Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Don't Give Up

Dear Friends,

As he worked, he prayed for the people to whom he was writing. The Prophet Jeremiah’s prayers fill his writings. They permeate his work, and he included them in his manuscript. If you want to learn how to pray for hard-hearted people, study the prayers of Jeremiah. If you want to learn how to pray for yourself, look into the prayer life of this man. Jeremiah prayed stubbornly, consistently, and with perseverance that the people of God would yet repent so that God would relent in sending disaster.

God’s intent is always to offer people every possible chance to come back to Him. Jeremiah and Baruch knew that. They believed that “his compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lam. 3:22-23). “Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.” Because Jeremiah believed it was never over till it was over, he labored on.

Have you given up on someone? Have you quit praying for her? Has she given you little hope of her turning back to the Lord? Listen, it’s never over till it’s over. Call her on the phone one more time. Invite her to church. Send her that book or tape. Do battle on your knees for her. Weep before the throne. That person may yet repent, even if Nebuchadnezzar is knocking at the door. Jesus said that we “should always pray and not give up” (Lk. 18:1). We must not give up. Jesus said so.

Who do you need to keep praying for? Make a renewed commitment to not give up!

Blessings,


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

God Enables

Dear Friends,

That was twenty years of memories-a lot of words on a scroll and a lot of remembering! If I had been the Prophet Jeremiah, I can imagine how many excuses I would have made. I have written a few autobiographical books and know how hard it is to remember that many years back. I have said, as I’m sure Jeremiah did, “Lord, I can't remember. Help me.” And God Himself brought the necessary words and incidents to mind.

Have you ever had a hard time remembering things? Have you said, “But, Lord, I can’t possibly remember all those things. What happens if I get it wrong?” Yet God Himself enables us to fulfill all of His demands. If you, like Jeremiah and Baruch, simply are obedient to whatever God is asking of you, you will find you have the capacity to do it.

The Bible simply records the men's obedience. “So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the Lord had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll” (Jer. 36:4). Together they accomplished this incredible task. What seemingly impossible thing has God called you to do? Do you know that God himself by his enabling Spirit will do it?  “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).

Facing a big writing project that asked for daily Bible study notes for a year, I felt overwhelmed and quite inadequate. I sat miserably in my study, berating myself for taking on the assignment. It required remembering many thing from the past. Bible notes were lost, outlines of sermons long gone, and yet these were the very things I needed to do the job. “I can’t remember enough,” I complained to the Lord. "I should have been better organized and kept better files. I'm old, and it's hard to remember all those verses and lessons of the past."

You are as old as you should be, He reminded me. You certainly should have kept better notes, but you didn't.

“So what shall I do now? I can't remember!” I whined .

I can remember, He replied. Ask me! I called you to this task, now rely on me to do the work in you and through you. And God enabled me to remember. I finished the project and, incidentally, with material left over!

As the two men took the opportunity to work on the scrolls, Nebuchadnezzar was marching toward their city. Yet Jeremiah and Baruch never gave up. They didn't throw their hands up and say, “What's the use? It’s all over,” or, “Well, these obdurate people have had their chances to hear Jeremiah’s preaching. Why should we believe they would read his book?” They had faith enough to try one more thing, take one more risk, and finish the work they were doing. They had faith enough to believe that it is never over till it's over.

Blessings,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine