Glory of the Lord

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Once I got off drugs and to Jacob’s Well, the first thing I wanted in life was to feel something different. I wanted to do something justifiable for a change. I wanted to be a morally upright and decent person. I wanted to be RIGHT. But I was wrong. I was looking to myself for that change and it had to come from the Lord. I met Mrs. Lisa at Jacob’s Well. She was a devotion leader there and I slowly got to know more and more about her as she opened her heart to us. I can gratefully say that she is a strong presence in my life today, a spiritual mother to me and a dear friend. She came for devotion one night when I was still in residency at Jacob’s Well and my search for righteousness within myself came to a crashing halt. I was MOVED by what she shared with us that night and I will never forget it. It changed my whole perspective. I saw that my desire was selfish because I wanted to be right and everyone else be wrong. That isn’t what God wants…

glory3My deeds up until that point didn’t deserve even a glance from God because they were so self-centered. I was doing things to be seen, to be heard, to be known. Not for the glory of the Lord. No wonder I wasn’t finding righteousness. I was stuck in the wasteland and the prosperity in my life was being hidden from me by ME.

Ezekiel 10:4 – Then the glory of the Lord rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the Lord.

glory5The Glory of the Lord is, in fact, the very presence of God. In my self-centeredness, I was walking around outside of His Glory and His Grace. I was choosing darkness over light. I was accepting of the sin and not accepting of the mercy. God moves in His people and His Glory saturates our being, when we allow Him to have His way. I want the Glory of the Lord to inhabit my temple!!

Guess what? The Lord FREED me from the one thing I wanted the most because of my sin and my selfishness. I wanted righteousness so bad that I could taste it but my sin was keeping me from it. And I didn’t even realize it!

You can read Ezekiel 6-10 about Ezekiel’s call to prophecy and the vision of sin and judgment at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Ezekiel

To further your reading, consider this from:

glory61 John 2:28-29 – And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

John is speaking about Jesus. If I seek FIRST the kingdom of God, the laws of man, and the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, then I will have what I desire!! I will do what is right because I want to please Him and no one else on this earth! I will seek to follow His lead and not out of any selfish ambition of my own. That is true righteousness in the eyes of the Lord!

Related Scriptures: Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 119:142; Matthew 6:33

Fear Not

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fearnot1Going through rough patches is never easy. So many days I cry out and wonder “Why Me?” when it comes to certain areas of my life. I am in a special type of waiting when it comes to a deep rooted family situation. It seems like nothing I do gets me ahead. Sometimes I feel as if I am beating my head against a wall and I cry out to God to make a miracle happen. It is then when I have a breakdown moment, which is only a moment filled with pride and ego because I feel like I DESERVE something to happen RIGHT NOW. I let the tears of guilt fall onto the floor and I speak to God of the impossibility of the situation. I’m getting back up…RIGHT? I keep seeking the Lord…RIGHT??? What I refuse to look at is the sin that caused me to fall away in this situation in the first place. The sin that others love to point out. There are people in my life (whether they want to be there or not) that love to see me at my worst. They hate when I do right and love when I do wrong. But here is the thing…God chooses His best warriors for his strongest battles and this is a battle for sure…one that I once rebelled against.

fearnot2Ezekiel 2:6-7 – And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.

fearnot3What I am feeling today is overwhelming Godly sorrow. I’m not so much upset that I am in this situation than I am that I could have handled everything differently. I could have held it together and allowed God to work through me. This is either going to make me stronger or tear me down. It’s a CHOICE. I can boldly witness, or I can hide under a rock and sulk due to the misfortune I created. I am not the one rebelling today. I am standing firm and never will I give up this position. NEVER.

You can read Ezekiel 1-5 about Ezekiel’s call to prophecy and the vision of sin and judgment at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Ezekiel

To further your reading, consider this from:

Matthew 10:26 – “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

Fear Not” is in the Bible 365 times…once for every day of the year. Do you think God is trying to tell us something? For every single day of the year that we walk around afraid of the future, the present, the past…He knows and has an answer. People are going to come into our lives and people are going to leave our lives. There is an expiration date on everything this earth has to offer. But there is our heavenly home that awaits us, if only we can get on the other side of haters, people who persecute us, and the fear that goes along with it. FEAR NOT. Walk in purpose!

Related Scriptures: Deuteronomy 1:21; Joel 2:21; Exodus 20:20

The Tree of LIFE

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Promises and encouragement are on the heels of every disaster.

tree9Recently, I was speaking to a group of women and someone started talking about a 700 year old oak tree in Alabama. There was a dispute regarding the property it was on and an angry, disgruntled human chose to go around this massive tree with a chain saw. It wasn’t cut down, but the tree is now dying. I don’t know if that is true, but it sure got me thinking…HARD.

