Posts Tagged ‘Romans 15:4’

Jesus: Our redeemer

April 29, 2017

Job 19.25-26

The Verse of the Day for April 27, 2017 comes from Job 19:25 (NLT):

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.

This verse refers to the  “redeemer,” one who exercises the right of redemption. The act of redeeming literally means  “to purchase out, buy up;  buy out of the hands of a person; to set free; to buy off, to secure for oneself or one’s own use; to buy up from the power or possession of any one.” According to the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, to be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, to be made holy, to be freed, adopted, and reconciled to God.

Psalm 111:9 (NLT) refers to the redemption of Israel:

He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!

Likewise, Psalm 130:7 (NLT) makes known the same:

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.

The Verse of the Day with its reference to “my redeemer” also brings to mind that as believers we have been redeemed or purchased back from hand of the enemy by Christ Jesus, as Matthew 20:28 proclaims:

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many

Jesus is designated as our savior and redeemer. In the Old Testament we find a particular reference to the Kinsman Redeemer. This heroic figure is foreshadowed in the Book of Ruth, where a male relative assumes the responsibility to act on behalf of a distant family member who is in danger or trouble or in need of vindication.

A scripture memory song describes this Old Testament prototype:

The Kinsman Redeemer, our wonderful savior.

The Kinsman Redeemer, we know that He is able

To restore and to bless, to turn sadness into joy.

When we read the Word of God and learn the truth,

We see that the Kinsman Redeemer was Boaz who married Ruth.

A series of teachings based on the Book of Ruth and some of the lessons to be learned from that amazing love story reveals the heroic figure of the Kinsman Redeemer. The teachings inspired this poem which the Verse of the Day brought to mind:

Another Lesson from the Book of Ruth

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us.

And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently

for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Romans 15:4 (NLT)

In times of crisis when famine engulfs the land,

Those willing to glean, to sacrifice will survive.

Like Ruth, they shall be satisfied and even thrive

To see blessings flow from the Father’s own right hand.

As a Kinsman Redeemer arose to rescue

Two brave women in despair, Naomi and Ruth,

So their example reveals an eternal truth:

What God did then, He does no less for me and you.

Dismissing failures, our Savior ignored each flaw

As he called us by name and set the captives free,

For our redemption canceled any penalty

When he redeemed our souls from the curse of the Law.

Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, still lives,

And through all eternity he endlessly gives.

Heidi French Lovett offers a musical expression of “Jesus our Redeemer”:

The verse from Job also brings to mind George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah, the renowned oratorio based on texts from the King James Version of the Bible. One of the most well-known selections from this frequently performed musical composition is based Job 19:25-26: “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth.”

Friendship with God

April 8, 2017

The Verse of the Day for April 8, 2017 comes from Romans 5:10 in the New Living Translation:

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

Here is the rendering in the Amplified Bible:

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].

In reflecting upon this verse we note that past, present, and future all merge in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ, our Savior:

Past

In the past when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by means of the death of His son. We note that “even our ‘justification,’ our ‘reconciliation’—has already been accomplished. We are no longer enemies, but friends. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, as 1 John reminds us.

Romans 8:7 reminds us that before we were reconciled to God we were enemies who were at odds with God:

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Former enemies have now been reconciled as friends. Beyond the invitation to become friends on Facebook, God transformed our status from enemies to beloved friends. The lyrics to the song reinforce the message:

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God.
He calls me friend.

Present

In the present, now that we have been reconciled, God has committed unto believers, the word of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation, whereby we are appointed as “ambassadors for Christ.” We thus reconcile others, as 2

Corinthians 5:17-21 clearly reveal.

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Future

Regarding our future—“The future is as bright as the promises of God” because “we will be saved from the wrath to come: that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].”

Verses 24-25 from the Book of Jude remind us and reassure us of what awaits us as believers because of we have been reconciled to God:

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Recently one of the most popular verses that believers refer to when talking about the future comes from Jeremiah 29:11 in the 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.

