Daniel: Day 2

The God Who Gathers And Restores

by

Today's Text: Psalm 137:1-6, Jeremiah 28:1-17, Jeremiah 29:4-14

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.

- Psalm 137:1 ESV -

I imagine myself standing there on the curb, staring at the flames pouring out of the windows of our beloved home. My family is with me and we are safe, but our life is changing before our very eyes. Home as we know it is gone.

I can picture Hananiah, the false prophet from Jeremiah Chapter 28, standing there with us, proclaiming to us his “everything’s going to be okay” gospel. “Two years!” he declares triumphantly. “Two turns of the calendar and everything will be just the way it was.” Meanwhile, we are hurting and homeless. Everything is most definitely not okay.

There is a problem to be acknowledged. There is work to be done. There is faith to be lived out, not merely proclaimed.

This imaginary scenario helps me grasp the weight of the false prophet’s empty promises. A gospel that does not call me to relationship with God is no gospel at all.  

As we read yesterday in 2 Kings, the people of Israel were in an ongoing battle. But this battle was not just between the kingdom of Babylon and the wayward kings of Judah. The battle was for the hearts of men and women—for the hearts of the very children of God.

The people of Israel were in exile. Their temple had been burned and their religious symbols desecrated. Hananiah, however, didn’t seem overly concerned. Rather than calling the people to faith and repentance, he gave them a truthless pep talk.

But Jeremiah knew better. He had heard the words of the prophets who had come before him, warning that there would be consequences to their rebellion against a holy God. Jeremiah understood there was a problem to be acknowledged, a work to be done in the waiting, a faith to be lived out.

While Hananiah’s false prophesy presented the notion of a detached God and an “everything’s going to be ok” gospel, Jeremiah’s revealed the promise of the God who pursues, engages and rescues— the God who doesn’t simply replace what sin and its consequences burn away, but who restores the very heart of the sinner. As the people of Israel sat weeping by the waters of Babylon as they remembered their homeland (Psalm 137:1), they were not forgotten by their God. They were called back and gathered up.

Jeremiah’s God is Daniel’s God, calling for His people to return, inviting them to repentance, and promising full restoration in His perfect time.

You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you from.”
Jeremiah 29:12-14

Friends, as we move forward into the book of Daniel and discover the parallels between his exile and our own, may we remember this call from the Lord. May Daniel’s story give us a new lens through which to see the good news of the Gospel. And as we see Daniel stand firm, actively clinging to his faith in a hostile culture, may we remember that Christ is the greater Daniel, the most faithful exile of all.

 

SRT-Daniel_instagram2

  • ed sheeran x

    In this great design of things you’ll receive an A just for effort. Where you actually confused us was in your facts. You know, they say, details make or break the argument.. And it couldn’t be more accurate here. Having said that, let me reveal to you just what exactly did deliver the results. The writing can be pretty persuasive and that is possibly the reason why I am taking the effort to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, although I can easily notice the jumps in logic you make, I am definitely not convinced of just how you appear to connect your ideas that produce the actual conclusion. For right now I will subscribe to your position however wish in the near future you actually connect your dots much better.

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  • I loved the part about making more generations but never decreasing yourself. This spoke to me because it tells us that no matter how good or bad things are always strive to make things better

  • Amen. It’s about Him. A relationship with him. It’s not getting away from evil and living the good life: but seeking and being restored to our creator.

  • Lauren Johnson

    He is ALWAYS faithful, even when we aren’t, He alone saves. He alone restores. He is a good, good Father! Praise Him for HIS LOVE NEVER FAILS.

  • Oh yes!!!! To share in future glory. There is a transformational journey we must go through marked with suffering joy and goodness of life. What matters most cannot be taken away. Nothing can separate.

  • Juliefay

    Restated from sister Emily above ” Wouldn’t we much rather be thrown into exile if it meant being gathered back up by our God, than to be in a safe place to not be touched by Him at all? “

  • Sylvie Totherow

    Life isn’t easy…but God has a plan and purpose for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) God desires relationships. He created us to long and have a relationship with Him and with others. When you go to Him He will NOT turn you away. When you seek Him with all your heart He says, “you will find Me.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14) Isn’t that a beautiful promise?!

  • Thankfully God isn’t a God who just “makes everything okay,” but He does whatever it takes to bring us near to Him, even if it means breaking us in order to heal and restore. Wouldn’t we much rather be thrown into exile of it meant being gathered back up by our God, than to be in a safe place to not be touched by Him at all?

  • SHAMEKAMICHELLE

    My spirit leap when I read “When you search for Ne with all your heart I will be found by you.” I can only imagine what my relationship with God will develop into if I truly sought after him with all my heart. I find myself distracted by various worldly things especially my boyfriend smh… Being involved in these devotional with you ladies makes me want to change that & how ironic we’re studying Daniel who did not compromise, but obeyed & stood firm on the Word of God. I have a thing or two to learn from Daniel.

