Posts Tagged ‘set apart’

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The Takeaway: God’s Messengers Deliver God’s Message, Not Their Own

Chapter 28 gives the indication that false prophets get what they deserve for getting people to follow their lies. Misleading the flock of God makes things troublesome for both the false prophets and those who are fooled into following them. Hananiah the son of Azzur of Gibeon found out the hard way that his two-year captivity prophecy led to him be chastised and cursed to die within the same year of his pronounced prophecy.

And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. Therefore, thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the LORD.”

Jeremiah 28:15-16 (ESV)

The fatality of false prophecy is devastating for more than the false prophet. In chapter 29, we see how God confirms his exile of the captives to Babylon for 70 years. However, He also points out that the people had resisted and rejected the messages of His servants the prophets again and again. He points out how much horror would be endured by the people of God who remained in the land, saying: “because they have not listened to My words,’ declares the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:19, NASB). His judgement, as God discloses it to His people through His prophets, is fueled with an anger that is kindled by His people’s rebellion and disobedience. As Pastor Powell pointed out during this week’s livestream: “God does not have to tolerate falsehood.” He has His own way of dealing with such things as in the case of Hananiah and what we will see about Shemaiah in chapter 29.

Tips, Tools & Techniques

This week we have included a bible study resource specifically designed for this chapter and Jeremiah 29:11. A Deeper Look at Jeremiah 29:11 gives you a simple strategy for Bible study with some tips on incorporating annotation in your Bible study time. Be sure to download your FREE copy of this Bible study resource to help with discovering more about a text than just the surface and superficial meaning of the words that appear in its contents.

Teaser: Where Do You Fit In God’s Plans? [Jeremiah Chapter 29]

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)

You have probably heard Jeremiah 29:11 time and time again roll off the tongues of sanctified and holy folks like its an outpouring of a treasured blessing. However, take a moment to join us in this study of Jeremiah chapter 29 and see if this is a message intended for you as part of God’s plan for you.

Much like many other passages in the Scriptures that are often plucked out and placed in a position that takes them out of context, Jeremiah 29:11 has been used as an “inspirational quote” to give hope and uplift souls for years. At the heart of Bible study is to understand the contents within its context. Take some time to get deeper into your practice of Bible study as we explain and examine some of the falsehood attached to Jeremiah 29:11 that many of God’s people have mistakenly imposed and juxtaposed using this biblical text out of context.

This ain’t Drake rhyming on God’s Plan that we’re talking about here. People can find themselves mistakenly taking the Bible out of context as they try to make each and every verse fit into God’s plan for their lives. God’s desire is that you come to know His Word on an intimate level and discern the things that are set apart for our learning.

Are you trying to identify with exiles from Judah in Babylonian captivity? Are you seeking to identify with folks who did not listen to God’s warnings and had to endure 70 years of captivity? If that is not you, then don’t allow yourself to be misled by what sounds good or sounds somewhat inspirational or uplifting. Understand that you have a different position and role in God’s eternal plan as a believer walking in faith and that, although it sounds good, that message in Jeremiah 29:11 is not directed to you or destined for you. Look at a post by a fellow blogger that gets into how Jeremiah 29:11 helped with need for clarity in a discussion with a friend on the matter. One of the best resources on this issue is a video by Allen Parr that most definitely have to check out for yourself.

This week’s Bible study discussion guide gives you some insight into grasping a better understanding of this familiar text. Take some time this weekend and get familiar with the study guide and see what else chapter 29 has available to us.

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“Double Life” is a poem I created and appears in my first work of poetry called Reflections of a Believer.  I was inspired by books like Chuck Colson’s The Body and C.H. Spurgeon’s The Soulwinner.  I recently discovered a copy of the Body at a Goodwill while out of town and was led to post this in its entirety here.  Be blessed.

Double Life

I have some things that I need to admit before the congregation at this time.  First and foremost, I have to admit that I have been living a double life.  No, I am not committed to more than one woman.  And, rest assured, I am not in any relationship with another man.  My double life has to do with church. I have been practicing more than one denomination for quite a while now and it’s becoming increasingly hard to hide it.

As many of you know, I have been Baptist most of my Christian walk.  However, I was taken in when I realized that I have been acting as Jehovah’s Witness because I have witnessed His power in my life.  I am also Unitarian because I believed in the unity and oneness of the body of Christ when I read Paul’s words about the unity of body in Ephesians.  Yet, I must still admit that I am a practicing Methodist because I believe that there is a method to the madness that we live through day by day as saints in His name.  I had sworn to secrecy my Pentecostal beliefs, for I truly believe that the Spirit fell upon men on the day of Pentecost in order to birth the early church.  I keep trying to follow the apostles’ doctrine, so some have felt inclined to label me an Apostolic.  I have had this burning within me to roll with being led by the Spirit, so I have also been called a Holy Roller as well.

It has been difficult trying to hide behind the cloak of secrecy, denying who I truly am all of these years.  I have lied to myself and others, never revealing the full boldness that salvation in Jesus Christ has given me.  I pray that God can forgive and allow me one more chance to live out who He has called me to be in Christ Jesus.  I pray that my faith will allow me to take advantage of the opportunities and set aside all of the obstacles in order to truly experience the freedom of His salvation.

I would pray that you would forgive me as well, but I have sought the Lord with a pure heart in the mercy and grace that He supplies me.  I would ask for you not to cast looks of condemnation upon me. Please don’t shower me with words of sorrow and pity when you encounter me.  I would say for you to not call me any derogatory denominational names like ‘Jesus Freak’ or ‘Born-Again Believer’ (Are those really derogatory?).  I merely pray that God allows you to see me as He sees you, one to be loved by Him with a love so deep that it caused Him to give His Son as a sacrifice for all of our multitudes of sins.  I simply pray that you will join me in the unity of the baptism of His Spirit that is refreshed by the overflowing fountain of His shed blood.

I pray this in His name, the name above every name in heaven and in earth, by which all men may be saved: JESUS!!  Yes, this is my prayer for forgiveness, not forgetfulness.  This is my prayer of openness, not closed-mindedness.  I pray this prayer in the power of him who empowers me to stand here today and admit that I’ve been doing more than two-timing.  I admit it before the whole assembly.  I’ve been living a double life.

Amen to that.

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