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Snapshot of Week 32 Livestream

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This week we looked at chapter 32 and Jerusalem Under Siege. We had a deep discussion on the “right of redemption” from Leviticus as exercised by Jeremiah to buy the field in Anathoth from Hamanell as well as Jeremiah’s prayer and God’s answer to him about the future of Israel and Judah. Be sure to download the show notes as a help to catch up on this episode and access resources mentioned during the livestream.

God: The Ultimate Promise Keeper

If I had to depend on somebody coming through with a promise, I am going to go with God.

People are ultimately and oftentimes fallible.

If I am going to stand on anything in my faith, it’s going to be on the promises of God.

People can stand up in church and pledge to give all they have to the building fund or they can sign up to volunteer to pass out food at the next food distribution, but let’s face reality. Sometimes the check never arrives for the building fund. Some folks sign up but don’t show up when it comes to service. That’s just how it goes with people sometimes.

I love when Isaiah says in Isaiah 2:22: “Stop trusting the power of humans. They are all going to die, so how can they help?” (CEV). That is true to life food for thought.

God’s Promise to David

We covered this already, but I have to go back and hare it again, so that you can see two things:

  1. God’s Word offers confirmation upon confirmation of its contents being in synch across time periods.
  2. God backs up His own promises Himself

God promised David that one from His lineage would serve on the throne of an everlasting kingdom. This is known as the Davidic Covenant. In Jeremiah, God refers to an “everlasting covenant” multiple times. These both are in conjunction, working together for the fulfilment of God’s promise to David His servant and to His people Judah and Israel.

Many will refer to Psalm 110 and 2 Samuel 7 as the root of the Davidic Covenant. God offers a branch of righteousness through the son of Jesse. Jesus questioned the Pharisees about it and its reference to the Son of David in Matthew chapter 22. But no matter how much time has transpired, God has not forgotten His promise to David. And we so in this chapter as God points out His promises about Judah and Israel.

For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel

jeremiah 33:17 (NKJV)

God’s His Own Surety

God’s final words in chapter 33 are an example of Him not backing down on any of His promises:

I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them. (v. 26, NLT)

If you look in this week’s Bible Discussion Study Guide, you find the word surety. That’s a word used in the King James Version. We don’t use it much nowadays However, we’re familiar with the concept. We would call it co-signing for someone in case they were unable to pay their debts. The Bible offers a strict warning against this in Proverbs 22:26, telling people not to act as “sureties for debts.”

God is able to serve as His own surety simply based upon His limitless power and ability. You can’t get that from man. He can’t give you that type of guarantee or assurance. Only God can offer to come through time and time again throughout the test of time.

Don’t ask anyone else. Check His track record. Look throughout the Bible and see it over and over again.

Don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Wasn’t He there for you? Didn’t He come through for you? When you didn’t have another soul to turn to, didn’t He do it for you?

Join us for another lively discussion on God’ Word, especially as we look at God backing up His promises in Jeremiah chapter 33.

Live at 11 AM PST Wednesday

Back Again with the Friday Freebie

Parallel Bible available on Amazon

The Bible can be viewed in multiple translations at the same time. You don’t have juggle with a stack of different versions of the Bible to conduct adequate and serious Bible study. In print, some publishers have developed a parallel Bible. These tend to be bulky and limited in their selection of translations as well as pricey. In many cases, it can be a cumbersome book to work with.

So what do I suggest?

View the Bible in multiple translations simultaneously online. Sites like Biblegateway.com or Bible.com, even Studylight.org and others offer an option for viewing the Bible in side-by-side parallel format. Watch this FREE video mini tutorial and see how easy it is to access the Bible in multiple translations online.

Some people might prefer to hold the Word in their hands might still want to explore the various parallel Bibles available in print. Here’s a link to a page with multiple parallel Bibles available on Amazon.

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Going into the weeklong campaign of Giving Thanks by Giving Back, I handed it over to God and trusted God to lead me in a new manner of approach and address within the scope of ministry. COVID-19 did its part by giving me some restrictions that I had imagined would have been lifted or lessened to a degree by then, but I had to maintain my trust in God going into this. For anyone seeking to anything B.I.G. in the name of God, always remember to remain Bold In Grace (B.I.G.) as I learned from Hebrews 4:16.

