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Homesick No More! (# 4 on Heaven) Jeremiah 31

Do you have a longing that nothing,

not even the best things on earth, can satisfy?

C. S. Lewis says that the most probable explanation is that

we were made for another world.

 

In All Things New, John Eldredge said many try to fill that God-given

“longing for home” by building their Kingdom on earth,

but it can’t be done.

Not the top of a career, or the most fantastic dream home,

will satisfy.

 

Solomon, who was the wealthiest and most powerful man on earth,

did us the favor of rushing headlong into

various pursuits “under the sun” and concluded:

Our own Jackie sent me this video by Andrew Peterson

and I am so excited for you to see it.

Watch it until you can respond as the choir does,

to Peterson’s scripture-infused lyrics.

Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Monday: Hold On To Me As We Go

The bestselling song of all the American Idols shows, was the favorite, I think, because it touched into this longing for home. I also love to think of the lyrics as something Jesus might say to us if we are fearing passing through the valley of the shadow of death. When my husband was in his last few months of life, he had a dream of demons taking him to hell, but then he said, “NO! I belong to Jesus!” The demons fled at the name and angels carried him toward heaven. The lyrics about “playing no mind to the demons who fill us with fear,” is something I can imagine our Lord saying to His beloved:

2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through,” if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones?

 

3. If you have been privileged to be with a loved one who is a believer and “passing through” what do you remember?

 

4. What meditations do you have on Psalm 23:4?

Tuesday: Seeing the Mountain Peaks of Prophecy

Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and many of the prophets speak the how the Israelites will one day be freed from the captivity in Babylon, coming “home” rejoicing. Yet as Keller says, “these prophecies are over the top” pointing to a much better release from our captivity to an amazing promised land.

 

 

5. Ezekiel describes the land the captives are going to be released to in Ezekiel 36:33-36 — how do you think this is “over the top” for this earth?

6. Read Jeremiah 31:10-14. Again, what images are “over the top” for this earth? What stands out to you?

 

7. Slavery is an apt picture for the sorrows of this earth, for even the land groans, awaiting its release from the curse. What promise is given in Jeremiah 31:14 and how does this contrast with what Solomon experienced in Ecclesiastes?

 

Rachel Weeping For Her Children

We know from our studies in Isaiah that the Assyrians dashed the babies of the Israelites against the rocks and then took them captive as slaves. Jeremiah adds the location of this, telling us the Jews were assembled in Ramah and put in chains. Likewise, Jacob’s wife, Rachel, died near Ramah giving birth to a son. And again, when Jesus was born, baby boys were slaughtered  and “Rachels” wept.

8. Challenge question: What are some of the kinds of sorrow you see under the umbrella of “Rachel weeping for her children? According to the above historical incidents?

9. Read Jeremiah 31:15-17 and how do you see hope, even for those who have lost children on this earth?

Wednesday: Written on our Hearts

10. Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 and share anything that stands out to you and why.

11. The Old Covenant was the law and depended upon man. How is the New Covenant different?

12. How can you see both the time after Pentecost here, but also, what it will be like in the New Heaven and the New Earth? 

Thursday-Friday: Keller Sermon

13. Listen and share your comments and notes.

 

 

Saturday:

14. What is your take-a-way and why?

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71 comments

  1. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

     

    Wow! I have a lot to learn…. a thousand years,  The millennium, covenant theology, dispensationalists,  and on it goes.  I have never really spent much time thinking about the book of Revelation, because I always thought it was kind of depressing to think of.  Nancy Demoss Wolglemuth did a series on the seven churches in Revelation a while ago and I listened to the whole thing, but that was about it.  Now that we are studying it here, it’s not necessarily depressing. I used to get hung up on 144,000 souls, and the Mark of the beast… Those are pretty scary things.  I like to learn, so I’m really enjoying what we’re learning about heaven now. It’s not so scary…

     

    oh yeah! Love the song Jackie thanks for sharing.

