Today’s Reading: Jer 4:19–5:31, Col 2:6–23, Prov 11:13–31
Today’s Theme: Alive in Christ
Today’s theme is that we are alive in Christ and so should live in light of that and bear fruit like trees planted by a stream of water. The principles of godly living are found throughout today’s readings.
Don’t be stupid
“For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.”(Jeremiah 4:22, ESV)
God has not called us to simplicity or stupidity, rather God has called us to faith, holiness, wisdom and knowledge.
God’s word is fulfilled
“For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be dark; for I have spoken; I have purposed; I have not relented, nor will I turn back.”(Jeremiah 4:28, ESV)
When God purposes something, it will come to pass because He is free, powerful and Sovereign.
Justice and truth
Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.(Jeremiah 5:1, ESV)
We should seek truth and mobilise in action to seek justice for our community, city, nation and world.
Don’t be stubborn
O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.(Jeremiah 5:3, ESV)
Lord, please keep us and forgive us from making our face like rock in stubbornness and rebellion.
Flee spiritual adultery
“How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores. They were well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.(Jeremiah 5:7–8, ESV)
What a terribly sad situation. Lord, You feed us so well both physically and spiritually, please keep us from this kind of adultery, it is a horrible picture but all too common.
Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.(Jeremiah 5:14, ESV)
Lord, our words can be so detrimental, help us to watch and use words with wisdom and power. Help us to respect the words spoken by Your servants.
“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.(Jeremiah 5:21, ESV)
This condition persists, since Jesus’ day until today, some who have ears but do not hear. Determine for your part, to listen intently to the Lord today.
God is worthy of our fear
Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.(Jeremiah 5:22, ESV)
We should fear God for His mighty acts in creation, let alone redemption and our lives.
Don’t be kept from good
Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you.(Jeremiah 5:25, ESV)
Lord, we want to enjoy the good life You have provided, please keep us from sinful ways which will bring robbery and disqualification from the good You intend for us.
Sin keeps us from God and ultimate good.
Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”(Jeremiah 5:29, ESV)
We are called to pursue social justice. We must always remember to do it in context to the gospel and in the name of Jesus.
Beware false prophets
the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?(Jeremiah 5:31, ESV)
This is happening today through prosperity preachers in the Word of Faith movement. Lord, help Your people that they will not be deceived by these false prophets.
Be rooted and established in Jesus
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.(Colossians 2:6–7, ESV)
We are called to behave in a new way, to reflect our new belief. Our roots, progression and growth in the faith is all in Jesus.
Be rooted in Jesus today, you are alive in Him, bear the fruit of praise, thanks and good works to the glory of God.
The incarnate God
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,(Colossians 2:9, ESV)
Jesus is the incarnation of God, the fullness of God in bodily form. Jesus is God, in His incarnation, He is the one unique God-Man. We are made alive in Him.
Jesus is sovereign
and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.(Colossians 2:10, ESV)
Jesus is Sovereign over all rulers, this should give us boldness as we pray today.
Faith in God’s great power
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.(Colossians 2:12, ESV)
We put our faith in God’s great power, the same great power that rose Christ from the dead.
The devils claim, wiped out
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.(Colossians 2:13–14, ESV)
Contrary to contemporary theology, the devil has no legal claim on us, it was wiped out by the cross. Hallelujah, those in Christ are free from the devil’s claims on us. The legal demands have been met in the cross of Christ.
The devil is defeated
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.(Colossians 2:15, ESV)
God’s great victory over the demonic through Jesus. Sing praise to His glorious name today, because our great enemy Satan was defeated at the cross and resurrection of Christ, to God’s glory and our salvation.
Fulfilled in Jesus
These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.(Colossians 2:17, ESV)
The feasts of Israel, the mosaic diet and even the Sabbaths, were all pointing to Christ and find their fulfilment in Him.
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,(Colossians 2:18, ESV)
This can happen in the church today, when someone gets a vision etc and it is not checked against the bible, or is seen on the same level as the bible.
Growth from God
and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.(Colossians 2:19, ESV)
God brings church and personal growth.
Self made religions have no value
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.(Colossians 2:23, ESV)
A blast against legalism, and false religion in all its forms.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.(Proverbs 11:13, ESV)
Lord, we have seen this so often in the church and may have been seduced by it ourselves, help us to be trustworthy.
Don’t fly solo
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.(Proverbs 11:14, ESV)
This is why fellowship, relationship and discipleship under godly leadership is so important. It also makes a case for looking to the work of others, when studying. For example, seeing what a trusted commentator says about a difficult verse etc.
A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.(Proverbs 11:16, ESV)
There must be a type of violence or aggression in our spirit as men. Don’t be passive, we should have violent faith in the spirit.
A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.(Proverbs 11:17, ESV)
This is a great reminder to always show kindness.
Delight the Lord
Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight.(Proverbs 11:20, ESV)
We should bring delight to The Lord in our conduct.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.(Proverbs 11:22, ESV)
The idea of discretion has been so horribly eroded today that many women do not even know what it looks like. May the biblical picture of manhood and womanhood be restored.
The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.(Proverbs 11:23, ESV)
When we are walking in righteousness, we can trust our desires to help guide us.
Be a blessing
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.(Proverbs 11:24, ESV)
This is hugely important, this is why we should give freely, generously, lovingly and honestly to The Lord and needs which arise in the church community… To both be a blessing and be blessed ourselves.
Trust the Lord
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.(Proverbs 11:28, ESV)
We should not put our trust in wages, banks, property, we trust in The Lord.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.(Proverbs 11:30, ESV)
It follows that we must use wisdom to capture souls.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Colossians 2