September 3, 2020

THE FIRST LOVE - Bro. T. Stephen

Dearly Beloved, I greet and bless everyone in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. The blessed word that God has given for you today, is from the book   Jeremiah 31:25-27, ” I will give rest and strength to those who are weak and tired. ”After hearing that, I, Jeremiah, woke up and looked around. My sleep was very pleasant. The days are coming, says the Lord, “When I will help the family of Israel and Judah to grow. I will help their children and animals to grow too. It will be like planting and caring for a plant.”

Prophet Jeremiah had lived during the time when the Babylonians invaded Judah, assaulted Jerusalem, and reduced the Mountain Temple into rubble. The chaos caused by the Babylonians was unimaginable. Yet God had not abandoned the people. he same God who planted the garden of Eden and crafted humanity from its soil will replant Judah. God will replant, tend, and nurture human and animal life amid the ashes of Judah, Jerusalem, and the temple.

Jeremiah instructs the children of Israel to follow the   road with signposts and landmarks that would guide Israel back to the land and  be  restored to relationship with their Covenant God.   He asks them to set their hearts towards the high way so that they would come back to their first love, which   they once had with God.   Jeremiah   predicts the future prosperity of Judah and Israel.  God had promised them that they would return from their exile and Israel would be so blessed and secure in God’s restoration that even the women among them could protect the men and the people as a whole. So he says,“A woman shall encompass a man:”Such would be the power and strength of a woman.  The prophet further says, after their return, the government of Israel   will   be   transformed and righteously governed by the Messiah who will make Jerusalem a home of justice, and mountain of holiness.

 Jeremiah goes on to say, that the people will    dwell  safely in Judah itself,  and in all its cities together,  farmers and those going out with flocks: In that  day the Jewish people would not only be blessed spiritually, but also materially. They will be restored in both the city and the country.  God promised abundance and satisfaction, to the empty, tired soul. The soul filled with sorrow would be filled with hope and peace. Therefore   the Lord says,  For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul” May   be  God  spoke  to  Jeremiah  in  a  dream  while he  was in deep sleep. And when he awoke, he   looked around   and found that his sleep was sweet.  For God had told him that after the people of   Israel return from their exile in Babylon, the Lord will increase seed of both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, with men and cattle. And God would keep a direct watch over them. And it shall come to pass,  that just as He had watched over them to pluck them, to break them  down and to destroy them and to afflict them,  in the same manner He will then   rise up to   watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. He will forgive their iniquity, and their sin He will remember them no more. What a great God!

You might have been saved, and received Jesus as your saviour, long time back. And therefore you would have enjoyed His glorious power, His Mercy and Grace. But due to some reason you had, gone astray, from your first love. You began to enjoy the pleasures of this world. The lust of the flesh, the beauty and charm of this world, attracted and enhanced you so much, that you have gone away from the presence of this Almighty God, who led you in the past. As a result you have been cornered from all sides, and taken into captivity by God. May be you are caught up in huge debts, or loss in your business, facing disharmony in your family relationship, Or maybe   you are going through shame and humiliation because of childlessness. You might have lost your job all of a sudden, and thus driven into poverty, or you have been attacked by some serious sickness or disease. All these are some kind of captivity, which   God purposely thrusts upon you that you may return to your first love with God, as you loved Him in the beginning when you received Jesus as your saviour. Therefore examine yourselves and see if there is any mistake in your life that has separated   you   from   God, and set it right and return to His first love. Only then you can witness the goodness of God in the land of the living. The Lord will give strength   to those who return to His first love and bless His people with Peace. He will help you dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings.

Prayer: Our loving heavenly Father, we thank You for this blessed day. Lord we realize how we involve ourselves in the worldly affairs, and thus get into captivity. Father please forgive our sinful nature, help us to return to our first love. Teach us to endure patiently, while we go through trials and learn to correct ourselves from our mistakes. Give us strength to overcome physical and mental struggle that we go through in our daily life.

In Jesus name we pray.


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