Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading – Saturday, December 19, 2020

Theme: CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE

Text: “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” – Acts 13:46, 47.

Comment: Christianity aims at directing all men to the clean worship of the Almighty Creator through the only Mediator, Christ Jesus. This of course involves retaining those aspects of their traditions and cultures that are in harmony with the will of God in the Holy Bible. It was the stubbornness of the Jews and their failure to understand and appreciate this divine purpose of Christ’s mission on earth that led to their rejection of Christianity to their own grief and ruin. And their suffering even up till now cannot be separated from their attitude of treating the grace of God with contempt. – John 1:10, 11; Matthew 23: 37-39.

And so today, a person of any nationality who accepts Jesus Christ and worships God in truth stands a better position to enjoy the favour of God than a Jew who is an agnostic or a non-Christian. In true Christianity, there is no room for discrimination or racial segregation. – Galatians 3:27, 28.

Any nation that will not serve God through Christ will be detaching itself from being part of God’s Kingdom fully established under the kingship of Jesus Christ. “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” – Acts 3:23. See also Isaiah 60: 12; Jeremiah 10: 10, 11: Revelation 14: 6, 7.

Theme: COMMENTARY ON HEBREWS 11:32 - 40

Text:“For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.” – Jeremiah 32:3.

Comment: Because the king and people of Judah had given themselves to the worship of the devil, God Almighty used Jeremiah the prophet to warn them, telling them that if they would not repent, He would make Jerusalem and the temple they took pride in to suffer the fate of Shiloh, where the name of God was in earlier times before it was destroyed and abandoned. (Joshua 18:1; 19:51; 1Kings 14:2.) For warning the people against sin the leaders determined that Jeremiah must die. (Jeremiah 26:1-10) However, some of the elders, together with Ahikam, an officer of the king, intervened to prevent them from their wicked plot.

 

Again, when the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem, Jeremiah was instructed by God to tell them to submit to their rule to avoid death and destruction. This was  seen as treason for which the leaders of the people convinced King Zedekiah to cast Jeremiah into.a well. But God also delivered him. When we stand up for the truth, even in the face of danger, God will give us victory in the end. St. Paul in his writings recalled God delivered them “from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:10).. He added that God Almighty shall deliver him “from every evil work, and will preserve him unto his heavenly kingdom. –  2 Timothy 4:18

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