Although these 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:

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans God has for each of His children in 2017 and beyond are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel. Our future is secure, as God, our Heavenly Father, clearly expresses His plans for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future.

The Verse of the Day also speaks of “our friendship with God,” as we close with Phillips, Craig & Dean offering “I am a friend of God”:

Comforted so we can comfort others

March 8, 2017

2 Corinthians 1--3-4

Verse of the Day for March 8, 2017 offers words to strengthen and encourage believers:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV):

[Comfort in Suffering] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The passage opens by giving praise to “God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who is described as the source of all mercies. Furthermore, He is the source of “all comfort” who imparts “the only true and perfect comfort in every instance,” according to Logos Bible software. The passage refers to comfort, used as both a noun, that which God provides and as a verb, whereby we, as believers, ease the grief or trouble of someone; we console those who are hurting.

Because we have been comforted and encouraged when we go through “any kind of trouble” or “all our tribulation,” we are able to comfort and encourage others who are going through similarly stressful situations.

2 Corinthians 1:6-7 (NKJV) reiterates this point:

Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.

As we reflect upon the goodness of God and acknowledge that He has been and continues to be “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,” we note His magnanimous display of great comfort throughout the Old Testament, as the Psalmist assures us of God’s faithfulness:

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

Psalm 71:21 goes on to say:

You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, makes reference to the Word of God in some form or another in every verse, also reveals the source of our comfort:

Psalm 119:50:

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life.

Psalm 119:52:

I have remembered [carefully] Your ancient ordinances, O Lord, And I have taken comfort.

Psalm 119:76

O may Your lovingkindness and graciousness comfort me, According to Your word (promise) to Your servant.

Psalm 119:82

My eyes fail [with longing, watching] for [the fulfillment of] Your promise, Saying, “When will You comfort me?”

In the same way that God comforted Israel with words of consolation, so are we strengthened with these words from Isaiah 40 in the Message Bible:

Isaiah 40:1-2:

“Comfort, oh comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven! She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with.”

We recognize God’s display of comfort in the Old Testament as an illustration of Romans 15:4:

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The God of all comfort, the Father of mercies provides comfort in very specific ways. Jesus Christ also assures us “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Because we, as believers, have been comforted, we are able to provide comfort and encouragement or to comfort one another. As 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us

Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.

In reflecting upon the Verse of the Day and related passages, we noted how believers go through trying circumstances, described as troubles or tribulation and receive comfort and encouragement, so that in turn we can comfort and encourage others who are facing similar circumstances that we have endured. In actuality, in the same way, the sufferings of Jesus Christ and all that he endured ultimately were designed to benefit others.  A song comes to mind that captures the essence of that message: “Medicine (For Someone Else).” So we close with another dose of “good medicine” from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe:

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

God’s restoration business

November 3, 2016

Rather than expounding upon the Verse of the Day, once again we examine the Quote of the Day for November 3, 2016 where we find this comforting reminder:

“God is in the restoration business. He delights in transforming lives through the healing touch of the Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemers and restores and makes whole every wounded soul who calls out for help.”

So often as believers we will find ourselves in what seems to be a horrible mess, generally one of our own making, and we cry out to our Heavenly Father to come to our rescue once more. In thinking about such recurring incidents, I recall a teaching that discussed “Moving from Rescue to Restoration” in an effort to encourage and strengthen believers as we undergo that process. The Quote of the Day also brings to mind God ultimate desire to rescue and restore.

The accompanying scripture reveals God’s plans and purpose for His people, as the New Living Testament renders Jeremiah 29:11-14 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. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

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 whom God will rescue from captivity and restore their fortunes.

When I think of the word “restoration,” I recall special retreat center where ministers could visit and be refreshed and restored in a healing atmosphere of love and compassion. While visiting this location nestled in the rolling hills of Virginia 10 years ago, I was inspired to write the following expression of what transpired during my visit:

Restoration Rivers

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

  He leads me beside the still waters.

 He restores my soul;

Psalm 23

 

By the still waters, God sat me down, and I wept,

Not in sorrow, but my soul overflowed with joy

When I recalled that He never slumbered nor slept

And what He designed for good nothing can destroy.

