KG Sept. 11-17

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September 11, Sunday

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God Must Punish — Verses 9 and 29 in this chapter are identical: “Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”  What had they done wrong?  In verses 7-8, we learn that they had committed spiritual adultery by worshiping “no gods,” like Baal.  They had also committed physical adultery with other men’s wives (v. 8).  God must punish unfaithfulness because He is a God of justice.  Before the theme statement was repeated in verse 29, God listed other sins of “wicked men … among my people” (v. 26).  They had trapped people (v. 26) and judged unfairly, not defending the rights of the orphans and the needy (v. 28).  God must also punish unfairness, because He is a God of justice.  But the reaction of the people was like many today who say, “He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us” (v. 12).  They don’t recognize that even rain and harvest (v. 24) are sometimes withheld by God in punishment for widespread sins of a people group: “Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you” (v. 25).  Even though some evil-doers may “become great and rich … fat and sleek” in this life (vv. 27-28), the final judgment of hell will be their ultimate end.  God must punish evil.

O God of Earth and Altar – YouTube

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September 12, Monday

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Obedient Worship — There is a sequence of God’s actions in this passage.  First, He gave His message of truth to His people through “the ancients paths” of Moses and subsequent prophets, and called for them to “look … ask … and walk” in its truth (v. 16).  Through His Word, God has given us all that we need for a truly good life.  But, like most people today, they rejected His offer.  Secondly, He warned them about a punishing disaster for disobedience, but they refused that as well (v. 17).  Instead of living lives of obedience, they tried to compensate by going through the motions of external rituals of worship.  God’s third action was to reject that superficial worship (v. 20).  Finally, God acted to apply punishment for their stubborn unwillingness to obey Him (v. 21).  Even today, God presents truth to us, warns us about disobedience, rejects shallow worship, and applies penalties.  In addition to reading the Bible every day, we need to make sure that we respond to its message with willing obedience, and worship God in genuine attention and appreciation of who He is.

Stand Up and Bless the Lord – YouTube

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September 13, Tuesday

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Pillars of God’s Character — These two verses are packed with what we ought to know about God.  Verse 24 could be a theme verse for our study of “Knowing God.”  The person who “understands and knows me,” is aware of these three important things about God: He “practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness …”  His “steadfast love” is the Hebrew word, chesed, that we have encountered many times already in our readings.  It is God’s promised commitment to faithful and tender concern for His people.  His “justice” always knows and decides correctly between good and evil.  It may be delayed because of His other purposes, but He will eventually reward all good and punish all evil.  His “righteousness” means that God always does what is right.  He never makes mistakes.  He demonstrates for us the perfect standard of righteousness. 

Here is a hymn based on our passage for today. 
High in the Heavens, Eternal God – YouTube

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September 14, Wednesday

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The Real God — God is contrasted to idols in this passage.  His greatness is emphasized in the first two verses: “…you are great and your name is great in might” (v. 6).  In contrast to idols, these verses begin and end with the same expression about God: “There is none like you” (vv. 6a, 7b).  God should be feared by everyone, “For this is your due” (v. 7).  That “fear” includes both being in awe of who God is, and being afraid of His punishment.  In verses 8-10, the lifeless, worthless, man-made idols are contrasted to “the living God and everlasting King” (v. 10).  God is real, alive, and active … forever!  He is currently and continuously involved in our lives.  In verses 11-16, the complete helplessness of idols is contrasted to the Creator God.  He made “the earth … the heavens … waters … mist … lightning … rain … and he brings forth wind” (vv. 12-13).  Therefore, “Every man is stupid … [and] put to shame by his idols … [that have] no breath in them” (v. 14).  We may not have carved or molded idols in our houses, but we are sometimes tempted to turn to figurative idols instead of turning to the Creator for wisdom and direction when we are in need.  Ungodly marriage counselors, politicians, bank loan officers, Gideon-type fleeces, and circumstances can become “idols” for us when we are in trouble.  The great, living, and creative God is the one to whom we must turn first when we need help or direction.

