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Friday, September 28, 2018

Heirs: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Heirs


For which inheritance

do we build for ourselves

for our children

do we strive for present bounty

filling coffers of ownership

despite no guarantees

from disasters, failures, wars, barriers

dashing hopes and dreams into dust.


Forget that another legacy is

deeded to each individual

from every generation a

destiny of promises

for restoration

do we accept discernment

for today’s challenges

do we see beyond crushing darkness.


For timeless light

delivered by grace

paid into hope

on His word

rescued one by one

shall return.


Romans 8: 17, “And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Reflection: Shall Return: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1.     What inheritance from your family have you most cherished?

2.     What inheritance have you most been plagued or challenged to change?

3.     How does this promise of hope in the future resonate for you for your loved ones?

4.     Where do you need prayer for the Lord to intervene?



Monday, September 24, 2018

Shall Return: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 17, “‘And there is hope for your future,’ declares the Lord, ‘And your children shall return to their own territory.’”


Shall return.

Each child shall be restored. Each brought into their own personal territory.

Despite our family failures, misguided pursuits, shallow heritage. Or successes that blinds us all to what real hope means.

To each generation will be given the costly gift of grace—the truth spoken into each heart. No matter how we may have muddled words or worship. Or brought ourselves into worldly lies.

His promise continues to stand into eternity even if we don’t see the return in our lifetimes.

He will guide our focus and prayers to this hope in all times through the power of the Holy Spirit. He does not leave us alone in confusion and uncertainty.

Please forgive us Lord for the many ways we have failed to pass on to our children the inheritance that really matters. Even in our weakness and silence please still speak into their hearts that they will not be turned from You because of our failures. Redeem us all by Your grace. We pray as Your children who have strayed in darkness.


Your thoughts,

Friday, September 21, 2018

Shall Be Rewarded: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Shall Be Rewarded


Work done

will see completion

whether or not

we will be present

yet to know

years of commitment

yearning for fruit’s

yield shall be

rewarded by time

restoration to hope

revealing hidden truths

ready to return

restrain from weeping.


Romans 8:16, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reflection: Restrain: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What do you consider to be the most important work in your life?

2.     How do you define your heart’s work?

3.     What kind of reward do you expect from the Lord?

4.     Are you willing to persevere without seeing the end result? Why or why not?



Monday, September 17, 2018

Restrain: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31: 16, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Restrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded,’ declares the Lord, ‘And they shall return from the land of the enemy.’”

Shall be rewarded.

Have you ever felt like you are working in a fog, not sure of the reason or the purpose?

When we are uncertain of our direction we can also wonder if we are following the Lord’s plan, or path, or purpose for us. Apathy, indecision, fatigue, and grief sometimes intrude and wear us down even more.

Yet if the Lord has given us a task, a goal, a dream, He will not abandon us. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NAS)

When we stray.            

He will bring us back. He will enable us to continue. In His work—in His way.

Lord, please guide our hearts to define our work as led by Your Spirit’s guidance. Then keep us faithful regardless of the obstacles.

Your thoughts,


Friday, September 14, 2018

Bitter Weeping: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Bitter Weeping


Bitter weeping

lament poured out

must recognize

crashing loss

bear the pain

let heartache shout

melt to prepare

comfort’s restoration

begin to mend

light hope’s candle

move toward faith

continuous journey

bitter weeping

linked in love

marking ongoing cost through

Christ’s mercy.


Romans 8:15, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reflection: Sorrow: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection:

1.     For whom are you weeping? Why do you not have comfort?

2.     In what ways are personal fears blocking you from trusting in God’s hope?

3.     How has the Lord carried you through deep sorrow before? Can you return to that place of comfort?


Monday, September 10, 2018

Sorrow: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31:15, “Thus says the Lord, ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children; Because they are no more.’”

A voice is heard.

Jesus wept over Lazarus. He wept in sorrow over Jerusalem. He wept in the Garden of Gethesmane. Even in the hope He prepared for.

Lamentation. Loss. Need to be acknowledged, including the bitterness, in order to mourn in faith. To shout and scream and cry and stagger at death and disease and brokenness. Not bury.

“A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.” Ecclesiastes 3:4-5 (NASB)

If we cannot weep out our grief we open the door to anger and deceit and condemnation and unforgiveness that causes even more destruction.

Lord, please show us how to mourn in prayer and trust. Show us how to hope through the sorrow of our weeping into Your healing grace.

Your thoughts,


Friday, September 7, 2018

Shall Be Satisfied: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



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                                   Shall Be Satisfied

                                   
                                    Satisfied

                                    with His goodness

                                    soul truth

                                    not an imitation

                                    seen through our

                                    limited perception or

                                    self-interest but

                                    grounded in His

                                    reality of wholeness

                                    peace beyond measure

                                    possibilities beyond

                                    comprehension.

                                    Sustained truth.


Romans 8:14, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Reflection: Goodness: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection:

1.     What is your definition of satisfaction? What does it look like, or feel like, for you personally?

2.     Do you ever struggle with a worry that whatever you do is not satisfying to the Lord?

3.     By what means do you measure either way?

4.     Where have you experienced God’s goodness this week?

5.     How did your outlook change?



Monday, September 3, 2018

Goodness: Grace in the Wilderness: Prayers and Poetry


Jeremiah 31:14, “’And I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,’ declares the Lord.”

Shall be satisfied.

We are not in a culture that is easily satisfied. “That’s not good enough” is a common complaint. How often does our interpretation of goodness limit our version of the Lord’s goodness?

Even when we believe and know His presence we too often battle with fretfulness and worry.

When Job struggled with all his losses his questions and arguments became his daily focus. But when he recognized God’s actual presence with him all those concerns dissolved. They were no longer relevant. They just didn’t matter any more. 

Only when we can allow our hearts and soul to be cleansed from our limited expectations can we be open to receive His true goodness wholly. Not by our definition of it but by His loving reality.

Lord, please show each of us how we may become satisfied with Your goodness in all situations.

Your thoughts,

 
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