Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

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Jeremiah 29:1-32, 2 Kings 22:3-13

Are you sitting down? I mean, comfortably? Is everything in order around you—dishwasher running, floors swept, dinner in the oven, finances in order, the right color of throw pillows on your bed, exciting opportunities on the horizon, and peace within and all around you? Sometimes the stars align and all our circumstances seem to be exactly under control. I like to wait for that moment to start writing. Or to sit to read my Bible. I used to feel like I was waiting until I was married to really start living. But now that I am married with a family of my own, there’s always one more piece I determine to be missing from the puzzle—one more excuse to keep me from faithful obedience.

It’s hard to lean in and flourish when you’re waiting for everything to be perfect. Judah was in exile, living in Babylon, with every reason to give up and just spend years sitting angrily with their arms crossed. But Jeremiah calls them to walk in ordinary obedience, to be a blessing to the nation they are in. “Pursue the well-being of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the LORD on its behalf, for when it thrives, you will thrive” (Jeremiah 29:7). They had every reason to hate the Babylonians, but they were deported by the righteous judgment of God, who was now calling them to repent, and walk in ordinary, daily obedience.

Often we want our repentance to be a single extravagant display of remorse. Then, after we think we’ve made a big enough deal about how sorry we are, we want everything to go back to normal: we want to have our own way again, and we want the consequences—the deportations, so to speak—to be reversed. But here we learn much about the true nature of grace and a relationship with God: repentance and forgiveness, obedience and blessing.

First, true repentance isn’t focused on the removal of consequences. It is a return to obedience. Genuine remorse for sin produces a heart that turns away from sin and loves righteousness, no matter the circumstances. Second, God’s forgiveness isn’t really even about circumstances. We can’t judge our position before God simply by how well we seem to be doing on the outside. His forgiveness begins by changing our hearts and our spiritual position before Him. Our temporal circumstances are a secondary matter. Third, God calls us to obedience at all times. Repentance produces obedience, and grace bears the fruit of obedience. Obedience is the right response to every circumstance, whether good or ill. And ordinary, daily obedience—loving our neighbors, being fruitful, making disciples—is to be a continual mark of God’s people.

We are called to be a blessing, even to our captors. Though this runs counter to every human inclination, it should be no surprise. It is, after all, at the heart of God’s covenant promise to Abraham: “All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3), and in Christ’s command to His disciples: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Every judgment of God is a gift of His mercy and grace. Even in a foreign land, God promises His people the grace of His presence: “I will be found by you” (Jeremiah 29:14). As He forgives their iniquities, He gives them Himself, and beckons them to share their knowledge of Him with the nations. This is the call that has gone out since the beginning of the world: repent and believe in the one true God. Be fruitful and multiply. Go and make disciples. For the kingdoms of this world will “become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and he will reign forever and forever” (Revelation 11:15, ESV).

We are all sojourners in a strange land, wanderers like Abraham, like Israel and Judah. Christ calls us to allegiance to a kingdom that is not of this world: to pray to Him and search for Him with all our hearts (Jeremiah 29:12–13). He calls us to remember that whether we are in our own land or in exile, we are ambassadors for His kingdom. The ordinary obedience of believers is perhaps the chief defense to a watching world, the beauty of the gospel pointing to the glory of the kingdom of Christ.

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100 thoughts on "Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles"

  1. Tammy Bertelsen says:

    I can relate to this so much right now. Not that I am waiting to live for Him, but living in California I just want to get to a better place to live for Jesus in. However, I see here that when we are in a place where God is not being honored, sometimes we need to shine even brighter, not just leave. Thanks for this encouragement!

  2. Hilary V says:

    Lord, thank you for being a listener. Thank you for allowing us to repent and for cleansing our hearts.

  3. Susan Crosby says:

    Reminded that I am called to be a Blessing!

  4. Lecia Papenfus says:

    This was a beautifully and powerfully written text today. Thank you Rebecca for bringing God’s word into such an amazing light. Blessings and health on everyone! Xo

  5. PAM G WILLIAMS says:

    Oh, my, the remnant ask for intercession by Jeremiah, who waits 10 days until he hears from the Lord, Who say, “Stay put!” I’m sure in the delay, they began figuring out what else they could do. Evidently, they wanted confirmation of their plan to move to Egypt. The wisdom of man is not the wisdom of God. And the memory of man is very short, as they forgot their promise to obey. We always think we must be moving and doing things to “handle” our challenges. But we really need to just “Say put” and wait for the deliverance of the Lord. This is my natural tendency–to be a “do-er” instead of a “be-er”.
    Lord, You’ve been teaching me this over the past three years: how to take Sabbath rest in the midst of the many difficult circumstances of my life. This is a hard lesson for a “figure-out-er”. You’ve put our whole world in quarantine. As we wait, we must seek Your face and pray and wait for deliverance.
    When I was in labor with my 3rd of 6 children (I usually had very long labors, even through #6, my labor stopped after a couple of hours. I was quite distressed, complaining, knowing I would have to once again go through the night. My husband went to get a cup of coffee. I began crying and saying, “It’s not fair!” I heard this voice say, “Well, you stupid little girl, I’m giving you a chance to rest!” I knew exactly Who was speaking, as that was the farthest thing from my mind. I immediately responded positively to this Sabbath rest. We must all right now look to Jesus and thank Him for that rest. May we see more of Him in these stressful times. Secrets of the Secret Place: there is no Plan B, only God.