Giving Thanks by Giving Back incorporated a formula that helped shape the campaign and make for an ease of communications and social media sharing. We used daily themes related gratefulness, expressions of thanksgiving, leaning heavily on the Book of Psalms, and items in 3 major categories. We placed these into a calendar which we made available for download online.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks gave people an opportunity to reflect on God’s goodness and to take time to spend time with God. Personally, I thought that this was a key component for setting the tone alongside the daily theme. Our personal time with God sets up our worship and works. Giving thanks gave an open opportunity to settle into a a mode where we might search our own hearts or look into the Scriptures for where we truly need to acknowledge and appreciate God for His everlasting love towards us.

Our campaign promotion was primarily through social media

Giving Back

We spent some time with a focus on giving back in various ways. We even looked at why and how to give back. We provided a lot of support here, providing examples and training videos on conducting good works. I sought out a lot of references to other bloggers and authors of the faith to lend support and examples linked throughout the series of daily posts I have archived on this blog during this past week.

During this week and beyond I had the privilege of sharing the campaign components with Christ Temple of San Diego and Pastor John Powell. I was also able to join in service with my beloved friend Pastor Terry W. Brooks and the Bayview Church as they served over 700 meals to local families with the support of Saddleback Church. Additionally, I was able to connect with Dr. Foley Parker and the Lamb of God Food Bank to assist in unloading food for needy families in North County San Diego. These are just examples of some of what we got to get into with this campaign in term of giving back.

An Endearing Example of Gratefulness

An example of gratefulness on full display in a modern context would Amy Frohnmayer Winn. I read her story a few years back in Runners World Magazine. Amy suffered from the debilitating effects of Fanconi anemia (FA) and it plagued her with a high risk of cancer and no cure due to what is considered a recessive-gene disorder. Despite all of that going on with her medically, Amy relished life and its every moment with her husband and her family, especially while she was able to continue running. In essence, Amy’s story taught me a few things about gratefulness.

First, I learned that gratefulness comes out through your composure despite your condition. Let your countenance show that you appreciate life, even the little things that will vanish into thin air when you are gone. Secondly, I learned that gratefulness comes out through your communication despite your condition. What we say oftentimes does not match what we show on our face. Let your words and writing express more gratitude than grief as you deal with life and any condition that you might face. Finally, I learned that your gratefulness will come out through your contentment despite your condition. Paul speaks of this eloquently in the epistles when he wrote: Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content (Philippians 4:11). Our gratefulness does not have to be hidden. It should not be hidden. It should be shown to others, encouraging and inspiring them to hold fast throughout the storms of life embracing more than enduring through it all.

Thank you again to any and all who were involved and supportive of the campaign. We will continue going forward in faith with more to come in the coming month.

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Today we start with Sunday as the kickoff for our Fall 2020 seasonal campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back. It is so appropriate to do so.

Why?

Sunday represents the day when most faithful Christians make their way down the aisle and into the pews to hear a stirring medley of hymns and spiritual songs and a soul-stirring sermon. That was at least the case before COVID-19 hit us in the spring of this year. Ever since we have been under the attack of the coronavirus, we have managed to worship differently. The CDC and county health officials have become additional sources of guidance for how churches operate with the designation that terms them as non-essential businesses within their communities. Regulated to outdoor or online worship services, depending on the locale, the church has taken a hit due to coronavirus.

Add the tension and division over the recent election and a summer full of protests regarding Black lives Matter, police reform, anti-masking, and Trump rallies and parades to the disheartening and discouraging effects of coronavirus with evangelical Christians split on nearly each and every item listed and you have the makings for the church in need of a come to Jesus meeting of its own. It’s high time that the people of God turned their attention to the very things that God called them to proclaim and produce rather than proliferate and pontificate rhetorical rants about ballot counting, turning the red states blue, and election fraud conspiracies.

It’s time that we as the people of God get back to God’s business. I love what C. H. Spurgeon said with such simplicity: “The business of the church is salvation. . .Our main business is winning souls.” John Wesley similarly surmised, saying: “You have one business on earth- save souls.”

So let’s get to it without wasting any time. Let’s take our day of worship and kick things into gear for a week of works.

Download a copy of our latest training presentation.

Think about it from a different perspective. This is the prime opportunity for us as believers to gather in His name, and then take all that has inspired and edified us from that gathering to go out into the world and spread goodwill through good works. We could turn the world upside down while altering the perception of Christians as hate mongers who want to protect Second Amendment right to bear arms a little bit more than the pro-life sentiment of anti-abortion. Our faith is so much more than modern worldviews and social-political confrontations. It is on us to show the world the core of our faith in action as we serve, providing a living breathing example of good works before their very eyes.

