Join me in reading through the Bible in One Year! We will follow a reading plan together and go beyond just reading the Bible, to studying it. We will post about the passage and learn from each other as we grow in our walk with the Lord.
Join me in the pursuit of discernment!
“Listen to this message from the Lord , you nations of the world; proclaim it in distant coastlands: The Lord , who scattered his people, will gather them and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock. For the Lord has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them. They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the Lord ’s good gifts— the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone. The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing. The priests will enjoy abundance, and my people will feast on my good gifts. I, the Lord , have spoken!”
The message in these verses mirrors how things are today... like the Israelites we too have sinned and fallen away from God. But just as God gathered His people who had sinned but now wanted to change, He also will gather us back to Him today - after living a sinful life.
We too can have a second chance in life, we just need to ask God to forgive our sins then live our best for Him only, the rest of our lives.
Jeremiah 29:11 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.
This is definitely one of the most well known verse in the Bible, and rightfully so, for it is a message of hope.
The caution, of course, is not to mistake this as a message of prosperity or a life of ease. In fact, in this verse, the Lord is speaking to the Israelites who are in exile. And He told them they would continue to be in exile for 70 years. That's the background of this promise. He wasn't telling them they were about to be rescued any time soon. He was telling them that the exile was going to last a long time, but that He still had a plan, He was still in control, and His plans are for our good and for His glory.
Though this promise was specifically for the exiled Israelites, it does still hold true for us today. And we can grab onto that same hope. No matter how bad your circumstances, and no matter how long they will last, God is still in control, He still has a plan, He is still good, His plans for you are good (thought maybe not the ones you would choose for yourself) and for His glory.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.
Keep a strong grip on theology
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
The first section of this passage always reminds me of Psalm 1.
The second portion is sobering. The human heart IS deceitful, it IS wicked. We are so quick to justify our sin, to let our emotions rules our decision making, and to be led astray by our own sinful wants and desires. God sees the heart - with all it's failings. And though He does give us what we deserve, He also gives us what we don't deserve - mercy. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Jeremiah 19:1-21:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28, Psalm 82:1-8, Proverbs 25:9-10
Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.
This verse stood out to me... what can actually be done without the help of God? Can we rely on human help only?
Can we provide our own heat, rain, wind, etc, to make plants grow and provide us with food? Did we create our own rivers, lakes and mountains to enjoy and use?
On top of this, He loved us enough to send His own son to earth - to die for us, in order that we could spend eternity with Him.
Is it worthwhile then to trust and believe in Him, and to wait for help from God alone?
It tells us what not to do with words such as....
It also tells us what to do with words such as...
setting your sights on heaven
think about the things of heaven
make allowances for each other's faults
Jeremiah 4:1 “O Israel,” says the Lord, “if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more.
The way of repentance and restoration is always open. If we want to repent, we can, He is waiting with open arms. But do we want to? Are we willing to give up our sin? Are we willing to give up Lordship of our lives to Him? Are we willing to trust Him with everything?
"... And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken! "
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Good reminders today not to worry or be anxious. This is easy to say, and hard to do... at least for me.
Lately I've had a few work issues that I have no control over but that need to be dealt with. This reminds me that God is in charge, and I can trust in Him, and then not worry.
Philippians 3:12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
We cannot attain perfection in this life. We know this. But that doesn't mean we throw our hands up in the air in despair and don't bother trying. We need to be purposeful about eradicating the sin in our lives, about becoming more like Jesus, about deepening our relationship with Him, and about sharing the gospel with others - all under the power of the Holy Spirit, and not our own strength.
But it IS work. We press on. We focus. We race. We reach for the prize. And in the end - we will receive it! Because He who promised is faithful.