pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Promises

Reading: Jeremiah 33: 14-16

Verse 15: “I will make a righteous branch sprout from David’s line, he will do what is just and right in the land”.

Chapter 33 begins with the promise to restore Israel. God promises to heal Israel and to bring them out of Babylonian captivity. They will return to their homeland and rebuild what was destroyed. God promises that the sounds of joy and laughter will return and the fortunes of the land will be restored. God will again bless them with flocks on the hills – all under God’s hand.

God speaks into their immediate situation to remind them of the promises that were given to their ancestors. The promises of healing and restoration, of forgiveness and love, are still there. God always keeps His promises. God’s side of the covenants to Abraham… are kept by God regardless of the failings and sins of His children.

In our passage today, God speaks of a ruler or king who will come, saying, “I will make a righteous branch sprout from David’s line, he will do what is just and right in the land”. As Christians, we read these words and think, “Jesus”! However, the people who received these words from the prophet Jeremiah probably did not think “Messiah”. They would simply think of a king like the great King David – one who was strong and powerful, one who brought peace and justice to the land. The idea of a good king ruling over a restored and free people back in the Promised Land would have been how Jeremiah’s audience would hear this promise from God.

Chapter 33 goes on to reiterate the promises of God to establish an heir of David on the throne and of the covenants that will continue like the day and night, each going on at their appointed times. Many, many years later and scores and scores of kings later, there is a true King on the throne of God’s people. The family looks a bit different. But the reality is that Jesus is Lord over God’s people. The Righteous One came from David’s line, just as we can read these into today’s passage. With Jesus came not only healing and restoration, forgiveness and love, but salvation as well. Thank you Jesus! Thank you God for the gift of your Son, Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, we still cling to your promises. Use me to bring the hope and light and love of the good news and its saving power to all I meet today who are lost or hurting or broken. For my King, I say thank you too! Amen.


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Hope and Grace

Reading: Psalm 126: 1-4

God restores His people.  He brings them our of captivity and they can again dream.  He fills them with laughter and instills in them songs of joy.  Great joy fills the people as they realize all that God has done for them.

All of this joy and happiness is set against a long period of trial.  The people are finally returning to the land that God had promised them after a lengthy period in exile.  Their faith had sustained them in the long period of captivity and exile, but it was not a joyful time, not a time of happy laughter, not a time when they could dream of what could be.

There are times in our lives when we struggle, when joys seems far away, and when we cannot see hope on the horizon.  Like the people in captivity, we too must allow our faith to sustain us.  We may not be able to joyfully praise God, but we can continue to pray with a quiet confidence.  We can choose to lean on Him for strength we cannot seem to muster on our own but that we find when we rest in Him.

We must always hold onto hope.  We find hope inn His promises.  From the great song Amazing Grace, “The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures.  He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.”  Like the Israelites, our journey out of captivity, out of our struggle, may be long.  But we too know that God loves us and seeks good for us.  In Him our hope rests secure.  May we rely on His amazing grace, a grace that is always present and a grace that always saves.


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Where Did You See Him?

Stop for a moment and think about where you saw God present yesterday.  Gather a few snapshots in your mind of those scenes.  As I smile over the ones in my mind, is occur sot me that this is a spiritual discipline that we should practice more often.

I saw God yesterday in William’s eyes and heard it in his voice as he shared his story with me, as we took a few minutes to connect.  I saw God yesterday in the children who simply beamed and giggled as the tumbled and slid down the slide in the inflatable.  The joy in their eyes was uplifting.  God was present in our Youth as they lovingly shepherded and helped the kids in line, in the hay, or in the inflatables.  God was present in the volunteer who quickly gave another caramel apple to the child before a tear could form over the apple the child just dropped on the ground.

Where did you see God yesterday?

God is present in the joy, in the laughter, in the smiles and giggles, in the simple kind gestures.  He is present in so many ways and I am so thankful for His presence.  Glory to God!

Scripture reference: Philippians 2: 1-11