  2. 1.  What stands out to you from the above and why?  Thank you Jackie for sharing the video…I closed my eyes while listening and just envisioned Christ, the Lamb of God being worthy to open the scroll (Rev.5)  Why was He worthy?  He was slain and with His blood redeemed/purchased us to God…!  Thank you precious Jesus!  This has really made me stop and think…”do I have a longing that nothing, not even the best things on earth, can satisfy?”  Through this study I have become more aware of spending eternity with Christ and what that looks like, thank you Dee!  God is working in my heart.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  3. Oh, I LOVE the Andrew Peterson song. He is Worthy! May we praise Jesus as he deserves to be praised for his amazing love for us and what he has done!

    1. Diane-Amen sister!!

  4. Sunday:
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Do you have a longing that nothing,
    not even the best things on earth, can satisfy?
    Yes, Dee. In fact, I have many longings that even the best things on earth can not and have not satisfied. Thankful that we have a HOME prepared for us where there would be no more longings for what could be.  Made a visit to the mother of one of our church members (her daughter) who left for reasons we only heard about. It hurts- as some of you here who are in pastoral ministry would know of the pain of misunderstanding. The daughter and her husband were there-it was awkward although I feel the Lord strengthening me. They were polite but I could feel the tension. So in the wake of that, it is good to come here and be reminded that only Jesus can fill every longing in my heart and I am not meant to set my hope on relationships. Someday, there would be no more broken relationships.

    Andrew Peterson is a wonderful worship leader. Like Sharon here, I have closed my eyes and envision the Lion of Judah, the Lamb that was slain for me, for us. He is the One worthy of my praise. Thank you for sharing, Jackie.

  5. 2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through,” if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones? 
     

    I haven’t heard that song in awhile. Love the line about demons. I’m not sure what I will say? Never thought about it before. Maybe something to comfort both myself and them…”…everything will be okay, Jesus loves me. Help me Jesus, thank You Jesus…” something like that?

     

    3. I have not had this happen. I would think I would be afraid. My brother did call me and put the phone to my moms ear when he thought she was in passing. It was awkward. I didn’t know what to say…but I’m also a person who doesn’t like when a room grows silent; I feel like I have to talk because I get anxious. I think I said, “I love you mom,” and “it will be alright.” I remember muttering, “this is awful” because I felt so bad that I wasn’t there with her 😔 .

     

    4. What meditations do you have on Psalm 23:4? 

     

    Well, I’ve often thought that giving birth and dying may have the same emotions…”it’s just You and me God; no one else can do this for me, and since I don’t want to go through it alone, You are with me, right?” A valley is a low place physically speaking, He will lift me up with His rod and comfort me, if I let Him. It’s sometimes hard to think the right thoughts when you are distracted by something else. At least that’s what I have found. In the midst of the awful pain our family is in with our daughter (just this weekend), I sometimes forget who is in charge. I hope to immerse myself in Him so much between now and my death, that I won’t forget because He will be on my lips (reminds me of something written in SOS, I think!) continually by then.

     

     

    1. Laura, I know what you mean about feeling bad and not being there when your mom passed, I wasn’t there when my dad passed either, but I think God has us in the place he did so we can remember them in a different way. When I started thinking that way, I no longer felt bad. I was where God wanted me to be at that moment.

    2. Laura, I love these words:

      ” Well, I’ve often thought that giving birth and dying may have the same emotions…”it’s just You and me God; no one else can do this for me, and since I don’t want to go through it alone, You are with me, right?” A valley is a low place physically speaking, He will lift me up with His rod and comfort me, if I let Him.”

      Thanks for praying for my Daughter; we can talk more by email if u want…vollenjen@yahoo.com   :)   Had a good trip. She has MBA with focus on social impact…open to anything now…operations, event planning, accounting, supervising, organizational stuff. Let’s talk.   :)

  6. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    The Andrew Peterson song-Talk about heart melting!!!! :) :)

    Our bend toward pursuit of that one last thing that will make us more satisfied for “then” we will be fulfilled. Such a mark that we were made for Him. I am glad Solomon did rush headlong for us so that we/I can learn from him seeing those red flags in us/me and keep our face like flint toward Him and our reality in the future.

      1. Good morning my sweet friend! YOU are a gift to me and to all of us-your love for us is so shown through how you labor with Him over this blog-waiting on His direction each week. I love you tons.

        1. You are so right Rebecca. Dee you are truly a blessing.

  7. 2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through,” if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones?