Living God – Gateway Worship – YouTube

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September 15, Thursday

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Our Evangelistic Purpose — When God called Abraham, geography was involved: “Go from your country … to the land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1).  There was also purpose involved: “I will make of you a great nation … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (vv. 2-3).  It was an evangelistic purpose, and that same purpose is also displayed in our passage for today.  After Jeremiah confirmed that God was “my strength and my stronghold, my refuge…” (Jer. 16:19a), he repeated the evangelistic purpose that God had given to Abraham and his descendants: “…to you shall the nations come” (v. 19b).  Then, because of those nations who worshiped false gods, Yahweh promised that “I will make them know … my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD” (v. 21).  God is an evangelistic God; He desires all people to come to know Him.  When Jesus left His disciples, He applied the same evangelistic purpose to the Church: “…you will be my witnesses … to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  That is our God-assigned purpose.  It starts at home, but extends worldwide.  I would encourage you to take on a project of giving to some organization that is focused on spreading the gospel to people who have never heard of Jesus.  For example, The Timothy Initiative is aggressively planting churches throughout many countries of Asia and Africa. Also, Ethnos360, formerly New Tribes Mission, is reaching out to the over 6,000 people groups who have not heard the gospel message.  Only 1% of Christians’ giving is going to these kinds of ministries.  We who serve a global God must share His vision for the world.

Hope Of The Nations – YouTube

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September 16, Friday

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Both Sides of Justice — God is just; He punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous.  Most of the people of Judah in Jeremiah’s time were caught up in the worship of false gods with “their altars and their Asherim” (v. 2).  They would be punished by being exiled to Babylon (“I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know”—v. 4), and isolated “like a shrub in the desert” (v. 6).  On the other hand, the one “who trusts in the LORD” is blessed, “like a tree planted by water” (v. 8).  God is “the fountain of living water” (v. 13).  He is the source of all that is good for us.  Will we turn to Him for sustenance or will we dry up because we turn away from Him?  Will we be a watered tree or a desert shrub?

Springs of Living Water – YouTube

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September 17, Saturday

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Repent and Obey — We saw earlier that God changed His plan to destroy Nineveh when they repented at the preaching of Jonah.  God does not change in His character (immutability), but He is willing to change His actions, depending on the response of warned people.  God is just and, therefore, must punish evil; however, God is also merciful, and is willing to forgive those who turn to Him in repentance.  It is made clear in our passage for today that God can adjust His plans, depending on the response of people to His warning.  If God plans to punish a people, but they repent at His warning, He will forgive them (vv. 7-8).  Judah and Jerusalem were being warned through Jeremiah about impending disaster from God (v. 11).  What would they do?  This was their decision: “We will follow our own plans” (v. 12), which would result in their being conquered and exiled by Babylon.  On the other hand, if He promises good for a nation, but they turn from Him toward evil, He will replace the planned good with punishment (vv. 9-10).  God gives us the same choices.  Will we continue to please Him in obedience and receive His blessing?  Or will we knowingly and willingly disobey God, opening ourselves to His discipline?  We must obey, and when we stray, we must repent.

Softly and Tenderly – YouTube

Published by abibleread

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2 thoughts on “KG Sept. 11-17

  1. Sir Ben,

    Reading our passage today prompted me to share my family’s faith story, a direct beneficiary of an evangelistic organization. I came from a big family of nine children, so money was always scarce. My mom learned about World Vision and had two of my sisters apply for scholarships. At that time, World Vision Philippines requires regular church attendance and home Bible study for all families of sponsored children. Because of it, my mom found faith in Christ, which also led my whole family to God. Growing up, I remembered going to church with my sister because my mom would wake us up early every Sunday. I was in 8th grade when I made a decision to follow Christ at a Young Life Summer Camp.

    My family and I are so grateful to God and to evangelistic organizations like World Vision. My family became a household of faith, as my mom would call it, as a result of faithful giving. Two of my sisters are now administrators in public and private schools here in Cebu and are faithfully serving God with their husbands, who are pastors; two of my brothers are also full-time pastors; and I have been serving as a missionary teacher at Santisuk English School in Thailand since 2001.

    We have an amazing God who never fails to surprise his people. Thank you for letting me be part of your Bible reading plan.

    Blessings,
    Ethel

    Liked by 1 person

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