Let today serve as a day where we enlighten the world and encourage the world as we let our light shine. Let today start new beginnings of new ministries designed to serve more of the “least of these” while providing an open opportunity for us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Make today the day where you make a difference and make an impact.

Start today by giving thanks by giving back.

#GivingThanks #GivingBack

Learn More About the Campaign

NOTE: A big thank you to bloggers like Dan Zimmerman, The Simple Preacher’s Blog and other folks whose blogs I have linked here. Your posts say so much more on the subjects than I could convey on my own, so I appreciate your work and efforts to communicate with the world at large on the things at hand and on your heart and mind.

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I had the pleasure of presenting our Fall 2020 campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back yesterday. The livestream was an opportunity for me to present and pray over the project with an open and earnest heart for the work ahead. As always with our Life Path Multimedia livestreams, the recording remains available via YouTube. A copy of the presentation is available for download online.

Good works are part of our calling as believers. StopAndPrayTV speaks on being fruitful in our good works, every single one of them. The reference to Colossians 1:10 centers the post and makes for a compelling read. I truly love how Kim Petitt lays it out there and explains good works. Naturally, Being Benedictine would reference Saint Benedict as it explores the topic of good works. I guess part of my take on it is aligned with the combined stances and approaches to good works, summing up my views by quoting NT verses from Titus 3:14 to Ephesians 2:8-10. I believe good works are the fruit of our faith, not the root of our faith. (One of my preacher friend’s will steal that and use it, and it’s okay.)

Part of Giving Thanks by Giving Back was covered in the previous post, but yesterday’s training session allowed for me to delve into finer elements of the campaign. This post gives you some of the highlights from yesterday’s session.

Our Latest Inbox Inspirations promo tweet

The Campaign Includes Guidance

What we presented is designed to serves as a guide for generating ideas and stimulating conversations around how to give thanks by giving back within your local congregation and community. It is by no means designed to serve as the only source material or resource for doing good works or charitable service. Every congregation and community is unique, so it would behoove anyone seeking to do something with this campaign to identify local issues and priorities that fit with the theme of the campaign as they plan and strategize any kind of project or event.

You Have to Keep COVID-19 in Consideration

The numbers don’t lie. There is a major upswing in COVID-19 deaths and case throughout the United States. In California, we have many counties shifting into the most restrictive tier due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. It is difficult to plan and organize any project or event without considering the implications of COVID-19 on those plans.

Some advice on how to handle COVID-19 restrictions and precautions comes from the CDC. As many of us have learned over these past months, be sure to check with your local public health officials for restrictions and guidance related to large gatherings and events. Some of the most basic precautions such as face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been touted to help limit the spread. Always check and keep updated and abreast of the latest restrictions and precautions as you plan and organize.

Develop Connections within Your Community

Whether it is working with the local food bank or another church in its efforts to distribute turkeys, make connections that provide a win-win for your group or church as well as whoever you might partner with to make things happen. Do not neglect the idea of serving as resource to your congregation and community by providing updated information for clothing drives, food distributions, turkey giveaways, and special events happening within and around your community. Make connections that help make a difference and make an impact.

I like how another blog puts it out there with Psalm 100 and “Daily Service: Give Thanks.” It ought to become more natural for us to serve and give thanks. It should become part of our Christian DNA. Similarly, another blogger references Simon Sinek when speaking on a lifetime of service. No matter how you see it, giving back a way that we can show our gratitude and our own way of giving thanks that touches someone else’s life.

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I am grateful for what I am and have, my thanksgiving is perpetual.

– Henry David Thoreau

Perpetual Thanksgiving

Perpetual is defined as “never ending or changing; occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.” Let that sink in for a moment. Meanwhile, the dictionary defines thanksgiving as “the expression of gratitude.” Now put that together and you would have a never ending or changing expression of gratitude. Imagine that as part of your daily life.

To make your thanksgiving perpetual, you are grateful continually and do not limit your expression of gratitude to one Thursday in November. Imagine if your daily attitude expressed your daily gratitude.

