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Are You Willing to Serve Others During Your Tough Times? –Acts 28

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 28:1-32, Ephesians 1:1-2:22

When times are tough my first choice is to go to bed, cover my head and not get up until the storm has passed.   The last thing I want to do is serve others.  I tend to close the windows, pull down the shades and get very selfish and self-centered during seasons of hardship.

What if…

the reason God  allowed seasons of hardship in our lives was for the spreading of the gospel?

The Apostle Paul was an expert at continuing to serve God in the midst of tough times.  In today’s reading we see three instances of Paul ministering to others during his “tough times.”

  • Paul prayed for Publius’s father who was ill with fever and dysentery and he was healed
  • When the news spread of Paul’s healing power, all the other sick people on the island came for prayer and Paul prayed and they were healed
  • Paul gathered the local Jewish leaders to share the gospel of Jesus Christ

Paul was in chains or on house arrest and guarded by a soldier during these times of serving others.

How did Paul do that?

  • He was focused on God’s calling on his life more than his personal desires or comfort.  But the Lord said (to Ananias), “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.  And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9:15-16 (explanation mine)
  • He knew that God uses our dependence on Him in the tough times to bring people to Jesus
  • He knew that God uses different ways to get His will accomplished (what better way to get a meeting with a king than to be arrested and brought before him)
  • He believed Romans 8:28:  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
  • He saw EVERYTHING as a divine appointment

What are you going through today?

How does God want to use your “tough times” to spread the love of Christ to others?

Are you willing to serve God and others during your tough times?

Heavenly Father, in our humanness we want to be served in life’s tough times rather than serve others.  Holy Spirit, help us to see the opportunities to serve others in our tough times as God’s calling and plan for our life.  Lord, we want to be like Paul and put others’ needs ahead of our own.  Use our lives for Your Kingdom and Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:   Ephesians 3:1-5:14

Do You Have This Kind of Freedom? –Acts 26:32

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32

As a Christian and an American freedom is important to me.  Add to that my strong-willed and independent personality and I’m a downright freedom junky.  The Apostle Paul taught me something about freedom today.

Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left.  As they went out, they talked it over and agreed, “This man hasn’t done anything to deserve death or imprisonment.”

And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.” –Acts 26:30-32

My first thought was, “Why did Paul open his mouth and say he wanted to appeal to Caesar?” (Acts 25:10-12)

In my humanness, it looks like he made a mistake.

Until

I remembered the whole story.

Yes, they sent him to Rome.

Yes, he went as a prisoner.

But

What he really went on was a missionary journey.

Paul’s lack of freedom was God’s way of getting His mission accomplished.  Paul didn’t have the money to travel to Rome but through his chains he got a free trip and witnessed to countless people along the way.

Is there an area of your life in which you feel trapped?

    • A dead-end job
    • An unhappy marriage
    • A chronic health struggle

Maybe…your chains are God’s tool to reach someone who is unreachable.

Maybe…you should look around and see who needs God that is within your reach.

Paul knew the real meaning of freedom–being in the center of God’s Will.

Heavenly Father, help us to look to Paul’s example and apply it to our lives.  Jesus, help us to seek after and desire the kind of freedom that is greater than anything this world has to offer–Knowing You and making You known!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 27:1-44

What Are You Focusing On?–Acts 20:21


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 20:13-21:36

“He’s sort of cocky.”

Do you know someone who fits that description?

What if I told you that person could change the world for Christ?

The Apostle Paul sounds a little cocky, a little self-absorbed at times in his letters to the Corinthians.

Why did the Holy Spirit want us to see that side of Paul?

After all, if it’s in the Bible, there’s a lesson to be learned.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from the Apostle Paul:

  • God can use us in spite of and because of our personality
  • God can used us in spite of and because of our past
  • We have a choice, just like Paul, we can focus on our mistakes or we can focus on the job God has for us to do

Paul focused on one thing:

I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord –Jesus. Acts 20:21

Does the enemy of your soul ever say to you, “You aren’t worthy to be used because of your past?”  Or, maybe he says you’re not worthy because of your present.

Paul dealt with those thoughts as well; he considered himself the worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  I’m sure the fact that he actively persecuted the early church and watched as Stephen was stoned to death, because of his faith in Christ, crossed his mind when he penned those words.

