Monthly Archives: December 2012

Jeremiah 18:7-23 — Turn

When I was in Hawaii, I often had Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons come to my door.  Even in Japan, I had Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door, although since I’ve moved to my condo 6 years ago, I’ve had no … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 18:1-6 — Marred

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close.  Mine is not exactly coming to an ideal end.  I caught my third cold in the past month or so.  I suppose it doesn’t help to have a daughter … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:19-27 — Honor, trust, and obedience

I suppose it would be easy to just skip over this section in which God tells the Israelites to keep the Sabbath.  Easy because Paul wrote to the Christians at Colosse not to let people judge them concerning the Sabbath.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:9-15 — The need for a cure

The human condition can probably be summed up in verse 9 of this chapter. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? If you think about all the problems in this world, it comes … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:1-8 — Remaining fruitful in difficult times

Let’s be honest.  Life can be difficult.  Sometimes, it’s through no fault of our own.  Other times it’s directly related to bad decisions we make. For the Israelites of Jeremiah’s time, they brought the trouble on their own heads by … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 16:19-21 — The One to whom all nations will come

As Christmas approaches, our eyes turn to Jesus.  But which Jesus do our eyes turn to?  Is it to that cute baby in the manger? That’s a Jesus that people like.  Why?  Because it’s a picture that’s not threatening.  It’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 16 — Deliverer and Redeemer

As I write this, Christmas is drawing near.  And as such, my thoughts turn even more than usual to the one who came 2000 years ago.  Why did he come?  He came not to judge, but to deliver and redeem … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 15:18-21 — The trap of self-pity

Sometimes when following God gets hard, it becomes easy to complain.  “Why is this happening to me?  I don’t understand.  I thought that if I followed you, all would go well.  Why are you allowing this to happen?” And that’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 15:1-17 — Feeding on the words of God

Things were so bad in Judah, that God told Jeremiah he would not have heeded any intercession even from Moses or Samuel. Basically, after Hezekiah died, Judah went on a downward slide.  His son Manasseh had led the nation back … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13-14 — Where our hope lies

Here we see more warnings of judgment to come.  Jeremiah first warns the people that they will be taken captive and put to shame because of their sins.  That while they would hope for light, God would cover them in … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13:1-11 — Making ourselves useless

What are we doing here on earth?  What is God’s purpose for us?  Ultimately it comes down to two things.  First, to know him more.  And second, to touch the world around us for him.  God could take us straight … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 11-12 — Running out of steam

Nobody ever said following the Lord would be easy.  (At least I never have).  And the life of a prophet is much tougher. Jeremiah found that out when he learned that the people of his own hometown of Anathoth were … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 11 — When God won’t listen

“I’m already saved.  So I’ll just sin and God will forgive me.” That’s the unfortunate attitude of many people that say they are Christians, but continue to live their own way.  But God makes clear here that he doesn’t tolerate … Continue reading

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II Kings 23:1-28; II Chronicles 34-35 — A superficial repentance

We now come to the beginning of the end for Judah.  Josiah was the last great king of Judah.  And on the surface, it looks like there was true repentance under his leadership.  He destroyed the false idols and altars.  … Continue reading

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II Kings 22; II Chronicles 34 — Living life without the Book

You know that things were a mess spiritually for the people of Judah when their own priests had no idea where God’s book of the Law was.  It’s utterly inconceivable to me.  How in the world could the priests teach … Continue reading

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Zephaniah — The Day of the Lord

We’re going to take a short break from Jeremiah at this point, and take a brief look at Zephaniah, who was a contemporary of Jeremiah.  As with the book of Nahum, I won’t spend too much time here, mostly because … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 10:1-16 — The God who is awesome

In America, we don’t see many actual idols that people worship.  Of course you have the “idols” of this world.  Fame.  Money.  Power.  Sex. But in Japan, we see idols all over the place, mostly of one Buddha or another.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 9:10-26 — Something to boast about

This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:  that … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 9:3-9 — Deceptive hearts, lying tongues

If there’s one thing I try to be, it’s to be honest.  I don’t even care to tell white lies very often.  If I don’t want to do something, I’ll just say so.  Nicely, but honestly.  If I don’t like … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 8-9 — Weeping for the lost

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and you see part of the reason why here.  So often, we look at the prophets and all the fire and brimstone they bring to the table, and think that they almost delighted … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 7 — When the church is not a sanctuary

We often  call the church a sanctuary.  And that’s what it is.  It’s a place where we can find God and find safety in his presence. But it is not a sanctuary for everyone.  And that’s what God tells the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 6 — A crossroad

I belong to a church in Japan called Crossroad Bible Fellowship.  It’s an appropriate name in more ways than one.  We’re located near a station that’s literally a junction point between several different cities.  But as part of the church … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 5 — Deceiving ourselves

Jeremiah continues to rip the people here in this passage.  It starts with an allusion to Sodom and Gomorrah.  As you may recall, Abraham asked if God would spare them if he found just ten righteous people in the city, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 4:5-31 — Bringing evil upon ourselves

Why is this happening to me?  People often ask that question when bad things happen in their lives.  Sometimes, bad things happen because we are caught in a world corrupted by sin.  But sometimes, we bring evil upon ourselves.  That’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 3-4 — False repentance

Every once in a while, my daughter will do something wrong, and we’ll tell her to apologize.  But when she does, she sometimes makes light of it, almost singing, “I’m sorrryyy.” And that’s how Judah was.  God said of them, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 2 — Where our worth comes from

Self-esteem.  Self-worth.  These words are often thrown around in society as people try to “find themselves.” But there is only one place you’ll ever find yourself.  And you won’t find it by looking at yourself. That’s what God told the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 1 — Something more

And so we hit our second major prophet.  This one’s a challenge, and I’m not sure how I want to tackle this yet.  For some reason, Jeremiah keeps switching the chronology of events.  He’ll talk about Josiah, then Zedekiah (the … Continue reading

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II Kings 22:1-2; II Chronicles 34:1-8 — Cleaning out the junk

I’ll admit it.  I’m a pack rat.  I just have a tendency to keep unwanted and unneeded things around.  It’s my nature I guess. I would guess there are many people around like me.  But if there’s one thing that … Continue reading

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II Kings 21:19-25; II Chronicles 33:21-25 — Increasing our guilt

Hey!  Finally!  We’re back in the books of Kings and Chronicles…if only for a short time. The story of Amon, son of Manasseh, is very short, but not very sweet.  Like Manasseh, Amon got into all kinds of idolatries and … Continue reading

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