  • I think what spoke to me about today’s devotion was definitely this: ” A gospel that does not call me to relationship with God is no gospel at all.  “. And is not that the truth? Because in the end is truly is about having a close relationship with God. That’s what Jesus did for us in the Cross: tear down that separation between us and God so that we can talk directly to God and have a personal relationship with Him.

  • Kasey Summers

    “A gospel that does not call me to relationship with God is no gospel at all.” Absolutely love this! So many time I’ve sat in church and heard either from a pastor or Sunday school teacher this legalism preached.. Do better… Try harder…. It bugs the mess out of me because that’s every other religion. Our faith is about God’s grace! His work on our behalf! True faith produces fruit. But Jesus should always be the center of it all, not us.

  • Danielle Burch

    I am starting a bit late, yes… only on day 2, but so far, I love it! It's so interesting to read about Babylon and the wars, having just finished Revelations. It makes Hananiah's message somehow seem more false, and makes it all the more amazing that God loves US, that He wants a personal relationship with US, and works for OUR GOOD, if we fellowship with other Christians and seek Him above all else. He is so good and so faithful. I kept thinking of Needtobreathe's "Multiplied" while I was reading this passage, especially the 2nd Jeremiah portion, when God says to multiply, not decrease, and continue seeking Him!

  • Wow, He will restore us. I have recently had to leave a place I loved very much. I left because God called me away from some false prophets. Its so crazy to me how the holy spirit has opened my eyes through this scripture. I have grieved for the ministry I left behind. For the young people who I lead and had to let go of. But, God will restore me to the place I departed from. He will mend those little hearts and the work he did will through us will not be for nothing. God is good.

  • Colleen Cordero

    P.s.
    I left out the best part im of my testimony previously… I like Daniel have completely changed my diet and now eat ONLY healty ! Treating my body like Daniel as a temple. :)

  • Man, this is a great reflection!

    One thing I love is the way the false prophet's easy message of "it'll all be okay" isn't enough. Yes, it might be comforting, and it might be what the people of Jerusalem want to hear, but it's not ALL they need to hear. We need God's reassurance and love, but we also need some true self awareness so we can repent earnestly. Without acknowledging our brokenness, we won't be open enough to let God fully heal our hearts the way He wants to.

    This reminds me of the rich young ruler in Luke 18. He wants to follow Jesus, but doesn't want to face the sacrifices that it entails. I find it striking in that story that Jesus wants to heal his heart, wants the rich young ruler to join him, but allows the ruler to walk away when the ruler isn't prepared to bear the worldly cost of following Christ. It's like God and his people in the Old Testament. God wants them to obey his laws and turn their backs on their worldly choices, but if they don't, he's willing to let them go even if it means suffering for them until they are ready to repent.

    It's humbling to acknowledge that the biggest barrier between me and the true, deep, all encompassing peace of Christ is ME. Just clinging to the happy smiley parts of the word isn't enough unless I'm ready to also face what I've done wrong (like Judah) and what I need to give up (like the rich ruler).

    Peace, sisters!

    • Se'era Spragley

      Helen I couldn’t agree more! (I started this study yesterday) The first thought that came to my mind while reading Jeremiah 29:10-14 is grace changes everything! We serve a Holy God and he calls us into relationship with him. However, we must live a life that’s pleasing and honoring to him. Through obedience we show our love for him — obedience is a byproduct of what’s in our hearts.

    • Kristen Savage

      What an awesome word. I agree and this really hit home for me: ” the biggest barrier between me and the true, deep, all encompassing peace of Christ, is ME.” Thank you!

  • Teena Marie

    Because of this passage, I've learned to take false promises like Hananiah's with a grain of salt. As a woman of faith, truth comes with words that are realistic and hard to swallow at the current moment all while keeping Jesus present with us in our adversities. At this moment I am suffering from stress that is causing me anxiety. This stress is coming from something that is completely out of my control and up until today, I've realized that I don't have to step up and say something, yet. I haven't even given God a chance to talk to me about what it is that is going on. I now know understand that in order for me to make my move I need to let Jesus move too. So I will sit and wait and watch and listen for my cue.

  • All the words that you have used to explained the blog in a real easy manner. I did not even need to skip to the end. The types of casual jackets are now up for sale at the most affordable of prices with more than 1000 sold. Available at Amazon.

  • I love that I can trust in Gods promises! Six years ago the Lord put on my heart that he loved my husband and for me to not give up on him. That the Lord was not through with him. Six long years later my husband is a changed man, a man after God now, and leader of my household. God can work miracles and we have to be patient for his time.