But…

He stayed focused on the message he was called to give and God used him to turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ.

There are things about my personality that I wish were different, there are mistakes I’ve made that I’m not proud of, but God has a job for me to do while on this earth; He has a message for me to bring.

The question is…

Will I focus on the message or myself?

What about you; what’s your life’s focus?

What’s your message for the world?

Heavenly Father, fill me so full of Your Spirit!  I want to be able to focus on Your plans, not my weaknesses.  I want Your thoughts.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 21:37-23:35

I’m Thankful for the Pain–Romans 5:3-5

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Romans 5:1-8:17

During this Thanksgiving season our hard and painful times are probably the last thing in the world we want to think about much less be thankful for, but there are benefits to life’s painful times.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. –Romans 5:3-5

Who would I be without the problems and trials I’ve experienced throughout my life?

I have no idea but I’m sure I would be more…

  • Insensitive to the pain of others
  • Judgmental
  • Prideful
  • Selfish and self-centered
  • Impatient
  • Fearful
  • Of a quitter
  • Ungrateful

I’m thankful for the lessons I learned from the pain.  Would it have been nice to have lived a “pain-free” life?

I’m sure, but if the Lord said today, Dianne you can start your life over and live a life free from the problems and trials but there are some conditions…

  • You won’t ever get to know Me as intimately as you do because when you are in pain, I come to you in a special way.
  • You won’t have the level of trust in Me that you do because you’ll will have never seen my provision.
  • You won’t have the testimony that you have because nobody  is inspired by someone who’s never had a problem or trial.
  • You won’t be able to comfort others because you have never needed comfort yourself. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I think I would have to pass on that offer and be thankful for the lessons I’ve learned through my problems and trials and count the many blessings I’ve received through the pain.

Heavenly Father, I pray for those today who are in the depths of a painful season of life.  Lord, the holidays magnify the sadness, loneliness, and loss.  Holy Spirit comfort each person with Your supernatural comfort.  Send someone to them to carry their load for a little while.  Answer their prayers and give them the desires of their heart. Help them to know You more through their pain.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Romans 8:18-10:21

2 Things to Do When You’re Exhausted from Grief–Luke 22:45-46

Today’s Scripture Reading: John 18:1-2, Mark 14:32-42, Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-24

When we hear the word grief the first thing that usually comes to mind is death, but over the years I have found grief is present when people, relationships, hopes, or dreams are lost.

Grief is sorrow over loss

What are some things you are grieving over today?

In Luke 22, Jesus and the disciples left the upstairs room and went to the Mount of Olives.  He has just told the disciples about the sorrow that was coming, as they arrived at the olive grove Jesus told them to “Pray that you will not give in to temptation” (22:40).  Then He walked a short distance from them to be alone to pray.  When he returned he found them sleeping:

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” –Luke 22:45-46

The disciples were definitely experiencing loss.  Things certainly weren’t working out the way they had planned.  Their rabbi, teacher, and lord had just told them He was going away.  They didn’t understand it all, but they knew things weren’t ever going to be the same…they were exhausted from grief. There have been many times when I have been exhausted from grief:

  • As a teenager I wanted my family to be free from conflict
  • As a young wife I wanted my husband to understand me
  • As an expectant Mom I wanted my first child to live
  • As a Mom of teenagers I wanted them to serve God and not rebel
  • As a wife of a 20+ year marriage I didn’t want a divorce
  • As a daughter I didn’t want my Dad to die prematurely
  • As a woman I didn’t want my friend to die of A.I.D.S
  • As the sole provider of my family I grieved over the loss of financial security
  • As a Mom I didn’t want my children to experience divorce
  • As a Mom I never wanted my children to experience the pain I’ve experienced

In EVERY ONE of these situations I experienced the exhaustion of grief.

So what do we do?

Just lie down and give up… No way!  We do what Jesus told the disciples to do…

  1. Get up
  2. Pray, so that you will not give in to temptation

So instead of giving up we must get up!

Jesus knows that the times we are most vulnerable to the enemy’s temptation is when we’re exhausted from grief.

In our humanness we want to do the opposite.  We want to stay down, pull away from the Lord, and turn to the world for comfort…don’t do it!

Run into the arms of your Heavenly Father!