A tree puts down deep roots which soak up the nourishing water of the earth. Water as dew on the ground around the tree evaporates to form clouds which dispel rain and the cycle begins. But the water in the ground DEFIES the gravitational pull of the earth and the power of our star, the sun, pulls it through the roots and up the trunk of the tree and fruit springs forth. AT GOD’S COMMAND.

tree5Lamentations 3:37 (NIV) – Who can speak it and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

What roots of mine are firmly planted in the ground? Because the water stays the same. Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. The Word of God is also unchanging and the wellspring of eternal water.

Jesus brought to us LIVING water which could forever quench a person’s thirst for God.
So, again, I pose the question to myself. What am I thirsting for? Approval from people who have the ability to cut my trunk and cut off my water supply? Or approval from God who already is filling me with His water, whether I am wounded or not?

tree11The science of it all shouldn’t matter, but check this out anyway!

Webster defines the following:

TREE – “(2) archaic: the cross on which Jesus was crucified.”

ROOT – “an underlying support, the essential core, a close relationship within an environment, the part by which an object is attached to something else.”

WATER – “the major constituent of all living matter”

So…with that fresh on your mind, we can say that all living matter is supported by the Living Water of the Word of God, washing the roots and saturating them with truth, knowledge, and revelation. The tree to which my roots are attached is the Tree of Life, the tree that Jesus was crucified on to bear all my sin and shame.

tree4So many times we try to prove to OTHERS that we are bearing oranges when we are really an apple tree. We can also pretend to have fruit when in reality we have none at all because we have cut our own selves loose from the tree. Or, we allow others to come with their chain saw and in THEIR anger, not ours, they cut away at our trunk which brings life to the branches. What is your excuse? Stop pretending and just drink of the Living Water.

You can read Lamentations 1-5 about Jeremiah’s plea to the exiled people of Judah and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

tree10Galatians 5:22-24 (MSG) – But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

If we desire to bear fruits of the Spirit, we must join our lives to Christ. We must put down solid roots that will bring up the living water into our branches. If you are bearing good fruit from the tree of life, then you are following far better than the one observing rituals without love.

Related Scriptures: James 1:17; John 4:13; Matthew 7:18-20

Released from Prison

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To be imprisoned in the mind is to be in prison in the heart. We are not worthy on most occasions to dine at the table of the King, but we are His welcome and honored guests anyway. How many times have you been run over by other people, another bus coming to roll over you, in forward and reverse, even as you are trying to do the next right thing. Have you learned to humble yourself, be still, and be quiet? Are you getting push back from good folks that used to HAVE your back? The hits sometimes keep coming. The world wants to keep us down, afflicted, in PRISON; however, JESUS came to set us FREE.

free8 Jeremiah 52:31-34 – In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah and freed him from prison. 32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death.

free9Favor isn’t always fair and haters are going to hate. Period. You can allow it to keep you in prison, or you can sit at the King’s table and dine. It’s a choice. Someone asked me recently, “How long will you feel as if you owe a debt to society, to the world, to other people?” It was one of the most profound questions I have ever been asked, because I do not have an answer. How long do we live with regret, with past pain? In doing that, we hold onto our history at the expense of our destiny! We keep on the prison clothes, the ones woven together with strands of people pleasing, approval addiction, and self-doubt and we eat scraps from the table instead of dining with the King! God doesn’t measure our success with our deeds, only our obedience, faith, and righteousness! And we are FREE! Release YOURSELF from your own prison!

You can read Jeremiah 49-52 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Psalm 142:7 – Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your Name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

God does not separate the social and spiritual needs of people. He attends to them both. Many who are the first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Related Scriptures: Matthew 19:30; Isaiah 51:14; Luke 4:18

In “Time-Out”

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I still struggle with letting go of things, surrendering all. I keep going around the mountain of doubt and uncertainty. When I once worked the front of the Picayune store, the regulars would bring in their children and those littles blessed me beyond words. We would play, sing, laugh, play hide-and-seek between the clothes racks, and peek-a-boo. Their parents knew exactly where I came from but they trusted me with their precious offspring anyway.

timeout2I am being disciplined by the Lord at this time, and like a wayward child I am, in my flesh, desiring to throw a massive temper tantrum. For good reason if you ask me. But it isn’t a good reason to God.

