READ: Jeremiah 13-14
THINK: Do you ever feel like you're going through a spiritual drought-a dry, desert-like time when even God's Word and worship bring little refreshment? Sometimes, God allows us to go through these times to test and strengthen our faith-to prove whether we're serious about serving God through tough times. But there are times when we feel spiritually dry because we've failed to respond to God or put His Word into practice. If we insist on doing things our own way and resisting the Holy Spirit's guidance, God may allow us to lose a sense of His presence and experience the lack of satisfaction our own way brings, until we begin to thirst for Him. But regardless of the reason for dry times, keep pursuing God and His purpose, no matter how you feel. You'll eventually come through the desert and find yourself stronger and closer to God on the other side.
RESPOND: In what way was the linen belt symbolic of Israel's and Judah's relationship with God? (See 13:1- 11 note.) How did full wineskins represent the people of Judah? (See 13:12-14 note.) According to 13:20-21, how had the people's leaders been foolish, irresponsible and unfaithful? When the people abandoned God, what did they trust in instead (13:25)? What natural disaster is described in chapter 14, what were its effects on the land, and how was this symbolic of the people's spiritual condition? (See 14:1 note.) Why did God refuse to respond to the people during this time, and how does this serve as a warning to us? (See 14:7-12 note.) How were false prophets fooling people, and what would happen to these deceivers (14:13-16)? In what way does this serve as a caution regarding who we listen to? (See 14:14 note.) Why did Jeremiah's eyes "overflow with tears" (14:17)? (See 14:17 note.) Whose honor was Jeremiah concerned about as he prayed for mercy (14:21-22)?
PRAY: Pray for the leaders in all aspects of your life, from school to work to community, state and national government. Ask God to give them wisdom, guidance and a strong awareness of their accountability to Him.
ACT: As you go about your business-wherever you are-look at people through God's eyes of compassion. Leave the judgment to Him and pray for those around you in every situation who don't know Jesus and are spiritually lost. Pray that their minds will be opened to the truth. Ask God to use you to reach and influence them for His honor.
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