    • Erin

      Thank you for sharing that Shannon, I really needed to read that. It gives me encouragement to keep holding on to God’s promises for my husband!

  • Jeramiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
    Such a beautiful promise. And it is to me! Amazing!

  • Myrtle Dela Cruz

    As a mom of three, I get the image of God scooping us up like when one of my kiddos takes a tumble. Nothing at that moment matters – not even why they fell, probably because of their doing, disobedience, hard headedness. It just doesn’t matter. We just want to be close to our kids because we make it all better. Thank you, Lord for coming to our rescue. For restoring our wicked, sinful, ugly hearts. Thank you for your unconditional love.

  • Amen!

  • Praying for her and your friend!

  • Anna-Colby McMillen

    If you read this, could you please be in prayer for my sweet friend’s Nannaw. They found a mass in her colon and will be doing further testing.

  • Funny how my life verse, the verse I’ve always circled back to when things are hard or don’t make sense, is Jeremiah 29:11. And I didn’t even realize I was easing Jeremiah 29 until I saw that verse today. And oh, how my heart needed to be reminded today that He has a plan for me, that He is listening and knows.

  • I am SO thankful to have a God who promises to restore us.

  • I can identify with Israel so much recently and reading those beautiful words in Jer 29:4-14. Plans for welfare not evil to have a future and hope. That He will restore. Gives me so much comfort. And hope.

  • "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans of welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope, 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 search for Me with all your hear." Jeremiah 29:11-13

    Lord, help me seek you with all my heart and help me recognize the false prophets that travel on my path

  • Chelsie Lorin

    I love how Jeremiah revealed the TRUE heart of God- a God that pursues us and wants to be involved in our everyday life- a God who desires to restore to us what was taken away. Yes, there is no magic “everything is okay” button to press and we have to actively take steps forward to get through what we are facing but we DO have God walking through it WITH us and we have the ability and reassurance to lean on HIS strength rather than our own. SO amazing.

    This also makes me so ridiculously grateful for my church! I am blessed that only God’s TRUE word is allowed on the platform & the “everything’s okay”,”gimme what I want to hear” type of message is never preached. I am blessed to be challenged in my heart and life & I am thankful to be planted in a house where surrender to God is the key to being refined and grown into the person God wants me to be. I makes me so incredibly excited for what lies ahead!

    LOVING this Daniel devo!!!!!!

  • Please be praying for one of my close friends and brothers in Christ. He has recently isolated himself to be friends with someone like Hananiah who tells him his sins are okay. By listening to this “everything is going to be okay” gospel, he is missing out on a personal relationship with Christ and being fully restored by Him as well. This hurts my heart. Please also be praying that my friends and I will not speak “thoughtless encouragement” but instead God’s truth into his life.

    • Sarah_Olsen

      I will be praying Whitney!

    • Angela

      Praying for your friend and you (and those) who are encouraging him back to Him.

    • Bethany

      It is so difficult, as we live in a world of chaos, and the “everything’s going to work out” messages are much easier to swallow than Truth sometimes. I pray that we might all be as bold as Jeremiah, to not turn away from the Truth, but to see those lies for what they are, no matter how sweet they sound!

  • saraswelland

    Oh how thankful I am to have a God whose promises are good and He is always faithful to fulfill them in perfect timing. Truly blessed to have such a caring God.

  • I find it interesting that God said it would still be 70 years until that promise of restoration would happen. No quick fix! Most of the ppl listening to Jeremiah would probably never see those promises fulfilled. Trusting in God even when the promise is a far way off, seems to be a reoccurring theme in the Bible. Definitely a hard lesson to be learned in this “microwave generation”.

    • BFinch

      We prayed every single morning for honestly three years for my parents to move closer to us (they were 12 hours away) and it was kind of annoying at the time that it was taking so long but now I’m kind of glad because it showed my daughter how we just keep praying and believing.

  • Elizabeth

    This post is speaking to me on another level! I'm about to start college in 2 days! A large public university) with all types of belief systems and things… please pray for me…. It's the first time I'm away for a long period of time from my parents and my brother (6 hours!!!!) and I have been crying a lot, just thinking that I'll miss the everyday little things going at my house, the stress level of college work, not making any friends, etc. But God is so faithful… He has been giving me tiny little signs everyday that everything is going to be okay, but my sinner heart still finds reasons to worry and stress. Thank you so much sister Rebecca and the SRT team! xxx

    • Emily

      Elizabeth I understand how you feel! It is hard and scary to start something new and different especially without the comfort of home and family close by. God will be so near and good to you during this time and you will experience his presence in a new way! And to encourage you, sister, I did the same thing eight years ago, and now have the dearest most wonderful lifelong friends from my time at college. My four years away at college were some of the best in my life so far: spiritual and personal growth, witnessing opportunities, deep friendships and so much fun. Just jump in, get involved in a good local church and organizations on campus, and you will feel at home in no time. :)

    • Dayequana

      Praying for you!

