The Promise of Restoration with God

God’s Preposterous Promise

  1. On Our Way Back to God
  2. The Promise of Restoration
  3. God’s Promise to Comfort
  4. Prepare the Way of the Lord
  5. God Sings Over Us
  6. The Hope of God With us
  7. Trusting God’s Plans and Ways
  8. Get Ready for the Lord’s Coming

The Promise of Restoration With God

JEremiah 33 restore The days are coming

Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16 

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made…‘” Click Here for the entire passage 

The Aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas (2019)

Thirty-six hours of hurricane-strength winds and ocean water thrown onto the islands. Trees and plant life stripped of all that is green, many flattened to the ground. Water rising to the roofs; roadways and airports underwater. Nothing left but large piles of debris. And this doesn’t touch the loss of life. My heart is sickened. 

I wonder if the Israelites were having similar feelings as they were captured by the Babylonians. How their hearts must have ached to see the beautiful, holy city in ruins, the temple destroyed. After Nebuchadnezzar carried them off to captivity, Jeremiah lamented the loss and destruction. He went to the tribes of Israel to offer hope and to encourage their hearts. 

He let them know that God would leave them in captivity for 70 years, but that God had promised to restore Jerusalem and raise up a “Son of David” who would restore righteousness to Jerusalem. 

God Will Restore

This was fulfilled in part during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, restoring the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. A second fulfillment came through Jesus, the Messiah, who came to bring spiritual redemption to the people.  

Ultimately, Christ will return to earth and establish His Kingdom forever. God will once again live among His people. God with us… that is the preposterous promise for God’s people. 

Today, we have this same hope in Christ Jesus: that He will return to restore the earth to its original beauty. The New Heaven will come down and Jesus will reign on earth. God With us! 

Points to Ponder 

  • Read Jeremiah 33. Describe the devastation of Jerusalem and God’s promise of a restored Jerusalem. 
  • What hope do we have for our future and what should we do as we wait for the day? Read John 14:1-41 Peter 1:3-9,13-222 Peter 3:13-14 
  • What will make the New Jerusalem more wonderful than ever before? Hint: His name is Emmanuel-God with Us! Isaiah 60:19 

Prayer 

Our God Emanuel, thank You for sending Your Son to save us. Thank You for the hope we have in You. We watch expectantly for Your return so that we can live together for eternity.   

In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen. 


Christmas with a Sword- Part One

Image by Bruce from Pixabay

Welcome to the Christmas season! Who could not be excited about this time of year?

This Christmas season is very different from those in previous years. So, today we embark on a Christmas Devotional called “Christmas with a Sword”.

Today we begin in Isaiah 9:1-7. We will start to pick through the verses each day.

Christmas with a Sword

Isaiah 9:1-7

The current time is some of the most exciting in history. To be watching and living during this time is amazing. God is preparing us all for His great reset in how America and the world will live. We all need to be ready for this change- hence our sword.

God speaks to us through scripture. Scripture is living and breathing. Think of Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt and heading into the wilderness. Then God turns them back around to walk through the Red Sea! Friends are at that moment. God is turning us back around and to perform Super Natural feats that will astound us all!

God is asking us all to BE IN HIS WORD. To do anything else is to be disobedient. He needs us to be so sure of Him! Our faith must be strong as we and the rest of the world are about to witness his Univeral Might and Authority.

Let’s take a look at verse one. ” Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…”

  • How does that first part of verse one speak to you?

I love large words that run together like “nevertheless”.

nevertheless

nĕv″ər-ᴛʜə-lĕs′

ADVERB

  1. In spite of that; nonetheless; however.
  2. Not the less; notwithstanding; in spite of that; yet.
  3. In spite of what preceded; yet.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

📷More at Wordnik

Loosely translated- In spite of what has happened over the last 2 years- Xovxd, election mischief, Great Reset gang… in spite of that, there is going to be no more gloom over the earth’s people, especially Christians. God is bringing something special to the earth, and WE WON’T BE THE SAME AFTER IT HAPPENS.

What do you think? Where can you see God working?

If you don’t have your sword out, why not?

-Strapping freshly sharpened swords to our sides- Big stuff coming! Reading His word to know Him! Our faith MUST be rock solid. God is about to test us through a Super Natural move, and we will not be the same! Amen

on our way back

On Our Way Back to God

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 

“Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you.”  