    I am not sure I know how I will speak to my soul or loved ones, but I do know when that time comes I want to be so close to Jesus and my mind so longing for the future rather than the things of this earth that the well springs of my heart will flow out the same way Steve’s did-that I too will say when attacked by satan with fear of being alone or doubt that He has me-go away satan Jesus Christ has me, I am His!

    I might say to my loved ones who know Him-“This is just a moment for I will see you again but until then soar in Him.”

  8. Sunday:

    Whay a delight to find the Andrew Peterson song shared here. My youngest daughter just shared that song with me a few weeks ago.  Peterson is one of my favorites. We attended a Christmas Concert of his a few years ago called “Behold the Lamb” This song is particularly beautiful and the video so well done. It really ministers to my heart with its focus on Jesus.

  9. 2.  Comments on the above?    I have never really listened to all the lyrics of this song.  It has a whole different meaning to me.

    When you are “passing through”, if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones?  I would speak the Word of God that I’ve hidden in my heart and would do the same for my loved one.  Also, music…old hymns and new songs! 🎶

    3.  If you have been privileged to be with a loved one who is a believer and “passing through” what do you remember?  When my mother was passing I took her hand, got very close to her ear as she was hard of hearing and just started quoting the 23rd Psalm and just told her she wasn’t alone.  She wasn’t responsive but she did pass quite peacefully.

    4.  What meditations do you have on Psalm 23?  I love what W. Phillip Keller says in his book ‘A Shepherds Look At Psalm 23’.  In the summer a shepherd takes his sheep to higher plains but to get there has to go through the valley.  The sheep and shepherd are in intimate contact day and night during this drive.  First, they take the sheep up paths with gentle grades so it’s slow going.  Second, it’s also a well-watered route so the sheep can be refreshed. Thirdly, it’s generally where the richest food and best forge is found.  Because of the cliffs above on each side there are shadows of darkness where  dangers could be lurking but despite that, the shepherd knows this is still the best way to the mountain top!

     

    1. I love that book too! I’ve read it so many times & it has brought such insight & comfort! :)

  10. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? The video. How awesome!

    I sometimes find that a longing for heaven can either deepen depression or be a result of depression (for me at least).

    I’m not suffering from depression and anxiety like I was a few years ago (not at all really), but honestly, when I start thinking too much about heaven and the total freedom from every sin, sadness, negativity, failure, depravity and decay that it will be I start to wish my life was over.

    My prayer is that instead of sadness, it will bring a sense of purpose, determination and hope.

  11. Dee, on Tuesday you have us read Ezekiel 35:33-36.  Do you mean chapter 36 as 35 doesn’t have that many verses?

  12. 2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through,” if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones?
    To myself: Jesus, I am coming. Recite Psalm 23 and Isaiah 43:2 When (I) pass through the waters, Jesus will be with me… To my loved ones: Peace. I love you.
     
    3. If you have been privileged to be with a loved one who is a believer and “passing through” what do you remember?
    I remember a really good friend, Eva. She was a widow and her adopted son was overseas with the peace corps. She was in the nursing home and close to death. One afternoon she asked her nurse to call for me. I went as fast as I could bringing another friend with me. She was a little afraid she said, so I prayed with her while holding her hand. She died a few minutes after while we were still there. I offered to do post-mortem care (I used to work in the facility) and cried the whole time I was doing it. I knew where my friend was going but it did not erase the sorrow. And all that time, I felt I was on holy ground.
     

  13. Sunday:
     
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why? – The song was beautiful. I will be adding him to my list of artists to listen to. I love the reminder that nothing we do or receive here on Earth will satisfy us. That reminds me that God is all I need. Everything and everyone here on Earth are temporary things and will be taken away from us at the end. They can’t provide the deep needs that we have, these can only be satisfied by God. Your things can be gone in an instant and what will you have then? Nothing but emptiness so we need to set our sights on the Lord and the things above so our hearts will not grieve when all is lost.
     

  14. 2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through,” if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones? – This is a great song too. It reminds me of a march leading me home to heaven. I think I will still be sad to leave them, but I will know that where I’m going will be so much better then the world we are living in now. I know too that (I hope) I will see most of them again. And I will tell them to be sad, but don’t grieve since where I’m going is a good place to go.
     