    • Whitney

      Hi Elizabeth! I am definitely praying for you. I had a hard time leaving my family and going to a large public university as well. I’ll be a junior this upcoming semester, and God has been so faithful during my time at college. He has blessed me with a church and a community of believers to live life with. I am sure He will be faithful to you as well!

      “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

    • Beth

      Hi Elizabeth, I will be praying for you since next year I will be on the other end of this when I send my daughter to a college about 9 hours away. My prayer for peace to you and your family and joy in new friendships and fellowship as well as safe travels are being sent.

    • shereadstruth

      Hi Elizabeth! So glad you commented today.

      Praying for you today that God would "hem you in behind and before", with the knowledge that He goes before you in the unknowns of college. My time at a large public university was one of the sweetest times of growing in my relationship with The Lord, and I'm trusting it will be the same for you. You've got this, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Sarah_Olsen

    This is such an enlightening study! I’m learning so much and enjoying all the feedback from sisters! It’s so great to see God’s plan play out and to rejoice and praise him even in times our personal will is not always carried out. God will always be walking with us!

    • Olivia

      You are so right god will always be walking with us! I love these scriptures and devotionals it encourages me to want to read the bible how they put it all together is amazing! Thank you SRT!

  • Echoing some other comments I’ve read, I am really appreciating the look into parallels between the OT and our present time. The OT can be so hard to navigate and see how it applies to us today, but the ladies at SRT so far are breaking it down and truly helping me see how we can learn from it today. Praying that we all respond to God’s pursuing, engaging, and rescuing nudges with this study!

  • jessiechatchat

    I love how in Jer 29:5 He gives his people the command to carry on their lives, to multiply, to pray and (for now) commit to where they are. I find myself often waiting for something to happen before I can start “living my real life”. Graduating, getting married, living in a bigger space, having more money to give, kids starting a new school, finding the perfect church, etc, before I put myself out there in the center of God’s will in the center of the community, the life, where I am. And he says not only to commit to live fully, but to pray for the place we are in exile. Yes, we are bound for heaven, but we are earth-bound now. The goal is to keep our “saltiness” in the communities where we are, not pretend we aren’t there (wherever we are) or wish away our time.

    • Laura

      This is really encouraging to me. My husband, daughter, and I just recently moved away from home. And I find myself thinking about all the “what if’s” if things had worked out for us to stay. And hoping that we can move back home soon. But God wants us to make the most of our time here, however long or short.

    • Eeleah

      So good! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lizanne

      Yes!! I am like that too

  • I have been so richly blessed by the last two studies of SRT. This study is a little different, though. These first two days of Daniel are already quite intense. It's as though the Lord is preparing us for a time that is coming, perhaps like never before, in our lives, in this nation and in our world. So thankful that He is sovereign over it all, and His plan is unfolding as He wills. May we live in such close relationship to Him so that we will trust Him and have courage and not faint, and glorify God even in exile. For He is with us and for us, and His love never fails!

  • What a weighty calling for us as well!

    "There is a problem to be acknowledged. There is work to be done. There is faith to be lived out, not merely proclaimed."

    I want to be Jeremiah, not Hannaniah, in the culture that surrounds me. No pep talks void of truth, but faith lived out. May every word, every post, not merely be thoughtless encouragement but His Truth. Faith lived out!

  • This reminds me of parenting in our society. God is the parent that doles out the tough love scenario. He truly loves them and wants them to learn that it wasn't okay. But you have this society that tells us we shall have what we want, no worries, we are entitled to xyz, the parents that dont want to make their kids sad for long. But how will they learn? and in the end they see that it was worth it. The lesson they learned benefited them for a lifetime. And there is a healthy fear, respect, built.
    God is faithful, he desires us to be with him, for us to love him just as he loves us. His love for us is strong and real. We need to seek him, desire to listen to him and when we do he will bring us back from captivity.

    • BFinch

      I was thinking a long the same lines! The “everything is going to be ok” gospel is preached pretty loud to today’s youth. No one wants their kids to worry. It’s easier to say those words “everything will be ok” than it is to teach kids how to pray. Sometimes I think my kids have it soooo easy. (And they do) but they still need the gospel and they still need to know how to pray. I just hope they aren’t the only kids not buying into that false “be ok” gospel.

  • least of these

    I would appreciate prayers. I am facing false accusations from someone I thought loved Jesus. It very difficult because this person I have known for a very long time, and they claim to love Jesus and believe the Bible yet they do this. Please pray for me and for this person, thank you!