I released burdens, and without hesitation

Abba, Father assured me that He sees and cares.

As I wept by the rivers of restoration,

His heart of compassion was touched by fervent prayers.

In the hammock of love, the Spirit cradled me

And caressed my weary mind with a gentle breeze,

As I reflected on this phase of my journey,

While resting under a canopy of oak trees.

Our great Shepherd is faithful and still delivers;

Follow his leading to Restoration Rivers.

The Quote of the Day and its accompanying verses also bring to mind this powerful song restoration by Kevin Levar, “I Will Restore” the perfect way to cap off this blog entry:

Our redeemer still lives

April 29, 2016

Job 19.25-26

The Verse of the Day for April 29, 2016 comes from Job 19:25 (KJV):

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth

This verse refers to the concept of “redeemer,” one who exercises the right of redemption. The act of redeeming literally means  “to purchase out, buy up;  buy out of the hands of a person; to set free; to buy off, to secure for oneself or one’s own use; to buy up from the power or possession of any one.” According to the King James Dictionary, to be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, to be made holy, to be freed, adopted, and reconciled to God.

This often quoted passage with its reference to redeemer also brings to mind that as believers we have been redeemed or purchased back from hand of the enemy by Christ Jesus, who performs the role of a Kinsman Redeemer. A previous blog entry which is modified and re-posted below introduced this prototype.

This heroic figure is foreshadowed in the Book of Ruth, where a male relative assumes the responsibility to act on behalf of a family member who is in danger or trouble or in need of vindication.

A scripture memory song describes this Old Testament prototype:

The Kinsman Redeemer, our wonderful savior.

The Kinsman Redeemer, we know that He is able

To restore and to bless, to turn sadness into joy.

When we read the Word of God and learn the truth,

We see that the Kinsman Redeemer was Boaz who married Ruth.

I recall a series of teachings based on the Book of Ruth and some of the lessons to be learned from that amazing love story that reveals the heroic figure of the Kinsman Redeemer. The teachings inspired this poem which the Verse of the Day brought to mind:

Another Lesson from the Book of Ruth

For whatever was thus written in former days was written

for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance

and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might  

hold fast to and cherish hope.

Romans 15:4

In times of crisis when famine engulfs the land,

Those willing to glean, to sacrifice will survive.

Like Ruth, they shall be satisfied and even thrive

To see blessings flow from the Father’s own right hand.

As a Kinsman Redeemer arose to rescue

Two brave women in despair, Naomi and Ruth,

So their example reveals an eternal truth:

What God did then, He does no less for me and you.

Dismissing failures, our Savior ignored each flaw

As he called us by name and set the captives free,

For our redemption canceled any penalty

When he redeemed our souls from the curse of the Law.

Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, still lives.

And through all eternity he endlessly gives.

Heidi French Lovett offers a musical expression of “Jesus our Redeemer”:

The verse from Job also brings to mind George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah, the renowned oratorio based on texts from the King James Version of the Bible. One of the most well-known selections from this frequently performed musical composition is based Job 19:25-26: “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth.”

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

 

Nine directives as to what should be done

January 5, 2016

Isaiah-1--16-17Back by popular demand is the blog entry of a year ago, revised and re-posted below:

The Verse of the Day for January 5, 2016 is from Isaiah 1:16-17 (NLT)

Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Here we find a series of imperatives from the Lord God expressed by Isaiah, the Prophet, given to Judah and Jerusalem. God indicates His displeasure with their offerings and their sacrifices which are no longer acceptable. Recognizing that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, and correction,” here we find a series of corrective measures that should be implemented. We can arrange the series of commands into nine directives as to what should be done. According to E.W. Bullinger, the number nine represents judgment which certainly comes into play in this series.

1) Wash yourselves

Three of the purification rituals practiced in Judaism include ablutions or washings: Washing of the hands, (2) washing of the hands and feet, and (3) immersion of the whole body in water. God’s desire is for “clean hands and a pure heart” among his people.

