Into the Wilderness

Do you ever find yourself in a wilderness and wonder how in the world you got there? I’ve always been intrigued by this passage (Hosea 2:14-15.)

God’s people had been unfaithful. They had continually turned their backs and chased after false gods. They did not acknowledge all that God had provided. The people suffer for it all.

Then, God says, ”I will bring my people into the wilderness.” He will ”speak tenderly” to them there. It will be a place of hope. They will respond as they did when they were first set free.

Do you see it? The wilderness wasn’t a place of punishment. It was a chance for the people to reconnect with their God, to restore their hope, and to renew their faith.

How many of us have been guilty of chasing things/people/accomplishments instead of God? How many times do we fail to show gratitude for the things God has graciously provided? Perhaps, if we look around and see wilderness, God is wooing us away to reconnect.

#wordbeforeworld #wilderness #bible #hosea #gospel #jesus #mysisterskeeper

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This I Know

Our hope comes from what we know. Not what we feel. Not what we see. Not what someone else has said. We are far too free with words like hope and love.

I hope I am good enough. 👈 This means I’m hoping in myself.

I hope he or she likes/accepts/chooses me. 👈This places our hope in someone else.

I hope this works out the way I want. I hope I get that job/spouse/thing. I hope the doctor is wrong. I hope the doctor is right. 👈This places our hope in our circumstances.

My favorite psalm is Psalm 56. The writer feels lost, afraid, oppressed, sad, attacked. Can you relate? Have you ever been overlooked, uninvited, rejected, misunderstood, forgotten, abandoned, anxious, overwhelmed? 🙋‍♀️

There is hope. But it isn’t found in our feelings. It isn’t seen in our circumstances.

This I know… (Psalm 56:9)

Our hope is found in what we know. And the psalmist knew that God was for him.

Whatever you have going on today – whatever the new week brings – whatever pain you are trying to process – whatever loss still lingers – God is for you.

#wordbeforeworld #psalms #hope #bible #mysisterskeeper #eatthisbook

F260 Bible Reading: Genesis 22

”And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:18

As parents, we want to do right by our children. As individuals, we want to make a difference in our world. As Christ followers, we want to do big things for God.

Abraham did do right by his children, make a difference in the world, and have a huge impact on the Kingdom. And it wasn’t by being wealthy or famous or quick with a clever phrase. He didn’t have the most followers or the biggest group of friends or the nicest home.

He obeyed God.

And God blessed him for it. And God blessed his offspring for it. And God blessed the world for it.

Do you want your children, grandchildren, etc. to be blessed? Do you want to make a difference in your world? Do you want to help grow the Kingdom?

Obey God. It is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13.)

#biblejournaling #bible #god #biblejournalingcommunity #f260 #obeygod #wordbeforeworld #mysisterskeeper

F260 Bible Plan: Job 1-2

We live in this world where it’s so easy to send a quick, virtual message to someone grieving. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for it. When distance or circumstances prevent us from being there in person.

But, I just wonder, if it has become our go to method for comforting others and would this be what Scripture means by “mourn with those who mourn?”

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that we don’t know “the rest of the story.” You know, when Job’s friends finally open their mouths and mess everything up. Let’s give them credit for getting it right in the beginning. 😉

When they hear of what has happened to their friend, they do several things right.

👉They show up. Like in person. IRL as we would say today. They made plans. Made arrangements. Left things undone at home.

👉They spend time. It wasn’t a drive by. It wasn’t a pop in for a minute so you can say you went. It was an oh my, this is awful, I’m going to sit in the ashes with you for seven days and seven nights because I am devastated at what has happened to you.

👉They sit in silence. Seven days and seven nights of silence. Why? ”Because they saw that his suffering was great.” Silence is okay, possibly even preferred, when the wounded one has your presence.

One final thought – notice that grief changes people. It changes them physically (Job 2:12 / Ruth 1:19.) But it also changes them in ways not so readily recognized. We must be gentle with the mourning – allowing them to find their new normal, not rushing the grieving process, not expecting them to be the same person they were before.

#biblejournaling #biblejournalingcommunity #bible #god #job #f260 #mysisterskeeper #grief #mourning

F260 Bible Plan: Genesis 8-9

I once had the privilege of typing the letters of a pastoral giant of a man. All these years later, I still remember and repeat much of his wisdom.

Once, he was responding to a gentleman who wanted to know if he should leave his place of employment for another and he listed the potential benefits of the new position.

My boss’ response was, “Has God told you to move?” In essence, he told the young man to always stay put until God has made it clear that you are to move.

God tells Noah to enter the ark and Noah does. And, then, silence for a year. He doesn’t move again until he hears the Lord say it’s time and, in between, he simply waited. Actually, Scripture says “he waited” and “then he waited” some more.

What are some of the reasons we want to “move?” Maybe whatever place we find ourselves is difficult. Perhaps we’re bored. Always the grass is greener. We could likely list a number of potential benefits to changing our current location/situation/occupation, etc.

The only thing that matters, however, is whether or not God has called us to move.

The prophet Isaiah describes the guidance of the Holy Spirit in a believer like this: And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21.)

Let’s practice the art of waiting well and being still so that we are rested and ready when the Lord says, “Go.”

#biblejournaling #biblejournalingcommunity #bible #god #f260 #thegogospel #GOspel