Reading today Ed M.’s devotional based on Jer 6.27, one finds much to identify with.

The prophet tested Judah. He found them to be “hardened rebels” who acted “corruptly,” Jeremiah 6:28; cf. Isaiah 1:23. They rejected Jehovah. So Jehovah “rejected them,” Jeremiah 6:30.

Focus question: What motivates your service to God? Recognition? Material reward? Physical comfort? Approval of men? Or approval of God?

People think they’ll find truth and good things by looking within themselves. Jesus said otherwise. This is what you’ll find.

One writer said one step to happiness is to label our negative feelings. Let’s go one further: one step to the joy of being forgiven is to recognize and confess the evil in our hearts and the sinful practices of the flesh.

Focus question: What things lurk in my life that defile me and prevent me from fellowship with God?

Because of travel, I’m late in Ed M.’s devotionals. I just read his entry on Neh 8.10.

… we have good reason to be happy. For, at all times, a holy joy is a defense against evil, a strength in sorrow, a power to endure trying circumstances.

Amen, amen!

Focus question: How does sadness bring weakness?

The author [of Hebrews] has just said: “let us pay worship to God”; he says now: “Let brotherly love remain” (13,1). Where is the relation? In reality, this very abrupt transition is certainly intended, not only to mark the literary division between the two paragraphs, but also to suggest a profound doctrine about the true way of understanding the worship to be paid to God. Do you want to pay God a worship acceptable to him? Love your brothers! Suggested here by the succession of the two themes, this unexpected connection is expressed very explicitly a little later: “Beneficence and solidarity, do not forget them, for those are the sacrifices that God accepts” (13,16). —A. Vanhoy, A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews, 403-404.

There’s more of the same to be read in the paragraph and book. Excellent material.

Just finished delivering the back cover of Jon Gary Williams’s book, on how to study the Bible, in Portuguese to the printer. That’s done. This run will be relatively small, for the seminar on how to study and apply the Bible, for Saturday of next week. It still needs some revision, but I wanted to have this to put in people’s hands at the event, since it’s what I’ll be using for part of the day. So we’ll do a second edition down the road a bit.