During my times of grieving I would imagine my Heavenly Father sitting in a very, very big rocking chair on a very large front porch.  In my imagination I would use my last bit of strength to crawl to His feet.  He would reach down, sit me on His lap and rock me and stroke my hair.  I found comfort and rest in His arms. If you are exhausted from grieving today, go to the God who made you. Rest in Him today.

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are exhausted from grieving today.  Comfort them.  Give them the strength to get up from their despair and pray so they will not give in to temptation. Reassure them of Your love.  Restore their hope.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Matthew 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 22:66-71, Matthew 27:3-10

4 Things to Do When You’re Worn Out—Daniel 7:25

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 7:1 through Daniel 8:27; Daniel 5:1-31

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. –Daniel 7:25 KJV (emphasis mine)

Recently I had the opportunity to pray with a friend.  She was completely worn out from fighting a seven-year battle to rescue an adult child from the pit of hell we know as drug addiction.  This woman of God was at her breaking point, ready to give up on her job, family, her God—

WORN OUT.

This weariness is spreading throughout the Christian world like a virus.  I am on the prayer team at my church.  Each week I pray with people with all kinds of needs but the one thing they all have in common is weariness.  The cares of this world (Mark 4:19) are wearing them down.

Daniel 7:25, is the only verse in the Bible that uses the words, “worn out.”  “Worn out” comes from the Hebrew word bala’, which means to wear away or to harass constantly. (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon)

  • I’m not an expert in Bible prophesy
  • I’m not sure where we are in the timeline of the second coming of Christ
  • I’m not saying we are living in the days of Daniel 7:25 (but we could be)

I am saying that the evil power that will drive this king that Daniel speaks about is Satan, the enemy of our soul…

Friends, this enemy—your enemy, and my enemy, is at work today and he is definitely working to wear us out.  Daniel’s visionary experiences give us a glimpse into the cosmic struggle between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom God is establishing. We are living in the midst of this struggle.

In Luke 21:34, Jesus warns us about the allowing the “cares of this world or worries of this life to dull our hearts.”

This weariness not only affects our quality of life, it affects our witness.  We are supposed to be different, but we’re just as tired as the next person.  Why would a non-Christian want what we have when we’re just as worn out as they are?

What do we do?

  1. Recognize our enemy.It’s not your family, friends, co-workers, or church family  (Galatians 5:17)
  2. Rest our body. When you’re physically tired you are the most vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy (Psalm 127:2)
  3. Read God’s Word so that you can recognize the voice of the Lord  (1 Timothy 4:7-8, Hebrews 4:12)
  4. Renew our mind through prayer,  meditation, and solitude  (Romans 12:2, Psalm 46:10)

We are more powerful in Christ than we think we are.  God says we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) and we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.  (Philippians 4:13)

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Heavenly Father, allow us to see the spiritual battle that is raging.  Help us to recognize who’s talking to us.  Give us boldness to stand against the schemes of the devil, so that we can live a life that will cause others to want to know You more.

In  Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 6:1-28; Daniel 9:1-27; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-11; 1 Chronicles 3:17-19a

5 Things We Can Learn From Dry Bones—Ezekiel 37:3

Today’s Scripture Reading; Ezekiel 37:1 through Ezekiel 39:29; Ezekiel 32:1-16

God asked Ezekiel:

Son of Man, can these bones becoming living people again?   —Ezekiel 37:3

Ezekiel had three possible answers:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Maybe

Ezekiel said “no” to all three and answered with a statement of faith:

O Sovereign Lord, you alone know the answer to that.

If that was a faith checkup, Ezekiel passed.

The Lord told Ezekiel that the dry bones represented the people of Israel who had lost all hope of going back to their homeland.  The Lord said He was going to open the graves of exile and cause them to rise again and bring them back to the land of Israel. The Lord was going to put His Spirit in the Israelites so they would live again and return to their own land. (Ezekiel 37:11-14, my paraphrase)

It’s easy for us to zoom past this and not grasp the life of hopelessness the Israelites were living through.  They needed a miracle and had lost all hope of getting one.

What are you facing today that looks hopeless from a natural standpoint?

