Week Thirty-nine — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — By Grace Jeremiah is Set Free — Jeremiah 40: 3,4

Note: In chapter 38 Jeremiah is thrown into a cistern by his own countrymen, but he is later rescued.  Eventually Jerusalem does fall as Jeremiah prophesies, and he is swept up in the throng that is to go as captives to Babylon.  However, he is identified and freed by the Babylonian officials, since he faithfully prophesied that they would destroy Jerusalem.


Jeremiah 40: 3, 4 [The imperial guard says,] “And now that Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he world.  All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him.  But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come.  Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”

Prayer: Lord God, amid the throng you preserve your faithful children.

Thought for the day:  You can find treasure simply by looking under the cushions of your sofa.


Psalm 106:46, 47 He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us form the nations, that we may give thinks to your hold name and glory in your praise.

Prayer: Lord God, you have always found your people.

Thought for the day:  You will never slip through the holes, if you are pocketed in God’s care.


Psalm 119: 44, 45 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Prayer:  Lord God, in the pathway of obedience to you there is freedom.

Thought for the day: One of two choices has the power to save a life: “No” or Naloxone.


Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks that you freed us from the burden of sin.

Thought for the day: The finish line of the race of life gets farther away as the weight of sin increases.


James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.

Prayer:  Lord God, with the strength of will you give us may we obey your will.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”


I Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

Prayer:  Jesus, may our lives ever reflect the goodness you have restored in us.

Thought for the day:  In spiritual warfare there are no double-agents.


Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you that you are ever mindful of us, your children.

Thought for the day:  Jeremiah’s faith was a both-and faith – faith both in prison and out of prison.

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com


Week Thirty-eight — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah’s prophesy survives the fire — Jeremiah 36: 2-3

Note: Chapter 36 includes the dramatic story of how Jeremiah must rewrite a prophesy after the king violently destroys the word. People and officials hearing the word demonstrate their concern, but the king rejects the world to his own undoing.


Jeremiah 36:2-3 “take a scroll and write on it all the words I [God] have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”

Prayer: Lord God, may we respond to your grace and mercy with contrite hearts of love.

Thought for the day: With God opportunity may knock twice.


Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Prayer: Lord God, your word of love and correction is unfailing.

Thought for the day: Promise keeping could eliminate the needs for great quantities of fine print.


2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for a loving word to lead, correct, inspire, and empower us.

Thought for the day: Familiarity with a vehicle’s owner’s manual can make trips smoother.


2 Peter 1:20,21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord God, we trust the scriptures as your word of revelation for us today.

Thought for the day: Opinions like scratch-off tickets are frequently sought and frequently wrong.


I Corinthians 15: 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, your life, your ministry, and even your sacrifice for our sins fulfilled God’s prophecies of old.

Thought for the day: Fulfilling one’s promises and well-wishes is a full-time job.


Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your forthright and true word of scripture for our world today.

Thought for the day: The “Wrong Way” sign in the median is posted for your protection.


John 5: 39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scripture that testify about me.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we find in God’s word the testimony of your forgiving love.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus. To reach out and touch him and know that he loves me.”

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-Seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah consoles the exiles — Jeremiah 31: 3,4


Jeremiah 31: 3,4 The Lord appeared to us I the past saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness, I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.  Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.

Prayer:  Lord God, your everlasting love renews life and hope in us today.

Thought for the day: Parents know how to love even when the child does not return the love.


Deuteronomy 7:7,8 The Lord did not set his affection on you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Prayer:  Lord God, you loved us enough to give us life for one more day, and we thank you.

Thought for the day:  Perfection is not a prerequisite for true parental love.


Malachi 1:2,3 “I have loved you,” says the Lord.  “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? The Lord says.  “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.

Prayer:  Lord God, your love for us is our protection and our blessing.

Thought for the day:  For safety sake never get between a mama bear and her cubs.


John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give our thanks for the gift of your son.

Thought for the day: For the newborn king the little drummer boy gave what he had; he played on his drum.


Ephesians 2: 3,4  All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich I mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, surely it is a great love that would save us by grace.

Thought for the day: The songwriter called God’s grace wonderful and matchless, since it is greater than all our sin.


Proverbs 3:11, 12 My son do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Prayer: Lord God, even though you may discipline us, we would abide in your love.

Thought for the day: The child can endure the discipline, if he or she is confident of being loved.


I John 4:7, 8 Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Prayer:  Lord God, we are in awe that you would entrust to us the task of loving one another

Thought for the day: To love others we must see them for who they are.

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-six — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah writes to the exiles — Jeremiah 29:13,14

Note: In a letter to the exiles Jeremiah warns the people not to trust the false prophets who promise a quick-fix. God’s plans to proper the people (v. 11) are part of God’s promise that in God’s time God will restore the people after 70 years of captivity.


Jeremiah 29:13-14 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the lord, “ and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Prayer: Lord God, we give thanks that you are present for us in our hour of need.

Thought for the day: If your text message to heaven is not getting through, you may need to check your network connectivity.


