Highlights In Today's Reading:
Baruch was a scribe often employed by Jeremiah. Discouraged and despondent, God sent him a personal letter of encouragement (Chapter 45).
The condemnation of God was upon all the heathen nations that had fought against the people of God. However, God also had a message for some of His own people. Such situations still exist and we need to realize there are consequences. Cursed be he (they) that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully (negligently, halfheartedly) (48:10). That is, they were confessing loyalty to God but were refusing to help when they not only had the opportunity, but an obligation to join with others who were fighting heathen nations. Deceitfully means a sort of pretense, indifferent to being involved in doing the will of God. On another earlier occasion we read: Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty (Judges 5:23).
This denunciation is leveled against the slothful and the self-seeking. Many professing Christians are slothful or self-seeking because they take no responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission, having an attitude of indifference. When Jesus said: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . . to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20), He surely meant if you can't go then help the person who can. We must be involved. There are many who have a deceitful halfhearted attitude. They do not even tithe to their church or other mission ministries. They talk with God's people about their profession of faith in Christ, and their outward conduct seems to be "spiritual." They are like the virgins who hold their lamp as others do, but they have no oil in the vessel (25:1-3). Not many real Christians fall into the sin of adultery but ignoring the tithe seems to be optional with some. There are some who seem to be spiritually indifferent to reaching our world for Christ. All of us are called through His Great Commission to make God's Word, the Bible, available to all nations that they may learn and observe . . . whatsoever I have commanded.
Those who recognize their indebtedness to God for His redeeming grace see the eternal tragedy of postponing opportunities to minister to a needy world. Our lives belong to our Redeemer and we are to serve Him fervently, in full obedience and always for His honor and His glory. No Christian should be slothful in business; (but) fervent in spirit; serving the Lord (Romans 12:11).
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (vomit, spit) thee out of My mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).
Thought for Today:
It is a real privilege to strive for excellence in the ministry God has given to us.
As the One who lovingly corrects His people (Jeremiah 46:28). Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth (disciplines), and scourgeth (whips) every son whom He receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).
46:4 brigandines =b> armor; 46:11 daughter =b> people; 48:2 cut down =b> perish; 48:10 deceitfully =b> negligently; halfheartedly; 48:19 espy =b> watch; 48:41 Kerioth is =b> Cities are.
Pray for Staff: Dan Murton • Government Official: Rep. Marion Berry (AR) • Country: Comoros (563,000) in the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean • Major languages: Shaafi Islam (Swahili dialect) and Malagasy • Limited religious freedom • 99.7% Muslim; .2% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others, knowing that God hears your prayer (II Chron. 30:18-20).
Optional Reading: Revelation 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:18