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I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Monday, August 8, 2011

If you obey God in His calling, He will take care of you.

8/8/11 Jeremiah 1-2; John 10

S: Jeremiah 1:4-7 The Lord gave me this message:“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Jeremiah 1:17-19 “Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them. For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. You will stand against the whole land—the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah. They will fight you, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

O: Jeremiah is sometimes called the Weeping Prophet because he saw the downfall of Judah. God had been patient with Judah and sent many prophets to warn them against apostasy, but they refused to listen. So God eventually allowed them to be conquered. Jeremiah was the last of these prophets and his sorrow was so palpable that one of the books he wrote is called "Lamentations".

However, because he obeyed God, God promised to empower and protect him. The current Wikipedia entry on Jeremiah notes,
God’s personal prediction to Jeremiah, “Attack you they will, overcome you they can’t,” was fulfilled many times in the Biblical narrative, Jeremiah was attacked by his own brothers, beaten and put into the stocks by a priest and false prophet, imprisoned by the king, threatened with death, thrown into a cistern by Judah’s officials, and opposed by a false prophet. When Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem in 586 BC, he ordered that Jeremiah be freed from prison and treated well."

A: We can trust God even when people oppose us if we're following His calling on our lives. The last two days' Life Journal entries [1][2] were on trusting God even when circumstances are bad. Today, we see this illustrated in Jeremiah's life. Though Jeremiah had what from a human standpoint was an unhappy life and unsuccessful ministry, ultimately in eternity (or even now) we see that God honoured and protected Jeremiah and he is now rejoicing in Heaven with God.

Lately, we in Malaysia have been reading a lot about the JAIS raid on DUMC. The people in DUMC have been faithfully serving God and are now being attacked for it. Of course, it's nothing like the persecution we see our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, India, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. are facing.

The Bible makes it clear that God's protection doesn't necessarily mean physical protection from death -- many have been martyred for the faith. Nonetheless, "do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

P: Father, help us to stay strong in the face of opposition. Let us trust in You. In Jesus' name, amen.

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