2 Chronicles 7:13, 14 When I shut up the heaves so that there is no rain, or command locust to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn form their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Prayer: Lord God, we who are your people humble ourselves before you that we might seek your face.

Thought for the day: Some conversations require dressing up, while others require dressing down.


Psalm 28: 7, 8 Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.

Prayer: Almighty God, within us is a yearning that is for you alone.

Thought for the day: Sea water does not quench one’s thirst.


Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart.

Prayer: Lord God, may you forgive us when we halfheartedly search for you.

Thought for the day: Few Himalayan mountaineers are content to reach only the first base camp.


John 12:20,21 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They can to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we be ready to lead inquiring souls to you.

Thought for the day: Moviegoers pay to see the main feature and not the upcoming trailers.


2 Thessalonians 2: 16, 17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and world.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in you we have a good hope and an eternal encouragement.

Thought for the day: Your good hope in Christ cannot be garnished by any bill collector.


I John 3:2,3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we would be pure that we may be like you at your appearing.

Thought for the day: The word of God is a soul sanitizer. For best effects use frequent applications.

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-five — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah prophesies a time of exile — Jeremiah 25: 10, 11


Jeremiah 24: 10, 11 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.  This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Prayer: Lord God, whenever we stray from your presence we find ourselves in dire straits.

Thought for the day: Every hurricane has an eye of safety.


Psalm 137: 4, 5 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?  If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget is skill.

Prayer:  Lord God, to have dwelt in your presence is unforgettable. Take us to your presence.

Thought for the day: Why does the library always seem to close too soon?


Psalm 51:11,12 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Prayer: Lord God, rekindle in us the excitement we first found in discovering your mercy and grace.

Thought for the day: Why do marital counselors invite warring couples to recall the good old days?


Exodus 3: 7, 8 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites, Hittities, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

Prayer:  Lord God, we trust that you have never forgotten us.

Thought for the day: Children know that a mother’s kiss can cure a boo-boo.


Psalm 30: 4, 5 Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.  For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Prayer:  Lord God, the day when you restore your children shall a great day of rejoicing.

Thought for the day: Clean towels still warm from the dryer are a joy to behold.


Luke 4:18 “The Spirt of the Lord is one me, because he as anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind.

Thought for the day:  Jesus, we give thanks for your message of deliverance for all who have been captives in body or in spirit.

Thought for the day:  On the day you have to file an insurance claim you’ll be glad you paid the premiums.


Romans 6:16, 17 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which les to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we humbly offer ourselves to serve you.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “There is joy in serving Jesus, joy that fills my heart today.”

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-four — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah rebuke to the leaders contains a rich promise — Jeremiah 23: 4,5

Note: Jeremiah now turns attention to false leaders and prophets.  In his rebuke, he speaks in verses 5 and 6 of a true shepherd king to come.


Jeremiah 23: 4,5 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the lord.

Prayer:  Lord God, may your leaders bring us ever closer to you.

Thought for the day:  The best directions come from someone who has been there.


Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Prayer:  O God, we who are your sheep do humbly ask your mercy and grace.

Thought for the day: Some cats know how to climb up but not down.


Ezekiel 34: 15,16 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord.  I will search for the lost and bring back the strays.  I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.  I will shepherd the flock with justice.

Prayer: Lord God, we give thanks for your nurturing care for your people.

Thought for the day: Excessive cruelty to animals is a punishable crime.


Matthew 25: 32-33 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we never be separated from you.

Thought for the day:  Careful zoo keepers lock the gate behind themselves.


 Luke 15: 3,4 Then Jesus told them this parable.  Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

Prayer:  Lord God, may we become part of your search party for the lost.

Thought for the day: Police use a cordon to search for missing persons.


Psalm 23:1 ,2 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in your care there is safety and there is abundance.

Thought for the day: The best river guides know how to avoid the whirlpools.


John 10: 11 I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, truly you have shown there is nothing you would not do to save us.

Thought for the day: Non-essential personnel can take a vacation anytime.

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com


Week Thirty-three – Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah’s Sixth Sermon — Jeremiah 18: 5, 6


Jeremiah 18: 5, 6 Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we are ever as clay in your hands.

Thought for the day:  Diamonds are formed under pressure.


Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

Prayer:  Lord God, when we feel as though we were dried out pieces of pottery give us strength.

Thought for the day:  Some forgetful gardeners should stick to silk flowers.


Isaiah 29:16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”?

Prayer:  Lord God, we humbly acknowledge that we are your creation.

Thought for the day:  In time their predators learn how to outsmart genetically modified grains.


Isaiah 64:8,9 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand, Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. O, look upon us, we pray for we are all your people.

Prayer:  Lord God, as your creation we always exist at your mercy.

Thought for the day:  Where do discontinued cars go?


Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Prayer:  Lord, deliverance is from you.

Thought for the day:  Before there was a PlayStation 2 there was the mud puddle.


Romans 9: 20, 21 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Prayer:  Lord God, you have molded our characters and hearts according to your divine purpose.

Thought for the day:  If the best china had feelings, it would feel very lonely.


John 9:6, 7 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent).  So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, touch us that we may be healed.

Thought for the day:  To find life in the desert just add water.

photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com