Friday, January 20, 2017

God Will Refresh the Weary

January- Rest, Refresh

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“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the land of Judah and its towns will once again use these words ‘The lord bless you,
O righteous dwelling, O sacred mountain. ’I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Jeremiah 31:23, 25 (NIV)

            The very next verse tells us that God had visited Jeremiah as he slept. He tells us “My sleep had been pleasant to me.” Why did Jeremiah say this?

An End to the Exile,

            God tells him when, not if, He will bring the people back to Judah. God had planned on bringing His children back to the land He promised their ancestors.

            Even today, we go through hardships that seem to not have an end; however, all trials and tribulations do end. Some end as we like them, others according to God’s plan.

God’s Visions for Those Returning
            God tells Jeremiah that the people will remember to bless their homes and their land.
            In the most recent Advent-Christmas season, I heard it said that people were telling others “Merry Christmas” more than in the past. As a believer in Christ, I appreciated hearing this item of news. Some of us never stopped using the phrase as a greeting or a farewell thought.

God’s Promise and Provision

            God gives hope to Jeremiah and to us when he says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Who among us has not been weary? Ask any new mother or any care-giving spouse what they might need. I believe any of them would say, Ä good night’s sleep,” or, “Some real rest.”
            Also, who among us has not felt weak to the point of exhaustion? I know a husband who seems to go for days at a time on minimal sleep. People recovering from surgery are given certain restrictions in order for them to regain strength.

            In this New Year, may we all learn to rely upon God more and may we feel the freedom to witness to those around us. May we feel His presence in our hearts and submit to His will for our lives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

God Holds You in His Arms

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Restoring God's

January—Rest Refresh

“The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah. 3:17 (NIV)

            This beautiful verse comes in a prophecy from God through the prophet Zephaniah. In reading the preceding chapters and the background of the time in which this passage was penned, I found some amazing information.

            King Josiah decided to purge the temple of the pagan tools of worship and get back to the worship of the One True God. Hilkiah had discovered the scrolls that told the people NOT to follow the deities of the land surrounding their land He gave them.              
            Zephaniah tells of the actions God will take to make His people come back to Him. And then, his focus changes to the city of Zion. We know it as Jerusalem, the City of David.    
            He tells the people of Zion (Jerusalem) that God is with them. He doesn’t say ‘maybe’, or Í think.’
            He finishes this thought with “he is mighty to save” How many times have we found ourselves in predicaments that we couldn’t get out of by ourselves and had to call on Jesus, the only one who can save us?  
            I love this next part. He will take great delight in you, sometimes, people need to know someone cares about them. Here Zephaniah tells His children of Zion that God really cares about them.
            Also, He will quiet you with his love, I have had times when I wanted to speak out and make my opinion on a subject known. But I don’t always find myself opening my mouth and speaking my mind. As I study these words, I realize I am supposed to allow God to speak, not me. If I look at this from my point of view, it is not always easy to do. Since I came to this understanding, I find I am more peaceful and happier.

              And, He will rejoice over you with singing.” God rejoicing over His people gives me peace. In past generations, mothers of young children usually sang to their babies to comfort them or to get them to relax and drift off into sleep.

            May we all find rest and refreshing in the arms of God.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jesus Offers Rest

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“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Mark 6:30-31(NIV)

            Jesus and his disciples always drew a crowd. Everyone wanted to see Jesus. In each instant, the throng could have overwhelmed most people.

            I know a lot of people who have issues being in crowds. Some people are comfortable with having large gatherings for the various holiday celebrations. Others prefer to observe those times in peace and quiet. The disciples were bombarded by such an influx of people, they could not take the time to eat, let alone rest.

            I remember when my uncle had passed away, we all gathered at my mother’s home. My uncle’s ex-wife, the mother of his children had been included in the group. As she prepared to leave, I asked her, “You’re not leaving so soon, are you?” She said something that comes to my mind often, “I want to be alone and think for a while.” We all have times where it is better for us to be alone and to rest from what life throws at us.

            Jesus invited the disciples to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” From time to time he makes the same appeal to us.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...