For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
It’s easy to understand why God spoke the words of this Scripture through the Prophet to His people. Jeremiah wrote during the time when Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians. We could see nothing but disaster on the horizon; we wondered if all God’s covenant promises had become null and void. So God spoke to Jeremiah to tell the people that His thoughts were not on evil toward them, that He had a hopeful future in mind.
We may not look at our window and see invading Babylonians on the horizon, but we may see something that seems just as hopeless. We can cling to God’s promise to Israel because it’s a reflection of His character. He “is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us,” (Ephesians 3:20). We are called in those difficult moments to “Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him,and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5 – 6).
If you feel besieged by life today, lean on the God of peace, the God of hope and the future. The same God, who has a plan for Israel, has a plan for you. Trust that He will direct your path.
“Now in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet. His illness was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Adonai but physicians”. 2 Chronicles 16:12
The story of King Asa occupies 3 chapters in 2 Chronicles. In chapter 14, he’s seen trusting in God, instituting revival and rejoicing in victory. In chapter 15, he hears and he heads the prophetic message. But several years pass, and by chapter 16 Asa wants nothing to do with the Lord. Somehow he had lost the fire and faith of his earlier walk with God.
Why? Perhaps he stopped reading the Scriptures. Maybe his life became too busy for prayer. He might have allowed resentments to fester in his heart. Perhaps he fell into sin and his conscious was gradually dulled.
Whatever happened, Asa serves as a warning to us. We must keep close to God every day, being quick to confess and turn from all known sin. Our heart should break when we do wrong, knowing it was our sins that caused Yeshua to suffer. We should keep a tender heart, one that is growing warmer, not colder. Ask God today for a tender conscious and a closer walk with Him. Live carefully and spread the good news!
And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would pray to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today would be such as I am—except for these chains!” Acts 26:29
The American pop artist Andy Warhol wrote in 1968, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” From that statement came the now famous reference to “15 minutes of fame” – a moment when someone finds himself in the spotlight. What would we do or say if we suddenly found ourselves with a captive audience?
That is, if you had one thing you could tell the world, what would it be? Spotlights can cause some people to lose their nerve and freeze, but not so with Paul. On several occasions he found himself standing before authorities with a captive audience, he never failed to declare the good news of the Messiah Yeshua and encouraging those listening to believe in Him.
“When they had brought them, they placed them before the Sanhedrin. The kohen gadol (high priest) questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name—and look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring on us the blood of this Man!” Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men”. Acts 5:27 – 29
God has given us a calling to share the truth of Messiah in the world that is desperate for the Truth. Beth Messiah has a special anointing to take the Good News of the Messiah out to the world.
Regardless of the size and place of the opportunities God gives you, be prepared to speak of the hope that lies within you.
“Sanctify Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you”. 1 Peter 3:15
You are a witness whether you want to be or not.