Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Restore’

All Gone

At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

~~ II Kings 24:10-12 (KJV)

This reading talks about the greatest dispersion of the children of Israel. King Nebuchadnezzar took prisoner all the assets of Judah.

He took the king, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and all the officials. He took the gold implements and treasures from the temple. He took all the fighting men in the army. And he took all the craftsmen and artisans.

Nebuchadnezzar took control of the ruler and the political structure. So the civil authority was under Nebuchadnezzar’s control.

He took all the gold implements for worship from the temple of Solomon. And the religious activity was under his control.

He took all seven thousand of the army, so there was no military force for him to contend with.

And he took all the craftsmen and artisans.

Whoa! Why would he want the artisans and craftsmen?

Our God is a creator. He gave man the gift of creativity. That creativity is most active and expressed in the work of artisans and craftsmen. But when these artisans and craftsmen create, they sometimes reflect the root of God that is in them. Their works point to the greatness of God.

But Nebuchadnezzar didn’t want the people of Judah remembering their God or continuing to worship Him. Therefore he took all the craftsmen so that they would be occupied only with the commissioned pieces that Nebuchadnezzar wanted made. They had no artistic freedom to create their pieces as God inspired. And there was no one left in Judah to create either.

He left only the poorest people of the land, those without money – and perhaps without talents or skills. He robbed the land of those who could make it shine – who had the heart and the wherewithal to make things better.

But God had promised that Judah will be restored.

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.   ~~  Jeremiah 30:17 (KJV)

And it was so.

Our nation today is being usurped by the forces of evil. We have watched as the government is being taken over by lying, cheating, immorality and general evil.

Churches are being forbidden to speak the truth of God in fear of an accusation of bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and hate.

And creativity has been lured away by the phantom of riches and fame which have been usurped by wickedness in all its forms.

We must remember that God can restore, but we must do our part to speak out, to let our voices be heard, to quit cowering before the assumed powers of the world.

We need to remember that God is sovereign.

No matter what the world may take from you, God can restore. Nebuchadnezzar took it all, intending to wipe out Judah entirely — but God restored.

Father, God,

No matter what the world does to us, remind us that You are the restorer. You can take the broken heart and heal it. You can take the ruined family and restore it. You can take the broken spirit and help it soar and sing. Help us to soar and sing Your praises at all times, no matter what else is happening around us.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Confession Is Good For The Soul

Focus verses: Psalm 32

Did you ever keep a guilty secret? Were you in constant fear of being found out?

David knows how you feel. Listen to his descriptions. “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.”  A guilty secret eats at your inmost being.

David knows the heaviness of God’s hand upon him. His little escapade with Bathsheba put him at odds with the Lord. When he discovered that illicit liaison was producing a child he connived first to deceive Uriah and then to have him killed.

He sinned against Bathsheba and against Uriah.  But David realized that his sin was against God and confessed that and was restored.

When we find our selves distant from God, we need to examine ourselves – and make confession – and be restored to His good graces.

Father, God,

Help us to keep short accounts with our consciences and with you. Be quick to show us the errors of our ways so that we can confess our sins and be reconciled to you.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

The Messianic Promise

Focus verses: Jeremiah 31:29-37

Today’s reading is full of promise – and personal accountability. After the diaspora, God is going to restore Israel and Judah to the land of Canaan where He planted them in the first place.

This is to be a new covenant, not the same one He made with Abraham, nor the one He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.

This covenant is no longer about ritual and sacrifice. It is about knowing Him. Each person is to have a personal relationship with Him.

They will all know me from the least of them to the greatest.

And He promises forgiveness, no longer remembering their sins. The descendants of Israel will only cease to be a nation in the eyes of the Lord if all the other things He created vanish from His sight. This means He has decreed Israel to be a nation in perpetuity.

The rest of us are wild shoots, grafted onto the cultivated plant. In effect, we are part of Israel and Judah – by God’s grace. Let us never forget the root that nourishes us. Let us remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Father, God,

We thank You for the grace with which you bestow Your blessings upon all those who believe in You. We are grateful for Your sending us Your Son that we might be reconciled to You. And we thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit through Whom we can know You better, more intimately.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Abandonment

Focus verses: I Kings 6:11-13

God promises Solomon that He will never abandon His people Israel. What a wonderful assurance!

When we believe in God and follow His precepts, God will not abandon us. However, when we abandon God, He allows us to reap the fruit of our own actions. It may feel like He is far away, but He never moves. We do.

Our closeness with God depends on our being faithful to His commands, singing His praises, and watching for the signs of His presence in our lives.

When we find ourselves drifting away, we can do one of two things. We can continue to drift like so much flotsam, or we can turn back to Him. He is faithful and unchanging. We’re the fickle and flighty ones.

He waits for us with open arms, eager to restore us to His favor. We need not disappoint Him.

Father, God,

Thank You for remaining faithful to us, even when we are errant children. We are grateful for Your forgiving heart. Help us to remain steadfast in our love for You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.