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Check out last week’s livestream now.

Week 33 Recap

What we learned from this chapter:

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)

We missed Pastor Powell on this last livestream, but we hope to have him back in our midst come next week.

The topics from Week #33 were:

  • Jeremiah is still in prison, imprisoned by King Zedekiah and God’s word came to him a second time (v. 2)
  • God is fighting against Israel and Judah through the Chaldeans (v. 5)
  • God outlines His plans for Judah and Jerusalem (vv. 6-17)
  • God backs up His promises with Himself and His ability as surety (vv. 19-26)
  • We also covered surety as guarantee or co-signer for another’s debt and the LORD vs Lord debate.

Make sure to download the Show Notes from Week #33

Download the FREE Bible Discussion Guide for Week 34.

Week 34: God’s Covenant Calls for Debt Relief

God Introduced the Concept as He Made His Covenant

1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is the manner of remission: Every creditor shall cancel what he has loaned to his neighbor. He is not to collect anything from his neighbor or brother, because the LORD’s time of release has been proclaimed. 3 You may collect something from a foreigner, but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you. – Deuteronomy 15:1-3

4 There will be no poor among you, however, because the LORD will surely bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, 5 if only you obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commandments I am giving you today. 6 When the LORD your God blesses you as He has promised, you will lend to many nations but borrow from none; you will rule over many nations but be ruled by none. – Deuteronomy 15:4-6

In most cases, this sector of the Scriptures is called the Law. Within the Law, Deuteronomy 15 offers us what is referred to as the “year of release.” This was not just a law about the limitations of bondage and enslavement. It is not just part of God’s covenant with Israel. It is an expectation that God’s people obey and observe it as part of their commitment to God.

. . . but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you. (v. 5)

Look at what the Bible says about the seventh year beyond Deuteronomy 15 (Exodus 23:10-13Leviticus 25:1-7). Use the resources from Bible Study Help to assist you with viewing the Bible online and using Bible study tools, even which sites stand out as our top 5 favorite Bible study sites online.

God Revisits the Concept in the Hopes of Renewing His Covenant

Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘I made a covenant with your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, saying, At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother who has been sold to you and has served you six years, you shall send him out free from you; but your forefathers did not obey Me or incline their ear to Me.

Jeremiah 34:13-14 (NASB)

God’s spoken word to Jeremiah is a reminder of what He had already established in His covenant with your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage (v. 13). He points out how it was not obeyed by the children of Israel in the past.

Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother and each man to his neighbor. Behold, I am proclaiming a release to you,’ declares the LORD, ‘to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts

Jeremiah 34:17-18 (NASB)

God says openly how He plans to deal with those who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts. He doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what will transpire. He makes it plain who He is talking about, too. He points out in verse 19: the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf (ESV). He speaks plainly about what He aims to do in verses 20-21.

And I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives. Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has withdrawn from you.

Jeremiah 34: 20-21 (ESV)

God’s dealings with the king and the officials are not simply in defense of the debtors. God’s dealing with their disobedience and dishonor of the covenant just like their forefathers. He shows that He will exercise His power with anger and fury in order to prove true to His own word, His covenant with His people.

God’s covenant called for debt relief and since it was not handled appropriately, God’s got an answer for that.

Friday Freebie: 30-Day Prayer Challenge Calendar Download

Are you prayerful?

You know it’s a compound word [“prayer” + “full”] which translates as “full of prayer.” It means expressive in prayer; given to prayer; devout.

Let me ask it another way.

Are you in continuous communion,connection, and communication with God?

I can imagine that’s got your mental wheels spinning as you question yourself about your prayer life, but here’s something to address that. Get involved in the 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge as we tackle the act of prayer throughout the month of September. If nothing else, you will definitely be able to say by the end of September this year that you learned more about your own prayer life and what God’s Word says about prayer. As E.M. Bounds famously said: “Prayer is humbling work.”

Take the 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge this September. Simply subscribe here and receive the FREE September 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge Calendar. Sign up for our new weekly e-newsletter as part of the 30-Day Prayer Challenge for September. Don’t forget: you’ve got to subscribe here to get the FREE 30-Day Prayer Challenge Calendar.

Join us Wednesday at 11 AM PST

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Snapshot of Week 32 Livestream

Join the conversation!!

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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Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who is prophesying to you?

Jeremiah 29:27 (ESV)

Playing a Role Out of Position

Reading the rebuke of Shemaiah from the Lord sounds like a laundry list of misgivings and mistaken moves on Shemaiah’s part. When God has to go on a roll to run down all of your transgressions, He is not just having a tie to vent. Believe in all honesty that He is setting up things to take you down and set you straight.