I feel as if I am sitting in my very own corner on a cold, hard stool, arms folded across my chest, watching all the other kids play. I’m in spiritual “Time-Out”. Why do I keep grabbing back the one thing I need to let go of the most? Because of fear…and questions. How, Why, When, Where, How Long??? How much LONGER do I have to sit in this blasted corner??

timeout3Jeremiah 46:27-28 – “Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;
do not be dismayed, Israel.
I will surely save you out of a distant place,
your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,
and no one will make him afraid.
28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant,
for I am with you,” declares the Lord.
“Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

The waiting is underway, whether I like it or not. My dear friend spoke a word to me yesterday that I didn’t want to hear….long-suffering. I don’t have to like it, I just have to endure it. I can sit in the corner and sulk, or I can make the best of it by imagining the beautiful future that is right before me. It’s always a choice.

timeout1You can read Jeremiah 44-48 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Hebrews 12:11 – No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Correction and purity, the things needed for growth in the Lord. How dare we think that we can just stay stagnant, never ebbing and flowing, never taking correction along with the blessings? ALL are for our good. God loves us DEEPLY, so why would He allow us just to continue on with our ways that are not pleasing to Him without showing us the right way to go? Ask God today what your lesson is.

Related Scriptures: Deuteronomy 4:36; Proverbs 10:17; 1 Corinthians 11:32

Free at Last!

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Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God almighty we are free at last!” Powerful words from our past that will ring in the hearts of millions for generations to come.

The same words I am sure Jeremiah used upon his release from the bonds of captivity. What have you been set free from? Are you still sitting in a jail cell of your own making? Have you been released from your captivity or even the mere THOUGHT of captivity? And I’m not talking here about physical captivity. I am speaking to the captive that lives inside of YOU.

Jeremiah 40:1-6 – The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. 2 When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. 3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. 4 But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.” 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”

free6Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go.6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.

We are creatures of free will, able to come and do as we please and sometimes the easy way isn’t always the right way. Jeremiah had two choices: 1) Go to Babylon, live the life of comfort, but be hated by the exiles for telling them the truth and them not listening. 2) Go back to hardship, to Judah, remain poor and unwanted but not ridiculed any longer.

free7Which way would you go? Jeremiah chose Judah, his home. Everyone else was being led away as slaves, but Jeremiah was FREE. Jeremiah was imprisoned and abused by his own people, but God used the enemy to bless him. God is not limited to the physical. Walk in your freedom!! But walk in the RIGHT direction!

You can read Jeremiah 40-43 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Deuteronomy 23:24-28 – All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”

25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

We need to be very careful and mindful that the roads we travel are roads laid out by God. We live in precarious times and so many walk around thinking they are guaranteed tomorrow and we are not. What road are you taking today? Are you still in bondage? You have been set free by the blood of Jesus so WALK IN YOUR FREEDOM! Don’t throw it all away just to please the world.

Related Scriptures: Daniel 9:11; Galatians 5:1; Psalm 119:45

Of Integrity

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I was having a conversation with a friend the other day that got me thinking. She said, “I see that this is wrong, and I always wonder what will happen if I don’t speak up. I don’t want to be bothered by my thoughts in thinking I should have done something to help this situation.” How courageous are we really? How bold are we? How integritous are we? Are we doing right and good in an unpopular situation? Are we showing compassion to those in need?

integrity2Jeremiah 38:1-13 – Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, 2 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’ 3 And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’”

4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death.He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”

5 “He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”

6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.

7 But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite, an official in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him,9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

11 So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.

integrity3There was a downside to being a prophet to the nations in Jeremiah’s case, much like there is a downside to speaking truth today. The people we are speaking to today have the same mindset as those in his day. “It’s alright to worship God as long as we can continue to do whatever the heck we want to do.” People continually create their own truth as to what is right and wrong as the Word of God gets thrown out the window. What a hard group of people to be sharing with…stubborn in all their ways. Like most of us today, I’m sure Jeremiah just wanted to be liked…just for a day. But he wasn’t. He was speaking TRUTH and being ridiculed for it. Sometimes those living in darkness only want to hear what is pleasing to their ears. So into the pit goes Jeremiah.

Soon after, the man of integrity comes on the scene, a man placed in the right time at the right place for the right reason, knowing full well that his very life will be called into question for his boldness in approaching the horrible king of darkness that ruled that city. He set aside his own safety in order to act with compassion on his fallen brother. He was a man who TRUSTED in the LORD. Sometimes we must be willing to speak up in order to give someone else courage to do the right thing. Trust God in enabling you to stand for something good today! Be integritous!!

integrity1You can read Jeremiah 36-39 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

2 Timothy 4:16-18 – 16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Do not be afraid to speak for what is right! God will protect you always! He will give us the courage to be men and women of integrity, honor, righteousness. He always gives us strength to do the next right thing or what He has commanded us to do. Sometimes, though, we must step out in faith and believe before we see!