  6. Natalia Wiginton says:

    Wow! So profound meditation about ‘ordinary obedience’… needed this. “Genuine remorse for sin produces a heart that turns away from sin and loves righteousness, no matter the circumstances…” ❤️

  7. Carolyn RayeParsons says:

    I agree. This does seem so appropriate for how we’re living today

  8. Stephie Gray says:

    “Obedience is the right response to every circumstance.”

    I feel miserable and alone in my current circumstances, but God still calls me to be obedient. I pray I will live with ordinary obedience throughout these bizarre times.

  9. Lori EllisGrimes says:

    Timely words. A gentle reminder of God’s goodness and promises “I will be found by you” in the midst of these uncertain times.

  10. Dee Wilcox says:

    Plant gardens, raise children, marry and give in marriage. Increase and do not decrease. Pray for the good of the nation where you live, even if it is not your own.

    Even in exile, even is discipline, God was with His people. He gave them practical wisdom and instruction so that they would learn, draw near to Him once again and thrive.

  11. Kaitlyn says:

    Wow, ladies. I went back to this page today and just saw all your responses. Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers. I’m going through and saving them all in a word doc to look back on. Now I know you all were praying for me, and honestly yesterday was one of the hardest days I’ve faced in a while (the baby also had shots this week, so it’s been crazy around here). By the end of it, I was physically brought to my knees in tears, feeling so unsure about my abilities and completely overwhelmed. That hasn’t happened before. I haven’t felt that overburdened since he was first born. But I think that’s actually what I needed yesterday. All of your prayers didn’t make the baby sleep longer for his naps or make my life more peaceful, BUT I think God was intervening and showing me that I cannot fix it all. No matter how hard I try. I need Him. I need to call out to Him when I need it, not to the worldly things I usually reach for. So, thank you for every single response and prayer. It’s so reassuring to know there are so many of us going through these struggles and our own exiles, and there also so many of you who have already been through this before, who are cheering us on. Thank you. <3

  12. Barbara Holland says:

    So happy for you J. Collins. Isn’t it marvelous that God does know us so well and yet loves us anyway? I love the scripture in Romans that says “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8 KJ) If He loved us so much then…it almost boggles the mind to think of how much He loves us now.

  13. Barbara Holland says:

    Well said, Rebecca! This is one of the most moving of the day’s readings for me. The Lord had to discipline His people for their disobedience against Him and yet He tells them to make the most of their circumstances. To live righteously before their captors, pray for their prosperity for if the Babylonians prosper then so will they themselves. God showed His heart to Israel by letting them see that though He was punishing them He certainly had not stopped loving them. He is always our gracious Savior. I have been his child for 48 years and His love for me just keeps getting sweeter all the time. One of you ladies made a comment after day 18’s reading that I really appreciated. She reminded us that “the end goal isn’t just heaven someday. It’s being close to God right now, today.” SO true!

  14. Claire says:

    Rebecca Faires words “ First, true repentance isn’t focused on the removal of consequences. It is a return to obedience. Genuine remorse for sin produces a heart that turns away from sin and loves righteousness, no matter the circumstances. Second, God’s forgiveness isn’t really even about circumstances. We can’t judge our position before God simply by how well we seem to be doing on the outside. His forgiveness begins by changing our hearts and our spiritual position before Him. Our temporal circumstances are a secondary matter. Third, God calls us to obedience at all times. Repentance produces obedience, and grace bears the fruit of obedience. Obedience is the right response to every circumstance, whether good or ill. And ordinary, daily obedience—loving our neighbors, being fruitful, making disciples—is to be a continual mark of God’s people.” are so true! We want to say I am sorry and go on, not reap consequences.

    And I am sure she had no idea when she penned this of this plague that has come upon us. How prophetic is this: “ He calls us to remember that whether we are in our own land or in exile, we are ambassadors for His kingdom. The ordinary obedience of believers is perhaps the chief defense to a watching world, the beauty of the gospel pointing to the glory of the kingdom of Christ.”

  15. Kristin Ann says:

    “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” what a challenging verse to abide by! Especially when your enemies beat you down and your focus is praying for it end. This is definitely something I need to work on.

  16. Allyson Coker says:

    Of course there was no coincidence in the timing of these beautiful, convicting words in these uncertain times where we find ourselves in exile to circumstances out of our control. But GOD is in control and “every judgement of God is a gift of His mercy and grace. May we all find His presence in these days!

  17. Parasa says:

    Thank you my Lord.

  18. J Collins says:

    5 years ago today I loss my mother. Every year this day comes and goes, but this year was different. I was different. There was so much anger in me, sadness, GRIEF! It has been 5 years and I had not mourned her loss. I feel as though God was preparing me to know him, before he allowed me to have my own real release. Because I know who I am and whose I am… I know that God truly has ordered my steps! This was the perfect word for me today!