  • Physical challenges and illness
  • Relationship worries
  • Financial Distress
  • Job loss
  • Overwhelming grief
  • Overwhelmed by addiction
  • Spiritual Dryness
  • Emotional  weariness

Does it look as hopeless as the possibility of old, dry bones coming together and growing muscle and flesh and then living again ? (Ezekiel 37:4-9)

When you’re facing a seemingly hopeless situation do you ever struggle with knowing what to believe, how to feel, and what to speak?

Ezekiel’s answer to God’s question (Ezekiel 37:3), gives us some guidance for getting through “seemingly” hopeless times.

1.         It’s okay to not have an answer

2.         It’s okay to voice the impossibility of the situation to your God

3.         It’s okay to release the responsibility of the outcome to the Lord

4.         Reliance on God’s sovereignty gives peace in the worst of situations

5.         God knows the answer to every situation

Why would God tell Ezekiel all of this?

What was the purpose of the bone prophesy?

When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken! —Ezekiel 37:13-14 (emphasis mine)

Why do we need to read the complicated book of Ezekiel?

Why do we need to make every effort to understand prophesy?

So that when God’s Word comes to pass…

we will know that the Lord is God!

Friends I’m very grateful to Ezekiel for keeping it real.  There are things we know and there are many things we don’t know.  All we really need to know is that our God is the Sovereign Lord of our lives   The more we know Him, the less we are bothered by the big questions in life.

It’s okay to say “I don’t know, but He knows.”

Heavenly Father, help us to grow each day in the knowledge that you are the Sovereign Lord of our lives and you can be trusted!

Longing to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 32:17 through Ezekiel 33:20; Jeremiah 52:28-30, Psalm 137; 1 Chronicles 4:24 through 1 Chronicles 5:17

When Things Get Worse…

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 26:15 through Ezekiel 28:26; 2 Kings 25:3-7; Jeremiah 52:6-11; Jeremiah 39:2-10

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them.  I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people.  They will live safely in Israel and build homes and plant vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God.”

Can you imagine being a Jew exiled in Babylon hearing this prophesy in Ezekiel 28:25-26?

I’m sure there was celebration, excitement, and expectation throughout every Jewish family trapped in Babylon.  If I had been a Jew in Babylon and heard that prophesy I would have started packing my bags, making my plans, and looking forward to the day when my people were once again seen by neighboring nations as “God’s chosen.”

But, what happened next would have made me cancel the moving van and realize “going home” wasn’t going to be a reality any time soon.

Two and a half years later, on July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the Babylonians broke through the wall, and the city fell.  All the officers of the Babylonian army came in and sat in triumph at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer of Samgar, and Nebo-sarsekim, a chief officer, and Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser, and all the other officers. —Jeremiah 39:2-3

The city of Jerusalem had been destroyed.

But what about Ezekiel’s prophesy?

Maybe he didn’t  r-e-a-l-l-y hear from God.  Maybe we will never go home.  Maybe we will never be “God’s chosen people” again.

Have you ever felt this way?

You read a passage of scripture in God’s Word, believed it pertained to your situation, believed God spoke to you and promised a breakthrough… …and then things got worse. There are two ways we can look at these times:

  • God, why would you give me false hope?
  • God, thank you for giving me hope so I can survive these difficult days!

Friends, if God said it—it will come to pass; the how and when are His to determine. That’s His job; He’s God.

Our job is to…

  • Trust GodTrust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. –Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Believe GodIn the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” –Galatians 3:6
  • Have Faith in God’s Word and His PromisesAnd it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. –Hebrews 11:6

Yes, things got worse for the Jews before they got better, but they did get better and every promise God made came true.  We can expect the same (Acts 10:34-35).

Heavenly Father, help us to trust You, believe You, and have faith in Your Word and Your Promises.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 39:11-18; Jeremiah 40:1-6; 2 Kings 25:8-21; Jeremiah 52:12-27; 2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Lamentations 1:1-22

Your Dearest Treasure—Ezekiel 24:15-16

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 24:15 through Ezekiel 25:17; Jeremiah 34:1-22; Jeremiah 21:1-14; Ezekiel 29:1-16; Ezekiel 30:20 through Ezekiel  31:18

What is your dearest treasure?

Ezekiel’s dearest treasure was his wife.  The King James Version calls her “the delight of his eyes.” When I think about Ezekiel’s life as a prophet it’s easy to understand how important his wife was to him.  God had called him to bring difficult messages to the Jewish people while he was held captive in Babylon.  I’m sure many times he felt as though he was completely alone; except for his wife.

