Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah 29:11-13’

God’s thoughts and God’s ways

October 13, 2018

Today’s blog post entry combines the Verse of the Day for October 13, 2018 found in Jeremiah 29-11 with comments on a related verse from Isaiah 55:8.

As one of the most popular verses of the day, Jeremiah 29:11 appears on greeting cards, plaques, placards, and wall hangings of every kind. Believers rejoice in anticipating to see God’s plans for their lives unfold in glorious ways. Here is the New International Version of the widely recognized verse:

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.

To understand more fully the magnitude of God’s declaration, take a look at the context of the verse taken from Jeremiah 29:11-14:

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.

The words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years of enduring unimaginable pain and suffering, shame and humiliation as a result of their rebellion and disobedience. As we read the passage, we recognize the truth expressed in Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel. We must recognize, however, that those plans may not unfold in the way that we think they should at the time when we think they should. The Scriptures remind us: As for God, His way is perfect. The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).

The passage from Jeremiah 29 which speaks of the thoughts of God toward the people of God also brings to mind Isaiah 55:7-9

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

This passage describes the mind of God, explaining that His thoughts are far beyond our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 was also the inspiration for this expression of our desire that God will lead, guide, and direct us:

O Lord, prepare the way, straighten our path, and order our steps.
Shine your light upon us that we may not stumble,
That we may not walk in the light of our own sparks,
But illumine our way with the lamp of Your Word.
O Lord, direct our hearts into the love of God
And into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.
Raise us up in righteousness and direct all our ways,
As we acknowledge Your thoughts are not our thoughts,
Neither are Your ways our ways, O Lord.

As we ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead us, teaching  us along the path that continues to unfold as a light shining more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). Jeremiah 29:11-13 also informs us of God’s concern for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future.

Damaris Carbaugh shares “I Know the Plans” (Debby’s Song) a musical reminder of Jeremiah 29:11

We close this entry, as we listen to this Christian Worship and Scripture Song based on Isaiah 55:6-9

Call on the name of the Lord

August 24, 2018

The Verse of the Day for July 24, 2018 comes from Psalm 116:1-2 in the Revised Standard Version:

[Thanksgiving for Recovery from Illness] I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The Psalmist acknowledges his love for the Lord who heard him when he called upon His name. Because the Lord “inclined his ear unto” the one who called upon Him, the caller will continue to call as long as he lives.

Verse 4 reiterates the same:

Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech thee, save my life!”

This declaration continues elsewhere in Psalm 116: 13, 17:

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

In addition to these references, other verses also remind us to call upon the name of the Lord:
1 Chronicles 16:8 and Psalm 105:1

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

We find a similar exhortation in

Isaiah 12:3-5 (RSV):

3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

4 And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the LORD,
call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.

In the Old Testament we find reference to a coming day when those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved, as Acts 2:21 reveals:

And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Romans 10:13 expresses the same views:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Throughout the Scriptures we see that believers are encouraged to call upon the name of the Lord. Note this invitation extended in Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV):

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

One of the most often quotes passages from Jeremiah relates a promise given by God to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-13, a passage that applies to Christians today as well:

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.

Recently I came across a series of five poetic stanzas written twelve years ago during a time when I called upon the name of the Lord in light of references to some of the specific names of the Lord:

I call upon Jehovah Jireh, who provides

Even in times of famine in a barren land,

With more than enough you continue to lead and guide.

You uphold and supply with your gracious right hand.

 

I call upon Jehovah Rophe, the Lord who heals

Diseases through the power of life-giving blood.

Whole in spirit, soul and body, your word reveals

That you will work all things together for my good.

 

I call upon Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our banner.

Descending in favor to bless, the gentle dove,

A sign to remind us of your gracious manner,

That your presence remains a canopy of love.

 

I call upon the name of the Lord, Jehovah Shalom,

Who dispels doubt and fear and surrounds me in peace.

As you lead us into battle, let your Kingdom come.

We plant and water but you alone give the increase.

 

When I have grown weary in the struggle at length,

In my distress I call on the name of the Lord.

