The Lord Had Him Set Me Free

Jeremiah 40:1, “I was led away in chains along with the people of Judah and Jerusalem who were being taken to Babylonia. Nebuzaradan was the officer in charge of the guard, and while we were stopped at Ramah, the Lord had him set me free.”

Jeremiah recognized only God could set him free. Notice he did not say, “Nebuzaradan set me free. ”

 

The Fish in the River

Ezekiel 29:4, “I will put a hook in your jaw and pull you out of the water, and all the fish in your river will stick to your scaly body.” CEV

“All the fish in your river will stick to your scaly body: All the king’s officials will be removed from power and destroyed along with the king himself.” CEV Bible Notes

September, 2014 Readings

• 1 – Jeremiah 41-44
• 2 – Ezekiel 32, 33
• 3 – Ezekiel 34-36
• 4 – Ezekiel 37-39
• 5 – Ezekiel 40-42
• 6 – Ezekiel 43-45
• 7 – Ezekiel 46-48
• 8 – Daniel 7, 8, 5
• 9 – Daniel 9, 11
• 10 – Daniel 6; Ezra 1, 2
• 11 – Psalms 119
• 12 – Ezra 3-5; Haggai 1; Psalms 85
• 13 – Haggai 2; Zechariah 1-4
• 14 – Zechariah 5-9
• 15 – Zechariah 10-14
• 16 – Joel 1-3; Daniel 10
• 17 – Daniel 12; Isaiah 44, 45
• 18 – Ezra 6; Psalms 73, 81, 87, 107
• 19 – Psalms 111-115, 120-122, 125, 126, 129, 130, 135
• 20 – Psalms 136, 137; Esther 1-3
• 21 – Esther 4-8
• 22 – Esther 9, 10; Ezra 7, 8
• 23 – Ezra 9, 10; Nehemiah 1, 2
• 24 – Nehemiah 3-7
• 25 – Nehemiah 11, 12; Psalms 91, 92, 146
• 26 – Psalms 147-150; Nehemiah 8, 9
• 27 – Nehemiah 10, 13; Malachi 1, 2
• 28 – Malachi 3, 4; 1 Chronicles 1-3
• 29 – 1 Chronicles 4-6
• 30 – 1 Chronicles 7-9; Psalms 134

Even at the Darkest Moments…There is Hope

Lamentations 2:21-26, “Then I remember something that fills me with hope. The Lord’s kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed. The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. Deep in my heart I say, ‘The Lord is all I need; I can depend on him!’ The Lord is kind to everyone who trusts and obeys him. It is good to wait patiently for the Lord to save us.” CEV

At the worst time in the history of the Jews, in the middle of a book of Lamentations, these verses speak of the hope we have in God.

Let Out of Prison

Four men ruled during the invasion and occupation of King Nebuchadnezzar:

  1. Jehoiakim, 2 Kings 23:36-24:7.
  2. Jehoiachin, 2 Kings 24:8-17.
  3. Zedekiah, 2 Kings 24:18-25:21.
  4. Gedaliah, 2 Kings 25:22-26.

Two died in prison, one was murdered, (Gedaliah), and the fourth was set free after 37 years.

Jehoiachin disobeyed the Lord, just like Jehoiakim and Zedekiah. Yet, when King Nebuchadnezzar came to the city he surrendered immediately, 2 Kings 24:12. The other two resisted.

2 Kings 25:27, “Jehoiachin was a prisoner in Babylon for thirty-seven years. Then Evil-Merodach became king of Babylonia, and in the first year of his rule, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, he let Jehoiachin out of prison.”

In a prison?

Surrender to God…and never give up hope!

 

 

Someday, I Will Bring Your People Back

“Battle of Verdun hero Marshall Foch observed, ‘There are no hopeless situations: there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.’ Maintaining hope comes from seeing the potential in every situation and staying positive despite circumstances.” Developing the Leaders Around You, John C. Maxwell

Psalms 66:11, “You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.”

If God brought us in, he can bring us out of any prison or circumstance.

Psalms 142:7, “Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.”

Jeremiah 48:46, “People of Moab, you worshiped Chemosh, your god, but now you are done for, and your children are prisoners in a foreign country. Yet someday, I will bring your people back home. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

 

Ask Me

Ten years ago, the doctor said there was nothing more he could do. He sent me home and told me to avoid allergens. On Labor Day weekend, I moved my office home and was housebound for 87 days while my body healed.

Three years later, I stepped down from my job as administrator of the Fairfield Foursquare Church and bookkeeper of Agapeland Preschool and Childcare Center.

The following May, they took the only antihistamine that worked for me off of the market. It looked like being housebound was permanent.

I asked God if it was, and if not, how long. He said, “Three years.”

At the end of 2010, I was sitting at a potluck, (honoring Dean & Nellie Oosthoek and Betty Leafgreen), when God clearly told me it would be the last time I attended the Foursquare Church.

I couldn’t believe it, I thought I heard wrong. But, early in 2011, God directed David to visit the Faith Christian Outreach Church Satellite here in Fairfield.

In July, 2011, I started sneaking into church at FCOC…when I was not on Prednisone. I went early, wore a mask, scarf, large glasses, and sat alone in the balcony to avoid crowds. I was one of the last ones out the door because I had to wait while the drums were torn down and loaded in the van.

Over the last 3 years, I have been taking “babysteps” of faith…like sneaking into church…and gained freedom one step at a time.

Three weeks ago, I called the doctor because I was doing another round of Prednisone and had to spend the first week in the house. I asked if I was still restricted.

I heard the most wonderful words, “There are no restrictions on your chart!” I am normally restricted from the time Ragweed blooms until we get a killing frost…that was 104 days in 2011.

Since then, I have been going out, (without a mask, glasses or scarf), to church, worship practice and even shopping!

I spent the first three years knocking on a door God had closed. I cannot wait for heaven. I will be with all the people I love from the Foursquare Church, my new friends that I love from FCOC, and my friends from the churches of my childhood.

If you want to know your future, all you have to do is ask.

Jeremiah 37:7, “…Zedekiah, you wanted Jeremiah to ask me, the Lord God of Israel, what is going to happen. So I will tell you…”

I was sitting at my kitchen table yesterday writing, when God reminded me of a particularly hectic time when I was working at the Foursquare Church. I was on an IRS deadline and was struggling with concentration as the childcare center was active, full and noisy. My boss sent me home with the laptop for a few hours to finish the report.

I remember thinking, “It’s so peaceful here. I wish I could work here full-time.” God saw the desire of my heart, but knew I could not have it and remain in my current job.

He closed that door and opened the door to writing blogs. His plan was better than anything I could ask, think or imagine, (see Ephesians 3:20)!

Go Out and Surrender

Our tendency is to stay in a protected, familiar place, thinking we are safe. But the only safe place to be is in the center, of the center, of God’s will.

To truly live, we must go out and surrender to God’s will.

Jeremiah 21:9, “The Babylonian army has surrounded Jerusalem, so if you want to live, you must go out and surrender to them. But if you want to die because of hunger, disease, or war, then stay here in the city.”

One Morning…as Usual

Last night we received word that David’s cousins’ wife lost her battle to cancer. They lived so far away that we didn’t even get to meet her.

But, if Eric loved her, we would have loved her. We are grateful there are CD’s and artwork that she left behind. We can still see and hear a part of her heart.

We have no way of knowing which day will be our last. Is there something I should finish today?

Ezekiel experienced the suddenness of death in today’s verse.

Ezekiel 24:18, “One morning, I was talking with the people as usual, and by sunset my wife was dead…”