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.” So here we go… Introducing Deborah Rutherford.Continue reading
Read His Words Jeremiah 29:1-14
The Israelites Were in Captivity
When I see this scripture reference, my mind goes immediately to,
“For I know the plans I have for you,… plans to prosper you and not to harm you…”Jeremiah 29:11
Maybe that is your thought, as well. It IS a wonderful scripture!
New Thoughts Captured my Attention
This morning, as I was enjoying quiet time in Jeremiah 29:1-14, some phrases captured my attention in a startling way. I was blown away at the revelation that came to me as I read Jeremiah 29:5-7 (NLT).
“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens and eat the fruit you produce. Marry, and have children. Then find spouses for them, and have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of Babylon. Pray to the Lord for that city where you are held captive, for if Babylon has peace, so will you.”Jeremiah 29:5-7
Suddenly, this thought hit me:
“What is your Babylon?”
And then, these questions:
- What holds us in captivity?
- How do we get out of it?
- What can we do?
Sometimes, we come to a difficult place in life and we feel as if we are held captive in it. A serious illness, the death of a spouse, the end of a job, a career change, relocation, . . . the list is vast. Life happens. Many times what happens is out of our control, but it is NEVER out of God’s hands!
When life throws a curveball, it is too easy to become paralyzed, bitter, depressed, even frantic. God, however, says “Live life!” Re-read those verses. The Lord told His people to carry on with life, not to just sit or dwindle away. Keep reading, because the Lord also said,
“Pray to the Lord for that city where you are held captive.”
Pray for the company, the school, the country, the family…. whatever your “Babylon” is. When we offer up whatever has us down to the Lord, He can take that situation into His hands and deliver us from it.
Remember this, though: God moves in His time and way. The solution to your dilemma may take time, but He does have the solution.
That familiar promise will come to fruition:
“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not harm you…”Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This is the clincher:
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,…and will bring you back from captivity.”Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV
Take every thought captive. Seek the Lord and His direction. Pray for the place where you are, that place that has you stuck. Know that the Lord has a plan, and he will bring you out better than before!
THAT is your confidence!
– Glenae Atchison
Last Chance to Link-up in the Legacy Link-upin June
God’s Preposterous Promise
- On Our Way Back to God
- The Promise of Restoration
- God’s Promise to Comfort
- Prepare the Way of the Lord
- God Sings Over Us
- The Hope of God With us
- Trusting God’s Plans and Ways
- Get Ready for the Lord’s Coming
The Promise of Restoration With God
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
As I write this, I am watching video of the devastation from Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas. 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 the 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 14:1-4; 1 Peter 1:3-9,13-22, 2 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
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.
Published with permission. Originally written by Mandy Farmer and published at the Discipleship Place ~ Women’s Ministries at The Church of the Nazarene November 2019
Help Restore the People of The Bahamas
My denomination, The Church of the Nazarene, is working to help the people affected by Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas. Consider a monetary gift this Christmas to help. Click here.