I rejoice in knowing He shall renew my strength,

For He is faithful, as I stand upon His Word.

The Verse of the Day as an expression of thanksgiving for recovery from an illness seems custom-crafted for me today. I am in final stages of publishing my book which expresses my gratitude to God for my recovery from a potentially devastating illness.

When diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, I did not see the diagnosis as “a death sentence,” but I saw a “life sentence” that transformed his thinking. I share lessons learned from this life-changing process, revealing my holistic strategy to combat prostate cancer to show how I emerged, not just as a survivor but more than a conqueror.

Be sure to check out Lonnell E. Johnson’s

Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs

The book should be available to the public in Mid-October. I will keep you posted.

We close with this song of worship reminding us to “Call upon the Name of the Lord”:

All things work together for good

March 13, 2018

The Verse of the Day for March 13, 2018, has become especially meaningful for me over the years, and I have designated this scripture as my “Life Verse.” According to the Middletown Christian Church, “Life Verses are those words from Scripture that anchor our faith and become touchstones that illuminate, assure, uplift and energize us to live out our faith.” Here are three of my favorite translations of my favorite verse:

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. [KJV]

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. [Amplified Bible]

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [NIV]

Romans 8:28, my favorite verse in the Bible, offers this reminder that because God is good, “We know that all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” So no matter how bad any situation may appear to be, we know that it will work together for our good.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind another passage of scripture that has become especially meaningful to me at this time in my life:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV):

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.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Although the words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years, we recognize the truth expressed in

Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel.

As we ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead us and teach us all along the path that unfolds as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11-13 also intersect to inform us of God’s concern for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future because God is good.

Romans 8:28, one of the most often quoted verses, at least for me, is the inspiration for this Don Moen’s classic song of praise: “All things Work Together”:

I love the Lord; He heard my cry

August 24, 2017

psalm 116_1-2

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for August 24, 2017 comes from Psalm 116:1-2 in the Amplified Bible:

[Thanksgiving for Rescue from Death.] I love the Lord, because He hears [and continues to hear] my voice and my supplications (my pleas, my cries, my specific needs). Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore, I will call on Him as long as I live.

The Psalmist acknowledges his love for the Lord who heard him when called upon His name. Because the Lord “inclined his ear unto” the one who called upon Him, the caller will continue to call as long as he lives.

Verse 4 reiterates the same point:

Then I called on the name of the Lord“O Lord, please save my life!”

Echoes of these verses can be heard in this excerpt from “Plainsong,” a poem written in tribute to my father:

Your plainsong I know by heart,

a hymn stanza learned with ease,

lined out like the flow of chanted words,

syllables fused into a single sound:

I-love-the-Lord-He-heard-my-cry”

raised and repeated over countless Sunday mornings.

The poem makes reference to one of the vintage hymns composed by the great 18th Century hymn writer, Dr. Isaac Watts, who uses Psalm 116:1  as the inspiration for  “I love the Lord; He heard my cries” with this opening stanza:

I love the Lord; he heard my cries,
And pity’d every groan:
Long as I live, when troubles rise,
I’ll hasten to his throne.

The hymns of Dr. Watts found their way into African American churches, being transformed into chants and acapella songs that formed the foundation of 20th Century gospel music. Listen to Gloria Henderson who leads a congregation in lining out this memorable hymn by Dr. Watts.

In addition to Psalm 116:1-2, other verses remind us to call upon the name of the Lord:

1 Chronicles 16:8:

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

Psalm 105:1:

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Romans 10:13 so clearly makes known the results occurring to those who petition the Lord:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Throughout the Scriptures we see that believers are encouraged to call upon the name of the Lord. Note this invitation extended in Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV):

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

One of the most often quoted passages from Jeremiah relates a promise given by God to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-13, a passage that applies to Christians today as well:

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.

