymns and spiritual songs!”

Psalm 78:38 – The Old Testament “God of wrath” – was “full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not.” Just once? “Many a time.” Thank God for His mercy!

Proverbs 24:27 – Build the revenue side of your operation (“the field”), then you can build the expense side (“thine house”).

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Daily Encouragement

October 6 – Does God value Relics?

October 6
Jeremiah 6:16-8:7
Colossians 2:8-23
Psalm 78:1-31
Proverbs 24:26

Jeremiah 6:16 – The old paths, the old fashioned way is still the good way!

Jeremiah 7:2 – Jeremiah, one of the early street preachers – warning them that trust in the temple of the LORD (Jeremiah 7:4), but to walk after the LORD of the temple! (Jeremiah 7:6)!

Jeremiah 7:11 – Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 21:13! God doesn’t value “relics” – He values a relationship with us!

  • Shiloh, the site of the tabernacle was conquered (Jeremiah 7:12)
  • The original Ten Commandments were broken by Moses (Deuteronomy 10:2)
  • The brasen serpent, that Jesus used as an object lesson (John 3:14), was destroyed by a righteous king (2 Kings 18:4)
  • The Ark of the Covenant will be forgotten (Jeremiah 3:16)
  • The Temple was cast out of His sight (1 Kings 9:7, 2 Chronicles 27:20) just as Shiloh was (Jeremiah 7:14)

Jeremiah 7:23 – God’s formula for blessing: Obedience!

Jeremiah 7:31 – What parent would murder their child? Sadly every thirty six seconds in America a mother has her child murdered.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch#/media/File:Foster_Bible_Pictures_0074-1_Offering_to_Molech.jpg

Jeremiah 8:6 – “No man repented him of his wickedness” – God offers blessing if we will just repent!

Colossians 2:8 – 1830’s German Higher Criticism of the Tubingen School, spread to England in the 1860’s, and to America in the 1890’s with Rauschenbusch.

He learned of Higher Criticism, which led him to comment later that his “inherited ideas about the inerrancy of the Bible became untenable.” He also began to doubt the substitutionary atonement; in his words, “it was not taught by Jesus; it makes salvation dependent upon a trinitarian transaction that is remote from human experience; and it implies a concept of divine justice that is repugnant to human sensitivity.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Rauschenbusch

Yes, through philosophy many were spoiled. Mainline Protestant clergy have almost completely abandoned belief in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, and may be extinct within just 23 more Easters

Colossians 2:14 – Jesus nailed our sins to His cross and declared that it was paid in full (John 19:30)!

Psalm 78:21-22 – Would a loving God punish people for not trusting in His way of Salvation? He already has!

Proverbs 24:26 –  From Pulpit Commentary: “Thus Absalom won the hearts of the people by kissing those who came to court with their suits (2 Samuel 15:5).”

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Daily Encouragement

October 5 – Taken from the Land, but the land is not taken

October 5
Jeremiah 4:19-6:15
Colossians 1:18-2:7
Psalm 77:1-20
Proverbs 24:23-25

Jeremiah 4:22 – “wise to do evil…to do good they have no knowledge” – in contrast to Paul in Romans 16:19 who wishes “wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”

Jeremiah 4:23 – Where else have we read this? Genesis 1:2. God created the earth, and there will be a time when God will destroy the earth (Jeremiah 4:27).

Jeremiah 5:15 – Is it fair for God to use a wicked nation to judge His chose people? Because God does it, it is just, because He is just (Zephaniah 3:5). Paul speaks against those who make a “fair shew” (Galatians 6:12), reminds us that “fair speeches deceive” (Romans 16:18), and Solomon says to believe not him who speaketh fair (Proverbs 26:25).

Jeremiah 5:19 – The LORD says, as you have “served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in [their] land.”

How did it become their land? The LORD gave it (Genesis 12:7, Genesis 13:5, Genesis 13:7, Genesis 15:7, Genesis 15:18, Genesis 17:8, Genesis 24:7, Genesis 28:13, Genesis 35:12, Genesis 48:4, Exodus 6:4, Exodus 6:8, Exodus 12:25, Exodus 13:5, Exodus 13:11, Exodus 20:12, Exodus 32:13, Leviticus 14:34, Leviticus 20:24, Leviticus 23:10, Leviticus 25:2, Leviticus 25:38,  Numbers 13:2, Numbers 14:8, Numbers 15:2, Numbers 20:12, Numbers 20:24, Numbers 27:12, Numbers 32:7, Numbers 32:9, Numbers 33:53, Numbers 34:13, Numbers 36:2, Deuteronomy 1:8, Deuteronomy 1:20, Deuteronomy 1:25, Deuteronomy 1:35, Deuteronomy 1:36, Deuteronomy 2:31, Deuteronomy 3:18, Deuteronomy 3:20, Deuteronomy 4:1, Deuteronomy 4:21, Deuteronomy 4:38, Deuteronomy 5:16, Deuteronomy 5:31, Deuteronomy 6:10, Deuteronomy 6:23, Deuteronomy 7:13, Deuteronomy 8:10, Deuteronomy 9:6, Deuteronomy 9:23, Deuteronomy 10:11, etc….) – well over 100 times God said He gave the land to them.

