It’s Wednesday morning, October 19. First off, I would like to ask WordPress to please stop changing something every blessed week! It seems like at least once a week, when I log in, I have to look around to find what I need to do, when I just figured out where the buttons were from the LAST change! Are you secretly owned by Facebook? (If you’re not a Facebook user, you won’t understand that…if you are, I’m sure no explanation is needed.) Okay. I’m done with that rant.
Are things better with Stephanie? Well, sort of. We didn’t fight last night. But she’s still not going to school. However, we have an “emergency” appointment with her psychiatrist this afternoon. We’ll see what he recommends.
Today’s Bible readings:
2 Thessalonians 1; Jeremiah 19-20; Proverbs 22:1-8
As Paul begins his second letter to the Thessalonians, he speaks highly of their faith and growth. In fact, he states that he is even boasting to other churches about their “steadfastness and faith in all [their] persecutions and in the afflictions that [they] are enduring.” (v. 4) Paul also gives a little picture of the fate that awaits those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (v. 8 ) They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (vv. 9-10) So we do have some Biblical evidence for something that we call “hell.” Oddly enough, there are even Christians who believe that this will not happen, that God is so loving that he will eventually save everyone. Paul seems to indicate otherwise, here.
In Jeremiah 19, the Lord says that he is going to bring a huge disaster on Judah and Jerusalem. Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. (v. 3) Why? Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind… That’s why. The Lord had Jeremiah go and buy an earthenware flask, then break the flask in the presence of the people to say, “So will I break this people and this city…” At the beginning of chapter 20, a priest named Pashhur, who heard these prophecies, beats Jeremiah and puts him in stocks. When he finally releases him, Jeremiah says this to him: “The LORD does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror On Every Side. For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.” (vv. 3b-6) The rest of chapter 20 is a prayer of complaint to the Lord. Jeremiah is not exactly happy about his job or his message.
Proverbs 22:6 is a favorite among parents and those who counsel parents. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Personally, I take great comfort in this and see it as a promise. I pray daily that this verse will hold true in the lives of both of our children.
Father, I thank you for our children, and the joy that they have brought to our lives. Yes, I can say “joy,” because, even in the midst of these trials, I can see the joy that we have received from raising our two daughters. I pray that both of them will stay connected to you, through their faith in Jesus, as they grow older. I especially pray for Stephanie this morning, Lord. I pray that we might get some kind of clue from the doctor this afternoon. I pray that you would bring her back to a place of stability so that she can finish her senior year without any more issues. I also pray for Rachel, as she continues her education and moves toward a career. I pray that she will be successful in whatever she puts her hands and mind to.
I pray that our church might be the kind of church that Paul felt comfortable boasting about in 2 Thessalonians. I thank you for getting us connected with a body of believers so that we can grow in our faith. I know that we cannot be “lone Ranger” Christians. It’s just not possible to have a fruitful life that way. I thank you for the “Lifehouse” that we are connected with and pray that we will all continue to grow closer together as well as closer to you as we interact together.
I pray for this day at work for Christi and for me. Let it go smoothly.
Some say that they have raised their children the best they know how, and, now that they are 18, it’s in God’s hands. I disagree. It’s been in God’s hands all along.
Grace and peace, friends.