To Follow Jesus
My (Shayne McCusker) notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
July/August 2014 Issue – ‘Poet of Hope’
Today’s text for reading and meditation:
Hebrews 11:32-40 (NIV-UK):“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawn in two; they were killed by the sword.
They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated; the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
I knew the overall story of Jeremiah, and could recall some detail. But, this journey over the last two months has been quite remarkable; I’ve a fresh appreciation of God’s fantastic patience with His rebellious people and Jeremiah’s long-term loyalty to God.
It’s interesting that one of the most popular verses in the Bible (besides John 3:16) comes from Jeremiah. It’s Jeremiah 29:11, which is: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Perhaps then, we can truly say that Jeremiah was indeed a ‘Poet of Hope’.
Here’s what Selwyn had to say: “Having spent two months reflecting on the prophecy of Jeremiah, what is our conclusion? Surely it must be this – when life seems humdrum, routine and unexciting or we feel overrun by life’s circumstances and situations, there is hope. … We can opt for the average or we can pursue excellence. Excellence does not always mean the exciting or the adventurous. It means doing God’s work faithfully, industriously, and without cutting corners. …
Has the Word of the Lord come to you? Has Jesus spoken into your life and given you clear direction concerning the path He wants you to go? Then go for it – and never give up. Doing the work of God faithfully is the excellence He looks for. The Word of God is your strength. Give Him praise and honour and glory.”
We live to faithfully follow Jesus and to give God glory. In John 15:7-9, we hear Jesus say: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”
Do you have any final thoughts on this issue of Every Day with Jesus? What is the main impression that you gained from this study?