In the Genesis God swore to give the land. In the rest of the Torah God reiterates His covenant of the land. In Joshua the gift is possessed. In the Historical books we see the warning that they may be thrown out of the land.

The land would not be taken from them, but they would be taken from the land.

Deuteronomy 5:25 – Great verse to memorize – “your sins have withholden good things from you.”

Colossians 1:20My God is reconciled through the blood of the cross!

Colossians 2:3 – Seek wisdom from the treasures of wisdom!

Colossians 2:7 – Sanctification in four words: “walk ye in him”!

Psalm 77:3 – Compare to Jonah 2:7.

Proverbs 24:24 – A wicked judge is cursed and abhored. Pray for your judicial authorities, including your federal judges.

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Daily Encouragement

October 4 – Islamic remarriage vs. Torah remarriage

October 4
Jeremiah 2:31-4:18
Colossians 1:1-17
Psalm 76:1-12
Proverbs 24:21-22

Jeremiah 2:35 – This echoes Luke 5:32 – God is begging sinners to acknowledge they are sinners.

Jeremiah 3:1 – This is in sharp contrast to Islam – that states if a man divorces his wife the third time, she cannot go back to the man unless she marries someone in between! There arose “Nikah Halala” – temporary marriage/consummation/divorce to permit the woman to remarry the first husband. However, the Prophet Muhammad cursed those who practice Nikah Halala.

Jeremiah 3:3 – God can withhold physical blessing from those who are in spiritual rebellion.

Jeremiah 3:10 – “feignedly.” simulated or pretended; insincere. Do we have whole hearted repentance or just simulated repentance? Have we admitted that we have not obeyed His voice? (Jeremiah 3:13).

Ark of the Covenant from Indiana Jones

Jeremiah 3:16Ellicott notes the contrast between this and 2 Maccabees 2:4-5, because the symbol of the presence of the LORD will be replaced with the Presence of the LORD Himself!

Jeremiah 4:3Break up my fallow ground!

Colossians 1:4-5 – In contrast to the Corinthians who had to be taught about faith, love, and hope; (1 Corinthians 13:13) the Colossians are commended for their faith in Jesus, love to the saints, and hope in heaven!

Colossians 1:9 – I’m usually quick to let people know I’m praying for them – and I try to pray right away for them – but how often do we cease to pray as opposed to ceasing not to pray? 

Colossians 1:10 – May we walk worthy of the LORD!

Colossians 1:17 – From Chuck Missler:

There is thus an active force imposed on the universe, which actively holds the very atoms of the material world together moment by moment, day by day, century by century.

https://www.khouse.org/articles/1997/60/

Psalm 76:7 – From Charles Spurgeon:

Thou, even thou, art to be feared. Not Sennacherib, nor Nisroch his god, but Jehovah alone, who with a silent rebuke had withered all the monarch’s host.


“Fear him, ye saints, and then ye shall
Have nothing else to fear.”


The fear of man is a snare, but the fear of God is a great virtue, and has great power for good over the human mind. God is to be feared profoundly, continually, and alone. Let all worship be to him only. And who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? Who indeed? The angels fell when their rebellion provoked his justice; Adam lost his place in Paradise in the same manner; Pharaoh and other proud monarchs passed away at his frown; neither is there in earth or hell any who can abide the terror of his wrath. How blest are they who are sheltered in the atonement of Jesus, and hence have no cause to fear the righteous anger of the Judge of all the earth.

http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/treasury/ps076.htm

Proverbs 24:21 – And speaking of the fear of the Lord…. yes it is good to fear the LORD!

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Daily Encouragement

October 3 – How can you add to your other-worldly ledger?

October 3
Jeremiah 1:1-2:30
Philippians 4:1-23
Psalm 75:1-10
Proverbs 24:17-20

Jeremiah 1:2-3 – Welcome to Jeremiah, the words of the “Weeping Prophet.” Jeremiah’s prophecy started in 627 BC, under Josiah the Reformer (about the same age as Jeremiah). This is in the middle of the three-stage revival:

  • AGE 15: Josiah sought God (633 BC)
  • AGE 19: Josiah purged idols (629 BC)
  • AGE 26: Repairs temple, finds lost book (623 BC)
https://prolifebumper.com/collections/before-i-formed-you-in-the-womb-i-knew-you-jeremiah-1-5/products/before-i-formed-you-in-the-womb-i-knew-you-jeremiah-1-5

Jeremiah 1:6 – Who else had an excuse for why they could not speak? Moses! (Exodus 4:10).

