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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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And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”  – Mark 6:4 (ESV)

. . . A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.  – Matthew 13:57 (NLT)

A Prophet is Without Honor

Jesus said it.

He stated it in simple and straightforward.

The position of the prophet is peculiar.

The prophet is from among the people but has the “burden” of carrying God’s message to the people.  The prophet stands out from everyone else while speaking out against the social and spiritual wrongs of the people against God.

That is a peculiar position, even a complicated calling, for anyone.

Why the Jeremiah Journey

Jeremiah was a prophet who is known among the “major prophets.” He is known for both the Book of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  His prophecy was unpopular among both the priest and other prophets, even the people.

Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet.”

Imagine being God’s vessel and voice with a message that put you odds with your peers and fellow tribesmen.  That would definitely bring about some emotional conflicts.  You would surely question what God was truly trying to do through you and with you.

That was Jeremiah’s journey.

How the Jeremiah Journey Works

  • Read a chapter of the Book of Jeremiah week by week during 2018
  • Check the midweek Bible study questions to further explore each week’s chapter
  • Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for inspiration on reading
  • Visit this blog week by week to get insights and reflections on the weekly reading, even comments on the journey

What we can expect through such a Bible reading and study program:

  • A thorough reading and study of one of the most dynamic characters of the Bible
  • A chapter by chapter reading of one of the prophetic books of the Bible
  • A deeper relationship with God’s Word through consistent reading and study of the Bible, especially if you do not have any other Bible study or devotional reading that you are currently reading

Join the Jeremiah Journey. #JointheJourney

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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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16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. – Mark 1:16-18 (NKJV)

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Jesus made an offer to fishers.  In Matthew 4:18, the Bible says: “. . . for they were fishermen” in the New King James Version.  These men knew fishing.  It was their trade and vocation.  They made their living with boats and nets.  They knew about fishing and how to fish.

Jesus offered them something vastly different from the world that they lived in daily.  He offered to make them “become fishers of men” (v. 17).  He would train them to be fishers of men by training them, as the New International Version says, “to fish for people.”

They would be able to do it, but Jesus would teach and train them in how to do it.  He would equip and enable them to reach people for the eternal kingdom of God.  They would serve as witnesses among men of the mighty power of His earthly works as well as His eternal works on behalf of the sinful throughout the world.  They would be trained at the feet of the Master to evangelize with purpose and power.

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Look at what Jesus can do with what you already have going for you.  He can use what you know or what you have experienced to make you suitable servants for the kingdom of God.  He trains us through His Holy Spirit, coaching us all of the way.  As we study and serve, the Spirit affirms the training of the evangelist within each and every one of us.

Read about what Jesus can do with us.  Francis Chan offers some insights into truly understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Look at evangelism ministries of the the likes of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts.  Let the Lord lead you in your own evangelism efforts.

Read about what Jesus can make of us.  He made fishers of men out of fishermen.  He used ordinary folks to extraordinary things.  Twelve Ordinary Men is an exceptional read and study into how jesus can make something else out of us.

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Study His Word and discover how He can make more out of us than we have ever been before today.  He is able to do mighty works among us and through us to accomplish His purpose.  He wants people saved.  He wants you actively participating in drawing people to Him as fishers of men

Join the fishing division of the Lord’s army of believers.  Go forth and fish for people.

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But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

-Matthew 23:11 (NIV)

How do you serve Him? Do you serve Him with gladness? (Psalm 100:2) Do you serve Him as a “living sacrifice?” (Romans 12:1).  Just how do you serve the Lord? Do your works speak as much as your profession of faith? (James 2:26).  Look at how you serve Him.

Through Life Path Ministries, we added some recent documents to help ministries and nonprofits.  Check out 10 Things You Can Do with Bible Tracts or Where is Your Nineveh? today.  We will continue updating these downloads for the Christian community as we continue to grow in the Word.

I love other resources, too.  Check out Open, not from American Express, the site from LifeChurch.tv .  Also, Strang Media’s Relevant.  If you love the Lord and have a love for how He works with all kinds, check out the magazine site as well as www.relevant.tv for more resources and multimedia connections.  Additionally, give www.ccel.org , www.studylight.org and http://bibletopics.com for Christian classic writings and Bible study materials. 

All of this helps us in serving Him as well as serving like Him.  Yet, what helps most of all is being dedicated and devoted to the Lord.  The Lord can disciple us by His own example.  Andrew Murray said: “Your calling is to live like Christ.” Just as He has called us, He will see us through becoming more like Him. Stay dedicated.  Stay devoted.  He can grow you.

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