DAY Four

Ika-apat na Araw

The Word is a HAMMER

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Jeremiah 23:29

Read: Jeremiah 23:23–32 | Additional Reading: Acts 2:37–38


The prophet Jeremiah lived during tumultuous times for the nation of Judah. He started his career as a prophet during the reign of King Josiah, the last faithful king, and he continued to prophesy during the final years before Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the people were brought as captives into Babylon.



God’s word
SOFTENS
OUR HEART.



Throughout Jeremiah’s ministry, he proclaimed the bitter message that judgment was coming, calling the people to turn from their evil and idolatrous ways and to turn back to the pure worship of the one true God. But the people didn’t listen to Jeremiah. Instead, they chose to listen to false prophets, men who spoke attractive messages that reflected what the people wanted to hear rather than declaring the word of the Lord.


Contrary to these futile and hollow words spoken by the prophets, God’s word is a hammer, capable of breaking the hardest rock to pieces. When you see the word “hammer,” you may think of a carpenter’s hammer that’s used in most projects around the house to drive nails into an object. But in this context, it’s better to think of a blacksmith’s hammer used to forge and shape metal, and when wielded with great force, can crush and shatter an object.


As we walk with Jesus, it’s possible for our hearts to become hardened. This can happen through a secret sin that goes unconfessed, bitterness that comes from unforgiveness, or the cynicism that creeps into our hearts when a prayer goes unanswered. During these times, we may find ourselves endlessly scrolling on social media, reading negative news online, and binge-watching television more than abiding in God’s word.


But when we open up the word of God, we experience the weight of his hammer, able to crush and shatter the sin, bitterness, and cynicism of a hardened heart as we respond in humility and repentance.



NOTES

Write down your thoughts on today’s devotional. Pray that God will continue to speak as you reflect.



REFLECT

How have you experienced God’s word softening your heart? Thank him for his power to change your heart.



Are there particular moments or hardships that have caused you to follow “false prophets” rather than turning to God’s word?




God’s word SOFTENS OUR HEART.


PRAY

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

Jeremiah 23:29
God, you know my heart better than anyone, and you have loved me even when I have drifted from your ways. Show me how I have drifted and place me back on solid ground. I repent for when I have placed my trust in the things of this world instead of in your word. Your word has the power to turn a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. I open myself up for you to mold my life. God, as you soften my heart, empower me to bring your word to those around me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Ang Salita ay isang MARTILYO

Hindi baʼt makapangyarihan ang mga salita ko? Gaya ito ng apoy na nakasusunog o ng martilyo na nakadudurog ng bato.

Jeremias 23:29

Basahin: Jeremias 23:23–32 | Karagdagang Babasahin Mga Gawa 2:37–38


Ang propetang si Jeremias ay nabuhay noong panahong may kaguluhan sa bayan ng Judah. Nagsimula siya sa pagiging isang propeta sa ilalim ng paghahari ni Haring Josiah, ang huling matapat na hari, at nagpatuloy siya sa pagbibigay ng mga propesiya hanggang sa mga huling taon bago malupig ang Jerusalem sa ilalim ni Nebucadnezar, na naging dahilan upang ipadala sila bilang mga bihag sa Babilonia.



Ang salita
ng Diyos ang
NAGPAPALAMBOT
NG ATING PUSO.

Sa kabuuan ng ministeryo ni Jeremias, ipinahayag niya ang mapait na mensahe ng paparating na paghuhukom. Tinawag din niya ang mga tao na talikuran ang masama nilang pamumuhay at ang paniniwala nila sa mga diyos-diyosan, at sa halip ay manumbalik sa kanilang purong pagsamba sa nag-iisa at tunay na Diyos. Subalit hindi nakinig ang mga tao kay Jeremias. Sa halip, pinili nilang makinig sa mga huwad na propeta—mga taong nagbigay ng mga kaakit-akit na mga mensahe na nagpahayag ng mga nais nilang marinig sa halip na pakinggan ang ipinapahayag ng Panginoon.


Kabaligtaran ng mga walang saysay at walang halagang mga salita ng mga huwad na propeta, ang salita ng Diyos ay maihahalintulad sa isang martilyo na may kakayahang dumurog ng pinakamatigas na bato. Kapag nakikita mo ang salitang “martilyo,” maaaring maisip mo ang martilyo ng isang karpintero na ginagamit sa mga proyekto sa loob ng bahay upang ibaon ang mga pako sa isang bagay. Subalit sa kontekstong ito, mas mainam na isipin ang martilyo ng isang magbabakal o panday na ginagamit upang buuin ang nais na hugis sa isang bakal. Kung gagamitin nang may malakas na puwersa, kaya nitong basagin ang isang bagay.


Sa pamumuhay natin kasama ni Jesus, maaari pa ring maging matigas ang ating mga puso. Maaari itong mangyari dahil sa mga itinatago o hindi natin inaaming kasalanan, kinikimkim na sama ng loob na nagmumula sa hindi pagpapatawad, o kaya ay pangungutya na pumapasok sa ating mga puso kapag ang ating panalangin ay hindi natutugunan. Sa mga ganitong panahon, maaari tayong magtuon ng labis na atensyon sa social media, sa pagbabasa ng mga negatibong balita online, at sa walang sawang panonood ng telebisyon sa halip na manatili sa salita ng Diyos.


