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    Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 25)

    Charles Swindoll in his commentary, The Lamentations of Jeremiah, writes regarding the book of Lamentations,


    “It is a mute reminder that sin, in spite of all its allurement and excitement, carries with it heavy weights of sorrow, grief, misery, barrenness, and pain. It is the other side of eat, drink, and be merry.”


    In our reading today Jeremiah describes Jerusalem's great sins and the resultant suffering. He presents the Lord’s wrath against Jerusalem—and His own anger over the city’s desperate state. And, he recalls his own sufferings but expresses hope in the Lord.


    Read Lamentations 1:1 - 3:36


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      Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 24)

      When we begin to be conscious of God’s grace, it shows up everywhere. Consider,


      ”For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, By his God, the LORD of hosts, Though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.” Jeremiah 51:5 (NKJV).


      Wow!


      It reminds us of the promise in the New Testament for believers,


      ”If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)


      Sooner or later God will judge those who mess with His chosen people. Babylon is finally brought to an end. It’s demise is decreed and directed by God.


      We probably should have read Jeremiah 52 along with 2 Kings 24 and 25 since they are almost identical. It’s unclear why the fall of Jerusalem is placed at the end of the prophecy, after Babylon has fallen. Some scholars believe it was to show Jeremiah’s words of judgment against Jerusalem had been fulfilled and that his words about Judah’s release from the Exile were about to be fulfilled.


      Perhaps as an encouragement to the remnant still in captivity?


      Read Jeremiah 51:1 - 52:34



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        Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 23)

        Jeremiah had been commissioned by God as a prophet to the nations. He grouped his prophecies about the nation of Judah first, in chapters 2-45. Understandably, Judah being God’s covenant nation, it takes the largest share of Jeremiah’s prophetic writing.


        God, however, judges all nations for their sin and others didn’t escape His watchful/prophetic eye!


        These chapters are not easy reading. A suggestion to help you is to look for particular reasons for God’s judgment on a given nation. For example in 49:4 regarding Ammon, notice the words, “boast” and “backsliding”. In 50: 2 observe, “Idols” and “images.” Key words may cause you to consider; how will God judge our own nation?


        The nations in the spotlight: Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar and Hazor, Elam, Babylon and Babylonia.


        In the comments below I have added a map of Jeremiah’s world. It’s not the best map, but you will be able to see where these nations were located.


        Read Jeremiah 49:1 - 50: 46

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        1. Oh click on comments to see map!
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        Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 22)

        The battle of Carchemish was fought in 605 BC between the armies of Egypt allied with the remnants of the army of the former Assyrian Empire against the armies of Babylon. Jeremiah prophesies about this famous historic battle. 


        At the end of chapters 46 and 48 there is a promise of restoration: Chapter 46, Israel is reassured of a future restoration. In chapter 48 the promise is that the fortunes of Moab will be restored in the latter days.


        God is a God of restoration! 


        Read Jeremiah 46:1 - 48:47

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          Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 21)

          It can be discouraging for a Christian leader to not have any fruit from his ministry. Jeremiah’s tree was barren. In chapter 42 of today’s reading, just when it looks like men are going to listen to Jeremiah and the Word of the Lord, their pride gets in the way and they shut him down. He is accused of speaking falsely. This has been the pattern of his work as a prophet. Unrewarding and discouraging. How much can a man take?


          Do you know what kept Jeremiah going? He listened for the Word of God. He stayed in touch with the Lord. That is the solution for our discouragement. Stay in the Word, stay connected to a local church (the Body of Christ), and keep preaching the Good News.


          Read Jeremiah 41:1 - 45:5

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            Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 20)

            The little book of Habakkuk takes place in the dark days of Jehoiakim’s reign just before the Babylonian Captivity (586 BC). This brief prophecy is a message of hope and encouragement for God’s people.


            When sin runs rampant in our world we may experience doubts about God, but by meeting God each day in His Word, those doubts can turn into devotion.


            In Habakkuk’s message worry is transformed into worship, fear into faith, and terror becomes trust. Hope reigns.


            God is in control!


            Read Habakkuk 1:1 - 3:19

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              Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 19)

              [For U.S. readers. Due to my work schedule while in Cambodia, I have to post a day ahead. Once I return I will be able to get back to a normal posting schedule. Sorry for any confusion on the dates. And please forgive my typos! I don’t have a laptop and it’s a bit of a challenge.]


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              We come to the end of the kings of the kingdom of Judah. Babylon has finally broken through and brought the king to his knees. Wicked king Zedekiah was the twentieth king to rule. He had a chance to repent, but would not do it. Now a lowly governor is appointed to oversee what is left of a once glorious kingdom. He doesn’t last long—he is assassinated by a member of the royal family.


              Sin has such devastating effects. Nothing good can come of it. Disobedience to God has consequences.


