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Posts Tagged ‘promises’

This post is part of the Deeply Loved Advent Blog Hop series.

A favorite Advent reflection for me is meditating on the many ways Jesus comes to us:  He comes as the Living Word and the Living Water, as the Way, the Truth and the Life, as the Bread of Life and the Light of the World.  And so much more.

One of my favorite ways that Jesus comes is as the real Promise Keeper.

As I have joined with others in going through advent with the Deeply Loved devotional by Keri Wyatt Kent, I loved stopping at day 11 to “Meditate on the Promises of God. “

I promise

And oh what promises our God has made to us:  forgiveness, a relationship with God, abundant life and eternal life, peace, comfort, hope….

And one more that I love: He hears and answers prayer.

(more…)

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At Rest by Pablo Picasso

REST.

That was my word for this year.

I have prayed, rested, listened, read.  And I am still seeking to discern what all God has been saying to me.

One very tangible outcome of my focus on REST occurred mid-year.  REST became the theme of the annual June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.  For two months leading up to our day on our knees, I wrote mini-devotionals on REST for our community.  I thought I knew where I was going with each one, but God had something specific and different to say with each one.  I have been deeply ministered to by these simple sources of REST.

I am posting the introduction here, followed by links to the other articles.  Though they are written to those who love prodigals, each of us will find REST in these truths.

Take the Day Off

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

Are you tired?  Weary?  Need a break?

When you love a prodigal, it is often easy to say “yes!” to those questions.

Our minds are exhausted trying to know where they are and what they are doing, and striving to find something that works.  Our hearts are so weary from the battle, the confusion, the loss, the fear.  Even our bodies are tired—depleted from conflict, sleep-deprived, worn out from going to and fro looking for help.

God says, “Take the day off.”

He is a fan of rest!  He rested after creating the universe.  He provided a day of rest for us.  In fact, he commanded us to rest—he said everyone in the home, including the animals—needs to take a day off and REST!  He even required that the land get a year off every seven years.

I think God is really serious about REST. And I believe this is the theme he has given us for the 2011 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.  It is just over 9 weeks until June 2—9 weeks for us to prepare to do major battle for our very loved wanderers.

Our first focus will be on finding rest for ourselves—our bodies, our minds, our spirits.  But we will also talk about praying rest for our prodigals.

Just think how weary they must be as they fight against us, against their demons and addictions and against the eternal God.  Perhaps some rest for their souls will give them the will to abandon the fight they have chosen and walk a different path.

Our theme verse is Jeremiah 6:16:  “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Over these next 9 weeks I will send additional thoughts on REST.  Be seeking the Lord for yourself and for your prodigal.

With love and grace,

Judy

Here are the links to the rest of the devotionals on REST:

Rest in His Presence

Rest in Repentance

Rest in Release

Rest in Giving Thanks

Rest on the Right Road

Rest in Obedience

Rest in Perseverance

Rest in the Promises

And finally, here is one more post, previously unpublished:

Rest in Forgiveness

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

I still remember the night he lied to me on his way to spend the night with his girlfriend.

The terrible things he said to me in his great drunkenness.

The night he and his high friends frightened our house guest into her room.

And when he stole from his sister.

The lies, the drinking and drugs, the stealing—they happened a lot.  There were consequences, but there were also God-given grace and mercy.

But those specific events—they have been harder.  I have forgiven them many times.  I put them behind me and move on in peace.  But then something triggers a memory, the pain resurfaces, the anger returns.  And once again I need to consciously extend mercy—I need to forgive.  He, of course, knows nothing of this ongoing battle over past offenses.

Unforgiveness is exhausting.

Eventually our prodigals need to know they are forgiven for all they have done—though usually that need comes after they have made some kind of turn around.  We are the ones who are being worn out and worn down when we are not able to forgive.  But what about consequences?  Yes, there will be consequences.

But we must forgive them—and in that forgiveness we will find rest.

Conflict by definition implies lack of rest.  Conflict, being wronged, the ongoing battle: all of these bring offense, something we hold on to, grievances we embrace.  And that grasping will surely exhaust us.

God has given us the key:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

So, is there something you are holding on to, a wrong from your loved one that you have not forgiven?  Take it to Jesus. Consciously forgive.  Then the door is open for peace.  For conflict to dissipate.  For REST.

In His mercy, Judy

Where have you found rest?

c 2011 Judy Douglass

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This is another in a series of letters to those who have prodigals in their lives.  This is part 10 of the REST theme for this year’s Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals on June 2.

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

God is a promise keeper.

He has invited us to believe Him, to trust that He keeps His word:

…since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.( Hebrews 4:1)


Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.
 (Psalm 119:116)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it like God is keeping his promises.

Unfulfilled promises are exhausting.

A few things we can know:  His answers rarely look like what we had in mind.  His plan is always better.  He is working on us even as he works on our prodigals.  He is up to something bigger and better.  And His timing is never our timing.

Over the years with our prodigal, as I read Scripture and sought the Lord, I claimed promises from God for Josh.  Did God say, “This is a promise for Josh”?  Sometimes.  But usually the Scriptures reflected work God had done in history, or wanted to do in His children.  And I have over many years prayed these for our son.

Have they all come true?  No, but some have.  Are the answers what I imagined? Not usually.  But is there strong evidence of God’s powerful work in His life, along the lines I have prayed?  Oh yes.

There is rest in the Promises of God.

Here are a few of the promises I have prayed and claimed for Josh.  Maybe they will be ones for you to hold on to as well.

Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.  He said to me, “You are my servant,… in whom I will display my splendor.” (Isaiah 49:1,3)

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.  I have summoned you by name.  You are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

I have called you. I have chosen you and not rejected you. I will strengthen you and help you.(Isaiah 41:10)

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees. (Ezekiel 37:6)

I will guide you and satisfy your needs. You will be called repairer of broken walls and restorer of streets with dwellings.(Isaiah 58:11-12)

You can find other promises in God’s Word here.

Our God keeps His Word.  Listen to this promise in 2 Corinthians 1:20:

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.  And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

So rest in His promises.

June 2 will be here in just over a week.  Be praying.  Post names of all wanderers you know who need prayer.  Be inviting others to join with us.  Determine how you should participate on June 2.

So grateful for you and for our faithful Father,

Judy Douglass

For more info on the June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals, write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom.

c 2011 Judy Douglass

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