    • scootermae

      Praying that you are able to keep your eyes on Him and not your circumstances. Been there and God walked me through it. Not the end result I would have wanted but God was still in and and uses that situation from 20 years ago still today.

    • Hannah

      Praying for you friend. That sounds frustrating and heartbreaking. I will pray that God gives you wisdom in this situation. That you will know when to be still and when to speak. That the holy spirit will help you handle it with truth, honor, integrity and love.

  • Psalm 137:4 "How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?"
    Dear Father,
    I praise you that our citizenship is in Heaven and that we eagerly wait for the Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20). Please teach us to sing Your songs even as we wait in this foreign land. Amen.

  • Christine

    The story of the fall and exile of Jerusalem IS the story of the fall and exile of mankind from the garden. Our bodies are now the foreign land. We have memories of Zion though we’ve never seen it because God is built into our bones. We long for our homeland. I started reading this kind of halfway – sometimes (most of the time) I don’t find the Old Testament as applicable as the New and I have trouble becoming engaged. But this exile, this living in exile – I know it. I live it. And so do you if you have come to Christ because He is the only way to make sense of it. I’m not even sure if I’m making sense, but this hit me this morning like whoa. I love when The Word comes fully alive like that. God is real and He is here and He will help us to ‘sing His song in this foreign land’.

  • Danielle

    Wow, this is going to be a rich study! It is hard having hope in this culture at times, and sometimes easy to fall for lies, even the tiny ones. Looking forward to drawing strength in drinking God’s living water in the book of Daniel!

  • debburrow

    This is my first study with SRT. I get so excited studying the parallels of God’s people then and now. I am loving this study so far and can’t wait to see where God leads and all that he will reveal.

    • shereadstruth

      Hi, Deb! Welcome to our community. Praying for your time in God's Word today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • This brings such peace to me as I have recently been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It's so hard to live with the frustration, the fears, and the pain every day. But God hears me. And there is WORK to be done in the WAITING. I'm taking it all to God. He will change my heart, draw me closer to Him, and He will restore me. It's so tempting, to like Hananiah, believe that I can just cover it up with medicine and make everything new again. But I know that is NOT the point. That is not why God gave this struggle to me.

    God, I trust you and I know you care for me and love me so much. I'm giving it all back to You, Lord. You have plans for me, and they are all good! I will call out to You, and seek You will my whole heart!

    • Anne

      Ashley- you are not alone in this place, this diagnosis. The Lord God who made you, is also your peace. He will teach you of His ways as you walk this road together. I love that He is Emmanuel: God with us, always present and ever near. His Word is such a comfort, and filled with promises for every need, when we are fearful and anxious and losing heart.
      " When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul." – Ps. 94:19

    • Kendra

      Hi Ashley!
      Thanks for your honesty! I’m at the tail end of overcoming an anxiety diagnosis and SRT was tremendously helpful for me in the process. The people here and their honesty, staying in God’s Word and the devos that went with them all contributed. Keep trusting, keep getting to know God (the John study here is amazing); God is faithful. This journey isn’t easy and it certainly is much harder without Him, but HOPE, knowing that God is at work to bring you closer to Him. Why this trial I don’t know but let God use it to get to know him better! Sorry for the rambling!

  • Kristina

    I’ve been with SRT for what seems like a short time but is probably a little longer, but I love the old testament plans! I’ve always found the old testament a little harder to comprehend, and hearing how the SRT ladies comprehend and relay what those stories have to say to us helps so much and creates such clear insight! Thank you, SRT!

    • shereadstruth

      Kristina, I'm so glad you commented today! Grateful for your place in our community and that we are in this together! Asking Him to be with you as you study Daniel with us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • “There is faith to be lived out not merely proclaimed.” A challenge to all who proclaim Chrisitianity. When life is good it’s easy to proclaim your faith. It’s in the tough times that your faith is revealed. I’ve been both places. May our life be a testimony to the faith we proclaim.

  • Adrianne

    The 1st thing that stood out to me was at the end of Jeremiah 28:11 when Jeremiah just walked away from Hananiah! It was as if he was saying, “im not going to argue with you, dude. And even though I should knock ur head off for showing off and pulling these yoke bars off my neck, I won’t” lol! He knew that Hananiah’s prophesy was just fluff and not from God but he wasn’t going to go back and forth with him so he humbled himself and walked away. Then later, God confirmed his hunch and he was able to go back, empowered by God to correct him! I think about my day to day attitude and reaction to things when I read that. Key themes for me: humility, patience and not always having to prove my point bc I will be vindicated in due time

    • scootermae

      How key…he walked away. Lord give me wisdom when I need to just walk away, instead of standing there and arguing or confronting.

  • Sarah_Joy

    I want to be one to not simply survive this exile, but we can repent of our sins and then seek to flourish in the midst of it to the glory and honor of God.

