Thank you, Lord, for the things we don’t deserve!
Looking back over the past year, it’s sobering to acknowledge the incredible life most Christians are allowed to live. We are:
All mankind is stupid, devoid of knowledge —Jeremiah 51:17a
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned —Romans 5:12
Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his ife’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. —Luke 12:24-32
Even better, and most astonishingly, we are able to live out our lives with the God of the universe permanently indwelling us without any cost to us.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. —Romans 8:11
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. —Ephesians 2:8-9
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 6:23
The permanent indwelling assures that no matter what happens in our life, in the end, we win!
And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. —1 John 5:11
And not only are we assured of our place in heaven if we believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ, we can obtain more rewards if we allow the Lord to work through us.
And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth. —Revelation 11:18
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. —Revelation 22:12
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all thy wonders. —Psalm 9:1
Do you believe that Jeremiah 10:2-5 refers to Christmas trees?
Thus says the Lord,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.: —Jeremiah 10:2-5
No, this is not referring to Christmas trees. The preceding verse (“Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.“ —Jeremiah 10:1) clearly states that God is addressing the “house of Israel” and Jews don’t do Christmas, much less Christmas trees. At the time of this writing, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was in exile and exposed to idolatry from the surrounding nations. These verses underscore the futility of idols as they are made by men and then covered with silver and gold. The lifeless junk had to be carried to its destination because it had no power of its own. The following verses (Jeremiah 10:6-11) then contrast idols with the true God who is alive and eternal. ______________________________ ______________________________
There is none like You, O LORD;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether stupid and foolish
In their discipline of delusion–their idol is wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skilled men.
But the LORD is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King
At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” —Jeremiah 10:6-11
At the time of this writing, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was in exile and exposed to idolatry from the surrounding nations. These verses underscore the futility of idols as they are made by men and then covered with silver and gold. The lifeless junk had to be carried to its destination because it had no power of its own. The following verses (Jeremiah 10:6-11) then contrast idols with the true God who is alive and eternal.
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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