I looked in my inbox this week and I got just what I needed from the Simple Preacher. I am oftentimes intrigued by self-inflicted limits many Christians in ministry or Bible teaching place on themselves in the realm of faith teaching, a limitless and boundless space when you consider that our God, Elohim, has no limitations and offers us so much. Yet, I received a post related to Obadiah, an obscure book of prophecy from the Old Testament Scriptures and thanked God that there are at least a few kindred spirits like the Simple Preacher and Georgetta Head in the struggle for God’s people to know the entirety of God’s Word. Thanks and praise be to God for the encouragement found in His Word daily as we seek Him through devotion and Bible study.

2020: Make a Difference, Make an Impact

I have attempted this before and I will continue to try to make this a regular annual campaign through the Life Path Mobile Ministries. Giving Thanks by Giving Back is back again. With your help, we can make this a reality despite the limitations and requirements due to COVID-19.

During November 22-29, Life Path Ministries & Services will actively push and promote Giving Thanks by Giving Back: A Week of Works.  Through our Holiday Outreach Service Team (H.O.S.T.) and the Saved2Serve Volunteer Network, this campaign works with Faith Impact Training (F.I.T.) to support any other ministries, parachurches, and local churches as well as individuals seeking to do good works and give back during this time..

This year’s theme is simply stated as: Make a Difference, Make an Impact. That is support by the NT Bible verse: And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14, NKJV).

So, what will be different this year than in the past? Think about the pandemic and its restrictions and guidelines from the CDC and your local health officials. The health guidance on contact tracing and small groups for your area will drastically impact how we will launch our work this year. In response to the limited contact, we will host a brief presentation and a walkthrough of the campaign and its components along with some tips and technical assistance for implementation on November 14th at 12:30 PM PST via livestream on YouTube.

https://bit.ly/2U5vWW7

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You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me-John 5:39

Many of us who claim to love Christ have yet to truly live for Christ.  In essence, we cannot live for Christ until we come to learn about Him.  As we learn about Him, we begin to live like Him.  In living like Him, we come into the glorious light of illumination towards living for Him.

To serve like Christ, we must:

  • Examine the Savior (Study Jesus)
  • Exemplify the Savior (Serve Jesus)

Examine the Savior (Study Jesus)

Start with the Scriptures

Jesus Himself said in the Gospel of John that the Scriptures testify about Him.  The truth about Jesus may be learned and understood through a thorough and consistent study of the God’s Holy Word.  It is this type of study that will revolutionize your relationship with the Lord and Savior of our salvation.  Devote yourself to the daily discipline of biblical study and devotional reading.

Read Sound Doctrine and Materials

Max Lucado wrote an epic book on Jesus aptly entitled No Wonder They all Him the Savior.  It is a simple, straightforward style that presents Jesus in plain everyday language.  Such are the works of brilliant and inspiring theologians.  Find the works of E.M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray and A.W. Tozer as well as some other notable of the faith.

Exemplify the Savior (Serve Jesus)

The New Testament teaching is clearly stated in 1 John 2:6.  We are to walk as He walked.  Andrew Murray states it plainly, saying: “As He was, so we are to be.”

Serving Jesus includes serving like Jesus.  He has given us His own earthly example.

Follow his ministry and its message and methods.  Make a clear divide between what the world accepts and what the Lord commands of us.  Live by the latter of the two.

Some additional helpful resources:

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“Be not simply good – be good for something.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Imagine if you had nothing getting in your way, nothing holding you back.

What would you do with your life?

Could you see yourself doing whatever you could to help someone else?

Could you see beyond yourself and make a difference for someone else?

Just imagine if you had that opportunity.

No obstacles.

No opposition.

No other objective.

Just being in the position to do good for someone else, uplifting their spirit and blessing them through what God has already done for you.

Now it’s time for a reality check.

The only thing holding you back from doing such mighty works is you.

YOU…Your Own Unwillingness

If you could somehow shake that unwilling spirit, then you can do it.

Oh, that’s not you?

Then it must be. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unworthiness

That is the pitiful self image that says that you are not worthy of doing good because you know that you are of no earthly good.  Our Bibles tell us that we are a “new creation” based upon the work of the Lord.  We are worthy!

So, you still think that’s not you?

How about. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unfaithfulness

You just don’t believe that God can use you in such a way.  You don’t believe that you can be a blessing, especially since you are in the need of a blessing yourself.  Elijah was fed by ravens by a brook, and then he was fed by an impoverished widow.  There was another widow who gave all that she had when she placed two mites in the offering.

Get YOU out of the way and let God have His way.

Sit YOU down and set yourself up to be a blessing to someone.

