Today’s Reading: Jer 6:1–7:29, Col 3:1–17, Prov 12:1–28
Today’s Theme: Desire God’s Word
Today we see a strong theme about us desiring the word of God. We also see a very important theme about us putting off the old man and putting on the new man in Christ. This goes hand in hand with the first theme because we need to desire the word and then apply and live it.
Today’s reading is rich and full of lessons about applying the word, looking to the ancient paths, watching our words, working hard, being diligent and so much more.
Take pleasure in the word
To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.(Jeremiah 6:10, ESV)
This is an indicator if we are off, do we take pleasure in God’s word? Ask yourself that question today.
This is why the Lord tells us to be careful how we hear, how are you hearing God’s word, do you always hear it as a negative thing? Is reading the bible like a chore? If this is true then something is wrong with your heart, you should be hungry for and delight in the word of God.
Are there other things that have taken the place of the bible? Are you full up with other things and so have no appetite.?
Receive the word with joy today.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.(Jeremiah 6:14, ESV)
Lord, we don’t want to be people who heal wounds lightly by coming with soft, lying words to comfort the sinner.
In this we understand the fire of God’s ministers as they bring the truth to God’s people, teaching, rebuking and prophesying with all authority, according to the truth of the bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the Lord.(Jeremiah 6:15, ESV)
This is a horrible condition. Lord help us to always have the ability to experience reasonable shame, it keeps us safe and sane.
None of us should be so bullish that we are never ashamed, we really must be sensitive enough to know shame, for our own good and the good of those around us.
The ancient paths
Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’(Jeremiah 6:16, ESV)
Lord, this is a key principle, we must not neglect those who have gone on before or weary ourselves reinventing the wheel. We can stand on the work of the Apostles, Church Fathers, Reformers, Puritans and all the saints of the past, who have won many battles for the sake of the kingdom.
For example, the old councils of the church did all of the legwork for us, around crucial doctrines like the divinity of Christ, the hypostatic union (The God-Man), the definition of the Trinity, the elements of salvation and so much more.
Finding and walking in the ancient paths will bring rest to our souls. We reaffirm the truth established in the battles won in the church’s 2000 year history. Even reading the work of those who have gone on before like Charles Spurgeon, is so refreshing to the soul.
Listen to the watchmen
I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’(Jeremiah 6:17, ESV)
Help us to pay attention to the watchmen in our day and heed his warning. Pay attention to the words of our Pastors.
Amend your ways
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.(Jeremiah 7:3, ESV)
God is always calling us to repentance, we must amend our conduct and actions.
Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’(Jeremiah 7:4, ESV)
We must not have false confidence in institutions like the church, but each of us must repent and amend our ways before God personally.
then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.(Jeremiah 7:7, ESV)
The dwelling in the land is conditional in this passage, on the repentance of the people, and we know that after the Babylonian captivity the people did repent and God did restore them to the land as promised.
We need to realise that nearly all the promises of God’s word are conditional, we need to meet God’s conditions to qualify for the promise. The condition could be something as simple as humbling ourselves in repentance.
“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.(Jeremiah 7:8, ESV)
No matter how much we believe in deceptive words from either the church or the secular world, they will not benefit us in anyway because they are false and have no power.
The Temple, just a shadow
therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.(Jeremiah 7:14, ESV)
God did not tie Himself perpetually to the temple, which is why there is not one today, it was a shadow of the real temple fulfilled in Jesus.
“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.(Jeremiah 7:16, ESV)
We need to know when we should stop praying for a person or situation. This is why we must be led by the Holy Spirit.
Queen of Heaven
The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.(Jeremiah 7:18, ESV)
The spirit behind the Marian worship of Roman Catholicism. This is heresy, there is nowhere in the bible teaching us to worship Mary. Mary herself was a believer and worshiped God alone.
Obedience born of love
But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’(Jeremiah 7:23, ESV)
God’s call is to obedience, not sacrifice and sacrament, but heartfelt obedience born out of love and relationship.
Listen to God
But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.(Jeremiah 7:24, ESV)
Lord, we don’t want to be like that and be stubborn, going backward instead of forward, please help us to listen to Your voice.
When we stubbornly disobey God, we are going backwards. We can only progress by listening to and obeying God.
The prosperity gospel destroyed
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.(Colossians 3:2, ESV)
Surely this blows away the prosperity gospel. We are called to set our minds on the things of the spirit and eternity, not on the temporary things of this world.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.(Colossians 3:5–6, ESV)
We must consciously put these passions to death today. Be killing sin or sin be killing you!
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices(Colossians 3:9, ESV)
We are called to active sanctification which means it is always turned on, we are always walking in it. One way we work this out is by being honest with each other.
The new self
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.(Colossians 3:10, ESV)
In Christ, we can be what God intended us to be. When we put off the old self with its practices, we put on the new self in two senses.
We embrace the virtues of life as Christians, as disciples of Jesus Christ, making our behaviour conform to godliness.
Jesus as the new Adam is the leader of the new humanity, which we are corporately a part of. We have been recreated in Christ with a new nature, new desires and are governed by new laws. We put on Christ.
A good way to think of this is, taking off an old dirty jacket and then putting on a new one.
The new humanity
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.(Colossians 3:11, ESV)
The new humanity in Christ, we are one new man.
The tone of our lives
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,(Colossians 3:12, ESV)
This is the tone our lives should have as Christians with compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.(Colossians 3:13, ESV)
We must forgive each other as we too have been forgiven, taking slights (insults) or offence as an opportunity to be like the Lord.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.(Colossians 3:14, ESV)
The love of God binds our new nature, behaviour and tone together, in perfect harmony.
Let the word dwell richly in you
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.(Colossians 3:16, ESV)
This is a case for loving God’s word, studying it and teaching or sharing it in everyday Christian fellowship together. The word cannot dwell in you richly if you do not love it and take it in.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.(Colossians 3:17, ESV)
Everything we do we must do unto the Lord, with thankful, joyful hearts.
Don’t be stupid
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.(Proverbs 12:1, ESV)
Sometimes we can be stupid… Lord, help us to love discipline and knowledge given by elders (even elders who are dead, through the books they have left etc.).
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.(Proverbs 12:4, ESV)
There are two calls here, one is to wives, that they should desire to be an excellent wife to their husbands. The second is that husbands should give God thanks for their excellent wife.
A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised.(Proverbs 12:8, ESV)
We ought to have good sense, sometimes simply called common sense.
Don’t play the man
Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.(Proverbs 12:9, ESV)
I see so many men doing this and the wife and children suffer for their delusions of grandeur, help men to avoid this immature pitfall. We are called to be good stewards and to live within our means.
Care for animals
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.(Proverbs 12:10, ESV)
We should care for our pets and wildlife too. We should be good stewards of God’s creation.
Work is good
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.(Proverbs 12:14, ESV)
We must have a healthy theology of work. You will reap what you have planted.
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.(Proverbs 12:16, ESV)
More insults will come in life, Lord help us to ignore them.
Don’t be rash
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.(Proverbs 12:18, ESV)
Lord, forgive us when our words have been rash, may our tongue bring healing.
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labour.(Proverbs 12:24, ESV)
We are called to diligence.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Colossians 3