God’s Preposterous Promise Devotional Series for Christmas

  1. On Our Way Back to God
  2. The Promise of Restoration
  3. God’s Promise to Comfort
  4. Prepare the Way of the Lord
  5. God Sings Over Us
  6. The Hope of God With us
  7. Trusting God’s Plans and Ways
  8. Get Ready for the Lord’s Coming

On Our Way Back to God

When I was single, I longed for days when we could all be together again. I grew up with 5 siblings. There was always activity going on around the farm. But far from home with no family nearby, it could get mighty lonely. Phone calls only made me more homesick. I prayed to be able to see my family again. I prayed that Jesus would allow me to get home to see my family. 

Oh, to be together as a family. My heart often aches because I live so far from my parents, especially now as they are aging. Not being able to check in on them and see how they are doing is difficult.  

Paul wrote the same thing to the Thessalonians. They were like brothers and sisters to him. He desired to be with them to see how their faith was growing. He urged them to keep loving each other as an example and a reminder of how much he loved them. Even more so, how much Jesus loved them. 

One day there will be a great homecoming and all Christians everywhere – and from every time – will be together forever. And even better than that we will be with Jesus. It is God’s preposterous promise… to be with us! 

Won’t that be a glorious day? We will finally be home and together with Jesus. 

Points to Ponder: 

Prayer 

How can we thank you enough, Lord? You have provided a way for us to be with you again. Thank You for sending Your Son to earth to live, die, and rise again to save us from our sins. Guide us in Your truth and cause Your love to increase in our hearts and for each other. Strengthen our hearts as we live for You and keep us blameless in holiness before You when our Lord Jesus returns. In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen.  


Published with permission. Originally written by Mandy Farmer and published at the Discipleship Place ~ Women’s Ministries at The Church of the Nazarene in November 2019

Magnificat – A Study of Praise to Our Great God

–This hymn study of How Great Thou Art is an excerpt from my latest Bible Study Magnificat Gracefully Truthful published on March 12, 2021

Enjoy my Magnificat in Video Form

What is Magnificat?

Luke 1:46-56

Mary's Magnificat
all images created for free in canva.com

Magnificat is a general term meaning canticle or song, especially in praise. Specific to this passage, Mary’s Magnificat is given this title because it is her “song of praise to God.” The poem praises Him for His blessing to Mary and His faithfulness to Israel.

The Holman Bible Dictionary tells us that Magnificat (mag-nif’-i-kat) means “to magnify”, which gives us greater insight into why church historians have affixed the label “Magnificat” to this passage. The Greek word is used in the first line of Mary’s song, “My soul magnifies the Lord”.

This hymn is much like the song of another young woman in Israel’s history, Hannah, (1 Samuel 2) where we find her praising God for blessing her with a child. She continues pouring out her song of worship to God for His faithfulness to the people, Israel. Hannah’s poem of praise also begins, “My heart exults in the Lord…” [Study Light]

Both women begin by magnifying the Lord and then listing the wonderful deeds of our God; not just the blessings on themselves but for all blessings God has given since the beginning of time.

King David also does the same thing in the Psalms. One of my favorites is Psalm 136. The famous Magnificat was Mary’s response to her amazing situation

Carl Boburg’s Magnificat

As we study the great hymn of faith, How Great Thou Art, we learn this poem-turned-hymn was Mr. Carl Boburg’s “Magnificat”. Likewise, the psalmist implores us to “magnify the Lord with me. Let us exult His name together.” (Psalm 34:3, KJV). The Scriptures implore us many times to magnify the Lord.

I love it when we begin our corporate worship time together at church by reciting a psalm or singing hymns that praise God for Who He is. These calls to worship cause us to come together with singing and adoration for our great God.

Indeed, our worship services could be called a Magnificat, of sorts, where we come exulting the Lord together. However, this type of praise isn’t intended just as a Sunday kind of thing. I hope I find myself praising God aloud whenever He blesses my life with good things; indeed, even bursting into song over how much He does for this undeserving woman.

Yet, even if He never did another thing for me, I want to still choose to magnify His Name for what He did at Calvary by taking my shame and punishment for my sin upon Himself for me!

Mr. Carl Boberg, the writer of the hymn How Great Thou Art, had a back story to his profound Magnificat. According to the website, All About God, Boberg was a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament.

“Mr. Boberg was enjoying a nice walk when a thunderstorm suddenly appeared out of nowhere. After the storm was over, Mr. Boberg looked out over the clear bay and heard a church bell in the distance. And the words to How Great Thou Art began to form in his heart –

‘O Lord, my God, when I, in awesome wonder. . .’”

www.allaboutgod.com

Think of the peace he must have felt after that fierce storm to pen these beautiful words that still show us the glory of God today.