What do we know about Shemaiah?

Shemaiah the Nehelamite, a false prophet who went with the captives to Babylon and who opposed Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:24, 31-32). Shemaiah means “God heard” in Hebrew. Nehelamite, according to topical Bible research, means “dweller of Nehela.” However, “no such place-name is found in the Old Testament.”

He sounds like a self-appointed prophet among the Babylonian captives who took offense to the letters sent by Jeremiah. His words call for such a madman to be restrained and confined “in the stocks and neck irons,” according to verse 26. He challenges Zephaniah to answer why he has not rebuked and handled Jeremiah as of yet, especially after he said for the Babylonian captives to settle in and make the most of their time in captivity since it would last 70 years.

Not only was this man out of position, but he was totally taking on a man called by God to share His message, not a madman with a message of his own.

Leave It to God to Handle False Prophets

We’ve seen God do it before. We should not be surprised to see God do it again. He uses His servants the prophets to deliver His message to the people, while He handles false prophets with swift justice. He did so with Hananiah, the prophet dying within the same year of his false prophecy in the previous chapter.

Did you really think Shemaiah was going to get away with such an outlandish move as putting Jeremiah on blast like he was the false prophet?

Not one bit.

God sets things straight by making it plain. “Behold, I will punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord” (v. 32, ESV). Despite what the false prophet believes and says, he is dealt with by God in a way that shuts down his own message.

The best part of it all comes at the tail end of the verse and chapter where God says “for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.” It is what it is. It is God having to rectify what some fool says another one believes without even comparing it with what God has said already. It is pure foolishness passed around and taken in like bad medicine. People are warned that they reap what they sow. Such is the case with Shemaiah. You think somebody needs to be corrected? Okay, let’s let God handle that and see who gets handled for pushing falsehood and rebellion among God’s people.

Jeremiah 29 is the foundation for this week’s livestream Wednesday at 11 AM PST

Let the lesson of Shemaiah help you learn more about how God deals with falsehood. He does not spend a lot of time on it. He does not offer many words for it. He speaks on it and against, and then it is handled by Him. In fact the Lord has warned us about these false prophets. I think most of us who know the Lord can live with that rather than trying to figure out what God is doing to make things right.

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And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
– Mark 6:31-32

Sometimes you have to get away.  At times, you would be better off to simply leave your current location and get some time away from everyone and everything else.  You just might need some alone time with God in a different venue.

It doesn’t mean that you cannot come back.  You just need to get away to get better and go forward.

Look at the disciples.  They had just done some miraculous work in the name of the Lord.  Earlier in that chapter, the Twelve were sent out to remove unclean spirits and share the Good News (see verses 7-9).  Upon their return, Jesus listened as they gave firsthand accounts of their work done in His name.  Yet, after hearing this, Jesus instructs them to Go away and get some rest in a “deserted place.”

We need to see how the Lord wants us working but not worn out by the work.  Burning out may be biblical because we can see it at different instances in the Bible but so is blasphemy and idolatry.  Yet, there are things that we should just do to get better such as resting from our labor.

Do you recall the biblical incident when the disciples could not help the desperate father and his demon-possessed son? Jesus shared that this kind required prayer and fasting for it to come out of the person.  We cannot fast on an empty stomach nor could we pray effectively for others with hunger growling in our bellies.  Our human frailty remind us of our own limits.  We need a rest to revive ourselves for further work.  We need to appreciate the time away as more than a vacation.  We need to see it as a means of recharging ourselves.

As we go further in ministry, we will come to recognize the importance of rest in our work.  At some point, we just have to get away.

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Do not merely listen to the word,
and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says.

– James 1:22 (NIV)

It is probably safe to say that most of want to do what god expects of us.  We can admit that we are at least willing to try.  I think that makes some reasonable sense based on my own experience.

We don’t always do right.

We don’t necessarily do any better.

God expects us to do better.  He 3expects us to do something with His Word.  He doesn’t expect us to just take it in and let it sit within us.  He wants us working on what He has for us to do.  Otherwise, we are headed down the right right track.

Do what God says and you’ll meet His expectation for your obedience every single time.

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All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

-Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

You have been pouring your heart into this latest venture.  You can see the vision that you have for the future as clear as day.  It is in view.  Yet, as you continue to toil away by the sweat of your brow, you start to stress.  You feel yourself losing your nerve.  You begine to agonize over the potential pitfalls and staggering stumbling blocks that could emerge as you chase your dream.

