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. 


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
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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.


different

We Are Called to Be Different

We are called to be different.

These days many of us would prefer to melt into the crowd than to stand out as different. We would rather not stand out or bring attention to ourselves. But in truth, as Christians, we really should be different. Our lives should attract others to us. No, rather it should attract others to Christ.

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

I recently read these scriptures from 1 Peter. They always prick my heart and cause me to look deep to see if my life is indeed different. However, this time it seemed to have even more meaning. The reason is that it was brought to my attention to whom and when this was originally written.

Perspective Changes Things

It was written by Peter to the Christians in Rome around 60 AD. The emperor of Rome at that time was none other than Nero. You know, the guy who let Rome burn. The guy who persecuted Christians horribly by placing animals skins on them and throwing them in with wild dogs to watch the dogs attack and devour them alive. Other times he dipped the Christians in wax, tied them to trees, and burned them alive as candles for his evening parties.

When I think about the fact that Peter gave these strong instructions to persecuted Christians, I am ashamed that we are so timid to stand up for Christ because it may cost us something. We give in to the tiniest of temptations because we don’t want to be different or called out.

10 Ways to be Different

different
  1. Rid yourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. (1 Peter 2:1)
  2. Crave the Word of God. (2:2-3)
  3. Abstain from sinful desires (2:11)
  4. Submit to EVERY human authority. (2:13-14) Notice it doesn’t say “If you agree with them”.
  5. Love the family of believers. (2:17)
  6. Fear God.
  7. Honor the emperor. (This was Nero remember?) Are we honoring our president?
  8. Submit to your masters. (2:18) Can we change the wording to ‘Submit to your boss?’ even when they are harsh
  9. It’s commendable to suffer for doing good. Persevere! (2:20-21)
  10. Don’t retaliate when threatened or insulted. (2:23)

This is the first of Peter’s instructions to the Christian in Rome.

He goes on to address the way we treat our husbands and wives. Peter tells us how we should treat one another, being kind and compassionate and understanding. And then there is the idea that we shouldn’t repay evil for evil. He tells us that Christ gave us the perfect example and we should follow His example giving up all of our so-called rights just as He did for us. He took on suffering and we should do the same.

That is how we stand out. We stand up for what is right paying the price no matter the cost just as Christ did. Let’s make a pact to start be different from the world. Ask God to help you live more like Him in the coming year. If we all join together to live different lives think of the difference it will make!

From one Christian to another, let’s do this!

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Why I Believe

Welcome back! Before we start, I want to tell you that September will be my last devotional for Time in the Word. Life is constantly changing; some seasons require more attention than others. But before I leave, I thought it would be helpful to remind you why we are Christians, or why you should believe in Jesus Christ. Why I Believe will look at questions non-Christian folk often ask about why we believe in Jesus and the Bible.

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The Price of Disobedience: Sampson, Part Two

Welcome back to Time in the Word. We began our devotional series on The Price of Disobedience, starting with the character Moses. You can catch the Moses devotional here. If you missed the devotionals about David, you could read that here. This week we continue with The Price of Disobedience: Sampson, Part Two. You can catch part one here, https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-price-of-disobedience-sampson/.

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The Price of Disobedience: Sampson

Image by Maicon Fonseca Zanco from Pixabay

Welcome back to Time in the Word. We began our devotional series on The Price of Disobedience, starting with the character Moses. You can catch the Moses devotional here. If you missed our recent devotional about David, you can read that here, https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-price-of-disobedience/. While you are at it, visit our blog mandyandmichele.com. We have a variety of blogging articles that are sure to enlighten and entertain.

Today we begin our discussion with Sampson. Sampson can be a bit of a head-scratcher. Let me share a little bit about our Bible character Sampson. Before we begin today, you’ll need to read Sampson’s back story in Judges 13. If you are reading this digitally, you can catch the link here, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+13&version=NIV.

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The Price of Disobedience: David, Part Two

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Two weeks ago, we began our devotional series on The Price of Disobedience, starting with the character Moses. You can catch the Moses devotional here. If you missed last week’s devotional, you can read that here, https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-price-of-disobedience/.

Today we continue our study on David’s disobedience. David disobeyed God, and that disobedience had some disturbing consequences, some of which lingered throughout his lifetime.

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Do Not Worry

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Welcome back to Time in the Word. Do you find yourself worrying? I am challenged by Jesus’s words, “Do not worry…”, are you? Today we will discover why we worry and what Jesus says about not worrying.

We will be reading from the book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 25-34. You can catch this digitally here. Grab a pen and paper to take notes.

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