Old Testament: Jeremiah 51:54-53:34
Jeremiah 51:54-53:34 Scroll Down
Chap. 51:54-64 Why is there so much interest in Babylon that Jeremiah writes so much of her destruction? Babylon was the most powerful nation on earth at the time. But she shall be brought to “perpetual desolation” (v. 62). As you might have noticed, there hasn’t been a lot going on in Babylon/Iraq for a while except for a lot of warfare. Jeremiah used an object lesson at the end of the chapter to bring his point home. He told Seraiah, Baruch’s brother (Jer. 32:12), to tie a stone to the scroll after he read it and to throw it in the Euphrates to symbolize the sinking of the nation (v. 63-64).
Chap. 52 This last chapter was written twenty-five years later than the rest of Jeremiah and wasn’t written by Jeremiah (Ryrie). It was written after King Jehoiachin was released from prison after 561 B.C. (BKC). There are parallels in 2 Kings 24:18-25:30 and Jeremiah 39. It was written to encourage the exiles in Babylon and to confirm Jeremiah’s prophecies. It is the story of Judah’s last king, Zedekiah (cf. blog on Jer. 39: Ai, Yi, Yi and 2 Kings 24: The Final Four.
New Testament: Titus 3:1-15
Titus 3:1-15 Grace In Action
Paul gives more advice on what he should do as a minister. He should exhort his congregation to submit to authority. That may be a lost cause today. No one submits to authority in the church. (Yes, that’s hyperbole, almost). Perhaps that is why so many pastors give up and do not exert authority when they should. Of course, others impose too much authority (v. 1, cf. 1 Pet. 5:3). Christians are not to be abusive but gentle and their goal should be peace in the body (v. 2). Everyone should remember their previous state of sin being immature, unruly, wanting our own way, doing what we want, and hurting others (v. 3). At the other extreme, God was kind and forgiving sending His own Son to die in our place (v. 4).
Paul reminds Titus of God’s grace and salvation, that it’s the opposite of anything we can do as well as the absence of punishment (mercy is when we don’t get what we deserve, v. 5a). He Himself cleans us and then reboots us in the Spirit (v. 5b). He does all this through Christ as our substitute (v. 6). Because we have been cleaned in Christ, we can be heirs of God with an inheritance of eternal life with Him (v. 7).
It is not enough to be saved, we must also be sanctified, showing what God has done in us by acting accordingly (v. 8). We should not engage in fighting about the finer points of doctrine and minutia. We won’t get anywhere with anyone that way (v. 9). People who just want to fight should be rebuked and then disfellowshipped if they continue to stir things up (v. 10). That kind of person shows his own bad character (v. 11).
Paul sent out two of his friends to escort Titus to Nicopolis, on the western coast of Greece, for the winter so they can fellowship together (v. 12). He tells Titus to help a lawyer and fellow minister in their travels (v. 13). Titus should help others who want to help others (v. 14) so the ministry will be completed. Everyone with Paul sends their greeting to him (v.15a). All those who love true believers should be welcomed (v. 15b).
Once more, Paul emphasizes the doctrine of “unmerited favor” to remind Titus that it is the core of our faith (v. 15c).
Psalm 100:1-5 Thanks-Gating A Hymn Of Yahweh’s Kingship By Anonymous
Proverbs 26:18-19 Protection From Flamers
You just love practical jokers, don’t you?
I was just reading about the high jinks in an historic baseball clubhouse.
- One megastar froze a plastic snake and put it down the trousers of one of the relief pitchers. And he was deathly afraid of serpents!
- The same star put a dead fish in a teammate’s whirlpool
- He also put powder in the hair dryer of the first player to use that kind of device
Things didn’t work out for him after those shenanigans. The victim of the blown talc put Joy dishwashing liquid in his hot tub! Ha. I guess that cleaned some things up. Talionic justice. Tit for tat. What goes around, comes around. You reap what you sow.
What verse 19 claims is much worse. It is about a violent man who propels flaming missiles with intent to kill. Then if he gets caught, he says he was just jesting.
Solomon is alerting us that there are crazy people out there. Some are just evil. The devil, for instance, pitches blazing darts at us. The antidote is faith (cf. Eph. 6:16).
Look out for those kinds of people. Some are demented. Some are furiously evil.
They are real.
But God will protect you from them if you trust Him (cf. Prov. 3:5-6; Isa. 43:2; Ps. 91:14-15).
Scripture: Titus 3:5 NASB “Mercy Me”
”He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit . . .” Titus 3:5
There is a Christian pop song whose lyrics are, “When we get what we don’t deserve, it’s a real good thing, real good thing. When we get what we deserve, it’s a real good thing, real good thing.” They give us the definitions of two deep theological terms against a catchy beat in about 15 seconds.
The first phrase is the definition of mercy, “when we don’t get what we deserve.” We deserve eternal death for our sins. God ensured that we can receive mercy by sending His Son to die in our place.
The second phrase is the definition of grace, “when we get what we don’t deserve.” We certainly in no way merit life with God forever. God is perfect and sinless, we are imperfect and sinful. The twain would not be able to meet. However, through the sacrifice of God’s Son, we can be “justified” or be seen as perfect by God through His Son. That is grace, “God’s unmerited favor.”
Titus 3:5 explains that God gives us His mercy, what we don’t deserve. He then justifies us by cleansing us in the Spirit and renewing us. It’s all by His mercy in Christ.
It’s a real good thing.
And you can have it today if you choose to 1) admit you are a sinner (Rom. 3:23) 2) believe that Christ died in our place (Rom. 5:8) 3) personally trust Christ that He died for you (Rom. 10:9b, 10a).
Choose God’s mercy!
When you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Are you thankful for God’s grace and mercy? Take a few moments to thank Him for both right now. Where would you be without God’s grace? Where would you be without God’s mercy?
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Scroll Down