Related Scriptures: Galatians 6:10; Acts 7:60; Joshua 1:7

Hopes and Dreams

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My dreams and hopes have to die in order for God to bring home the impossible. I have to look at every impossible situation as being completely possible with God. He wants me to think of the deepest desires and longings of my heart, the things that have gone unfulfilled for so long, the things I have given up hope in seeing come to fruition in this life. It is the one thing He ABSOLUTELY intends to do for me. When I have disbelief, I reject His plans for me.

dream2Jeremiah 32:17 – “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

I opened my Bible that has devotions in it randomly the other day, just to get a Word. The page opened to where the marker was and the date on the devotion was a date that I still sometimes grieve. Through that devotion, I learned that I can find my legacy in that grief I can let go for once and step into the power and authority God has given me. I can bear the fruits humility and grace. My redeemer LIVES and I can obtain blessings, even on the difficult days!

dreamYou can read Jeremiah 32-35 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Matthew 19:26 – Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Obedience and immediate reward are not always linked. I believe God for His promises, and in the waiting I find love and humility.

Related Scriptures: Genesis 18:14; Zechariah 8:6; Luke 1:37

In Captivity (Part II)

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Jeremiah 29:4-14 – This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.

captivity410 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

captivity5The world is the world and I was sent out into it for a purpose. I settled down, I put roots in the ground, I sought peace and prosperity. I prayed diligently and I moved ahead with my life. Troubles came and went like waves on a beach but I used them as excuses. For 3 days I was handed over to the enemy camp. I gave up completely on my walk because of fear and uncertainty. I listened to the wrong reports. But God brought me home, he showed favor upon me, and He brought me back to the place I never should have left, the place flowing with milk and honey, back into the loving arms of friends and family.

Jeremiah 31:19 – After I strayed,
I repented;
after I came to understand,
I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’

captivity6He shut every single door and opened the door of His choosing and said to the enemy, “Enough is enough.” He forgave me, regardless of the horrendous mistake I made. Today, I have boundless hope for a bright future. Gone is the arrogance and pride. God is preparing for me a NEW beginning. He is developing things inside of me I did not know existed and TODAY I can say I am a preserved good fig, brought back from exile!

It’s not so easy for me to give up hope today because of what I have found in Christ Jesus. I may be tired, I may be faint, I may be sad, I may get a little depressed, I may be angry, I may be frustrated, but I AM NOT ALONE. I am NEVER alone. The battle has already been won. I just have to keep walking it out and before I know it, I am in greener pastures again. These times are a test of my faith and my willingness to keep moving forward in HIM and today I am willing. I know what is waiting for me out there…the enemy wants me either in bed, alone, fearful, in pain, using drugs, drunk, or better yet – DEAD. I will not allow that to happen. I will look one step ahead and not into the forest. I will shine my light on the next right thing and before I know it, I will be into a clearing and the forest will be behind me. Each day the Lord wakes me up is another day I have a chance to get it right. Today, I will look at the positive and I will speak life into my situations.

You can read Jeremiah 28-31 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Esther 4:14b – And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

I am embarking on a new journey soon, one that will have it’s own moments of ups and downs, but I have been trained in the way I should go and I shall not depart from it. My gratitude will speak as I carry the message that was bestowed on me at the hands of His willing servants, the family and staff of Jacob’s Well. I am forever blessed and grateful!!!

Always and Forever, a #JWGirl4Life

Related Scriptures: Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalm 40:5; Luke 18:13

In Captivity (Part I)

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I left Jacob’s Well Recovery Center for Women the FIRST time after graduation with the best of intentions. I was sold out to God and I was more than willing to follow His ways. Coming back was never an option for me. Then…life showed up and I was completely unprepared. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that God used people that I allowed back in (people who were not good for me) as His servants to get me back to where He wanted me, not in a physical sense per se, but spiritually. In the world, I had everything I ever wanted, money, a wonderful job, a little bit of fame, a beautiful home, and success; but my prosperity became a curse. Everything I did became a chore, even the things I was doing for the Lord and in His Holy Name. Troubles came but I did not let them make me stronger in my faith. I faltered under the weight of doubt, scrutiny, and fear. Then it happened…I was led back into captivity and I went without looking back. I was carried back into exile.

captivity2Jeremiah 24:1-7 – After Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord.2 One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten.

3 Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. 6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

captivity1I love how Jeremiah says what he sees in the physical, but our God is patient and He will show us what He needs us to see in the spiritual. He used my captivity to refine me. He knew my heart would survive walking through the fire. He knew every move that I would make that would lead me down the lonely road toward the heat. I sought relief but He made me wait. He would eventually preserve me and bring me back into His land and my purpose. He NEVER stopped loving me. He NEVER gave up on me!

Part II tomorrow….

You can read Jeremiah 23-27 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

captivity3Ezekial 11:17-19 – 17 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’

18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Even though I was far from home (mainly in my heart), God protected me. My external circumstances in my relapse did not indicate my standing with God. His love never failed. My new life given back to me when I came to my senses was only the work of the Holy Spirit, but I had to recognize it and repent of my sins.

Related Scriptures: Zechariah 7:12; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Amos 8:1-2

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