    3. If you have been privileged to be with a loved one who is a believer and “passing through” what do you remember? – The only person that I have been with as they dies was my mother-in-law but I’m not sure if she was a believer or not. She knew God, but I’m not sure if she ever gave her life to Jesus. I do remember that she took one last breath and was gone. It was a peaceful transition for her.
     
    4. What meditations do you have on Psalm 23:4? – It’s a comfort for me to know that I will not be walking alone. The Lord will always be by my side even when the road is rough. He will guide me along the way.
     

  15. 4. What meditations do you have on Psalm 23:4?

    I do think that this is primarily about His comfort in the deepest of valley which is death and as I was pondering I think of how a lifetime of walking with Him will prepare my heart for this deepest valley. Not preparing in a way where I don’t suffer, or grieve or wail..where my natural bend to fear won’t happen-it happened to Jesus in the garden and on the cross! :) Jesus was willing to live in that fear-that utter loneliness while dying with God turning His face and not comforting Him ..so that I would never have to walk in any dark valley alone. MELT.

    I think every trial in my life now He uses to help me to lie down in His green pastures so that as hard as life will get in the future, my affections will be more and more off of this world and onto Him. Well like the sermon we listened to. It stuck with me when he said that in the deepest of pain we have these streaks of joy that come in. I am not saying it like he did but he said it where it pierced me.

  16. Amen Rebecca!   Thanks to all who prayed for my weekend away with Lisa, my daughter. It was a blessed weekend, tho I’m bummed she didn’t get the job. Still looking & I’m struggling not to take on too much of that burden.

    I LOVED the Andrew Peterson song…what a blessing & all the words straight from Scripture….beautiful reminder.

    I hope & pray that as I pass thro the valley of the shadow of death, that I will truly fear no evil,  but be so conscious of Jesus by my side & holding my hand. I pray that I will be able to say to those with me, that I have His peace & I know where I am going…that He is truly with me & that He will be with them. I hope my family see Him in me up to my last breath & that it is a witness to His reality.

    I like to picture walking right next to Jesus as his sheep, & leaning against His staff. I read that if I get in a bad spot, He can use the crook of His staff to gently pull me out & bring me to Himself  :)

  17. Today’s Bible verse:

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

    ‭‭John‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    http://bible.com/59/jhn.5.24.esv

     

    So does this mean those who believe don’t actually have a judgment on them? I thought everyone was judge regardless.

  18. 5.  Ezekiel describes the land the captives ar going to be released to in Ezekiel 36:33-36 – how do you think this is “over the top” for this earth?  The Sovereign Lord will cleanse them from their sins and when He does He’ll repopulate their cities, ruins will be rebuilt, empty and desolate fields will be farmed again, people will say the former wasteland is now like the garden of Eden, abandoned and ruined cities will have strong walls filled with people and the surrounding nations that survive will know the Lord rebuilt it.

    6.  Read Jeremiah 31:10-14.  Again, what images are “over the top” for the earth?  What stands out to you?  They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts – abundant crops of grain, new wine and olive oil and healthy flocks and herds.  Their life will be like a watered garden.  All their sorrows will be gone!  They’ll all dance for joy.  He will turn their mourning into joy, comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing!

    7.  Slavery is an apt picture for the sorrows of this earth, for even the land groans, awaiting its release from the curse.  What promise is given in Jeremiah 31:14 and how does this  contrast with what Solomon experienced in Ecclisiasties?  He will satisfy the soul of the priests with abundance, and the people will be satisfied with His goodness.  Solomon, in all his riches, realized that nothing on this earth brought satisfaction – it was all meaningless and here in Jeremiah with all the abundance of His goodness they will be satisfied!!

    8.  Challenge question:  What are some of the kinds of sorrow you see under the umbrella of “Rachel weeping for her children”?  According to the above historical in incidents?  I’m not quite sure I understand the question but these things came to my mind in regards to children dying…Innocent children dying in Syria, Abortions taking place in this country and others, and diseases that are taking children.

    9.  Read Jeremiah 3-:15-17 and how do you see hope, even for those who have lost children on this earth?  Your children will be coming home back home…there is hope for the future!!

