Jeremiah 5:20-31 – Horrible & Shocking

Read Jeremiah 5:20-31

baby face showing a very surprised face with wide eyes and hand on cheek

What’s horrible and shocking? Is it what is going to happen to God’s people or what they’ve done to bring God to this place of fury? The latter according to our text when God calls it out in verses 30 and 31. Even the prophets and priests have turned blindly away.

The warnings to Judah in this reading are clear and specific. The people were so disillusioned by the messages of the world they had forgotten the majesty of God. Even today, many people need a wake-up call to remind them of how great our God is. I loved this line from our text. “Let us live in awe of the LORD our God.”  That was the mindset the LORD wanted from them and us!

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Philippians 3:17-21 – Citizens of Heaven

Read Philippians 3:17-21

people celebrating with spotlihghts

Are you headed for destruction? I certainly hope not! Paul reminds us that even believers may fall prey to distractions of this world. If you’re like me, you’ve been concerned at times by some of the behaviors or conduct of your friends and colleagues. They seem oblivious to the dangers of this world and embrace it so they can “fit in.” This is not what Paul intends for his fellow believers.

What does it mean to you to be an “enemy of the cross of Christ”? Paul would suggest these “enemies” are too focused on the present. While I am all about being “present” in community so I don’t miss a cue for prayer or way I can support or lead, I try not and allow the expectations of society shape my conduct. It can be a struggle.

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Philippians 1:20-26 – Why Am I Here?

Read Philippians 1:20-26

images of people with question marks above their heads in thought bubbles

I can still see myself sitting at the kitchen table in my pajamas as a teen. After everyone had gone to bed, and the house was quiet, I wrote. I wrote a lot of things in a journal questioning my purpose. I suppose you could say I was talking to God on those pages. I may have even written “Dear God” at the top of some of those rants.

Even still today, I ask God daily to show me my purpose, how I can best walk this journey of faith with him close. These words of Paul really resonate with me today, and I feel a kindred spirit with him and how he sees his own journey.

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1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 – Give Glory to God

Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1

sidewalk chalk art with words "Be Kind"

What if I had titled this reflection, “Be a People Pleaser” instead? After all, Paul does say, “I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do.” Taking that sentence out of context could easily lead us off course. Take careful note of Paul’s motivation. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” and “I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.”

Paul’s discussion is still dealing with the idea of eating food used in worship of idols. This seems to be a very serious dispute for the first audience. I’m still grappling with what kind of food that could mean for us today.

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2 Kings 12:17-21 – Overdeliver

Read 2 Kings 12:17-21

many different bright colored wrapped presents with bows, some blurred, some clear

If there had been a kitchen sink, I’m sure Joash would have given that to King Hazael, too. Do you wonder why Joash gave away so much? Was he that afraid that Jerusalem would fall under his watch? Was he prideful, a weak king, or a bit of a coward?

There is a time and a place for overdelivering. In our business, we learned early on that overdelivering makes for happy customers. We always appreciate doing business with people who overdeliver on their promises. It’s like a bonus you weren’t expecting. Here, Joash’s giving away all that has been dedicated seems a bit desperate. Do you think he checked in with God first?

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