  19. tanya b says:

    Every judgment of God is a gift of his mercy and grace; hallelujah, Ladies this is a word I will hold fast to and not just today. this word has made and impression on my spirit. Although I may not looked at consequence as judgments from God but consequences of my bad decision making and disobedience. What I know without doubt is God loves me so much that he continues to show me his gift of mercy and grace! And for this I am forever grateful, thank you Father for my savior Jesus for without him hell was my eternal resting place but now I’ve been raised with Jesus and seated in heavenly places in Jesus Christ .(Ephesians 2:6). Father I love you.

  20. Cori says:

    Oh, this is so unintentionally timely. I certainly needed Jeremiah 29:11-12 today: “For I know the plans I have for you… plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:28 is a gem as well—a reminder to continue to the good things of life through the hard times and “lean in and flourish,” even when things aren’t perfect. “Flourish” is my word of the year, and this year certainly isn’t going as expected. It is my prayer that God will reveal ways in which I can flourish in this odd season.

  21. Jennifer Anapol says:

    This reading is so timely for what we are going through right now. This global pandemic has made me feel exiled from my normal way of life. I’m not sure how long we will be in this place, but I know that God has a plan for us while we are here. I pray that I would be a light to those around me and not wait for everything to be perfect to truly live. Life is happening right now, it’s messy, but it’s the life we have. We must remember that this isn’t our home. We can’t expect perfection outside of heaven.

  22. Bridgette Alvarez says:

    It’s so awesome to be reminded that God is for us. We only need to trust Him. He will bring us through EVERY circumstance.

  23. Melissa Mcronney says:

    I was deeply blessed.. thank God for His word..

  24. Cristina says:

    Prayers going up for you Ashley. I don’t live alone, but my husband is gone when I get up and is not home until late in the evening. We live in the country and I very rarely go anywhere now. My doctor’s visits, church, Bible Study groups, lunches out with friends have all been put on hold for the foreseeable future. I have been spending much more of my time in the Word and am finding a peace to my days. I’m even signing up for classes on line, sending more text to friends and family, because I seem to have more time. I pray peace and renewal for you in this time.

  25. Dorothy says:

    In Jeremiah 29: 11 God says He knows the plans He has for me and all of us. He knows them from our birth. I just need to let God take the reigns, what about you? In verses 12, 13 and the first part of 14 He says all I/we have to do is call on Him. I know that all of this is restated in the New Testament, I’m not sure where, but if it is restated then God wants me/us to listen. Yes, He was talking at this time to His people but I believe these messages were meant to continue to apply. As Rebecca points out in her devotional “Christ calls us to allegiance to a kingdom that is not of this world: to pray to Him and search for Him with all our hearts.” Obedience is what God is looking for from me and all of His children. He wanted back in Jeremiah’s time and He wants it now. It’s as Rebecca says, “He calls us to remember that whether we are in our own land or in exile, we are ambassadors for His kingdom. The ordinary obedience of believers is perhaps the chief defense to a watching world, the beauty of the gospel pointing to the glory of the kingdom of Christ.” Lord, help to live a life of obedience and worthy of You. Help to show others around me Your love and kindness. Keep all of my SRT sisters, my family, my friends and myself safe from terrible virus going around. Amen

  26. Sarah D. says:

    Man, so so timely and needed! I’m in college and our school just announced that we’ll be moving online as of Monday (we’re on spring break now) and that we have to move out our stuff from the dorms by Tuesday. So crazy. Such a great reminder that God is sovereign and in control, no matter what. He has a plan, even though this was NOT in my plans for how the rest of the semester would look. Bittersweet to have it end like this, but I know it’s for the best. Love you SRT sisters, praying we grow deeper in Christ during this season and share the peace found in Him with the world!

    1. Mari V says:

      Praying for you Sarah. My son is coming home from college this weekend. They’ve already been online in the dorms. He’s one of the few that stayed back at the University because they were given the option but now they have to come home.

  27. Ashley P. says:

    So grateful for you ladies and your wisdom and encouragement. I’ve been struggling with loneliness and some anxiety lately, as all of my social things are put on hold and my job as a teacher is filled with unknowns at this point. I’m realizing that I normally busy myself so much with work, school, exercise, and evening events that I mask the longing I feel for a family (I’m single) when I’m still. Now that I’m being forced into stillness, I’m battling serious discouragement and struggling to have a right attitude. I’ve spent the majority of the past few days home alone. I’m seriously wishing I at least had a pet at this point! But, reading your posts and spending time in the Word has brought me encouragement. I know God is with me and has plans to bring about good even through this. Lord, may you use this time to refine me, shake off my clinging to the idols of busyness and distraction, and do a work in my heart for your glory.

    1. Ashley Ready says:

      Praying for you Ashley! You are not alone! Praying for so many that live alone and are confined to their homes. I pray that you can connect with family and friends in other ways and also here in this app! May this be a renewing time in the midst of such uncertainty!