Psalm 107 reveals the seemingly never-ending cycle whereby the people of God stray from the pathways of God and find themselves in difficult straights, and as verses, 6, 13, 19, and 28 make known:

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

Despite the truth that God consistently delivers those who cry out to him, His people too often fall back into trouble whereby they once again call upon the Lord in the midst of their struggles.  Throughout the Psalms and elsewhere in the Scriptures we see that our faithful God responds to those who call upon Him and that is why we love Him.

We close with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir offering their rendering of the classic hymn: “I Love the Lord He Heard my Cry”

Hope and a future

February 24, 2017

Jeremiah-29-11

From Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV) comes the Verse of the Day for February 24, 2017:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11, the first verse of this celebrated passage, was listed as second of the Top 10 most popular verses accessed through Biblegate.com in 2015. I recall hearing this verse for the first time in the New International Version of the Bible more than 20 years ago:

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.

To more fully understand the magnitude of God’s declaration, take a look at the following video that graphically illustrates the context of the verse taken from Jeremiah 29:11-14

The New Living Testament renders Jeremiah 29:11-13 in this way:

11 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.

12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

In reflecting on this familiar passage from the Old Testament, I thought of the first time that I heard Jeremiah 29:11 which occurred as I was embarking upon a new assignment in my career as well as in my ministry. Two decades later I find myself in a similar position of transition, having returned to the same place where I was at that time. “Oh, the Providence of God!”

Although the words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years, we recognize the truth expressed in Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

Hope has been defined as “the expectation of a future good.” In thinking about our eternal hope, I remember lines from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems that described hope in a particularly intriguing way, as the opening lines serve as the title and epigraph for this poem:

“Hope is the thing with feathers. . . “

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul

And sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”

 

We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.

But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Romans 8:24-25 [New Living Translation]

 

As a rare exotic bird, arrayed in brilliant plumes,

Hope rises as a phoenix, a many-feathered thing:

As a lark ascending at sunrise sings on the wing

A melody that fades but then suddenly resumes,

So Hope conveys a message without a single word.

This glorious song of Hope will take us to the place where

Golden notes provide escape from any fowler’s snare:

The tune lingers to remind us that we, too, have heard

Heavenly harmonies in our innermost ear.

Perched in the depths of our soul, Hope has found a new home.

The songbird prepares our heart to receive what is to come.

While we wait in patience, God’s presence is ever near.

In these times of darkness and despair we will recall

And listen to hear Hope’s song that never stops at all.

Although the prophetic word from Jeremiah is specifically addressed to Israel, those words of comfort and hope can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel.

As we ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead us and teach us all along the path that unfolds as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18).  Jeremiah 29:11-13 also informs us of God’s concern for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future.

Damaris Carbaugh shares “I Know the Plans” (Debby’s Song) a musical reminder of Jeremiah 29:11

Call upon the name of the Lord

August 24, 2016

psalm 116_1-2

From Psalm 116:1-2 in the Message Bible comes the Verse of the Day for August 24, 2016:

I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

The verses are rendered this way in the King James Version:

Psalm 116:1-2:

I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The Psalmist acknowledges his love for the Lord who heard him when called upon His name. Because the Lord “inclined his ear unto” the one who called upon Him, the caller will continue to call as long as he lives.

 

Verse 4 reiterates the same point:

Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

 

Echoes of these verses can be heard in this excerpt from “Plainsong,” a poem that I wrote in tribute to my father:

 

Your plainsong I know by heart,

a hymn stanza learned with ease,

lined out like the flow of chanted words,

syllables fused into a single sound:

I-love-the-Lord-He-heard-my-cry”

raised and repeated over countless Sunday mornings.

The poem also makes reference to one of the vintage hymns composed by the great 18th Century hymn writer, Dr. Isaac Watts, who uses Psalm 116:1  as the inspiration for  “I love the Lord; He heard my cries” with this opening stanza:

I love the Lord; he heard my cries,
And pitied every groan:
Long as I live, when troubles rise,
I’ll hasten to his throne.

The hymns of Dr. Watts found their way into African American churches, being transformed into chants and acapella songs that formed the foundation of 20th Century gospel music. Listen to Gloria Henderson who leads a congregation in lining out this classic hymn by Dr. Watts.

