The Kingdom Building Call (Part Five)

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Week Five Study Overview: Today, we will discuss crisis and speak of how the fire in our bones can become a full-on blazing inferno.

Key Point of Struggle: Crisis! Why must we deal with it, and what do we do when it begins to shake our entire foundation, threatening to extinguish the fire in our bones?

Key Proof of Comfort: We are going to learn a powerful Holy Spirit declaration through John 16:13-15.

To recap, the last time we were with Jeremiah, he wanted to walk away from his calling but quickly recognized he couldn’t. He invited us into a small piece of his world when he revealed this:

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.

-Jeremiah 20:9

Jeremiah dealt with crisis in the form of people beating him, chaining him, and making a mockery of his ministry. It was entirely possible that the crisis of dealing with flesh and blood, people who did not want to hear his words from the Lord, would also lead to a faith crisis. Jeremiah thought about walking away, but he couldn’t ignore the burning in his bones.

Have you ever felt like walking away?

I have.

I’ve been down roads paved thick with grief. I’ve stood all by myself with God and shaken my fists at an invisible figure. I’ve felt alone with a God who said He’s with me to deliver me but haven’t felt any deliverance whatsoever. And then after making peace with knowing that if I have no God then I have no life, I have once again felt the deep burning inside my bones. It’s how I know He’s there even when I can’t find resolve. I stand on promises and know that inside my bones there’s a kindling which cannot be contained. We live in a world full of sin. Crisis will come, but Jesus had a plan.

In John chapter 16, John shares with us the words our Savior spoke to His disciples. Jesus told them the Holy Spirit would come to be their Helper. I picture, in that moment, Jesus looking into the eyes of a bunch of wide-eyed men who grew more and more confused with every word He spoke. They hung onto each sentence for dear life but could not figure out what any of it meant.  And then crisis came. Their Beloved was captured and crucified. For three days the tomb was not empty, and the disciples were faced with a faith crisis. They had lived in a whirlwind of miracles and love so powerful it could restart hearts. It was a love that didn’t just feed mouths, but souls. They hadn’t known anything like it before and after experiencing it, knew they couldn’t live without it ever again. In my mind, I imagine John, who deemed himself the disciple Jesus loved, tearing through his memories working to solve an unsolvable mystery. I envision John remembering these particular words that Jesus spoke:

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

-John 16:13-15

When it was all said and done and death hadn’t beaten them, after they saw with their own eyes an empty tomb and a resurrected Messiah caught up in the sky, they waited. They sat together in an upper room when the Helper showed up and filled up. The breath of God came in the form of wind that would fill every heart with His Holy Spirit Helper – the Helper of all who believes. And to this day, it’s that same Wind that keeps the fire in our bones burning bright.

“For He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” Those words from Jesus speak to me mightily.  I’ll tell you why:

Let’s talk for a brief moment about the word crisis. It comes from the Greek word Krisis, which means turning point from a disease. And that word Krisis comes from the word krinein which means to decide.

When we find ourselves in the middle of a diseased situation, it forces us to make some decisions. Crisis backs us into a corner and asks us what we’re going to do. And Jesus said, “He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Do you know what I need to hear in the midst of chaotic crisis? I need to hear the Holy Spirit’s declaration that I belong to Christ, that my identity is in Him and not in the situation that caused my crisis.

I am not grief!

I am not unforgiveness!

I am not a victim!

I am victorious in Christ, because I am the daughter of the living God!

Deep down in my heart of hearts, I know that when Jeremiah contemplated giving up his ministry, he heard the first words spoken to him by God. I believe they played on repeat and reignited the holy burn in his bones.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

-Jeremiah 1:5

Friend, if you’re in the middle of crisis, I want you to know that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live inside you and be your Helper. He wants to remind you that you were created intentionally for purpose, and that you’ve been set apart for a life only you can live. You are meant to bring Him glory. Your identity is found in Christ! You are His; the Holy Spirit wants to declare that to you. And you need to declare it out loud!

  • Who are you to God? Search scripture and write about it in your journal.
  • Psalm 143 is a beautiful psalm of David as he seeks wisdom and guidance in the middle of crisis. For deeper study, I encourage you to read the entire psalm, write 143:10 in your journal, and pray it over yourself every day this week.

 

Next week, we will be studying the widely known scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 as we close out our series on the faithful prophet Jeremiah.