    2. Kaye Aber says:

      You are not alone Ashley!!! Keep leaning into God!

    3. Sheila Ezell says:

      Praying for you Ashley. Maybe you could go to an animal shelter and rescue a fur baby.

  28. Angi Morrison says:

    I loved the statement that even in a foreign land, God promises His people the grace of His presence. We are living in a foreign land of sorts these days with the Corona Virus, but what a great reminder the God is still with us.

  29. Ramona says:

    I find it amazing that today’s reading is so close to current situation. It is God’s message from years ago that makes a message for today. For he knows the plans for us. You will call to me and come and pray. He is listening. I pray for all who do not know him will seek him and find him when they open there eyes,ears and pray with all their hearts. He will be found. Praise God for his love,kindness and love.

  30. Laurel says:

    I am so grateful for this community of faithful believers. I enjoy and learn and grow from each of your posts. Thank you for strengthening, encouraging, and witnessing on a daily basis. Thoughts and prayers with each of you as you remain obedient in His word where He has planted you.

  31. Katie Hollis says:

    “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” One of my favorite verses! Everything that is happening in our world right now-God saw it coming, nothing takes Him by surprise. Everything has a purpose. While we may be filled with anxiety and uncertainty, I pray that this can be a time when we all lean into God’s character and know that when we “come and pray” to Him, He “will listen to you.” May we take this time to grow closer to God and be a light in this darkness to lead others to Christ.

  32. Maria Whitfield says:

    I am an ambassador … no matter what is goin on around me. Better to be present then perfect. What a beautiful reminder …

    1. Jennifer YoungFitzsimmons says:

      Yes! Present over perfect. Thank you for that reminder

  33. Meghan says:

    How appropriate these words are for many of us who are in isolation that feels like exile today. May we live with ordinary obedience and great worship in these strange times.

    1. Janine Davis says:

      Amen! So true

    2. Amy Wackerhagen says:


    3. Heather Barlow says:

      so good!!

    4. K D says:

      Yes yes yes

    5. Carolyn RayeParsons says:

      So well said

  34. Mari V says:

    “A watching world.” The first thought that came to me as I read this last part of Rebecca’s devotion was: “What are the eyes of the unbeliever looking at when they see us the believer.” “When they see those of us who name the name of Christ.” “How are we reacting.” “What are we saying.” Are we running around crazy pushing through the lines trying to get that last roll of TP?” Don’t get me wrong I myself probably didn’t buy enough, but I can’t worry about it right now. This is a time when we the believers need to come alongside those frightened, those with no hope, come alongside them and share the gospel not necessarily by words but by our deeds, our example because that’s how we will be known. I pray that I myself remain patient as I wait in the lines to get what I need.
    My son called me while I was at work. Though I was at working, I answered the call because I knew it would be important. He was one of the few students that had decided to stay back at his college and who are now being asked to vacate by Sunday. It’s a Christian college. He’s asking to pray for all the students as they themselves are frightened of the unknown. Thank you Sisters as I know you will be praying.

  35. Sarita Cochran says:

    Father, Thank you for Obedience. Please continue to prick my heart when I’m not being obedient according to your word. Your Grace and Mercy will always be sufficient.

  36. Michele Munson says:

    We’ve been using this study for a small group, and had to cancel for the foreseeable future, but today’s reading about seeking Him and he will gather us together again from exile seemed so fitting! I love how God uses text written thousands of years ago, and even months ago when this study was put together to bring us hope and be so relevant when we need it!

  37. Jacque says:

    How appropriate as we wait in “social distancing” isolation during this health crisis.
    God is faithful and we can know what to do with these hours.

  38. Terry says:

    Jeremiah called God’s people to make a difference right where they were. In this pandemic crisis, I believe it’s up to us believers to pray for our towns, cities, suburbs, states, country, yes, even world —and those who oversee and lead in government, work in the healthcare industry and medical research, give philanthropically to the effort to stave the spread, make and provide health equipment and masks and gloves, stock our grocery shelves, deliver our mail and pick up our garbage, report real news about this crisis, care for our kids and elders, lead in our churches, work in food pantries, teach, administer and provide food in schools, provide the technology to communicate remotely…and on and on. If every believer unites with others in churches, denominations, cities and prays, even organizes 24-hour prayer times, who knows what a difference that would make in the spread of this deadly virus.

    1. April Cooksey says:


    2. Joyce Smith says:

      I agree! I am praying with you. Blessings

  39. Casey Woodard says:

    What a timely message considering our current circumstances.

  40. Cec Hill says:

    Such a great reminder that repentance of our sins doesn’t mean a reversal of the consequences of that sin, or that life will go back to “normal” just because we’re sorrowful and remorseful.

    Instead, true repentance is walking in daily obedience no matter the circumstances, whether God relieves us of some of the consequences of our sin or not. This is a difficult truth for so many of us, myself included. “I said I was sorry, God, and I mean it, Why won’t you remove these painful consequences?”