Jeremiah 2:3 – This was visualized in the engraved plate that the high priest wore (Exodus 39:30). Holiness – a people separated unto the LORD. Yet they left the LORD (Jeremiah 2:5).

Jeremiah 2:8 – The ignorant lawyers (students of God’s law, not man’s law),
the transgressing pastors,  and the unprofitable profits of Baal. Sadly today we hear regularly of pastors who admit to marital infidelity or financial scandal, sinning and bringing ill repute against the LORD.

Jeremiah 2:11 – Hath a nation changed their gods? Egypt was a polytheist nation except for a brief period under Akhenaten, but then under famous King Tut – they returned quickly back to polytheism. There has long been recognized a connection between cult (religion) and culture (nation). As Christianity overtook paganism in the Roman empire, the Roman empire itself crumbled. The Protestant Reformation led to civil war in the pre-modern-Germany “Holy Roman Empire,” the English executed a king for the only time with Charles I as they switched into Puritanism.

King Tut.

Jeremiah 2:19 – The scariest thing to happen to a believer is when God lets your own wickedness correct you! God does not need to add additional punishment, He can let you just experience the natural result of your own choices.

Philippians 4:1 – Notice the contrast between Jeremiah 2:29 where Jeremiah expresses God’s disgust for his people, versus Paul’s “dearly beloved” brethren.

Philippians 4:4Rejoice in the LORD always!

Philippians 4:9 – Earl Martin has done a great job putting this verse to music. You can get 99 scripture verses set to memorable music in MP3 for just $15 from his website.

Philippians 4:13 – I love the Babylon Bee’s satire on the misuse of this verse:

Philippians 4:17 – This is the same Greek word (λόγον) as used in Jesus’ parables – Matthew 12:36 (giving account of our idle words), Matthew 18:23 (taking account of debts), Matthew 25:19 (the Master reckoning with the talents), and Luke 16:2 (unjust steward’s account of thy stewardship). Then in Romans 14:12 we are told that we will give an account (λόγον) to God. How can we add fruit to our other-worldly account? Giving to God.

Philippians 4:22 – Jesus has followers everywhere even in Caesar’s household!

Psalm 75:6-7 – It’s amazing to see throughout history surprising election results:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/scriptingnews/2544447858
The Hanging Chad, 2000
http://fortune.com/2016/10/17/donald-trump-polls-win-lose/

And don’t forget Nate Silver – the king of modern poll-analysis, on his election morning final prediction:

Proverbs 24:17-20 – Rejoice not when your enemy falleth – nor be envious of his success. Whether he is “rising” or “falling” – that’s irrelevant – keep your eye on the LORD and not on evil men!

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Daily Encouragement

October 2 – Religious Credentials are Dung

October 2
Isaiah 66:1-24
Philippians 3:4-21
Psalm 74:1-23
Proverbs 24:15-16

Isaiah 66:1 – This verse was one of the last words of Stephen (Acts 7:49), and was the transition from narrating the history of Israel to condemning his accusers. Isaiah has been the voice of the LORD rejecting the religious practices of His people:

  • Sacrifices – Isaiah 1:11
  • Fasting – Isaiah 58:5
  • Building Projects – Isaiah 66:1-2

Isaiah 66:22-24 – Wow – Isaiah concludes with a stark contrast. The redeemed of the LORD will dwell in the new heavens and the new earth, and the men that transgress against the LORD – their worm shall not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). From GotQuestions:

Mark 9:48 does not mean that there are literal worms in hell or that there are worms that live forever; rather, Jesus is teaching the fact of unending suffering in hell—the “worm” never stops causing torment. Notice that the worm is personal. Both Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:48 use the word their to identify the worm’s owner. The sources of torment are attached each to its own host.

