Hope for Shattered Spirits

 

Lamentations 3:21-31

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

Jeremiah wrote Lamentations (Tears/Wailings in Greek) after personally witnessing the downfall of Judah and the capture of Jerusalem. As his pen so vividly illustrates, His people suffered tragically. God’s fierce judgment crushed them because of their total disregard for His law.

No wonder Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. Broken in heart and spirit, he grieved over this horrific devastation and urged the people to repent of their sins.

As I read this scripture, I imagine witnessing the breakdown of the present day Church!

Picture every vestige and denomination– disgraced beyond imagination and completely broken down because of our sins and idolatry. Reflection would thoroughly rupture every true Christian spirit.  Revival time would be soon upon us; the old-time tent meetings would spread from shore to shore.

I hope and pray we will realize the need to turn our hearts back to God before His wrath is nigh at our door. Lord, have compassion on us as we harken to Christ’s Spirit.  

The Jewish people read Lamentations every year on the commemoration date of the temple’s destruction. Integrating this scriptural reading into our Lenten services perhaps might illicit contrite reflection during that somber season. Our walk with Christ is in dire need of realignment.

“This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope:

Because of the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed; his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.

The Lord is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for a man that he bears the yoke in his youth.

Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it upon him.

Let him put his mouth in the dust, so there may be hope.

Let him give his cheek to him that smites him; he is filled full with reproach.

For the Lord will not cast off forever.”

shalom

Hear ye

Stained Glass Depicting Jesus Christ

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved and Observed.

 

Do you hear him?

Do you feel him?

Do you know him?

Do you love him?

 

No matter who you are

No matter where you live

No matter what you’ve done

No matter what you look like

 

Jesus Christ is calling you

Jesus Christ is seeking you

Jesus Christ is loving you

Jesus Christ is saving you.

 

He is the Son of God

He is the Messiah

He is the Redeemer

He is the Lord and King.

 

Answer his call

Open your heart

Repent of your sins

Receive his forgiveness.

 

Believe he died for your sins

Believe he is the Messiah

Believe he is the Son of God

Believe he is your Lord and King.

 

How about it?

Do you believe . . . in Him?

I’m praying that you do!

Amen

 

Who’s that Knocking at the Door?

Ornate Wooden Door Valencia Church Guanajuato Mexico

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

 Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations (Tears/Wailings in Greek) after personally witnessing the downfall of Judah and the capture of Jerusalem. As his pen so vividly illustrates, His people suffered tragically. God’s fierce judgment crushed them because of their total disregard for His law. No wonder he was called the weeping prophet. Broken in heart and spirit, he grieved over this horrific devastation and urged the people to repent of their sins.

 

As I read this scripture, I imagine witnessing the breakdown of the present day Church! Picture every vestige and denomination– disgraced beyond imagination and completely broken down because of our sins and idolatry. Reflection could thoroughly rupture every true Christian spirit. Revival time would be soon upon us; the old-time tent meetings would spread from shore to shore. I hope and pray we will realize the need to turn our hearts back to God before His wrath is nigh at our door. Lord, have compassion on our souls as we strive to let Christ back into our churches before condemnation comes knocking.

 

The Jewish people read Lamentations every year on the commemoration date of the temple’s destruction. Maybe we ought to integrate this scripture reading into our Lenten services and contrite reflection during that somber season.

Why wait until then? Our walk with Christ is in dire need of realignment now.  How about repentance today?

 

Lamentations 3:21-31

“This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope:

Because of the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed; his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.

The Lord is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for a man that he bears the yoke in his youth.

Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it upon him.

Let him put his mouth in the dust, so there may be hope.

Let him give his cheek to him that smites him; he is filled full with reproach.

For the Lord will not cast off forever.”

AWED

Priest Holding Communion Wafer

 

 

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Holy

  Holy

    Holy

       . . . Is the Lord of Hosts.

 

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The whole earth

    . . . Is full of His Glory.

 

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I saw Jesus!

 

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Woe is me!

I am undone!

A person with unclean lips

Dwelling amidst unclean people!

 

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 I saw Jesus!

 

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King

   . . . Lord of Hosts!

 

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Is. 6:3 & 5

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NaPoWriMo   Day 28

 

© 2013 by Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

Praise Whispers

Family and Friends’ Praise List

©  2013  Jeanne E Webster.   All rights reserved

 Woman whispering in man's ear

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Our Father Who art in heaven. . .

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You are my strength, O God

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What a mighty God you are

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My Father and my God

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I knew you since I was a little girl

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You are the Giver of Hope

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Forgiveness begged; pardon given

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Your love sustains me

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I cling to your promises

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You will never forsake me

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Your mercy and grace overwhelm me

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Your joy and peace flood my soul

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Amen!

Do You Hear Me Now?