When you learn to search the word, the word will come alive to you like never before. The fire in your bones will become an inferno. Don’t underestimate who God made you to become!

Love,

Jennifer

PS: I recently did an interview for Kimberly Taylor at Take Back Your Temple. If you’re interested, you can read it here.

Use the Hashtag #KingdomBuildingSisters on Instagram showing a photo of what daily kingdom building looks like to you, tag me, and your name will be entered in a fun surprise giveaway!

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We Aren’t Meant To Do Life Alone

grace airplane pictureEvery heart longs for something more; it’s just the way it is. Pure and simple soul yearning for care and compassion has been built into the makeup of our beings. We aren’t meant to do life alone.

And it’s not necessarily the tangible likeness of another human being for which our hearts cry. We can be happy in our marriages, relationships with our children, and have the best friends imaginable and still need more.

Why? Because each soul desires an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We need unhindered mercy, wisdom, and an incoming flow of love that we may learn to pour it out to others.

Love birthed from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when poured back out, is what forms tangible relationships and quenches the lonely heart.

…The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

– Jesus in John 14:17-19

At this moment, I cannot think of a more soul filling and healing promise: I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

If you believe in Him and call on His name, His Spirit dwells in you. You will never be alone. He will meet every need, heal the broken places and renew your lonely heart. He will send you deeper love on every level.

Though our world may crumble and our hearts know pain, He will come to us.

Friend, He will come to you.

Love,

Jennifer

 

 

Why Hope Does Not Disappoint…

hopeHope: It’s this beautiful thing that rises in the midst of every storm. The best part is that it never goes away. It’s always there ready and waiting for you to latch on to it.

Hope: It’s a Biblical truth that causes one to think with their heart instead of their head.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

-Romans 5:1-5

My favorite statement in that scripture is, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

It is a statement that confirms the Almighty’s love for us. He poured out His love and gave us a paraclete. The Greek word is parakletos and it is translated “comforter” or “counselor.” It simply means that He dwells inside all who believe in Him. He is our helper. And that, my friends, is what I call hope.

Your hope.

My hope.

Our hope.

Just about everywhere I look this season, I see the word believe. I pray that all who see that word would believe in Hope. The One, True, Hope.

If you are having a difficult day, if this time of year is causing you sadness over lost loved ones, financial worries, or stress of any kind, then I pray His hope will well up inside and allow you to breathe in freedom. May your greatest gift this Christmas be peace that only comes from the Comforter living inside you.

Be blessed today!

Love,

Jennifer

PS: The Nothing to Hold but Hope Healing Project (book club) will begin in late January. Details to follow!

He Promised

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John 14:18

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (N.K.J.V.)

Comfort drips like honey from those words.  John 14 is an amazing chapter because of the introduction of the Holy Spirit as a Helper. However, I love to connect with the human element: the confusion and impending heartache of the disciples trying to piece together where their beloved Jesus would be going. In John 13:37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” After this Jesus goes on to predict Peter’s denial of Him.

Although the disciples could not yet grasp the concept of what was actually going to happen, Jesus is assuring them of His return which was by way of the resurrection. He is comforting them with the promise that He would not leave them orphaned. He was coming back!

We can hold tight to this same promise. Wherever we are, Jesus is there. He will not leave us. There is nowhere we can go that His love cannot reach. He WILL come.

When I study specific passages from the Bible, I look them up in several translations to see if one speaks differently to my heart. I want you to see the translation for John 14:18-20 in the Message Bible.

John 14:18-20

I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you. (M.S.G.)

When I read the words, “And you’re about to come alive.” I felt a quickening of the Holy Spirit in my heart. At the mention of Christ, how can we not come alive? When we think of His sacrifice enveloped in his undying love for us, how can we not come alive? He died that we might live.

Regardless of how alone and empty you might feel, I want you to know He will NOT leave you orphaned. He will come to you. Call on His name. Seek Him and you will find Him. Let not your heart be troubled.

C. S. Lewis said, “He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.”

He died for you. If it helps, look in the mirror and say, “He died for me.”

If it were only you, you would have been enough for Him to endure the cross. He won’t leave you orphaned. He promised…

My prayer for you today is that you cling to the promise of His presence in your life.

Remember you are not an orphan. At the moment you accept Him in your heart and life, you are a child of the King!