Just kidding! Do you ever tease someone with something a little bit mean and then cover it up by saying “just kidding”? The thing you said was still mean. And let’s be honest, you at least kind of meant it. Ellen Degeneres says, “if you’re joking, we should both be laughing.” Check out what Proverbs says about it today.
- 54-58 – The Lord declares the total destruction of Babylon.
- 1-11 – This account of Jerusalem’s destruction is actually a recap of the destruction before the exile. This is not another destruction.
- 12-23 – This recounts the destruction of the temple just before exile. This was the most devastating act.
- 24-30 – This is a recap of the people being taken into exile.
- 31-34 – This ending is the same way 2 Kings ended when we see a slight glimmer that there’s hope even in the face of devastating exile.
- 3-7 – A powerful testimony of the transformation brought on by God’s powerful grace.
- 8-11 – Clearly there were people struggling with all these things Titus is being warned against. Genealogies may have been bad because people were relying on their heritage for salvation instead of relying on Christ.
- A beautiful, easy to memorize psalm. This psalm is encouraging and reminds us how much God cares for us and that he is worthy of praise.
- A word of warning to all those who use the guise of joking to say hateful things to others.
We have the ability and propensity to turn good things bad. In other words, things that God has given us for good, we tend to corrupt and pervert or make them into idols. In today’s Jeremiah reading, we find that the Israelites have begun to rely on the temple instead of using at as a tool that connects them to God, as God intended it. What are the temples in your life? Service? Family? Work?
- 15-30 – Jerusalem will soon face disaster.
- 1 – Jeremiah’s sermon in the temple begins.
- 4 – Though this phrasing may not sound like a problem, the reason they are deceptive words is because the people of Jerusalem felt that having God’s temple was their ticket to salvation. Like meaningless sacrifices, having the temple meant nothing if you weren’t following God.
- 8-15 – God planned to destroy the temple in order to destroy the peoples’ false sense of security. They were relying on it for an automatic connection to God but living unfaithfully.
- 13-15 – Whatever it is that we were trusting in before Christ is taken away.
- 16-23 – No one else gets to tell us that Christ has not accepted us or that we are unacceptable to him. Of course, we are called to lovingly call out one another’s sins, but ultimately it is Christ who justifies us.
- 5-8 – The testimony in Jacob was designed to teach younger generations about God. God does great things in our lives in order to bless us and then calls us to tell others about it.
- 9-20 – The Israelites continually had reason to trust in God and yet continued to question his faithfulness.
- Honesty is a blessing and is as pleasant as a kiss.
The story in John today is incredible! The young man Jesus heals makes a powerful statement of faith as he testifies to what Jesus has done in his life. As the Pharisees, trying to indict Jesus, question the young man, he replies to them by saying, “All I know is I once was blind but now I see.” He basically says, “you do the math.” We all have a “I once was ________ but now I ________” story. What if we all shared them?
1 Samuel 20:1-21:15:
- 1-23 – Once again, Jonathan puts himself at risk to act as a go-between for David and Saul. David feared attending Saul’s dinner because Saul most likely wanted to harm him so Jonathan would feel out his father. Note that Jonathan makes a covenant with David here so that David won’t destroy all of Jonathan’s family. This becomes significant later.
- 41-42 – Jonathan and David were grieved that they would no longer get to see each other since Saul confirmed that he wanted to kill David. David had to flee, but they agreed that they would remain friends.
- 1-6 – David and his crew eat the holy bread which is supposed to be reserved only for the priests, but they were very hungry. Jesus refers to this when the religious leaders get mad at him for picking grain on the Sabbath.
- 2 – It was common belief that any physical or mental disability was caused by sin.
- 5 – Another I am statement. Jesus refers to himself as “the light of the world.” This is why he says it is day now – because he was present. He’s referring to “night” as when he is no longer on the earth.
- 21-23 – Whether the parents knew the healing was from Jesus or not, they were more afraid of the religious leaders than they were loyal to Jesus.
- 25 – A beautiful statement of faith! This is one we can all take note from. When people argue the validity of God or the saving power of Christ, all we need to say is, “I don’t know much. All I know is I once was blind but now I see.” Feel free to fill in your own story of “blindness”.
- 34 – The religious leaders find a way to discount the man’s story saying he is simply a sinner and they can’t learn anything from him.
- These psalms simply recount various ways God is great. This is a great way to write your own psalm of praise. Simply recall the various ways God has been great in your life.
- 16-17 – Beautiful verses explaining where real value lies.
Is that a habit? Get it!?! Because she’s wearing a…oh never mind. Jesus had a habit that he was known for. This habit is mentioned frequently throughout the Gospels and it seemed to be a big part of who he was. Jesus went off by himself to pray. When things were getting rowdy or something major had just happened, Jesus didn’t panic, run away, or take charge, he went to pray. What’s your habit?
- 21 – Note that modifications were made for those who were poor, but everyone still had to offer something.
- 34 – Why would God put leprous disease in an Israelites house if it is unclean? Remember, being unclean wasn’t necessarily because you had sinned and it wasn’t sinful to be unclean.
- The priests must have been extremely busy with leprosy cases considering all the checks and double-checks they had to perform.
- 34 – “Sheep without a shepherd” – like any of us before we find Christ.
- 44 – Five thousand men means there were at least as many women and children.
- 46 – Jesus is frequently described as going off by himself to pray. This seems to be how he regroups and reconnects after strenuous teaching or healings.
- 52 – Once again we see someone’s heart hardened. It does not mention who did the hardening this time. When our hearts are hardened we are unable to recognize God’s work.
- This Psalm is helpful when we need restoration.
- Encouragement to share the work God has done in your life, “I have not hidden your deliverance”, “I have spoken of your faithfulness.”
- The difference in result when our words are righteous and when they’re wicked.