Jonah 3:1-10 – Are You Ready?

Read Jonah 3:1-10

We don’t see people today wearing burlap as a sign of cleansing and repentance. But in Jonah’s time, it would have been amazing to see, even the king, listening and responding to the warning from God. What Jonah proclaimed was destruction. He didn’t give them an “unless.” That is, Nineveh will be destroyed unless you repent! But the people showed their respect, and their tears of sorrow melted God’s heart.

It was quite unexpected to see the people of Nineveh believing God’s word. I think of the Israelites who went on and on living their idol worshipping lives despite the efforts of Jeremiah, for example. He told them to repent because their worship of other gods angered the one true God.

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Jeremiah 23:9-40 – False Prophets

Read Jeremiah 23:9-40

blindfold on girl

How do you think Jeremiah felt when talking about his fellow prophets in such a way? Do you think he was glad God exposed their sinfulness? Do you think he feared for his life for saying such things?

In our recent readings, we have seen the focus on the corrupt kings and their role in the demise of God’s people in Judah. Here, we see there are other players “getting their hands dirty.” “For it is because of Jerusalem’s prophets that wickedness has filled this land.” That’s a bold statement to be sure!

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Colossians 2:6-15 – Dead or Alive?

Read Colossians 2:6-15

old tree with many exposed roots

Paul knows Christ-filled living is not easy. He wants to encourage us with these verses. Believing and trusting in Jesus is the difference between whether we’re dead or alive. That’s the message Paul is confirming for this new congregation.

Being a Christ follower is not for the faint of heart. Paul gives us a concrete example of what we can do to be strong. “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.” What an illustration. Can you picture yourself being built on Jesus? What does that look like?

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Jeremiah 13:15-27 – Why is This Happening?

Read Jeremiah 13:15-27

man standing on one side of a chasm with God on the other, "our choice results in separate from God"

It’s inevitable. We are going to sin. But how far do we have to fall before we realize we need help? Are we as blind as God’s “flock” that we can’t see our own destruction happening before our eyes? Who do we blame for our predicaments? Don’t be in denial about your weaknesses as you read through this. Jeremiah tells us what we can do. “Give glory to the Lord your God before it is too late.” Acknowledge him. Listen and pay attention to his voice.

When we read through Scripture, we shouldn’t just read the words but let them percolate a little and speak to our hearts. It’s easy for us to look at what’s happening in Jeremiah’s day and dismiss it as “just history.” But history does repeat itself as we’ve seen time and again. The situations may be different, but the motivations remain the same. People continue to be separated from God because of their sinfulness.

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Jeremiah 9:3-16 – They Don’t Know God

Read Jeremiah 9:3-16

black and white image of a man covering his eyes, set against black background

God is illustrating how far his precious children have fallen. The people he describes don’t sound like they would be folks I’d want to hang around with. Who wants to be slandered or taken advantage of? What’s their excuse? “‘They do not know me,’ says the LORD.”

There are plenty of people walking around this planet that don’t know God. There are even people attending church every Sunday who are clueless about God and his character, much less his desire for their life. It’s tragic. Is there something we can do? Our churches should be safe places where we can worship God, hear the Word, and share fellowship with other believers.

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