    As someone currently experiencing a “deportation” following a season of disobedience, I needed this reminder that God wants not just our remorse, but our return to consistent daily obedience in ALL circumstances.

  41. Laura says:

    Five years ago I began to faithfully read She Reads Truth and started a Read through the Bible app on my phone. Because I like to check off boxes, once I committed to doing it and made the time, I did it every single day. Four years ago, my life came crashing down on me. My husband confessed an affair, my teenage daughter got into a bunch of trouble and eventually moved out to live with her boyfriend, and my son moved across the country to start a new job. Although I have followed Christ for most of my life, without the discipline that I had started a year prior to all of this happening, I know that I would have been completely wrecked. But that discipline kept me in the word throughout the forgiving process, throughout the rebuilding process, throughout the healing process. I held on tightly to the verse, “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, 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. I trusted God to restore, even though it was so hard, so painful, so long…
    I am glad for that discipline, the daily discipline of coming to God and reading His work. It saved me. God was able to speak to me during that time, to comfort me. He is still in the process of restoring, but I know that He holds my future and through Him I can make it through anything.

    1. Sarah C.Keenan says:

      Thank you for sharing Laura.

    2. AnneLyn P says:

      Thank you, Laura, for sharing this. What an encouragement!

  42. Susan Crocker says:

    Thanks Rebecca, your reflection is an encouragement and clear understanding of the courage to believe in difficult times of waiting. Repentance and believing is made visible by transformation of our life through the Spirit producing obedience and faith. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift!

  43. Daralynn Krekoska says:

    This blessed me today. Solid words on obedience in good or ill circumstances and on the beauty of repentance and forgiveness. Thank you.

  44. Mikki says:

    Hi Ashley McCoy! Your post struck something in my heart as I am 23 as well. I have what you may call a “big girl” job but still feel lost from time to time though. I love what you said about focusing on where He has put you, being a blessing wherever you are at, and trusting that He has you exactly where He needs you. Your words will be an encouragement for me today, and I will send prayers your way :)

    1. Ashley McCoy says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement Mikki ❤️

  45. LeAnn Schmitt says:

    This hits me right where I live! I’m awful about waiting or wanting some other piece to be in place before I do x. And I confess Jeremiah 29:11 has long been my favorite verse but I am completely guilty of taking it out of context and expecting God to wave a magic wand and make everything “perfect”. Goodness it is humbling and yet freeing to come face to face with the truth of yourself. That’s what this study is all about really. Thank you for your writing today Rebecca. Thank you God for your immutable faithfulness.

    1. Jane K says:

      Amen! I relate to all you said.

  46. Kayla Wittig says:

    Ohhh, how my anxious mind and heart needed this devotion today. In a world where everything feels so uncertain – with a long road of continued uncertainty ahead – I long for the “normalcy” I realize I have truly taken for granted. When the fear weighs me down, I have to force myself to pray and think “Faith over fear”. This season of life that we’re all experiencing globally can either define us or defeat us. We have to CONSTANTLY lean on God – the One who says, “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 [emphasis added], you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.” – Jeremiah 29: 11-14a NLT The footnotes in my NLT Bible for Jeremiah 29: 4-7 say, “Life cannot grind to a halt during troubled times. In an unpleasant or distressing situation, me must adjust and keep moving…When you enter times of trouble or sudden change, pray diligently and move ahead, doing whatever you can rather than giving up because of fear and uncertainty.” Praise be to God who gives us the strength, courage, peace, comfort, and mercy that we need, crave, and do not deserve. Oh, how He loves us.

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      Appreciate your words, Kayla. Especially appreciated the footnotes encouragement of praying diligently, moving ahead and doing whatever you can rather than giving up because of fear and uncertainty. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind/self control (2 Tim 1:7)! ❤️

  47. Kristen says:

    Hi Kaitlyn,
    I was thinking of you after I finished reading today, and I had to jump back on. I was thinking that maybe you could listen to the Bible as you are doing other things, play worship music, or have Christian shows or podcasts on in the background. I have really enjoyed listening to podcasts as I’m driving, cooking, and cleaning. Tim Keller has one called:Gospel in Life, Unashamed by the Robertson family(Duck Dynasty), and of course, the She Reads Truth podcast! I just wanted to offer other ways of getting His Word to You! I am not the most technologically savvy person, but I have the podcast app, and there are many to choose from! I also just talk with God too! Hope this helps! He knows your heart for sure! May you have a blessed day and feel His Loving Presence all around!

    1. Nancy Singleton says:

      Great suggestions!