This word from the Lord must have felt like a dagger through his heart:

Then this message came to me from the Lord:  “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears.  Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.” –Ezekiel 24:15-17

My first thought after reading these verses was, “Lord, why would you go to such great length to send Israel a message.”  I’m thinking like a human and seeing this earthly life and earthly love as the most important gifts we have and wondering why in the world would God waste all that to send a message to some rebellious people; but God’s ways are not like our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9) and this earthly life is just a second in the scope of eternity.

The thought of Ezekiel’s wife dying a premature death must have been  overwhelming; asking Ezekiel not to show any sorrow at her death was completely unheard of.  This is totally contrary to Old Testament funeral practices, which featured loud wailings and passionate expressions of grief.   Demonstrative grief and sorrow was expected and seen as a sign of great love of love for the one who had died.

The death of Ezekiel’s wife was a sign designed to portray the loss of God’s blessing for Jerusalem (24:15–24). The “dearest treasure” (24:16) referred to Ezekiel’s wife. The same expression was used in 24:21 to refer to the Jerusalem temple. As Ezekiel was forbidden the customary mourning practices with regard to his wife’s death, the people were not to mourn God’s judgment on Jerusalem, for it was just (24:22–23). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

Ezekiel’s level of love and commitment to his God and the office of a prophet is the ultimate love story and God’s example of how the Jewish people were supposed to act when God’s judgment would fall on Jerusalem.

WHY—

Would God ask so much of Ezekiel?

Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold—their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure—I will also take away their sons and daughters. And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened.  And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.Ezekiel 24:25-27 (Emphasis mine)

Friends, in our lives we’ve all had things happen to us that just don’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to believe our Heavenly Father would allow us to walk through such pain and sorrow.  In these hard times our continued commitment to the Lord may be the greatest testimony of the reality of Christ an unbeliever will ever see.  Your testimony could make a difference between heaven and hell for that person.  Your testimony could be the only thing that gets them through their pain and sorrow.

Your Heavenly Father could be saying to you, “________________, you are a symbol for these people.  Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Heavenly Father, help us to reflect our trust in You in the good times and the hard times of our lives.  Help others to “know You more” through the testimony of our lives.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 32:1 through 33:26; Ezekiel 26:1-14

What Are You Doing While You’re Waiting? Jeremiah 29:4-7

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 23:33 through Jeremiah 24:10; Jeremiah 29:1 through Jeremiah 31:14

What do you do while you’re waiting for your prayers to be answered?

…Worry

…Complain

…Doubt

…Live in fear

…Try to fix it yourself

…Pray

…Believe God

…Thank God in advance for answering your prayers

In today’s reading the Jews were waiting…

The Israelites from Judah had been carried away to Babylon; uprooted from their homes, their land, their temple and God’s Presence.

They were God’s chosen people; how could this be happening to them?

Then the Lord gave me (Jeremiah) this message: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.  I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them.  I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly. —Jeremiah 24:4-7

If I had been Jeremiah and received this message from the Lord I would have thought, “this is great news, we’ll just wait it out and they will be home soon; one or two weeks at the most and  life will be back to normal.”

God’s plan wasn’t a week or two of captivity, it was 70 years.

70 YEARS!!!

Friends that’s a lifetime!

I guess the Lord knew this news would paralyze the Israelites so he sent waiting instructions  through Jeremiah. (Jer.29:4-7)

  • Build homes, and plan to stay
  • Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce
  • Marry and have children
  • Find spouses for your children so you will have many grandchildren
  • Multiply, do not dwindle away
  • Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent your into exile
  • Pray for this city—it’s welfare will determine your welfare

My response would have been–

But that’s not the way I planned it!

God’s response was—

“You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.  —Jeremiah 29:10-14

What prayers are you waiting for God to answer?

I think John Waller’s song, While I’m Waiting could be designated as our official “waiting” song.

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Heavenly Father, help us to “wait well.” Thank you for the assurance of your good plans for us.  Teach us to trust you while we’re waiting. Help us to wholeheartedly serve you while we’re waiting!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 31:15-40; Jeremiah 49:34 through Jeremiah 51:14

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