     

  19. SUSAN:    How was the wedding???   :)

    1. First let me say I’m sorry to hear that your daughter didn’t get that job….we’ll just keep praying for her! I saw in your reply to Laura that she has her MBA….she sounds like a ‘smart cookie’ and I just hope she keeps forging ahead and doesn’t get discouraged. But that’s hard. It was a beautiful wedding and reception and I didn’t want it to ever end. I pray now for the success of their married life together. It won’t be easy; he is in the military and that is going to be challenging.

        1. My sister brought him to the church and he made it through the ceremony but said he was dizzy and didn’t feel well, so they left right after he said goodbye to my son. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay for the photographer to take any pictures with him.

      1. Susan…wow so glad the wedding was beautiful! What a blessing & relief for u  :)   Yes, Lord will You please bless this marriage & help them overcome the obstacles & draw near to You thro it all.  So glad your dad at least got to ceremony…shame about not being in the pics. Maybe they can photoshop him in one…haha.  Thanks soooo much for your prayers for Lisa…will keep u posted.  :)

        1. Jenny, praying for Lisa to find a job she would love and feel called to.

           

  20. 5. Ezekiel describes the land the captives are going to be released to in Ezekiel 36:33-36 — how do you think this is “over the top” for this earth? – Everything that is ruined will be rebuilt or restored. There will be no waste land.
     
    6. Read Jeremiah 31:10-14. Again, what images are “over the top” for this earth? What stands out to you? – All the people will be redeemed and they will be free and everything on earth will be fresh. What stands out is the joy that the people in this world will have again.
     

     
    7. Slavery is an apt picture for the sorrows of this earth, for even the land groans, awaiting its release from the curse. What promise is given in Jeremiah 31:14 and how does this contrast with what Solomon experienced in Ecclesiastes? – People will have all that they needed and be filled with the Lords bounty
     

  21. 5. Ezekiel describes the land the captives are going to be released to in Ezekiel 36:33-36 — how do you think this is “over the top” for this earth? 
     

    The land is a beautiful place. I was thinking of how some land has been desolated; when ISIS went through Iraq and Syria. They destroyed many ancient artifacts…the “Seven Wonders of the World” type that I learned about in sixth grade. It was sad to me. I think these places will be restored to their beauty once again…over the top?
    6. Read Jeremiah 31:10-14. Again, what images are “over the top” for this earth? What stands out to you? 
    People are cared for by God. There is food, drink, and joy in the people’s hearts. Women dance and men are glad. Oh how I miss that kind of joy in my life! Our lives are painful. I can’t imagine not having disappointment in my life.
     
    7. Slavery is an apt picture for the sorrows of this earth, for even the land groans, awaiting its release from the curse. What promise is given in Jeremiah 31:14 and how does this contrast with what Solomon experienced in Ecclesiastes?
     

    The promise is that priests will be filled with abundance and people will be filled with Gods “bounty.”

    Solomon was a wealthy person. Was he happy?  Many people think they are or will be happy if they have more stuff, but look at the divorce rate, bankruptcy, and death by drugs/suicide you hear about. As I recall, life “…under the sun…” was miserable. But, with Gods bounty being given, happiness will be complete.

    1.  “But, with Gods bounty being given, happiness will be complete.” Yes, Laura. Only with God’s.

  22. 5. Ezekiel describes the land the captives are going to be released to in Ezekiel 36:33-36 — how do you think this is “over the top” for this earth?
    God will restore the earth. Right now there are barren places, places that are ruined and filled with waste but God is going to restore it all via tilling the ground, rebuilding the barren places. Making it like Eden and that is over the top compared with what the earth is today.
    6. Read Jeremiah 31:10-14. Again, what images are “over the top” for this earth? What stands out to you?
     He will renew us. there will be no more mourning, sorrow or pain-he will turn that into gladness. We will rejoice and be filled his bounty and the old and young will dance. That is over the top because of us going in and out of sadness, mourning and joy. There will be no going in and out of, no sheaths of joy in suffering, rather no suffering and all joy.

  23. 9. Read Jeremiah 31:15-17 and how do you see hope, even for those who have lost children on this earth?

     

    Our ur work will be “rewarded,” our children will  come home,  there is hope for our descendants.