In addition to Psalm 116:1, other verses also remind us to call upon the name of the Lord:

1 Chronicles 16:8

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

 

Psalm 105:1

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

 

Romans 10:13 so clearly makes known the results occurring to those who petition the Lord:

 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Throughout the Scriptures we see that believers are encouraged to call upon the name of the Lord. Note this invitation extended in Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV):

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

 

One of the most often quotes passages from Jeremiah relates a promise given by God to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-13, a passage that applies to Christians today as well:

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.

 

Psalm 107 reveals the seemingly never-ending cycle whereby the people of God stray from the pathways of God and find themselves in difficult straights, and as verses, 6, 13, 19, and 28 make known:

 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

 

Despite the truth that God consistently delivers those who cry out to him, His people too often fall back into trouble whereby they once again call upon the Lord in the midst of their struggles.  Throughout the Psalms and elsewhere in the Scriptures we see that our faithful God responds to those who call upon Him.

 

Jim and Ginger Hendricks provide a moving musical exhortation: “Call unto Me”

 

I cannot hide from you

June 25, 2016

Jeremiah 23--24

Verse of the Day for June 25, 2016 comes from Jeremiah 23:24 (AMP):

“Can anyone hide himself in secret places So that I cannot see him?” says the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

The Verse of the Day brings to mind the childhood game of “hide and seek”, played countless times as we were growing up. At times we would be the individual who would “hide” while the other player would endeavor to find the person hiding and tag him or her before they reached “home base.”  At other times a player would switch roles, hence the name of the game is “hide and seek.”

As believers grow in their relationship with God, we sometimes seem to be playing “hide and seek with God.”  It seems that at times He is doing all the hiding, and we are doing all the seeking. On other occasions, we are doing all the hiding, and He’s doing all the seeking.”

I recall playing hide and seek with one of my nieces as she was growing up.  I was baby-sitting her when she was about eight or nine years old, and we went to a park where she was trying to hide behind a tree. From her perspective she could not see me, and she thought that I could not see her.  Her body, however, was slightly wider than the tree, and from my perspective, I could clearly see the outline of her body when I looked at her “hiding place.”

How much more is the case when we endeavor to hide ourselves from God? Psalm 139:7 reminds us

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

The Scriptures clearly reveal that God is omnipresent and that we cannot by any means hide from Him, just as the Verse of the Day so clearly states.

While we cannot hide from God, we can seek Him, being reminded to “Seek the Lord while he may be found,” knowing that God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). The Psalmist declares, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. . . when you said seek my face, my heart said to you, your face will I seek.” (Psalm 27:4-5, 8).

Psalm 9:9-10:

The Lord also will be a refuge and a stronghold for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble;

And those who know Your name [who have experienced Your precious mercy] will put their confident trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You.

Jesus Christ in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well points out these truths:

John 4:23-24:

23 But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

One of my favorite passages from the Old Testament also relates to those who seek God:

Jeremiah 29:11-13:

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Greg Long captures the essence of Verse of the Day and other related scriptures with the song “I Cannot Hide from You.”

I know the plans

February 24, 2016

Jeremiah-29-11

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV) is the Verse of the Day for February 24, 2016:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11, the first verse of this celebrated passage, is listed as second of the Top 10 most popular verses accessed through Biblegate.com in 2015. I recall hearing this verse for the first time in the New International Version of the Bible more than 20 years ago:

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.

To more fully understand the magnitude of God’s declaration, take a look at the following video that graphically illustrates the context of the verse taken from Jeremiah 29:11-14

The New Living Testament renders Jeremiah 29:11-13 in this way:

11 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.

12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

As I reflected on this familiar passage from the Old Testament, I thought of the first time that I heard Jeremiah 29:11 which occurred as I was embarking upon a new assignment in my career as well as in my ministry. Two decades later I find myself in a similar position of transition, having returned to the same place where I was at that time. “Oh, the Providence of God!”

Although the words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years, we recognize the truth expressed in Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel.