  • There have been many times I've found myself in places and situations I didn't want… "It wasn't supposed to be like this!" is something I find myself thinking. The Isrealites probably had that same feeling. Whether it's a result of my own sin or just being caught up in the situation around me, there I am. This scripture reminds me that: 1. God is there with me, always. 2. I'm supposed to make the best of my situation, even if it isn't the circumstances I'd hoped for or chosen. 3. I have a responsibility to bring Him glory even in the "exile".

    Lord, help me to bring you glory and live for You no matter what life brings.

  • katsulli

    Good morning to you all I pray you all have a blessed day! Great Word this morning. I am struggling with so much these past few morning as I have tried to study this new study plan. The enemy has turned it up a notch with distraction and heaviness. I pray that you all would be free from any distractions and or hurdles as you begin to study the Word! and that It will fall on good ground.

    • Tina

      Katsulli, good morning. .praying first and foremost that you experience God’s peace..that in that peace you know and REMEMBER that you are a Child of God and He has the victory. ..keep holding on..keep walking alongside Him, keep showing up here. .We, your sisters here.. will wrap you in prayer…God be with you..xxx

  • “There is faith to be lived out, not merely proclaimed.” So, what I gather from this thought is that I don’t need just to TALK about my faith, I need to LIVE it out!

  • Caroline @ In due time

    What a good word! It’s not the gospel if there is no relationship

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • Megan LeVan

    I’m new to SRT (this will be my first “real-time” study!), but I already feel like a member of the community, and I’d like to ask you guys for prayer today. Dear friends of mine are going to court today to battle over the custody of their children. :-/ Please pray for wisdom and discernment for the judge, and for the room full of believing adults to behave like believing adults. Please ask God to advocate for the children, and to help everyone else remember that today is about finding the best scenario for them. Tell the spirits of bitterness, self-righteousness, anger and jealousy that they have no power or place in these proceedings. Thank you!

    • Tina

      Welcome Megan. ..

      Will be holding this family up in prayer, I will ask for Solomon wisdom and discernment for the judge, peace and understanding of heart for the parent that might not get the outcome they want, and the children, that through all this, they see it has been because of love for them, and the stale mate position of the parents, that today is…a difficult day all round…but God is absolutely good, and his will will be done. For the best of all..xx

    • debihassler

      Welcome! I am praying for you and your friends today, Megan.

    • JessHH

      Praying for everyone involved, Megan. Thank you for sharing.

    • scootermae

      Will pray Megan. What a difficult situation but not too difficult for The Lord. Praying also for the kids hearts today…because they often are the biggest losers in divorce.

    • shereadstruth

      Hi Megan,
      First of all, WELCOME! So glad you're doing the study in "real-time" with us. I pray this community encourages your time in God's Word.

      Second, thank you for giving us the opportunity to pray for your friends. Grateful for God's parental affection to all of us and praying His peace and presence in the coming days. Love to you, Megan!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • "A gospel that does not call me into a relationship with God is no gospel at all."

    Just as a clock has numbers, I've had trials. Feeling much like Job over the years my heart and life has hurt, whether by my own doing, others or as just part of the path … it has been bumpy. At each point I've had a choice. I must stand before the darkness, knowing I must forge through and wonder, "what's on the other side of this?". I can push through the murkiness, ignoring my misdeeds and the calamity lodged on my plate. Walking my own way blindly, tripping over the stones of my sin, just certain that the time is short and confident that my feet will carry me through, believing that my physical paradise is there OR I can stand before the thick fog of acknowledgement, moist with my fault or hurt and take God's hand and journey through it. Knowing full well that walking with Him through these periods will floodlight the darkness, bringing me step by step to the other side of kindred-ship with my Maker.

    It's not about knowing that the other side is paradise, it's about knowing that regardless of *what* is on the other side, I've been on the journey with God, that I've used the time to draw closer to Him. Believing that I'll come out in better relationship with Him than as I started. It's having confidence that WITH Him, I'll be well. It's knowing that as I stand before those ominous seasons I will always hear God saying, "When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed." (Jeremiah 29:12-14) It's confidence in God's plan, not my own … not the "it's going to be okays" of this world, but in the "It's going to be okays" of God's! ~ B

    • Kristenfagaly

      B, this is an incredible picture and it exactly what the Lord is teaching me. I’m praying to feel the secure grip of His hand in mine as He takes me where I can’t see or navigate through. His faithfulness is flawless, never missing a beat. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know Who’s going to lead me and Who’s with me. At the heart of me, I love adventure, and this certainly doesn’t disappoint. Praying for you today! Hold on tight — it’s going to be an amazing adventure!