Our Own Magnificat

We, too, have a backstory to our own “Magnificat”. Let’s take the challenge and write our own Magnificat. Magnify the Lord with me! Place your praises in the comments section below. Try using Psalm 136 as a template for your song of praise.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.

(Psalm 34:3, American Standard Version)

NOTE: My study is the Digging Deeper portion following the journey study


Mandy’s Magnificat

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, for He is good;

His faithful love endures forever.

He paid the punishment for my sin before I was born.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He placed me in a Christian home.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He called me to Himself and saved me!

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He opened doors for a good education.

His Faithful Love Endures forever.

HE gave me a wonderful Christian husband.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He led and directed our 25 years of ministry

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He upheld us when friends betrayed us.

His faithful love endures forever.

He provided every need through the loss of job and home

His Faithful Love endures forever

He provided a great medical team when our health faltered

His Faithful Love Endures forever.

He is coming someday soon to call us home to Heaven.

His Faithful Love endures forever.


Holi-daze. Holidays

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

Right now, I sit on the brink of writing disaster. Thanksgiving is two weeks away, and Christmas is around 46 days away. I’m in a holi-daze. Not quite sure how to plan my attack.

This year the holidays will have significant meaning. We, as a family, are in peacetime, recovery, and healing. The pressure and stress we felt from the court case and things related to that- were dumped like bags of garbage into a burn pile. The match struck instant flames. It feels good to unburden and release.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and it’s taken quite a hit for the last five years. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all that we are blessed with. We share the bounty of love and living well- all from God’s good hands. So very thankful.

We have reason to celebrate as God’s people. As Americans and in our individual lives. Despite what is pushed upon us and the world- WE ARE PREVAILING.

Today, I’ll be gathering recipes. watching my favorite little boy dance merrily around the kitchen, playing his “trombone” (an old coffee maker stem), hopping and bopping as he makes his joyful sound. I carefully reflect on what we were brought out of and rescued from. I could bring tears to my aging face, but I stop, and replace them with a smile.

My grandson/son will know the joy of thankfulness as we celebrate Thanksgiving together. And together is the very best part.

The Joy Of Including Jesus In Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and if we blink our eyes we will find ourselves enjoying Christmas Day. But all our plans to include Jesus in Christmas will have been thrown out with the wrappings.

The way to have success is to plan ahead. My family always razzed me because I was planning the next holiday before the present one was barely over. But the fact of the matter is that, if we don’t plan ahead, it ain’t gonna happen. So let’s talk about the joy of including Jesus in Christmas. After all, it IS HIS BIRTHDAY.

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Hope Amid the Pain

Desperately Alone in Your Chronic Pain? There is Hope Amid the Pain.

I find so much comfort in interviewing other chronic pain warriors. They encourage me to keep on keeping on. And while we know we have the Lord with us, it is also good to know that we have other fellow friends who are here to love and support each other.

Today, I interview Leslie McKee. Leslie is an author, editor, and reviewer. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and The Christian PEN. Her devotions have been published in compilations by Ellie Claire (2017 and 2020). And her flash fiction stories have been published with Havok, Splickety, and Spark. Her devotional journal (HOPE Amid The Pain: Hanging on to Positive Expectations When Battling Chronic Illness and Pain) was released in 2021. She enjoys reading, crocheting, spending time with family and friends (and her turtle Speedy!), and rooting for the NY Giants. 

Without further ado, let’s hear from Leslie!

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Welcome to Parenting- 2nd Time Around

You’ll have to excuse my informal way of introducing this blogging section. I pondered for quite some time on what its title should be. I wanted the title to reflect a positive vibe about ‘parenting’ as grandparents.

Are you grandparents parenting? WELCOME! Even if you’re not grandparents parenting, I hope you find my blogging inspirational and encouraging. We are, unfortunately, becoming a popular societal norm- parenting our grandchildren full-time.

This needs to be seen as a gift, but this gift comes with some heavy soul-searching, determination, and grit. It’s not pleasant to have a court battle, never mind the expense. I don’t even need to say how emotionally draining it is.

Bad choices are abundant. Mental health is a major issue. BUT GOD!

Join me as we together explore the joys of Parenting- 2nd Time around! I’ll be posting weekly. Sometimes daily with stories, experiences, and a bit of fun! God knows we all need to laugh! AMEN!? See you soon!