At such a time as this has God
placed you where you are, to act
on behalf of his people. Many will scoff
and scorn you. Silence is not an option.
Speak surely and firmly, with love,
the Word of God on your lips, arising
from your heart full of goodness.
Jeremiah’s group has room for more,
a lonely prophet with meager results,
among a stubborn people with eyes wide shut.
The Lord may start again through you.
Doubt not his power. The Kingdom seeds will sprout
where least the world expects. An open heart,
a will of flint for God’s devoted service,
this fertile earth will bear a hundredfold.
Patience! Be whom you ought, do what you must,
and let the Spirit rain upon your planting.
He blows at will, you cannot see his work,
just when you think he’s left your field of sowing,
the ground breaks, the tender shoots appear,
harvest promise gladdens and strengthens faith.
God does not string you along,
but tests you, proves you, burns
away the dross, prepares your soul for better things.
Keep on, keep on, that day is coming.

READ: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter” 2 Thes 2.15.

THINK: Without the live teaching of the apostles, we have their holy writings in the NT. The traditions are the teachings that Christ gave to the apostles and prophets in the first century. One must not go beyond what is written, 1 Cor 4.6, add to the word of God nor take away from it, Deut 4.6; Prov 30.11; Rev 22.18-19. What was transmitted by the apostles must be practiced exactly, 1 Cor 11.2. Continue reading

rain-or-shine

What would cause the Israelite leaders to take such a radical position?

A proclamation was circulated throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles were to be assembled in Jerusalem. Everyone who did not come within three days would thereby forfeit all his property, in keeping with the counsel of the officials and the elders. Furthermore, he himself would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles.
Ezra 10.7-8 NET

Many of the people, recently returned from exile, had married foreign women. It was against God’s law, v. 3. It constituted “infidelity,” v. 6. Continue reading

do-not-stumble

Jesus warned his followers ahead of time what would happen to him. He would suffering at the hands of the authorities, would be killed, and on the third day would rise from the dead.

I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.
John 16.1 HCSB

Stumbling in this context means to lose or abandon one’s faith (see NLT). “Forewarned is forearmed,” says the proverb. The disciples would not be caught unawares. They would know that God was still in control and that all would happen according to his plan. Continue reading