LAMENTATIONS 1-2:In the early chapters of his book, Jeremiah spoke several times of his tears. Lamentations will help us to understand how this ‘weeping prophet’ felt, and how God mourned also. This book has been a comfort to many who mourn. Light breaks through in the middle— in chapter 3, with words that are used in one of our greatest hymns. The book ends with poignant questions to God. PROVERBS 12a:A favorite verse to introduce today’s proverbs: 12 NLT Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot,but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. Rereading EPHESIANS 1:This chapter has four instances of ‘joined in union’ with Christ. I want to give a note about how Paul calls the Ephesians “God’s holy people” (in the NLT), or in the KJV and the ESV it is ‘saints’. The problem with both of these ways of translating the Greek is that most of us Christians do not see ourselves as saints or ‘holy people’. In our translation work in Indonesia we found the same problem. The solution we found is to translate that we are ‘people who have been made Holy by God’. That is the meaning! The people in Ephesus were ordinary humans, and were not holy because of their own efforts. God makes us holy when we fully believe in the Good News about Christ that is proclaimed in this letter. And again I want to highlight that believing what God says about our identity is key in being able to live appropriately in that identity. GNT Translation notes:Lam. 2:13 O Jerusalem, beloved Jerusalem, what can I say? How can I comfort you? No one has ever suffered like this. Your disaster is [as] boundless as the ocean; there is no possible hope. 15 People passing by the city look at you in scorn. They shake their heads and laugh at Jerusalem's ruins: [They mock,] “Is this that lovely city? Is this the pride of the world?”====Eph. 1:1 [To our brothers and sisters in Ephesus— who believe fully in Christ Jesus and are made holy by Him, from Paul— who by God's will is an apostle of Christ Jesus.//From Paul, who by God's will is an apostle of Christ Jesus— To God's people in Ephesus, who are faithful in their life in union with Christ Jesus:]14 [NLT The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.//GNT The Spirit is the guarantee that we shall receive what God has promised his people, and this assures us that God will give complete freedom to those who are his. Let us praise his glory!]15 For this reason, ever since I heard of your [believing//faith] in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people, NLT Translation notes:Lam. 2:4 He bends his bow against his people,as though he were their enemy.His strength is used against [his people/them]to kill their finest youth.His fury is poured out like fireon beautiful Jerusalem.====Eph. 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are [joined/united] with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us [0>>>— joined with/in Christ] to be holy and without fault in his eyes [> through becoming joined to Christ]. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us [because we have become joined with//who belong to] his dear Son.7 [PET: Through oneness with Christ, we have been redeemed by the sacrifice of His blood as payment for the punishment for sin that we should have suffered. That means we receive forgiveness of sin because of God's amazing kindness to us.//He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.]11 Furthermore, because we are [joined/united] with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.15 Ever since I first heard of your [fully believing//strong faith] in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,
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