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A Captive No More!

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Jeremiah 29:11 is probably one of the most quoted verses in the whole Bible. While I love what verse 11 says to us, it says so much more if we take the time to read just a few more verses. The context of this entire chapter is very important for us to understand. The whole chapter was actually written to a broken and defeated Israel. Because they chose to live life without honoring God, He allowed the entire nation of Israel to be taken into captivity. After spending almost seventy years in this captivity, the Lord sends a word to them through Jeremiah the Prophet. In this beautiful, grace-filled prophetic Word from God, He promises Israel a great and prosperous future.

At this point, you might be asking: “What does this have to do with me?” The answer to that question is EVERYTHING! You see, we were all held in the captivity of sin and lostness. When, by the mercy and grace of God, we have released from our captivity; the same promise that applies to Israel also applies to us in this verse. He is reminding us that we really do matter to Him. He is letting us know that He is available to us. He reminds- ing us that we have not only a future but one filled with hope. He is letting us know that when we call on Him in prayer, He will listen.

He is letting us know that when we seek Him, we will find Him. In short, His heart for us to live not in captivity; but freedom. He reminds us that in that freedom we can go to Him for anything and everything. He is proving once again that He is faithful beyond our imagination and that He isn’t a God who will hold our past failures over our heads. Instead, He will walk with us every step of our journey if we will only seek Him. That, my friends, is some AMAZING NEWS.

"For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 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. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity..." Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NKJV)

Posted by Mike Devine with
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Behold the Beauty of the Lord

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Last Sunday as we were beginning our time in worship, as we do almost every week, we shared a Psalm to encourage us to get our focus on our Father. The Psalm we chose last week was the first four verses of Psalm 27. The interesting part about that being the Psalm we chose was that both Aaron and I were led to this very Psalm that morning. You see, usually, I come in early on Sunday morning and read through some Psalms until I come to the one I feel led to read that particular week. Last week in second service I was in charge of our quarterly baptisms and I asked Aaron to read the Psalm.

He had no idea that I had left one on the podium for him to share. Aaron, not knowing that I had left him one to share, decided to pick one to read. When he got to the podium, he noticed that I had left him one to read. To his surprise, it was the very one he had chosen as well; Psalm 27. The Father must have really had that Psalm in mind for us last week. As we examine it closer, it is easy to see why it is undoubtedly one we both love.

            It’s a Psalm that reminds us that God is our salvation. Since that truth is clearly evident, we have nothing to fear. It reminds us that He is the strength of our life. It reminds us that even when the enemy comes against us with discouragement and war, we still should have no fear. It finally reminds us of the value of pursuing Him. David said it best when he says, “One thing that I have desired of the Lord is that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” What does that mean? Simply put, it means that He must be our “ONE THING.” He must be the thing we choose to never live without.

He must be One we go to first and the One we go to often. When we choose Him to be our “ONE THING,” we are allowed to behold His beauty. We are allowed to peek into His wonder. We are allowed to hope. We are allowed to see Him for Who He is and this makes all of life doable. Just knowing we have Him gives us victory in every circumstance and situation. May He always be our “ONE THING!”

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27:1-4

Posted by Mike Devine with

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