10/31

October 31

Jeremiah 29-30

We love to quote Jeremiah 29:11 for ourselves, and it is applicable as a principle of faith and a desire from the heart of God, but this verse is written specifically to the Jew concerning their future after captivity. In verse 10, God again assures them that after the 70 years, they would return, just as He had said in chapter 25.

There was a person who was going around saying the return would happen quicker than 70 years. Let this be a lesson to us, that if we hear someone speaking prophetically with a message that differs from the Bible, that person is in error. It happens. Some people want the attention, they want to build their ministry, they want the adoration and support of people. They fake the prophetic, they use their charisma to attract, and they often use the sin consciousness to manipulate (shame, guilt, fear). Watch for the humble – the ones with a serving and loyal heart, the ones who are quick to repent and quick to forgive.

In chapter 30, starting in verse 12, God says to the Jews that they have an severe wound and affliction that cannot be cured. They have no one to plead their case. No one loves them and is pursuing them. They are undesirable. They are in need. Then in verse 17 He promises to restore them when they cry out to Him. He says, “I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds. He says, “You shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

He says, “In the latter days you will consider it.” God knew what would happen in their return to Jerusalem then, and He knows they will consider Him in the last days as well. Their return then is prophetic of their return at the Day of the Lord in the future.

To apply this to us today, we can be confident that when no one else seems to want us, God will always be seeking us. We can be confident of a relentless love of a gather for a missing child. He will never, and could never, forget you. His fatherly love will continue to pursue you, restore you, and lift you up to know Him more. Let’s believe in that kind of love and grace, and let’s extend that same love and grace to the people we are to win to Christ in this world.

Titus 1

Titus is a book written from Paul to Titus, “a true son.” Evidently Titus was a convert of Paul, a Greek. He was uncircumcised, so he was not a Jewish proselyte. Paul placed Titus as the pastor over Crete. In this letter, Paul gives Titus instruction for pastoral duty. In chapter 1, Paul describes qualifications for elders (bishops, overseers, pastors), who are spiritual leaders in the church, pastors and associate pastors, helping to shepherd the congregation.

When we see people who are idle talkers, insubordinate, and deceptive in churches today, we should recognize that people are imperfect, just as they were in Crete, as well as in every place Paul went. I think what makes it difficult for church families is when the trouble maker is a friend we care about. It is the pastor’s responsibility to deal with those who will not follow or line up with the vision of the church. Otherwise, there would be division and an unhealthy church. It is the pastor’s responsibility to stop talk that is a threat to the church. I couldn’t say it any better than Paul did in verse 11, “whose mouths must be stopped.” If your pastor confronts error, he or she is doing their job. If the person being corrected is your familiar friend, know that discipline is for his or her good. Hopefully they will learn and grow. If someone leaves the church because they refuse to submit, don’t be offended. Keep your eyes on Jesus and try to understand that your pastor has to answer to God for that church and for those people. The pastor knows and sees things from a leadership point of view and must consider the individuals, but also the whole church family.

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