As we ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead us and teach us all along the path that unfolds as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). Jeremiah 29:11-13 also informs us of God’s concern for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future.

Damaris Carbaugh shares “I Know the Plans” (Audrey’s Song) a musical reminder of Jeremiah 29:11

 

Prayer works

January 28, 2016

prayer works

Instead of the Verse of the Day, today’s devotional centers on a life-changing time of ministry entitled “Prayer Works,” part of a series of teachings by Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC. The objective was to encourage and help believers to expect that their prayers of faith will produce results.

In speaking of developing a “prayer life” or “life of prayer,” he stated the prayer is our right and privilege to talk to God about situations that we are dealing with. As we pray to God, expressing our petitions, He reveals His will for us. God, as “the master planner,” wants us to plan, but He does not want us to exclude Him. Jeremiah 29:11-14 in the Amplified Bible speaks of God’s plans for us connected to our prayers to Him:

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

In thinking about the title of the teaching, “Prayer Works,” one could think of the statement that prayer brings about results, where “works” is a verb meaning to have an effect, to produce, to bring about results by effort. On the other hand, one could view “works” as a noun, in the plural, something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or exercise of prayer. I recall this statement by Lord Alfred Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” No matter how you view it: “Prayer works!”

Among the scriptures emphasized during the teaching was Luke 18:1-8, where we find the Parable of the harsh judge and the persistent widow who continually pressed him for justice toward her adversary. In this account Jesus Christ teaches a valuable lesson about prayer and never giving up on our requests. This particular passage inspired the following poem:

Prayer Works

Parable of the Persistent Widow
Luke 18:1-8

Once the Lord told a parable:
We should pray and not give up.
A widow made life unbearable
So that this judge was fed-up.

See, this lady drove him crazy,
Crying “I want my justice!”
She repeated, “Give it to me!”
As she raised such a ruckus.

This judge who feared neither God nor man
Gave in and answered her plea.
Keep on asking was her plan:
That’s how she won the victory

Here is the lesson we should learn:
If a harsh man will relent,
Surely God will show more concern
And be just to the fullest extent.

Give the Lord no rest but insist;
Knock on His door night and day:
You have whatever you say.
Prayer works for all who persist.

The accompanying video provides this stirring reminder: “The power of prayer should not be underestimated”:

Call upon the Lord

November 28, 2015

1 Chronicles-16 8

Verse of the Day for November 28, 2015 is found in 1 Chronicles 16:8 (AMP):

[Psalm of Thanksgiving] O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; Make His deeds known among the peoples.

Other scriptures also ask us to call upon the Lord:

Psalm 105:1

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Romans 10:13 so clearly makes known the results occurring to those who petition the Lord:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV) we find this invitation from God:

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

I recall that this passage was inspiration this short poem:

We arise at dawn to keep watch on our future.

Open our eyes, flood our understanding with light,

As we are watching and waiting, safe and secure,

On the wall morning, noonday, evening and midnight.

That short poem also brought to mind this longer work:

Watchmen, Watchmen on the Wall

Watchmen, watchmen on the wall keep your eyes on the Eastern skies

Until the thickened darkness flees and the Daystar shall arise.

Consecrate yourselves and keep your ears near to the lips of God,

Waiting, anticipating, responding to the voice of God.

 

Our steps are ordered to walk in humility, as the wise,

To covenant with the Lord and serve Him, as we fix our eyes

On the prize and press toward the mark of the high calling of God,

Watchmen, watchmen on the wall.

 

We attend to the Word of the Lord and see how it applies

To our lives. It speaks and becomes the message we recognize.

We position our lives to occupy the atmosphere with God.

Know that we are far more than we are now says the Lord, your God,

Watchmen, watchmen on the wall.

Many believers who tend to worry about the future may often forget another promise given by God to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-13, a related passage that applies to Christians today as well:

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.

Throughout the Scriptures we see that believers are encouraged to call upon the name of the Lord. As we close this entry, listen to these lively lyrics: “I Will Call upon the Lord.”