Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah’

Let’s Start Over!

Jan 09

by Victoria Robinson

In the beginning … ahhh those famous first words recorded in the book of Genesis. Beginnings so often start with a sense of great hope and wonderment. This was the fresh starts of all fresh starts. A blank canvas with limitless possibilities. Girlfriends, don’t you just love a fresh start? A chance to begin anew with no past mistakes. There are times when we just need to start over.

Spiritually speaking, a new beginning is found in the book of John. That new beginning is found in putting our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The apostle Paul spoke of this transforming faith in the book of Titus. he said, “… a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time …” Acknowledging that a new life is only possible through Jesus Christ is the only way to have a fresh start. In fact, Jesus said to a man named Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Born again—let’s start over! If this is your desire, click on this Heaven link and learn more. Heaven

If you already have a relationship with Jesus Christ then you surely know what a wonderful feeling it is to be able to “wipe the slate clean” and start over. King David came to a place in his life when he desperately needed to start over. Troubles surrounded him due to his disintegration into a sinful life. The enemy of his soul had enticed him to indulge in lustfully gazing upon a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. This led to sleeping with her apart from marriage as set forth in the Word of God. Once it becomes known to him that Bathsheba is pregnant, we see the actions of a desperate man. So panicked by his circumstances that he engaged in a murderous plot to kill Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. If ever a person needed to start over it was King David.

The good news is David repented and turned his heart back to the Lord. David’s fresh start resulted in the Lord speaking these kind words about him after his departure from this world, “… walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness …”

King David whose life was ravaged by his sinful choices, but who got a fresh start from the heavenly Father, has been memorialized by the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus.  He wrote, “David was truly a man after God’s own heart.”

This is an encouraging story when we reach a point in our life where we need a new beginning. If that is where you are today, then praying the very words King David prayed after he repented are appropriate. In the book of Psalms David wrote, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Near the end of Lamentations, a book of poetry written to lament the destruction of Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah makes a plea to the Lord. He says, “Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start.” What a wonderful way to cry out to the Lord when we have a remorseful heart and want to start over!

Dearest girlfriends, let us turn our hearts towards our heavenly Father and receive a new beginning.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~ Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-2,14 NIV
 
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, ~ Titus 1:1-2 NIV
 
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ~ John 3:1-6 NIV
 
… walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness … ~ 1 Kings 9:4 NKJV
 
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, …  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:1-4,7-12 NIV
 
Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start. ~ Lamentations 5:21 CEV

Spinning Into a Beautiful Creation

Jan 09

by Victoria Robinson

Spinning out of control is scary. Oddly enough, our heavenly Father, being the great artist He is, likes to put us on a potter’s wheel and spin us around and around until He shapes us into a beautiful creation. Originally pottery pots and jars were made with built up coils of clay smoothed and shaped by hand. I picture this as gently shaping the clay into what one desires. Then there came a “slow wheel” which was a small flat disk on a spindle, with a larger stone disk on the other end. It was spun by hand as the potter alternated between keeping the wheel in motion and shaping the clay. Still sounds fairly gentle. But hold on girlfriends, there is also the “fast wheel”. This had two wheels, one above the other, with an axle joining them. The potter sat on a bench and turned the lower wheel with his feet. This way, he could keep it going rapidly, yet still have both hands free to shape the clay on the upper wheel.¹

Our heavenly Potter oftentimes has to employ the use of the “fast wheel”. Sounds dizzying doesn’t it? Jeremiah visited a potter at his wheel. He compared the potter who molds his clay to God who has the power to mold the nation of Israel. While being shaped and molded is uncomfortable, it is futile and wrong to argue with the Potter about how He is molding and shaping us. Dearest girlfriends, let us rest in the comfort of the knowledge that all the discomfort of “spinning on the Potter’s wheel” will result in us becoming a more beautiful creation.

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. ~ Jeremiah 18:1-6 NIV

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ … ~ Isaiah 45:9 NIV

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? ~ Romans 9:20-21 NIV

¹Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Ironing the Wrinkles Out of Life

Dec 21

by Victoria Robinson

I love the scent, feel, and perfection of freshly starched and ironed linens. At my home that would usually indicate that preparations are in full swing for a dinner party. My favorite tablecloth is a white linen Battenberg lace with matching napkins. I also love folding napkins into beautiful shapes which requires plenty of starch! It is a tedious labor of love to iron out each and every wrinkle. Likewise, it can also be  a tedious process to iron out the wrinkles of our lives.

Oh how I wish my life was always freshly starched without wrinkles. However, that is not the case in any of our lives. As long as we are residing  here in this imperfect world, there will be problems. Ironing those problems out is sometimes as painful as the thought of using a hot steam iron on our lives. Yet, take heart girlfriends, your heavenly Father has a “divine iron” that can smooth out the wrinkles of your life. Jeremiah eloquently says “‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, … Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”

The Lord’s desire is to present us in perfection on the day of salvation. He wants us to be without any wrinkles or blemishes. That day will happen, but until then, would you allow your heavenly Father the joy of taking out the wrinkles of your life. No matter what problems you are dealing with, there is a divine way for the Lord to smooth everything out.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray that we would trust in our heavenly Father to smooth out the wrinkles in our lives.

… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. ~ Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV
 
‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. ~ Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV
 
… He will make the darkness bright before them and smooth and straighten out the road ahead. He will not forsake them. ~ Isaiah 42:16 TLB 
 
The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth. ~ Isaiah 26:7 NIV

Seeking Restoration

Sep 28

by Victoria Robinson

Ever felt destitute because the enemy has ravaged your life? This is how Jeremiah felt in the book of Lamentations. He said there was “no one to restore my spirit.” Is there any hope for all you have lost? Regardless of what has caused your need for restoration, God is there for you. Sometimes as in the case of the Israelites, your destruction is the result of sin. Other times it can be like the story of Job, where you have not sinned, and by God’s divine providence, destruction has come in your life.

Obviously if you have sinned you need to have a change of heart and ask God for forgiveness. This will not always insure restoration, as in the case of the Israelites refusing to enter the promised land and then having a change of heart. God warned them not to go. He made it clear through Moses that they would perish if they pressed on. The foolish ones went ahead and suffered the consequences. Even if God does not choose to restore all you have lost, the only way to have your best life now is through repentance.

If your situation is like Job’s, then you need to press on in prayer and pleadings to God for restoration. Remember, God’s view is eternal not temporal. Even if restoration does not take place until the other side of eternity, do not let the enemy turn your heart against God. It might just be that God does have restoration for you right here on earth. The book of Joel says God would restore the years the locust had devoured Israel. Remember moaning and lamenting will only prolong God’s rescue for you. If you have experienced loss because someone has wronged you, then put that aside today by forgiving them, and pray for God to bless them, as bitterness will hinder you from receiving restoration from God.

There is one type of restoration I believe God wants for all who need it. That is the restoration of the joy of salvation. If you have lost your joy, then pray right now for God to restore that in your life. Never give up praying for restoration, even if it takes years. God is most interested in your heart being turned to Him. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek God’s restoration for our lives.

“This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.” ~ Lamentations 1:16
 
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. ~ Joel 2:25-26
 
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” … After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. ~ Job 1:8-12, 42:10
 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:12