Some Bible scholars believe the “worm” refers to a man’s conscience. Those in hell, being completely cut off from God, exist with a nagging, guilty conscience that, like a persistent worm, gnaws away at its victim with a remorse that can never be mitigated. No matter what the word worm refers to, the most important thing to be gained from these words of Christ is that we should do everything in our power to escape the horrors of hell, and there is only one thing to that end—receiving Jesus as the Lord of our lives (John 3:16).

https://www.gotquestions.org/worm-will-not-die.html

Philippians 3:8 – Paul recognizes the truth of Isaiah – God doesn’t care what religious credentials we have. No matter if we’ve been circumcised the eight day, a Pharisee, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Paul declares it is dung, echoing Malachi 2:3. Now there is a trend amongst the cool theologians to say that Paul really said a more vulgar version of the word dung, but Gary Manning helpfully debunks that myth:

Paul was not alone in using σκύβαλα as a metaphor for something worthless in the moral or religious realm. Philo and Sirach both used σκύβαλα to describe undesirable qualities that should be abandoned. Paul’s interesting, and somewhat different, use of the word is to say that his desirable religious credentials (circumcision, pedigree, Pharisaism, zeal, obedience to the Law) were σκύβαλα – worthless waste – in comparison to knowing Jesus (Phil 3:4-8).

https://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2015/did-the-apostle-paul-use-profanity

Philippians 3:9 – Paul said his righteousness of the law was dung. It was worthless because it was powerless. Now the righteousness of Christ was powerful (Philippians 3:10) – it is priceless (not worthless) because it is powerful – so powerful it can defeat death (Philippians 3:11) 

Philippians 3:12 – Jesus caught Paul, now Paul is trying to catch Jesus. Notice that Paul hasn’t apprehended (entire sanctification) until glorification (Philippians 3:11).

Philippians 3:14 – May this be our goal in life as well. Not seeking a prize of an Olympic gold medal, or a Super Bowl ring, or a Fantasy Football championship, but of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! What a day that will be (Philippians 3:21).

Psalm 74:18 – What does God say about His name? There are 90 references in the Old Testament to My Name. What does God think about people who misuse His Name?

Proverbs 24:16 – Endurance is the mark of a just man. Don’t stop, Don’t Quit! (Sounds like Philippians 3:14!)

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Daily Encouragement

October 1 – Why do Bible tours include Petra?

October 1
Isaiah 62:6-65:25
Philippians 2:19-3:3
Psalm 73:1-28
Proverbs 24:13-14

Isaiah 63:1-4: From Jimmy DeYoung:

Isaiah asked two questions, the first in verse 1, “Who is he that cometh from Edom, from Bozrah?” This is the geographical location of Petra in southern Jordan. To this question the Lord responds with, “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save”. 

In verse 2 the second question, “Why is his apparel stained with ‘red’ like him that treadeth in the winefat?” The Lord responds to this question, verse 3, “I have trodden the winepress alone”.The Lord said, their blood will be sprinkled upon His garments, “for the day of his vengeance is come,” verse 4. It is in verse 4 that the Lord finishes the thought of Isaiah 61:2.

This prophetic account is what will happen after the Lord goes to the Jezreel Valley at the time of the “Battle of Armageddon.” After all the enemies are destroyed by Jesus Christ, He makes the trip to Petra, traveling the 176 miles predicted by John in Revelation 14:19-20.

The blood rises as high as the “horse bridles” for that trip. The blood comes from the bodies of the hundreds of millions of men who die on the “battle field”. This will be a terrible time in history.

By the way, it is 176 miles from Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley to the entrance of Petra, the place “prepared by God” to protect the Jewish people in the last three and a half years in the Tribulation Period, Revelation 12:6.

This is the end time scenario of this terrible time of the end and the death of those who follow Satan instead of Jesus. It is a time when some of our loved ones may well be there because they have never trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

http://devotional.prophecytoday.com/search/label/Isaiah

Here’s some pictures from my recent time in Petra with Jimmy DeYoung:

Isaiah 62:7-9 – The lovingkindness of the Lord (Isaiah 62:7) is demonstrated in his work as Saviour (Isaiah 62:8) by redeeming His people (Isaiah 62:9). How did He redeem us? (Isaiah 53:5-6). The suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 is the LORD, the Redeemer of Isaiah 62:9.

Isaiah 64:1Rend the Heavens, Lord Come Down is a song based on this verse. 

Isaiah 64:4 – Quoted in 1 Corinthians 2:4, but what’s amazing is that this promise is for sinners! (Isaiah 64:5-7). We’ll see what this is in Isaiah 65:17-18 (Revelation 21:1-2).

Isaiah 65:5 – God doesn’t care for those who are “holier than thou.”

Philippians 2:20 – Paul was proud of Timothy. Servant in the gospel (Philippians 2:22). Naturally caring (Philippians 2:20).

Philippians 3:1Rejoice in the LORD! From Patch the Pirate:

Psalm 73:2 – Asaph’s Psalm of Slipping Steps. Return to the Sanctuary to see their state (Psalm 73:17).

Psalm 73:26-28From Earl Martin:

Proverbs 24:14 – Knowledge is to the soul what honey is to the taste!

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.