Today’s Reading: Jer 1:1–2:37, Col 1:1–14, Prov 10:1–32
Today’s Theme: Deep Knowledge
Today we begin two new books, Jeremiah and Colossians. I found reading the introduction to each book incredibly useful so have pasted the intro from the ESV for you below.
Today’s theme is deep knowledge, God has deep knowledge of us from before we were even born. We are called to have deep experiential knowledge of God, which inspires and feeds our intellectual pursuit of the knowledge of God.
Jeremiah Intro (ESV)
Jeremiah, often called the “weeping prophet” because of his sorrow over the persistent message of God’s judgment, prophesied to the nation of Judah from the reign of King Josiah in 627 B.C. until sometime after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586. He dictated his prophecies to a scribe named Baruch (36:4, 32). Jeremiah’s task as a prophet was to declare the coming judgment of God. However, throughout the book we also see God’s concern for repentance and righteousness in individuals as well as nations. This dual focus is seen in God’s instructions to Jeremiah: he was “to pluck up and to break down” but also “to build and to plant” (1:10). Jeremiah sees a future day when God will write his law on human hearts, and “they shall all know me,” and “I will remember their sin no more” (31:33–34).
Colossians Intro (ESV)
Paul wrote to the church in Colossae to fortify it against false teachers who might try to impose strict rules about eating and drinking and religious festivals. Paul shows the superiority of Christ over all human philosophies and traditions. He writes of Christ’s deity (“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” [1:15]) and of the reconciliation he accomplished with his blood. He explains that the right way of living in this world is to focus on heavenly rather than earthly things. God’s chosen people must leave their sinful lives behind and live in a godly way, looking to Christ as the head of the church (1:18). Paul wrote while in prison, probably about the same time as he wrote to the Ephesians.
Chosen before birth
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”(Jeremiah 1:5, ESV)
The first part can be applied to any of our lives, the second part was specifically toward Jeremiah.
God knew us before we were formed in the womb, this shines light on two important truths.
Firstly, life begins at conception so abortion is always murder.
Secondly, God knows us from before we were even born, before we ever make a decision to do anything He elects us and sets out a destiny before us, that means your life has a purpose.
Don’t be afraid
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”(Jeremiah 1:8, ESV)
Delivering God’s word can be a frightening thing, it is good that Jeremiah did not have false confidence and so had to depend on the Lord. We don’t have to be afraid when delivering God’s word in anyway, if God is with us.
Authority by God’s word
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”(Jeremiah 1:10, ESV)
This was because the Lord had put His word in his mouth. With God’s word in our mouth, we too have a degree of influence and spiritual authority over nations and kingdoms.
Like Jeremiah, this authority does not come from our own words or thoughts, but from God Himself and His words speaks through us.
God watches and performs
Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”(Jeremiah 1:12, ESV)
God actively brings His word to pass. God is not passive, He is watching over His own decrees and sees that His royal decrees are performed in whichever way He sees fit.
We can take great confidence in God’s word with the knowledge that He watches over His word and actively brings it to pass.
Dress for work
But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.(Jeremiah 1:17, ESV)
We must prepare ourselves for the Lord’s work. This principle is picked up in the NT where we are told to put on the Lord Jesus, good works and the armour of God.
See Romans 13:14, Ephesians 6:11, Colossians 3:10, 12, 14, 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
Become what you pursue
Thus says the Lord: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?(Jeremiah 2:5, ESV)
You will become what you pursue.
If we pursue God we will become more like God. If we pursue the things of the world, we will become more like the world. If we pursue God’s word, we will become more like the word we consume.
Whatever we pursue and consume will become a part of us.
We cannot sit on the fence, as creatures we will pursue something and will be given over to whatever we pursue, so we need to make a decision to pursue God through His word everyday.
Leaders should know God
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.(Jeremiah 2:8, ESV)
The leaders of God’s people must know and seek God experientially. We should pray for all the churches where the leaders do not have a living relationship with God and have accepted heresy and compromise, that God would replace the leaders with men who love Him.
Our supreme treasure
for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.(Jeremiah 2:13, ESV)
We must recognise God as our supreme treasure, how can we exchange Him for something else?
Your words judge you
Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord God of hosts.(Jeremiah 2:19, ESV)
Jesus picks up on this by saying that peoples’ own words will judge them on the day of judgement. See Matthew 12:37
We are not free, choose your master
And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘We are free, we will come no more to you’?(Jeremiah 2:31, ESV)
The self deception of our libertarian way of thinking today, keep us from this pitfall Lord, of thinking we can do whatever we want without consequence.
We are not truly free, we have to choose a master; will it be the dictates of the flesh and the enemy or will we submit to God?, There is no middle ground of freedom, we are slaves to sin or to righteousness, make the choice today.
Faith and love
since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,(Colossians 1:4, ESV)
Faith and love are always spoken of together, there is an important reason for this, one cannot truly exist without the other.
The word of truth
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,(Colossians 1:5, ESV)
The Gospel comes in words not just actions, these are words of truth about the hope we have laid up for us in heaven. Let’s be very clear, the Gospel is the word of truth.
Hear, understand and do the gospel
which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,(Colossians 1:6, ESV)
We need to hear the gospel, understand it and do so in sincerity.
Rooted, experiential knowledge
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,(Colossians 1:9, ESV)
As Pastor often teaches us, this is about experiential deep rooted knowledge of the Lord, not just intellectual assent but personal recognition of God’s will.
Increase in knowledge
so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.(Colossians 1:10, ESV)
This knowledge of God is to do with our minds, so the experience should feed the mind’s appetite to learn more about God and vice versa. We must increase in our knowledge of God.
Endure with joy
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,(Colossians 1:11, ESV)
We must endure with Joy but can only do this by God’s power. We are called to persevere, not in misery but in deep rooted joy.
Jesus has delivered us
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,(Colossians 1:13, ESV)
Jesus HAS delivered us from the domain of darkness, this is actual and present tense.
You do not need a “man of god” to deliver you, or a deliverance ministry or a Shaman or witch doctor or juju man. None of these are needed because Jesus has already delivered you, so put your trust in Him.
God will feed you
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.(Proverbs 10:3, ESV)
A promise to stand on for provision of food, even in hard times.
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.(Proverbs 10:4, ESV)
Lord, help our hands not to be slack in anything but to be diligent workers.
Receive God’s commands
The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.(Proverbs 10:8, ESV)
Lord, keep us from just babbling, give us wise hearts to receive your commands
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.(Proverbs 10:9, ESV)
We absolutely must walk in integrity.
Don’t keep offence
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.(Proverbs 10:12, ESV)
Father please forgive us where our heart keeps offence, help us to walk in love.
The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.(Proverbs 10:16, ESV)
God allows the money we make to lead to life.
Restrain your lips
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.(Proverbs 10:19, ESV)
Lord, help us to do this, to hold back our words and to exercise self control.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.(Proverbs 10:23, ESV)
We should find pleasure in God’s word.
What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.(Proverbs 10:24, ESV)
God will grant our righteous desires, thank you Lord.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Colossians 1