    2. Jen Brewer says:

      I also enjoy listening to the Dwell scripture app that has so many different plans to have Scripture read over you too. SRT podcast and Tim Keller are excellent too! Would also recommend Glorious in the Mundane by Christy Nockels ❤️

  48. Ashley McCoy says:

    I’m at a crux in my life right now. I was a Full time nanny but since the parents I work for started working from home, they no longer need me. I knew I didn’t want to be a nanny forever- I’m 23 but only just now about to get my associates degree. So this morning I have an interview at the fresh market- a local grocery store. I am struggling to not let my circumstances define me and not compare to all the “big girl” jobs my friends are doing right now. I believe God has a purpose right now though. And while I’m passing through I will pursue the well being of wherever He has placed me. I will focus on ordinary obedience and be a blessing wherever I am. And today reminded me that God has good plans for me! Plans for my good and not for disaster! I can be successful right where I am just through ordinary obedience. And I can be fulfilled no matter where I am because He promises He can be found as I seek Him whole heartedly. So thankful for SRT this morning as I woke up in a funk but was guided back to the truth through this devotion today❤️

    1. Aixa Willoughby says:

      Girl I have been there! Not to long ago I worked at a grocery store and often struggled with letting that define me. I now work at a job that is more of a ‘big girl’ job haha but honestly the way I got it was all God. No amount of me trying to plan everything would have done it. Just ordinary obedience like you said. Side note big girl job doesn’t equal figured it out. Still over here just trying my best :) I believe in you Ashley!!

    2. Ashley McCoy says:

      Thank you sisters!!! How encouraging your words were to my heart this morning… also: I got the job and not only that, but was offered higher pay than expected!!! And my manager is so wonderful. Totally God orchestrated, you are right! Thank you ladies❤️

  49. Karen says:

    Absolutely every thought of today’s reading, and every reply touched me! I feel like I am among close friends that really ” get me” today!

    I haven’t always observed Lent, because it wasn’t emphasized in my church. I started on my own a few years ago. This year I decided to not give up a food, but to focus on whittling away at my critical spirit. I wanted to repent, be forgiven and return to obedience and be a blessing. I feel like all I did was give the devil a challenge and he laughed.
    We raised 3 children that left our small town to pursue careers and start homes and families 4 hours away from us. I was looking forward to finally being able to go visit them and be grandma. Instead, I am caregiver to my 93 year old father in-law in our home, while my husband works. My mother is on lock-down in a facility hours away from me with Alzheimer’s that I have had few opportunities to go see. On February 28, 2020 I finally got the courage to ask her face-to-face if she knew who I was….she smiled and said, ” I don’t think so.” My youngest daughter is due to have her first baby in a few days and I haven’t been able to be there for her as much as I wanted to be. Now, we won’t be allowed to go in the hospital for the birth. She is emotional over the thought of no one being there with them, and so am I.
    My life is covered in blessings! I have so much to be thankful for! How do I get my heart to stop longing for different circumstances?

    “His forgiveness begins by changing our hearts and our spiritual position before Him.”
    Lord, ” cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning, for in you do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you” Psalms 143:8

    1. GramsieSue . says:

      Yes, Karen. You have a lot going on in your life right now. And as Rebecca said, ordinary obedience is what God desires. Taking care of the daily responsibilities. Regardless of the circumstances. Knowing that God is near and He loves you. He is not surprised by what is happening in our world. And He has a perfect plan. Our plans seem to be on hold. At least for now. My husband and I had to cancel our trip to Oregon to spend time with our daughter’s family (two grands), and I am terribly disappointed. But God…
      He has reassured me that there is a purpose in this. I just have to trust Him.
      Oh yes. There’s that lesson again. Trust God.
      Even after 60 years He still has to remind me.
      But I’m still willing to listen. And obey.
      Blessings to you, sweet sister. ❤️

  50. Alicia Hosan says:

    I love how it was it put: “walk in ordinary obedience”.
    So often I feel I need to be doing big, grand things for the Lord to truly be walking well with him (a lie that so often floods my thinking). This is a sweet reminder that the Lord desires my simple, daily obedience.
    Being in my late 20s, 3 months away from getting married and working for a large Christian non-profit, I so often find myself struggling to feel I need to have it all together and be impacting the many—but I can be faithful to love my fiancé, my coworkers, and the college students I work with like Christ and to walk in simple obedience today, tomorrow and everyday. That will leave impact simply by pursuing Christ.

  51. Brandi says:

    You ladies- my sisters – are an awesome blessing. So thankful for time with you and our Father each day!!

  52. Churchmouse says:

    The Israelites may have thought Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon. Not so! Through Jeremiah, God repeatedly tells them that it is He who has done this. This terrible deportation to a foreign land is the consequence of their rebellion and disobedience. This is God’s effort to turn them back to Him. He tells them the length of their exile, 70 years. He tells them to make the best of it, to be faithful to Him even there. They are indeed to practice “ordinary obedience” as Rebecca calls it in today’s devotional reading. Ordinary obedience is not flashy but it is genuine and that is what God desires. It looks different in different seasons of life. It looks different if you’re concentrating on defining the obedience as only time studying the Bible, quietly and thoughtfully in that comfy chair with that cup of tea. Jeremiah tells us, just as he told the Israelites, that obedience to God looks more like ordinary living: building houses, establishing the home, planting gardens, eating, marrying, having children, being a good citizen, praying for the place where you are. I think it’s more like what Brother Lawrence taught: practicing the presence of God. In the ordinary. In the daily routine. Regardless of circumstances. It’s an awareness that God is near and that He provides. It’s an attitude of gratitude even though you may not be where you wish you were. Whether you’re chasing little ones or are enjoying your retirement years, it’s serving Him right there where He’s called you. It doesn’t matter if the day is chaotic or calm. It’s thinking of Him in the midst of it, even if it’s a short and sporadic focus. It’s realizing there are holy moments in it all. Taking care of His people He has given you in the place He’s put you gives Him glory. It’s being faithful in the often overlooked and taken for granted things. It’s being faithful in the small things. Because whatever we do in obedience is a very big thing to Him.