2) Be clean

God’s intention is that His people “clean up their acts” and “come clean.”While not found in Scripture, the reminder that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is certainly applicable with this directive from God.

3)  Get your sins out of my sight.

Followers of God are also commanded to “put away your evil ways. As the King James puts it, ”Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes.” In other words, “Give up your evil ways.” Even more colloquially, it is as if God is saying, “Get out of my face with your lowdown evil ways.”

4) Give up your evil ways

This command brings to mind a comment from writer John Bunyan, who recognizes that individuals must become guardians of “every gate that opens in our heart.” Howard Morgan speaks of “gates” in this way: “They are the places that we have to monitor diligently so that we allow only that which is positive and healthy into our lives.” Three such gates are the “ear gate,” “eye gate,” and “mouth gate.” The picture of the three wise monkeys also comes to mind to remind us that we must consciously seek to “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.” In the case of the passage from Isaiah, we should “do no evil” as well. Bluntly put, “Give up your evil ways.”

5) Learn to do good

This term brings to mind a similar exhortation from Galatians 6:10:

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We have a choice to do good or to do evil, but the Word of God reminds us that despite the sinful nature of humanity, our ultimate purpose is to do good:

Ecclesiastes 3:12:

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

 This reminder to do good is echoed in the words of John Wesley, who said:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

6) Seek justice

In addition, Isaiah instructs readers to “seek judgment” which is also translated “seek justice” in some instances. The Verse of the Day from yesterday, Micah 6:8 also uses a similar expression: “to do what is right” or “except to be just” or “to do justly.” The concept of “justice” (Hebrew, mishpat, with the related verb shaphat, “do justice”) occurs throughout the Old Testament.

7) Help the oppressed

This exhortation is to “cease the oppression and provide relief for the oppressed.” God’s desire is to “let the oppressed go free.” Psalm 103:6 states: The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” Similarly the people of God are not to impose further oppression upon the oppressed, but they are to seek to “relieve the oppressed.”

8) Defend the cause of orphans

God, who is described as “father to the fatherless,” encourages followers to “defend the rights of the fatherless” or “hear the fatherless in right judgment”; this directive is also expressed in this way: “defend orphans in court, take up the cause of the orphan!”

9) Fight for the rights of widows

Another descriptor of God speaks of His being “husband to the widow,” whereby He makes known His concern for the woman who has neither husband nor support. The exhortation is to “plead the widow’s cause, plead the widow’s case or plead for the widow.” This idea is also expressed this way: “Defend the rights of the widow! Plead the case of widows and protect the widow.”

According to James Limburg, in this final section of the passage Isaiah calls his hearers to be an advocate for those without power or the powerless: meaning the widow (who has no husband), the orphan (who has no parents) and the poor (who have no money).

While this passage is not specifically addressed to believers today, we can certainly learn about God’s expectations for His people. We are reminded:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).

In response to the directives set forth in the passage from Isaiah 1, our heart’s desire is to please God at all times, as Jonathan Nelson sings, we also say, “Yes, Lord.”

Plans for good and not for disaster

October 13, 2015

Jeremiah-29-11Revised and re-posted below is the Verse of the Day for October 13, 2015:

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

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.

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

The New Living Testament renders the passage 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.

14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

In reflecting on this familiar passage from the Old Testament, I thought of a statement made by Apostle Eric Warren, who mentioned, “Everything God gives you is to prepare you for your next assignment.” His statement has particular significance during this period of transition where find ourselves.

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 29:11-14 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

The Lord will work out his plans for my life

June 29, 2015

Psalm 138--8The Verse of the Day for June 29, 2015 reveals the Psalmist’s confident expectations toward God along with a personal request:

The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

The rendering of the verse in the New Living Translation also brings to mind another passage from Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NLT).

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. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

This section of scripture is graphically illustrated in the following video:

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 magnificent 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). The assurance that the Lord will work out his plans for my life, as the Verse of the Day declares, along with the encouraging words of Jeremiah 29:11-14 also inform 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