That’s common.  You are just like many other entrepreneurs who fail to walk down beaten path.  Yes, it is common, but it far from healthy.

The Bible says that all hard work leads to a profit.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), that’s not necessarily so.  The births and deaths of business are measured in what is called “business churn.” Business churn amounts to combination of business births and deaths during a specified period, whether a quarter or a year, providing an indicator for the overall scope of business.  During this first quarter of 2012, things appear to be churning upward.  However, that means some businesses did still die during this period.  They closed shop and called it quits, never to arise from the ashes of defeat again (at least not under that company name).

So, what does that mean for Christians in business or seeking to jump into business?

It means that there is a slight and gradual recovery from the recession.  It means that the landscape is still full of uncertainty.  It means that, as Christians, we still have to have faith, even to go into business in this day and age.

Keep your faith.  Maintain your focus on what you can do.  Keep costs and expenditures, especially debt, low.  Seek to grow your business step by step, taking it slow if you have to in order to keep things balanced.  Stay close to the Lord throughout the venture.  Don’t wait until you have a pending bankruptcy to call on the Lord.  Start praying as you start planning.

After all, the profit that the Bible speaks of may not be limited to monetary riches and social prestige.  The type  of profit  spoken of by the Bible extends far beyond money.  You can be a success at making a difference in the community and in the lives of the people who benefit from your business, customers, employees, suppliers, partners and more.

Success is just within your grasp.  Go on and keep going for it.

Strive for Success with Life Path Consulting. . .

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“This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.” – Mark 1:1 (New Living Translation)

The opening line of the Gospel of Mark sets both the tone and the pace for one of the most action-packed depictions of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ offered through the Gospels.  While Mark’s account is counted among the Synoptic Gospels, it still stands out as particular account of Jesus, “the Messiah, the Son of God.” It offers the reader an opportunity to go along for a roller coaster ride of encounters with Jesus as He goes to and fro, teaching, healing and ministering to the people in the area of Palestine.

Rather than a lofty introduction of the book like his counterparts Luke and Matthew, Mark opens with a single verse that sets everything up from there.  He points out that it is about Jesus.  It is about the Messiah.  It is about the Son of God.  He does not get into genealogy like Matthew.  He does not introduce his position in a case statement like Luke where the opening four verses sound almost like a theological thesis for a seminary student to some degree.  Mark hits his main point and begins to spill evidence of that point from that point on and throughout the entire book.

Start studying the Gospel of MarkRead it as part of your daily Bible study or devotional period.  Listen to it on YouVersion or other sites.  Pick up a commentary or Bible study on the Gospel of Mark.  Let it sink in and soak in to your very soul.  Let it speak to you through the Holy Spirit.  Let it help you see Jesus in action and explore it so that you can experience the gospel in a new light.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. – Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)

On the Day of the Lord, the Lord will judge the people.  He will come in his glory “and all the angels with Him,” sitting up His glorious throne.  At that time, He will judge the works of us all as believers.  Here, in the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that He will have all the nations gathered before Him.  I do not mean to offer a deep discussion on or explanation of eschatology, but I must share that the sheep and goats are of the Lord’s flock.

The Lord will separate each of us based upon our attitude and actions related to the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry and others.  He will pass judgment on how well we loved our neighbor.  He will not measure our actions based upon something that He has hidden from us.  He is a righteous judge.  After all, He is the Good Shepherd.  He will separate the sheep from the goats.

Which side will you stand on when the Lord judges the ways of men? Will you be among the sheep? Or, will you be among the goats? Will you be on the right or the left? Which will it be?

Take into consideration the entire chapter 25 of Matthew.  Consider how well you are preparing for the Lord’s coming day.  Read it and the prophecies related to the day of the Lord.  Read up on Joel and Zephaniah’s prophecies about the day of the Lord.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 (KJV)

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“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” –Duke Ellington

God expects us to do our best.  He desires it of us.  Essentially, we are to do our best to give Him glory.

Have you done your best with what you have been given by God?

  • Marriage?
  • Children?
  • Job?
  • Spiritual gifts?

The list could go on.  We have to answer whether we have truly handled what God has given us to the best of our ability.  We have to do our best and give Him the glory in doing so.  He has entrusted us.  That’s about stewardship.

Do your best and give God the glory.  He did so in saving us.  He did not hold back.  He did not spare anything.  He offered His best, a lamb without spot or blemish.  We should do the same.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

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“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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