    1. Rea Queen says:


    2. Sarah Ritchie says:

      “It’s realizing there are holy moments in it all”. What a perfect sentence and one I will commit to memory. Thank you Churchmouse, I scan for your comment every day. You are a blessing to me.

    3. GramsieSue . says:

      Yes, Churchmouse, it is all of these moments in our lives. Being faithful in the ordinary. Thank you for your wise words. ❤️

    4. Melissa Graves says:

      Amen to every bit of your response, Churchmouse. I was praying for a friend who was fretting about her daughters living in NYC during this unpredictable Coronavirus pandemic, reassuring her that God is in control. That day I was told I have a situation of some urgency that requires surgery but is considered elective and must be delayed until elective surgeries are allowed. Suddenly I’m the one with fear, needing reassurance that God’s got this. Today’s scripture and devotional really helped refocus my eyes on Him and just trusting Him, moment by moment. And trusting Him in this moment is being obedient. Thank you for the reminder.

    5. Ashley Ready says:

      So beautifully said

    6. Jen Brewer says:

      Yes yes yes! Absolutely agree, Churchmouse. Thank you for your wisdom. An attitude of gratitude even though you may not be where you wish you were. ❤️❤️❤️

    7. Jane K says:


    8. Obi O says:


  53. Stephanie S says:

    This study has been so timely. Only God knew what we all would need during this time. He feels distant, but I am choosing to lean in, be present in these days of uncertainty and show my kids how to (imperfectly) follow the only Truth.
    Come Lord Jesus, Come. We will keep in steady obedience. Forgive us of our disbelief and our lack of faith. Stir our hearts to turn toward you, that we may boldly speak your truth in a world that so desperately needs it, now more than ever. We humbly lay down our own agenda to serve the greater good and bring you all the glory. In Jesus Name, Amen!

    1. Nancy Singleton says:

      And amen!!

  54. Angie says:

    When I was younger, I was pretty impressive.
    I did all the right things…I led a woman’s Bible study in our home. I remember feeling proud when I opened a cabinet to get something out and someone said, “Look how organized everything is…” I baked and cooked and cleaned. I exercised, weighed 20 lbs less (at least), and stretched our tight budget far enough. I played with my children and loved it. People would say, “Here comes Angie and her little tribe.” (I’ve since wondered about that statement…) I taught Sunday School or was the Superintendent, sang in front at church, and even played Mary in many of our church dramas. I was known for my whoopie pies and raspberry cream pie. I even was a graduate of Bible Study Fellowship!
    When I went back to teaching I was respected. I loved creating curriculum. I loved the students. I was passionate. I knew I had been called into the classroom.
    Yep, I was pretty impressive. I feel a little like Paul, listing my attributes…except that it makes me want to gag! Yep, gag!
    As time passes and, drawing closer to God, my rose-colored glasses have cleared.
    I am struck down by how merciful God has been to me!
    He knew my heart then. (I really did love God and long to serve Him, in my mixed up type A way.)
    He knows my heart now. (I really do love God and long to honor and glorify Him, more humbly, obediently.)
    He sees me as I am, in Him, not all the “self-centered” parts to mess it up.
    If I could go back to those days, when I was younger…I would do many of the same things-with a different attitude.
    It is still not easy, and I mess up regularly, but step by step by step He is drawing me closer.
    Step by step by step I become more like Him.
    Step by step by step I realize…there “ain’t nothing impressive” about this woman, EXCEPT for her God!
    Kaitlyn, young moms…enjoy this time. Congratulate yourself that you have the laundry in-process, re-heat your tea sip by sip if needed, and let it’s warmth flow through you…even if you don’t drink the last drop until this evening. God will use those snip-its of scripture you get in. You’ll be amazed some day when you just “know” something from the Word and you think…how do I know that? It’s because God’s Word never returns void. Love God, love your husband and your children.
    Working women, every day we step out into this land that is not our Home. God has given you skills, talents, and abilities to use here, in this place now. It is not easy, in different ways for all of us. We can dwell on the negatives, or thank God that He is working for good in all our circumstances. There have been multiple times these last few weeks that in the middle of a work day I have been brought to my knees, literally. Multiple times I have looked back at the words the Holy Spirit gave that morning to remind me, He already knew what was coming and to rest in Him. I’ve read words He gave to you ladies and stopped to thank and praise God for you.
    Ordinary, daily obedience to the One and Only God. Take care of the things God gives you in thankfulness and know He loves you right where you are. He is doing a wonderful work in you and through you. Not because of you, but because He is so much more, so much greater than we can comprehend…yet. But, the day is coming when we will see Him, face to face! Oh, what a day that will be!