    • kb

      B, you seriously have a gift with words. I always get so excited to read your comments as they paint such beautiful pictures of truth! :)

      • ~ B ~

        kb, you are too kind to me. Thank you sister, very very much! ~ B

    • Lyle

      Love this!

  • Kelly_Smith

    "A gospel that does not call me to relationship with God is no gospel at all." We have a church culture full of Hananiah's who like to make everything palatable and presentable. Can we stop entertaining and start encouraging God's people to seek a relationship with God? And church people, can we get up out of our seats and start reading the word for ourselves? Can we share the love of Christ with our neighbor and not expect the paid ministers to do it for us? God calls us to relationship, not religion. He desires our attention, not our attendance. (Excuse me while I back away from my soap box. This one is a tender subject for me!)

    • ~ B ~

      YES Kelly! I had these very thoughts this weekend over something I experienced. ~ B

    • Doris

      A return to worship, true worship

    • Lyle

      Kelly, I agree! I have had concerns that church can end up being “too soft” in its handling of the Word, telling people what they want to hear, and too focused on amusement, both for the children AND the adults. Yes, we need to be walking so closely with God that others see our relationship with Him and are drawn not to us or to church but to God Himself.

    • Jenny R

      I am so guilty of the “everything is going to be okay” response. I never saw how hollow it was – I take it on faith and my relationship with Him, but fail in communicating that to others. I have failed the gospel in those moments!
      Oh Lord, help me to acknowledge you in ALL my ways and to point hearts to you in the moment of need. Thank you for your restoration, of people and hearts.

  • Thank you, God that in YOUR TIMING all things are restored and made beautiful… For only in YOUR TIMING can all things work together for the good of those who love you and are called according to YOUR PURPOSE… I ask for courage today to trust in YOUR PLAN. I know that even the courage to trust in you comes from YOU.

  • HELLO!!!
    I’m back…literally off the plane. .but whilst waiting for my coach, thought I’d stop by…

    Wow…

    By the rivers of Babylon. ..I have sat by my own rivers of babylon, where i have wept, these past weeks…remembering and lamenting the days that have been, and will be no more. ..but you know what? God, God gathered my brother and I each morning, and offered his grace, endless mercy ……… love and goodness. .We had our moments, but with each step, each enter into the’ fire pit’ He was our third man. ..Amen…

    ‘I will restore you…’ Says the Lord. ..I believe this wholeheartedly. ..that restoration of heart, mind, body and soul will come, because the Lord God Almighty, has said so…Amen..
    In the meantime, seeking Him, as He sought us in these past weeks…knowing His goodness shall follow…because it always does..
    God is good..All the time…God is good. .
    Wow!!
    Straight in there with heart changing stuff..thank you Amanda Bible. .
    Sisters, what can I say but that I have missed this….and you…so much to share and will do so both on blog and here, but for now, glad to be among you today…Blessings. ..
    Any typos I’m on a coach going home…lol..xxxxx

    • churchmouse

      You have been missed also! Glad to hear praises even in the midst of your sorrow. Surely they will sustain you in the days ahead. Welcome back!

    • Pam

      Welcome back Tina!

    • Janny

      Welcome back Tina! We missed you- you’ve been in our prayers.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Missed you Miss Tina!!! Prayers continue…

    • Aussie Grammie

      Welcome home! God has not only brought you safely to the shores of your beloved country, but He has brought you to new "places" in your relationship with Him. Rest, grieve, and meditate on all the things He has done. I for one appreciate the light you cast and know that even through these experiences He has great plans for you to continue to glorify Him.

    • mamajonk

      I have missed you literally on a daily basis. Even found my way to your blog and left a message there. Happy your back and thankful that our Lord has carried you through this difficult time. Looking forward to your comments!

    • April

      I also missed you each day. You have a blog – where is it?

    • Sarabeth

      Welcome back! You were missed.

    • Candacejo

      We missed you!! Very much ♥ So glad you are back home safely. God is good.

    • Tricia

      Welcome back Tina.

    • Kelly_Smith

      Welcome back! I've missed you!!

    • Brenda

      I missed you Tina. Welcome back!

    • Carol

      Welcome Back! I missed you. Blessing to you too.

  • Jennifer

    7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
    That verse really stood out to me. I sense that the Lord is asking me to pray for the places where I feel in exile. Pray for the welfare of those who have me in “exile,” for in doing so, we find our own. So today, when I feel I am in disagreement or even have a difference of opinion with a co-worker instead of being angry, I will pray that a spirit of unity will abound and that I can show love to others. I don’t think this verse at all says give in to those who persecute you but rather pray for their welfare. Desire salvation for them. Be jealous FOR them (not of them) to know Jesus. The unity we seek in the ONE who saves will keep our hearts pure and focused on Him while we wait.

  • A gospel that does not call me into a relationship with God is no gospel at all.

