Category Archives: Jeremiah

1 Samuel 1; Romans 1; Jeremiah 39; Psalms 13,14

“Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.  And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you.  He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.  I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord.  I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.  Now I am giving him the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.” 1 Samuel 1:10&11; 26-28 NLT

I can understand Hannah’s desire for a child.  And the hopelessness I felt after having two miscarriages.  Now we have a total of four kids.  There have been other times when I didn’t understand what God was doing.  I’ve prayed prayers like the one that David did in Psalms…

“O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle in my eyes, or I will die.  Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.  But I trust in your unfailing love.  I will rejoice because you have rescued me.  I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.” Psalms 13:1-6 NLT

Waiting on God can cause me to get weary.  I am grateful for others that encourage me in my faith, even when I don’t realize I need it. A friend stopped by the other day and dropped off a note and a gift she made for me. Her thoughtfulness lifted my burden and gave me the strength to get up again.

“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.  For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-the Jew first and also the Gentile.  This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.  This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.  As Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” Romans 1:12-17 NLT

Dear Father, Thank you for your faithfulness.  For hearing my prayers.  Help me to listen to your prodding, to encourage someone else when they need it.  Give me the courage to share my story with those that need to hear it.  Amen.

“Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When the Lord restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.” Psalms 14:7 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Judges 18; Acts 22; Jeremiah 32; Psalm 1, 2

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do. (Ps. 1:1-3) NLT

One of the benefits of walking with the Lord and having quiet time in his presence is getting to know his voice. Only through prayer and time in his word have I learned to discern his voice from all the noise of the world. It isn’t a voice, per se, but a thought that comes to my mind that I know wasn’t mine. Like yesterday, for instance. I’ve been struggling with something and praying for an answer for several days now. I kept pressing in, praying, weeping tears, and feeling forgotten. Then a thought came to me to watch a sermon from a particular pastor. In it were the words I needed to hear. In fact, I listened to it several times because it was so very specific to my worry that I had taken to him. There was scripture, the law of the LORD, that addressed what my real issue was. The point of the sermon was about trusting God and he was reminding me, ever so lovingly, that he will take care of me. I chose to take him at his word and found peace. I needed that more than I needed what I prayed about.

36 “Now I want to say something more about this city. You have been saying, ‘It will fall to the king of Babylon through war, famine, and disease.’ But this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37 I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. 41 I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.

42 “This is what the Lord says: Just as I have brought all these calamities on them, so I will do all the good I have promised them. (Jer. 32:36-42) NLT

God is a God of restoration. It’s who he is and what he does. It’s what Jesus proclaimed of himself in the temple while he was reading Isaiah 61:1-2. It’s the very reason Jesus came to earth—to restore us to the Father.

Even when we stray from him, or doubt, or forget his promises, his word is filled with the promise of restoration. The Israelites were constantly forgetting, building and worshiping other gods, not upholding their part of the covenant God made with them. And, he told them on many occasions what would happen if they disobeyed. God is about to follow through on this. They were to be exiled. Captured by Babylon and taken from their land he promised them. There are consequences to disobedience. But already he had a plan to bring them back, to love them, to never forsake them.

This is a lesson for me as well. No matter what it seems is going on around me, God will never stop doing good for me. The worries of the future need to stay there. I have enough of whatever I need for today. I can trust in his goodness and love above all else.

Lord, I thank you for your words that are so alive. Even though they were written thousands of years ago, you use them to speak to me. Today. In 2020! Like Israel, you have proclaimed your love for me over and over. Like them, I need to be reminded over and over. You never grow weary of the great need I have, for it is an emptiness that can only be filled by you. How blessed am I to be your child! Thank you for your great compassion and goodness. In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Judges 17; Acts 21; Jeremiah 30,31; Mark 16

Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
    found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
    the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Jeremiah 31:2,3 ESV

God has a plan. Not only is He sovereign and holy and omniscient and loving, but he acts with intentionality. He knows where we have come from and what we have yet to go through and has planned for the times we need to be stretched and the times we need grace.

For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

Jeremiah 31:25 ESV

God knows exactly what we need. What is best. He has already marked that path that will shape us as needed and heal us as needed. What a hope we possess!

