Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading – Sunday, December 20, 2020

Theme: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

INTRODUCTION

Planning for the future simply connotes that we look forward to a better place, situation, condition or statues for ourselves. The future signifies hope and hence the need to make plans for it.   There is a popular say that “he who fails to plan; plans to fail” which opines to the fact that everybody should endeavor to plan.

A better life both in this world and in the world to come is inherently what every human being desire. To plan for the future in whichever way, we must lean on God and follow His rules as enshrined in the Holy Bible.  The Psalmist described it as “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) So whatever plans we have for the future, the word of God will show us the right path to follow. 

Text: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12,13.

Comment: Planning for the future is a holistic endeavour and should primarily include conscious efforts to gain eternal life in God’s Kingdom when fully established. God Almighty made a promise of a perfect system of things to replace the old order that was polluted at the instance of the enemy Satan the devil. – Isaiah 65:17, compare 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-4 etc.

Salvation which is the target of every believer is the ultimate reward from God Almighty to anyone who continues in the race of salvation abiding to the set rules till the end. See Romans 6:23, 1 Peter 1:9,10, Psalm 3:8; 68:20 etc. It is in this vein, that St Paul, writing to the Philippian Christians enjoined them to continue in the true faith and practice of righteousness, obeying God’s instructions even in his absence, thereby working out their own salvation “with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) Gaining eternal life or salvation requires conscious effort in planning one’s life to make positive sacrifice in the service of God and humanity. It entails overcoming distractions, trials and temptations, while worshipping God in truth unto the end. Jesus Christ stated: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:12,13

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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