  • Something that struck me about today’s passage in Jeremiah is that God told them to settle in an make Babylon their home. He promised to deliver them but they weren’t to be idle and useless in the meantime. I wonder how much of an impact the Israelites had on their captors during this time? For 70 years they had to live in faith that they would be restored. This is a good reminder to me today as I have been in a prolonged period of waiting. This is where God has me today and I need to get busy and affect change in my “Babylon”.

    • DeeDee

      I agree Joy. I noticed that as well. It reminds me of the parable of the talents. They weren’t supposed to just bide their time till their deliverance came but to participate and try to make their current ‘home’ a better place than they found it.
      7 Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.”

      11 For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you” — this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you from.”
      All that takes faith!!

    • Joy

      My name is also Joy, and I was struck, too, by the seventy years of waiting. And this is where the very popular promise in Jeremiah 29:11 occurs! I, too, am in a prolonged period of waiting for God to move a mountain in my life. God is telling me in Jeremiah 29 to keep living, to go on with my life, to work for the peace and prosperity of my community. I have prayed and rested in Jeremiah 29:11 over and over. I am encouraged today, that though the wait was so long for the Jewish exiles, God took care of them through that time and used them to prosper Babylon. He is carrying me even now, and I can go on with life and bless those around me while I wait.

      • Amber

        Amen Joy! I too love Jeremiah 29:11 but how I missed the verses before of the 70 years in exile. Not just waiting but LIVING in their exile building, planting, producing, seeking peace and God. Thank you Lord for the truth of Your Word and the joy in waiting!

    • Zuriel

      Amen!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      This really spoke to me as well…..

    • Sarabeth

      This totally spoke to me. I am in a new place, waiting to move to another place. Last time, it toke me about two years before I fully engaged in my new home. Now I miss it dearly. But… Just as the Israelites were called to make roots, become engaged with their surroundings, I need to engage in my surroundings. All the while waiting and seeking God, but living fully where I am now.

    • Dee

      AMEN, AMEN and AMEN!!!

  • God wants us to make do with what we are given no matter the situation. Once we are obedient to his will, he will push us forward. God has promised to take care of our every need but we must trust in him. We must lay down our own desires and wants for his directions. God is truly amazing and he loves us more than we love ourselves.

  • Candacejo

    "A gospel that does not call me to relationship with God is no gospel at all." That is what the Good News is all about, relationship with the Creator, an ongoing personal relationship between a forgive sinner and a gracious God!

    We can live a half-hearted calling, unfulfilled, maybe even working in the Kingdom. But if there is no relationship, if we don't KNOW Him and He doesn't KNOW us, there is no communication, no intimate conversation, no worship…we are only spinning our wheels. We could find ourselves in that crowd that hears Jesus say, "Depart from me, I never knew you!"

    God doesn't want a religious experience for me, He wants a personal relationship WITH me! ♥

  • Glory to God!!!!
    Father God thank you for your awesome word, it brings life, it brings hope it brings a promise of a better day. Thank you for the promise of restoration, in your perfect time.
    We bless your name!!!!

  • carlybenson

    It must have been tempting for the people to believe Hananiah's message as they must have so wanted it to be true that in two years they would be back home and everything would be ok. And maybe he had good intentions- maybe he was trying to help them to stay positive and give them hope- the problem is it was false hope, which only leads to disappointment.
    True hope is not that God will always resolve things quickly and make things right, it is not that he will say our sin doesn't matter, but it is that he is with us even in our weeping and mourning, even as we face the consequences of our sin, that he still cares, and that ultimately he has a plan for our good- to bring hope and healing and restoration.
    I'm thankful that we have a God "who doesn't simply replace what sin and its consequences burn away, but who restores the very heart of the sinner."

    • MNmomma (heather)

      so well said….thank you!!!!

    • scootermae

      Reading those words makes me wonder if I have ever given another person false hope in my words, even though they were well intended.

    • Sarah_Olsen

      So well said!

    • journeytobalanced

      Love your comment, it really really moved me.

    • Sage

      Thank you, your words helped me have a deeper understanding. This is right on time, as I deal with some family burdens that I continue to cast to God and seek His help and guidance through it all. So confusing, but I know He will restore in the end and that's what keep me moving forward every day.

    • Sandra Yoong-Chia

      amen!

    • Sarahleeanne

      Thank you for sharing this! I am so often troubled by wondering how long I will be carrying the consequesnes of my sins and become so discouraged as I see years passing me by.
      Lord Jesus, please restore this sinner's heart!

  • He is so near to us, He restores us and walks with us.
    I cannot say enough words or sing enough praises about Him.
    He is worthy and holy and as i am His, He is mine.

  • Sarah York

    Thank our God who remembers his people, his promises, and who is deserving of all our praise. Amen.

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