Give YOU his walking papers and give God an open opportunity to use you like He’s never used you before.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 (NASB)

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But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

– Jeremiah 20:9

Let’s be honest.  Better yet, let’s be frank.

Many times, we just want to quit.

We want to give up and get away from the whole burden of responsibility.

Why?

We might be burnt out.

Ministry can wear you thin, even if you have thick skin.  If you watch closely what the Scriptures reveal, then look at what you experience personally in ministry.  You can get worn out with the whole idea of serving people who accept it but don’t necessarily appreciate it.

We might be broken down.

Serving with the wrong focus can leave us with a broken spirit.  We can find ourselves chasing accolades rather than seeking His face.  We can find ourselves looking for recognition rather than offering Him reverence.  We can desire the praise, the very praise that He deserves for all that we do.

Such conditions can lead to us being more frustrated than faithful, more likely to quit than keep going.

Let these words sink into your heart and keep you on fire for the Lord.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9

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25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man wasjust and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. – Luke 2:25-26

36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. – Luke 2:36-38

Several years ago, I was at a conference with some faith-based leaders and clergy, where one of the breakout sessions placed us in small groups.  There some serious big named theologians and pastors in the small group that I ended up with, but I dare not share any names.  As we entered our brainstorming on our given topic, some discussion came up about the Advent.  The term was repeatedly thrown around and discussed by some, but others simply sat and stared in confusion.  Finally, one of the brethren leaned over and whispered in curiosity, “What is this Advent thing?” I smiled and whispered back,”They’re talking upon Christmas and the arrival of Christ on the scene.  That’s what they mean.” He smiled and eventually joined in the brainstorming session with the rest of us.

Christ’s arrival was an anticipated event.  It had been prophesied.  It had been preached.  It had been predicted.  It had been planned.  It had been purposed.

We have given it many names:

  • Advent
  • Birth of the Lord
  • Nativity
  • Christmas

We have come to look for Christmas as a season rather than a fulfillment of God’s plan.  We struggle and fight with the world to put Christ back into Christmas, erasing and eradicating the marketplace of X-Mas.  We have regulated our recognition of Christmas as a time for doing good works for the poor and needy rather than proclaiming the Good News of His arrival and eventual return.

What if we took on the zeal and dedication of a Simeon and Anna?

What if we did as the psalmist instructed and “waited patiently on the Lord?”

How about we change the scenario and flip the script this Christmas season?

Let’s Speak Christ 

We ought to let our words share about Christ.  We should preach and proclaim Him and His redemptive acts over and over again all throughout this season.  Say something about Him and for Him.

Let’s Show Christ

Believers are unique because they act on their belief.  Let’s go there with folks.  Let’s show the world that we are serious about our beliefs and put them into action.  Giving and helping are not seasonal activities for feeling good about what we have done.  We are to practice good works continually.  Let’s be more like Christ like and do more activities like Christ would do while we are on this earth.

Let’s Serve Christ

We do not do good because we are so good.  We do good because we serve a master who has been so good to us that we cannot help but serve Him for our entire lives while covered by the grace of His blood.  He’s been to good to us.  He’s done too much for us.  Serve our Lord with gladness and with fear and trembling.

Everyone wasn’t waiting for the Christ, the Anointed One, or the Messiah, the Anticipated One.  Some folks had just given up hope.  It had been too long to ever happen in their time.  Look at Simeon and Anna.  They held on and held fast.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30

I can publish praise of God openly with my voice.  However, I begin to wonder about the effectiveness of that praise in light of good works that reflect in the shadow of His wondrous works.  My works, no matter how much good that they actually do for God or others, are totally eclipsed and overshadowed by His great works.

This Thanksgiving say a prayer for those who seek to do good works.  Many will feed the homeless.  Some will offer them clothing and shelter.  Others will open their homes to them.  Some will go and spend volunteer time with wounded veterans while others will read to children in the cancer unit of the local hospital or wash feet at the neighborhood hospice.

Offer a prayer for those who offer their service.  Join the ranks of men and women who make Christ come alive for some people who will never set foot in a church’s sanctuary or crack open a Bible to find an inspirational passage.

Thank God as you give the world a glimpse of Him in action.  Remember, He could choose anyone.

It did not have to be you.  The least becomes greatest and the last becomes first in God’s economy and on His balance sheet.  We should be thankful to have been chosen and in a position to give back.

 


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