    Sorry, I know this is too long.
    Just one more thing…my house, it’s a mess at the moment, my cabinets-don’t look…but my spirit, emptied of me and filled with Him. First things first. Praise God.

    1. Jennifer Wing says:

      Thank you for this! My type A resolutions of how we will survive locked in the house together think I’ll pull of some beautiful preschool curriculum for my son and stick to a daily schedule (neither is likely to happen). But God loves me as I am and not for what I’m doing. Maybe I can practice his presence if my goal isn’t to have things to my “standards.”

    2. Brittany Osborn says:

      Thank you so much for this encouraging word, Angie!

    3. Ashley Ready says:

      Thank you for these words!!

    4. Kaye Aber says:

      Thank you so much for this!!! It brought me to tears because I’m struggling right now…all these changes just hit me and I thought I was so strong and organized but I’m a little bit of a mess right now.

    5. Jen Brewer says:


  55. Lizzie says:

    Regardless of the circumstances, repent, obey, focus on His Word, rejoice. His steadfast love never fails. He has a plan. He gives us Himself. He knows me. Nothing can separate me from His love. His truth stands firm. In Him is life, abundantly. Satisfaction and contentment are found in Him alone. Focus on what He is teaching you throughout the day and remember the truth, He never changes. Rejoice and rest in who He is in this moment, no matter how it may feel. Romans 8:38-39. Psalm 119:49-50. Jeremiah 29:13-14. Thank you Lord!

  56. Emily Haynes says:

    What a timely scripture for the world we are all currently living in. God calls us to serve the city he has carried us to. During this time of quarantine, that is serving by obeying the government, serving by having patience as a mother of a 3 year old while 8 months pregnant, serving by being productive during this time & serving by supporting my husband as he works from home. This is a scary, unknown time, but God also says v12-13 “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.”

    1. Bre Humphries says:


  57. Maura says:

    I remember the days of thinking everything should be perfect instead of being present in what God had for me always frustrated that things were not as I had imagined they should be. It is easy to get caught up in the expectations of others or the world, but freedom comes in the Lord. Obedience as a child becomes harder as we get older. Obedience to the Lord is a heart issue. If I am dwelling in the shadow of the Almighty it should be easy. My prayer is that my standard is the Word of God and my heart and mind would be wrapped in His light that my first instinct would always be obedience despite what my circumstances or the world might tell me. Prayers for our world, for those who are sick, those who have lost a loved one, those who are afraid, lonely, and lost. May we see all that He is doing in this season and be available to be a part of it. His joy to your day Sisters.

  58. Blessed Beth says:

    Oh Kaitlyn how I remember those days and there will be a time when you will smile as you remember them. I am now a grandmother and remember my husband working over nights and my sweet 3 babies running around as I needed my God time. God knows your heart so just rest in His arms he awaits you. The laundry etc. will always be there. Praying today you will have a peaceful God filled day.

  59. Kaitlyn says:

    “It’s hard to lean in and flourish when you’re waiting for everything to be perfect.” Wow, Rebecca. I feel like you wrote this just for me. With my husband working from home, our 6-month-old going through a growth spurt and sleep regression, all of my own work falling behind, an endless to-do list, and our house in disarray, it is so difficult to convince myself that my morning devotional time is worth it. I want everything to be like a movie – reading my bible in a comfy chair with a hot cup of tea next to me and really feeling connected to the scripture. But no… my comfy chair is covered in laundry, I’ve re-heated my tea three times in the microwave, and I’m having trouble even concentrating on the words I’m reading while secretly praying the baby doesn’t wake up again. Thank you for reminding me that I’m an ambassador for His kingdom, even in the exile of life as a mother trying to keep it all together.

    1. Whitney Ward says:

      You’ve got this girl! It’s so worth it to consistently be in the Word, even if it’s just 10 min, even if you have to wake up a little earlier to do it. Just do the best you can, God sees you and your circumstances and your effort! He will meet you right where you are at.

    2. Dee Wilcox says:

      I totally get it! Hang in there, mama. My kids are in pre-K and elementary school now, and over the last two years, I’ve started to prioritize my quiet time in the morning. They now know to find me in the office or on the back patio in the morning. It makes all the difference for my own well being and peace in our home.

    3. Ashley Ready says:

      I feel this so much. I feel my desperate need for God in caring for my babies every need and also having needs myself and I so want everything to look and feel perfect as well. It’s so hard to concentrate with everything it feels like we have to do. But I’m noticing even the tiniest moments with God go a very long way in my day because he is faithful!

    4. Jen Brewer says:

      With you in the exile of a life as mother trying to keep it all together yet still an ambassador for Jesus! Almost 6 months pregnant, 4th week into potty training our 2 year old with so many accidents the last few days and him often waking up super early. Feeling so discouraged before hopping on here to be in the word and hear the encouragement of this community. God sees us and knows us and walks with us as we love these littles and make the time for him as we can. Love and hugs and cups of tea to you sister ❤️❤️❤️