©Jeanne E Webster

 

The apostle John announced in his gospel to the early churches this startling declaration: 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Did the ears prick when John first preached these words?  Were the spirits convicted?  Yes, many came to the Lord and received a greater hope of eternal salvation.  Yet there remained many who did not hear, rather they stopped up their ears as they sought after the things of darkness.

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After witnessing a supernatural healing of a lame man, the Jews gathered in amazement around Peter and John, ready to declare them gods.  Peter used this event to present the need for repentance and the presence of the one true God.

Acts 4:12-26   “You men of Israel, why marvel at this?  Why look on us so earnestly, as though we made this man to walk by our own power or holiness?  The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate even though he had decided to release Him. 

You denied the Holy and Just One and desired a murderer to be granted to you instead.  You killed the Prince of life whom God raised from the dead; we witnessed this.

This man who was healed through faith in His name made this man strong, whom you see and know.  Yes, his faith in Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.  Now, brethren, I know you did this through ignorance, and your rulers did the same.   God fulfilled those things He showed by the mouth of all His prophets in times past, that Christ should suffer. 

Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.  He shall send Jesus Christ who was preached to you, whom heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 

For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘A PROPHET SHALL THE LORD YOUR GOD RAISE UP TO YOU OF YOUR BRETHREN, LIKE ME.  LISTEN TO WHATEVER HE HAS TO SAY TO YOU, FOR IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT EVERY SOUL WHICH WILL NOT HEAR THAT PROPHET SHALL BE DESTROYED FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE.’

Yes, all the prophets from Samuel and those that came after him have likewise foretold of these days.  You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant, which God made with our fathers. 

God thus spoke to Abraham, ‘In thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed.’  Unto you first, having raised up His Son Jesus, God sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” 

DO YOU HEAR ME NOW?!

 

No Fooling

 

©Jeanne E Webster

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“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

Decisions—decisions—decisions.  Why are we burdened with “yes or no” answers?  Why can’t we just put aside the undesirable questions?  We can!  But in putting aside the things we dislike, we make a decision just the same.

We cannot be fat and thin at the same time; we cannot go east and west at the same time.  We must make decisions one way or the other.  It is the same with God.  Peace with Him is impossible unless we make a decision.  Either we are for Him or we are against Him.

Henry Van Dyke’s story, The Mansion, has a very accurate commentary on this topic.  “The rich man had his mansion on earth but when he reached heaven he only had a tiny hut.  The poor man found to his surprise that he had a mansion in heaven.  Why?  He had forwarded all the necessary materials.”

Earthly Wealth or Heavenly Wealth—the issue cannot be straddled or evaded.  Our lives must find its mastery, and you and I must make the decision.    ~Bill Webster

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My father wrote the above story many years ago; I found it the other day while rummaging through papers.   Rereading it brought back so many memories, some of them I’m ashamed to relate.  Dad was my best friend and mentor and God used him to redirect my path in life.  I was struggling with a difficult marriage and a past-embittered divorce, all the while seeking to keep my head and spirit above water.  God used my dad to gather me into the fold, slowly but oh so gently. 

Leaning toward repentance yet staying my sight on my practice of swearing and cussing, I so badly wanted to please Dad with the idea that he helped save me from hell.  Whenever I was around him, I was most careful not to cuss and to keep my spirit clear of anger and bitterness.  Looking back now, I see that I was rebelling at the losses I had incurred in my young adult life.   My first marriage bit the dust after only 8 years; my second had a good 15 years under my belt but was certainly floundering at best.

Dad and I would read the Bible most every day over the phone and gradually I sensed the anger and rage within my heart receding slowly, my life was becoming nicer and more fulfilling.  Yet the need to swear during certain situations continued, and I tried my best to keep it from Dad.   I felt I was doing him a favor if he thought he had changed my heart attitude.  But he saw through this charade and one day told me I surely had to change if I was truly repentant of my sins.  “Jeanne, you may be able to fool me, but you will never fool God.”

To tell you the truth, I was ready!  I was so tired of having to be so careful around Dad, I was getting aggravated at myself.  I realized I had to make a decision here.  I had a little talk with Jesus one day and told Him about my decision.  I told him I wanted to change but it was so hard.  Habits are always hard to break.  I remember I told Him I loved Him and wanted to be used by Him in the lives of others.  That was it. 

A funny thing happened—swearing was no more.  Jesus took it from my heart.  It was gone.  The desire had flown the coop and my heart was set free.  I was trying so hard to quit but using only my strength, not His.  His strength worked overnight.  Thank you, Lord.    You are my Master now, not anger or bitterness.  Love and peace and joy fill my spirit and there’s no room for the wild and woolly rantings anymore.  My burden was lifted and Jesus filled my soul.  Amen!