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

wicked prosper

Doubting our Faith – Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

as for me, I almost slipped when I see the wicked prosper
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Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.

Psalm 73:1-2

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

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do not stop praying

Intentional: I Will Not Stop Praying

Stop Praying? No Way

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

Have you ever looked at a prayer warrior and thought, “I could never pray like that?” Friends, you have the same power of prayer in you that she has. Please read on as my friend Bettie Gilbert explains and expounds on 1 Samuel 12:23

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Preparedness Kit for the Storms of Life

Originally published October 3, 2016

Hurricane PReparedness

Everyone knows that you must be prepared for a hurricane. More than one storm will inevitably come sometime every fall, it’s just how it is.

Most assuredly, no matter where you live, there are natural storms or disasters that you need to be prepared for. There are certain things that you always have ready for when the storm hits. When I lived up north, we carried certain things in the trunk of our car in case of emergency in the deep cold winters.

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integrity Psalm 41

You May Feel Forsaken But God Will Uphold

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

Let’s study Psalm 41, part two ~ Forsaken by Your Friends

We have looked at being a friend, but there are many chronic pain warriors who feel that their friends have forsaken them. Left them to die. Let’s read on…

But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.

“How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.

They visit me as if they were my friends,

but all the while they gather gossip,

and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.

All who hate me whisper about me,

imagining the worst.

“He has some fatal disease,” they say.

“He will never get out of that bed!”

Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,

the one who shared my food has turned against me.

Psalm 41:5-9

Forsaken by Friends

When I was first struck with chronic pain, friends came to my side to support my family and me. But as the days dragged on into months and years, fewer and fewer came to our aid. Very few asked about my health or how the family was getting along. In fact, the grumbling began about why I wasn’t pulling my weight in other areas of my life that I used to be quite involved in. It was not just true for me but for my husband as well. The church he pastored began to grumble about how he preached or that he wasn’t available to the people. He may have struggled in his preaching but he was always available to the congregation… just not at the office. He now worked from home which the board had agreed would be okay.

They didn’t question him about how we were doing they only accused him of being unable to fulfill his duties. It finally, came to a head when a few campaigned behind his back to oust him from ministry. This ended up causing him to take early retirement. Since we lived in a parsonage, we no longer had a place to live. And no way to pay for a home.

I Want Revenge

10 Lord, have mercy on me.

Make me well again, so I can pay them back!

11 I know you are pleased with me,

for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.

12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent;

you have brought me into your presence forever.

Psalm 41:10-12

But God, never let go of us. He provided for us and lead us to a safe place. We followed the example of Jesus. We didn’t try to defend ourselves. We quietly resigned and moved away. Although our family wanted revenge against them, we said that “vengeance belongs to the Lord. He will repay.” We knew we were innocent and had been faithful to God in everything.

It’s hard to walk away when you feel so hurt and deeply betrayed. But with God’s help, we were able to do it. God preserved our lives. Now 6 years later, He is still on the throne and we serve Him in new ways that we would not have thought of before.

Indeed,

Psalm 41: 12-13 As For Me Integrity
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As for me, You uphold me because of my integrity;

You allow me permanent access to Your Presence!

The Lord God of Israel deserves praise in the future and forevermore!

We agree! We agree!

Psalm 41:12-13 NET

Mandy

More Psalms for the Chronically Ill

Psalm of Mandy: a Pain Warrior’s Prayer

Psalm of Mandy: Prayer for Protection a Pain Warrior, continued

How to Pray in the Morning – David’s Reverant Prayer

As for Me Joshua 24:15

But As For Me and My Household

Today, let’s talk about “Me and My Household”

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

Let me introduce a new friend, Barb Hegreberg…

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in my distress

The Day of My Distress

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

Today, we have a beautiful devotion by my sister. Kandy Chimento and her husband, Tony, live in Liberty Hill, Texas. They have spent many years in ministry together.  Their greatest joys are their two amazing kids; Christa, and Tyler (and his lovely wife, Rebekah), and their two grandsons, Gideon & Jude. Kandy is the Director of Operations at a local Food Pantry & Resource Center, where she enjoys working with the hundreds of volunteers she manages, and the neighbors they assist.  

So without further ado, my sister, Kandy…

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morning prayer

How to Pray in the Morning – David’s Reverant Prayer

But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,

At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

Psalm 5:7 NASB 1995

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

David was intentional about his morning prayers. It’s a goal of mine as well… to open my eyes and first call on God and look to Him. If I start my day with HIm, I can invite Him to stay and walk with me through the entire day. If I don’t I find myself dredging through the day on my own.

in the morning Psal 5:7
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My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.

Psalm 5:3 NKJV

Steps for David’s Morning Prayer

  1. Calls to God and recognizes Him as His God and King and there is no other. God wants us to come before Him in reverence and to recognize His Holiness. It is then that we realize our sinfulness. In the shadow of His Righteousness, we see that we are but a worm and we are humbled. Noting that God will not lend an ear to those who enjoy wickedness, he humbles himself before the great God of the Universe. And in this, he makes a firm stand that he will come into God’s house in fear and reverence
  2. He begs for guidance comparing the wicked to the righteous he sees that he needs God to direct his path. How can we face the day if not with His guidance? We are sure to go astray without Him by our side throughout the day. And friend, He will not come along uninvited. We must ask Him to lead us through our day. I believe if we try this pattern, we will be utterly blessed. We will find so many things going well rather than having to struggle at each turn of the day.
  3. He states that there is joy for all those who trust in God. Stating these facts makes it all real. God doesn’t necessarily need to hear these things but when we say them aloud we confirm in our own hearts that it is so. That’s why the gratitude journal is so important. Along with this morning prayer, I like to list at least three things I am grateful for. It refocuses our hearts on the Lord instead of our problems.
  4. Another declaration is that God will surround the righteous with His favor as if with a shield that covers their entire body. We can declare this because He has already promised to do it! It is David’s only request. You see, everything else will fall into place if we are guided by His Hand and surrounded as a shield by Heaven’s Armies.

In Conclusion

What a pattern for morning prayer! Declaring the righteousness of God and asking to be led on that very path. How could your day go awry when you have shielded yourself in His righteousness.

And, ah, now we see how to dress one’s self in the complete armor of God (Eph 6)

Don’t forget your Morning Prayers. Use Psalm 5 as a pattern for prayer until you find your own words of prayer.

-Mandy

Other As For Me Posts

Messenger of God – Jeremiah, Me, You

Wellness: Becoming Intentionally Evergreen

Other Posts On Prayer

Refresh Your Prayers: UNcommon Devotions on Prayer

Bible Study: The Prayer of Nehemiah

Will You Unleash the Power of Prayer and Fasting in Your Life?

2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 3 Prayer

Intercessory Prayer is the Spiritual Warfare Frontlines