Recently I read a book by Niall Williams called This is Happiness and a quote stood out to me as incredibly revealing about the peace that Christianity brings. He presses the point that each life is a story worth telling and any story worth telling must have ups and downs. Therefore, “Story was the stuff of life, and to realise you were inside one allowed you to sometimes surrender to the plot, to bear a little easier the griefs and sufferings and to enjoy more fully the twists that came along the way.”

While our life is not just determined by a “storyline,” the point carries over. If God is at the helm and knows that in this sinful world there will come tragedy and joy, and He guides with the clearest perspective and control, we can weather storms with a little more perseverance, manage grief with surrender, and sometimes enjoy the small twists, knowing that He planned our lives for optimum impact.

. . . for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Mark 16:8b ESV

We will have those seasons of struggle, and then there are those pivotal moments when we look up and remember that God has a plan and that miracles and beauty are included in it along with the pain and darkness. We might even be struck speechless by the evidence of His moving in our lives and world.

Lord God, help me to remember that You hold all of it. Help me remember to hope in times of struggle and to keep acting with intentionality in times of joy. Thank you for planning and purposing each life for Your glory and the matchless peace I can rest in because of that truth. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Judges12; Acts 16; Jeremiah 25; Mark 11

I read a story that is still active and alive today. A story of a word – Shibboleth.

In order to keep the Ephraimites from escaping, the Gileadites captured the places where the Jordan could be crossed. When any Ephraimite who was trying to escape would ask permission to cross, the men of Gilead would ask, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” But he would say “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they would grab him and kill him there at one of the Jordan River crossings. At that time forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites were killed. – Judges 12:5-6 GNT

My mom would tell me stories during the war of how they could find out if an American spy, posing as a German, could be tested in order to find them out. I think, we in the church do the same thing in determining whether one is really a follower of God. It is by prayer that I believe I refrain from lapsing into the Pharisee’s censoriousness.

Why cannot I be free to move as the Holy Spirit moves me just as Paul and Silas were?

They traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit did not let them preach the message in the province of Asia. When they reached the border of Mysia, they tried to go into the province of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. – Acts 16:6-7 GNT

It is difficult to understand why I have to do something differently but there is a moment of faith where I can almost see God’s hand trying to show the 30,000 foot view of where the Holy Spirit is moving.

The same is so when it comes to my sin. I pray that I never take it lightly.

The Lord, the God of Israel, said to me, “Here is a wine cup filled with my anger. Take it to all the nations to whom I send you, and make them drink from it. – Jeremiah 25:15 GNT

I am so thankful that I can pray and ask for help in overcoming the temptations of judgement on others and in ignoring the move of the Holy Spirit. I pray for faith to believe and the power to forgive.

Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for. And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done. – Mark 11:22, 24-25 GNT

Father, may my walk with You be based on faith and not of judgment, on believing in You and not in myself, and on forgiving so that I may find myself being forgiven. Amen

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Judges 11:12-40; Acts 15; Jeremiah 24; Mark 10

“Go sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” This amazed them.  But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God.  In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were astounded.  “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.  “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible.  But not with God.  Everything is possible with God.” Mark 10:21-27 NLT

Mark 10:27 is such a familiar verse to me.  God has used it in my life to speak hope to my soul.  But, I don’t remember if I have read the entire passage before. It puts it in a whole new light.  It makes me question what I am treasuring.  What am I holding onto that won’t fulfill me?What is hindering me from fully following Him?

“God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us.  He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith.  Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through  them among the Gentiles.” Acts 15:8-12 NLT

What is my faith in?

“Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him.  A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road.  When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.  But only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”  So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said.  “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.  “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.  “My Rabbi, “the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.” Mark 10:46-52 NLT

The blind man continued to follow Jesus after he could see.  I can picture him walking the rest of his days with Jesus. Because he knew that He is the only place where true healing could be found.  I don’t think he was thinking about what he was giving up, but what he gained.  Not only his eyesight, but Jesus.

Dear Father, please forgive me when my heart is far from you. I am reminded of a song that says, “There is nothing better than You.”  I want to sing that and believe it, but sometimes I have to tell it to my heart. You are worthy. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

 

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