              The people are exiled to Babylon but the chronicler (2 Chronicles 36:22-23) ends on an optimistic note! Yes, the people were being judged by God, but God will eventually deliver them. To accomplish this the Lord raised up the mighty Cyrus king of Persia.


              In the first year over Babylon Cyrus issued a decree which allowed the people of Judah to return to their land and rebuild their temple! Ironically God stirred up the spirit of a pagan king to make possible the historical events which will eventually lead to the coming of Jesus Christ, the incarnate God who will one day take the literal throne of David as King!


              Read 2 Kings 24:1 - 25:30; 2 Chronicles 36:1-23

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                Roger’s Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 18)

                Those who hold to the prosperity gospel need to take a long look at the life of Jeremiah. This great prophet of God never experienced prosperity. The prosperity gospel is a false gospel.


                Jeremiah, in the midst of proclaiming the Word of the Lord, was cast into a mirey dungeon, without food or water. There is no prosperity in a deep dark hole in the ground. Jeremiah doesn’t question, “Where is God?” He doesn’t need to. He is so close to God and His word that he knows even in the dungeon God is with him.


                When we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, we will not be shaken as we experience deep mirey trials.


                The sad part about Jeremiah’s ministry is that he was not listened to. The result was the tragic yet fateful fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC to the Babylonians and King Nebuchadnezzar. 


                The irony: While Judah’s king despised Jeremiah, the Babylonian King treated him very kindly.  


                On the other hand, Judah’s king Zedekiah, while allowed to live, was not treated with kindness and suffered tragedy in his family and personally. 


                We should reject the false prosperity and social gospels. God wants us to be faithful to Him in good times and bad—be assured when we follow Christ bad times will come, but as He was with Jeremiah, God is with us too.


                Read Jeremiah 38:1- 40:16, Psalm 74; Psalm 79 

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                  Roger’s Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 17)

                  The Rechabites (Jeremiah 35) are not a clan of Bible characters we learn much about in Sunday School, but they were people who kept their promises. God noticed their faithfulness and compared them to unfaithful Judah.


                  God is looking for faithful men and women and He rewards those who obey Him.


                  Jeremiah continues to be unpopular. He wrote a scathing letter on a scroll that incited King Jehoiakim to cut it to pieces and burn it!


                  Man can burn a scroll, but he cannot destroy the Word of God.


                  God told Jeremiah to write another one, but include some additional words to King Jehoiakim (36:30-31).


                  Chapter 37 begins a three chapter chronological account of Jeremiah’s life and ministry during the final seige and fall of Jerusalem. Judah needed a strong and godly leader during this time, but Zedekiah possessed neither quality.


                  Read Jeremiah 35:1 - 37:21

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                    Roger’s Word in the World Bible Reading Plan (March 16)

                    Greetings from Phnom Phen, Cambodia. It is a blessing and joy each day to read the Bible! We have the actual words of God before us as we open the book. The Word of God never gets old. His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness! Amen?


                    [A little housekeeping is in order before we read today’s passage: I attempt to post our daily reading the evening before the specific reading date. This reading plan is not automated. I read each passage, then write the little devotional. Because of the various time zones of readers across the world, it can be a challenge to get it out on time.


                    When I am in the States my goal is to post the next day’s reading by 6:00 PM (Pacific time) the night before. That means our readers in Cambodia get it by 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM (There is a 14 or 15 hour time difference, depending on daylight saving time) the morning of the reading date.


                    The goal is to get it out to everyone expeditiously. I would like to be able to get it to our Cambodia readers earlier in the morning so they can read it when they rise. Coffee and the Bible go well together!


                    I have an idea how to do that, but it means changing the format. Readers would receive the daily post via e-mail. I’m not ready to do this yet since it takes a bit of planning and logistical details to make it happen.


                    We are approaching 50 followers! Praise the Lord. I want to enhance our reading plan and make it even more personal. I desire to continue reading along with you each day! Knowing others are reading God’s Word and facing some of the same challenges in life is comforting and encouraging.


                    Now, it’s time to read on!]


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                    Jeremiah is imprisoned for his faith! He is doing what God wants him to do, but he is being punished by the world for it. Yet, while in prison, he is still used by God.


                    We cannot let our temporal circumstances determine how we serve our Lord. God works in our lives no matter how we feel, or where we find ourselves. The question we must answer is, “Are we living our lives in God’s will? Are we walking in the Spirit?” If so, come what may, good times and bad, we can be assured God will still be at work. He is not bound by our location or problems.


                    Although persecuted, Jeremiah receives promises about God’s omnipotence (32:26) and God’s objectives for Israel, i.e. punishment and purification.


                    It does not matter that Jeremiah has been locked up by King Zedekiah. Jeremiah continues to warn the wicked king about God’s coming judgment. When the king doesn’t listen...Jerusalem is captured, and Zedekiah himself is taken into captivity.


                    Read Jeremiah 32:1 - 34:22

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