Subalit kapag binuksan na natin ang salita ng Diyos at tumugon tayo nang may pagpapakumbaba at pagsisisi, mararanasan natin ang bigat ng martilyo na kayang dumurog at bumasag ng kasalanan, sama ng loob, at pangungutya ng isang matigas na puso.



MGA NATUTUNAN

Isulat ang mga naisip mo tungkol sa debosyonal ngayong araw. Ipanalangin na patuloy na mangusap sa iyo ang Diyos habang lalo mong pinag-iisipan ang mga ito.



PAG-ISIPAN

Paano mo naranasan ang paglambot ng iyong puso sa ilalim ng salita ng Diyos? Pasalamatan Siya sa kapangyarihan Niyang baguhin ang puso mo.



May mga partikular ba na sandali o paghihirap na naging sanhi ng pakikinig mo sa mga “huwad na propeta” sa halip na lumapit sa salita ng Diyos?





Ang salita ng Diyos ang NAGPAPALAMBOT NG ATING PUSO.



MANALANGIN

Hindi baʼt makapangyarihan ang mga salita ko? Gaya ito ng apoy na nakasusunog o ng martilyo na nakadudurog ng bato.

Jeremias 23:29
Aming Diyos, kilala Ninyo ang puso ko nang higit pa kaysa ninuman, at minahal pa rin Ninyo ako kahit na lumayo ako sa Inyong pamamaraan. Ipakita Ninyo kung paano ako lumayo at ibalik Ninyo ako sa matatag na lugar. Nagsisisi ako sa pagtitiwala ko sa mga bagay sa mundong ito sa halip na sa Inyong salita. Ang Inyong salita ay may kapangyarihan na palambutin ang isang pusong naging bato. Binubuksan ko ang ang aking puso upang Inyong hubugin. Aming Diyos, habang pinalalambot Ninyo ang aking puso, bigyan po Ninyo ako ng kakayahang ibahagi ang Inyong salita sa mga tao sa paligid ko. Sa pangalan ni Jesus, ito ang aking dalangin. Amen.

The Word is a HAMMER


CONNECT


Prepare a paper and pen for everyone.


On the piece of paper the players will write two truths and a lie about themselves. Once everyone is done writing, each player will take turns reading their answers out loud. Everyone gets a turn to guess which one is the lie. Once everyone is done guessing, the player will reveal which of the three statements they made is a lie. The players that guessed right will get one point. The one with the most points at the end wins.


If you are good at spotting lies, so was the prophet Jeremiah. He was a prophet of God who wrote the Bible passage that we will read today.


READ THE WORD


Read Jeremiah 23:23–32.

25“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. 29Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’ 32Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.”

Jeremiah 23:23–32


Have you ever been cheated out of something because you were lied to? This is where we find the people of Israel in Jeremiah 23. The prophets at that time were lying to the people and turning their hard hearts away from God. But God desired to correct the worship of Israel and restore His relationship with them. He chose Jeremiah to give warning and instruction to His people, giving them a chance to repent and change their ways. God used His word like a hammer to pound on and smash the hardness in their hearts.



HUDDLE

4–6 years old

• When was the last time you lied? Why did you lie?

7–12 years old

• Think carefully. Is there anything in your heart that seems hard and unbreakable right now? Perhaps it is
something you are holding onto tightly and refusing to let go? What is it?

• What have you been feeding your spirit lately? Is it more of the word of God or do you feed off the things
you see on the Internet? Why?

• How do you let go of the hard things in your heart?

• Can God really break the hardness in our hearts?


There are many things going on around us. The Internet is on 24/7 and when there are things we cannot understand, we try to find answers to our questions on the Internet. By itself, this is not harmful, but the danger comes when we constantly fill our minds and hearts with the things of this world. You see, the things of this world are like the false prophets during Jeremiah’s time. But the more we feed off these “false prophets,” the more our hearts become hard toward God. But God wants to break that in order that our hearts may be turned back to Him. God wants our hearts to be filled with things of Him because only through Him can we be truly satisfied.


If you think or feel that you have veered off from following God and have started to follow the “false prophets,” perhaps God is calling your attention now. Go back to spending time in His word and allow it to be the “hammer” that will smash your hard heart and turn it soft for Jesus!


PRAY

Dear God, please give me a hunger for Your word. Help me to know You more by it. Increase my faith and understanding in Your word. Show me any area of hardness in my heart and change it by Your word and the Holy Spirit. Help me to grow in Your love and truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DISCOVER

There are many types of hammers that serve different purposes.
Common ones would be:
1. A ball and pein hammer for shaping metals
2. A roofing hammer for putting on a roof
3. A rubber mallet for assembling wood parts like your cabinets and shelves
4. A welder’s hammer for welding
When we look back at the verse we talked about, we can imagine that the hammer could be like a sledgehammer which is used to break rocks and do demolition work—something like the one used in the home-themed TV shows doing house renovations!

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