  24. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

     

    The very first sentence: “Do you have a longing that nothing, not even the best things on earth, can satisfy?” I answer with a resounding “yes”! I always feel like I have this longing inside for something. My son’s wedding was wonderful this past weekend, and having my two sons home for a few days. We were all together, along with extended family and yet, the day before the wedding there were a couple of what I’ll call “tensions” – one between my son and his dad, and another matter concerning my family that was making me anxious. How I thought things like I can’t wait to be finally free of stuff like this! To be in pure relationships with one another, free from misunderstandings, hurt feelings, anxiety and worry. I didn’t want the wedding and reception to ever end, yet I knew it would. A pleasant surprise was when my son and daughter-in-law, along with their friends, wanted my husband and me to go along with them out to a bar after the reception ended. I didn’t think they’d want us, but they did, and I had the chance to talk to many of Adam’s friends from college and med school that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Then, on Sunday evening, we literally got to see one of my son’s planes fly right over our house, carrying him back to Chicago, then to Texas….my husband and I waved like idiots at that plane, and then I sat on my porch and sobbed. My husband cried as he hugged our sons goodbye before they left for the airport. My heart longs for us to all be together and never have to say goodbye. I like the C.S. Lewis quote; it makes sense.

     

    2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through”, if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones?

     

    I like the song; I wonder if Phillips is a believer? I don’t know anything about him. I don’t especially like to think of my passing. Especially when I was an oncology nurse, I witnessed many deaths, and the patients were not conscious. A couple of deaths I remember as not very pleasant to see. I think I need to be conscious of, and do a better job of saying things that I want to say to those I love while I’m alive and well, and to sink God’s truth into my heart now so it’s in there when I need it.

     

     

      1. Dee, I wasn’t a believer when I began my career in nursing, so the differences I noticed were just that some seemed to just pass peacefully, others were in a great deal of pain though we were giving them pain medication; other deaths happened suddenly and unexpectedly when something “went wrong”; one night a lady who had lung cancer but also had a blood clot in her leg got up to walk and the clot moved to her lungs and she died; she wasn’t my patient but I responded to the scene and it was pretty awful. I would feel badly when a patient died and their family wasn’t present.

        1. Susan, thanks for sharing moments from the wedding. Precious! Praying for your Dad. 

    1. Oh Susan..my heart goes out to you…such blessings yet our mother’s hearts get torn apart with all the comings & goings. Saying goodbye is never easy. May the Lord comfort u & fill u with encouragement.  xxx

  25. 10. Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 and share anything that stands out to you and why.

     

    God’s law; written on our hearts! We will know Him because He is within us all. I love the sound of that…as if it’s just instinctive.

     

    He will forgive our sins. He will forget what we have done. How sweet it is! Thank You Dear Lord.

  26. Dear LAURA,    I pray for your encouragement today. So sad to think that u live with disappointment every day. May u be filled with the joy of the Lord & may He be your strength inspite of it all.  I read this today & will pray this for u…”You have freed me when I was hemmed in & enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me & hear my prayer.” Ps 4:1

  27. Seeing the mountain peaks of prophecy:

    5.  Where there was wasteland there will be abundance like “the garden of Eden”, & all will see it.

    6. Over the top images are “they shall be radiant with joy over the goodness of the Lord” & “they shall not sorrow or languish anymore at all”. Yet, in this life we can still know His joy, but this will be permanent & untainted joy forever! Yay!  :)

    7. Solomon experienced emptiness & futility. We in Christ will experience His abundance & “we will be satisfied with His goodness”.

    8. Some of the kinds of sorrow in “Rachel weeping for her children” were; loss of children & loved ones, loss of freedom, humiliation & despair.

    9. Hope because “your children shall come back”  they will be restored in God’s Kingdom!

    Wed 10. We broke the first covenant with God & were not faithful; God initiates the new covenant & does all the work for us.

    11. The New Covenant is different because Jesus did all the work for us & we just have to believe & receive it. He writes His law on our very hearts  :)

    12. All will know that Jesus is Lord & King in the new Heavens & the new Earth.

  28. 10.  Read Jeremiah 32:31-34 and share anything that stands out to you and why?  What stands out to me is the new covenant the Lord made is all His doing!  I will make a new covenant (verse 31); this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel. I will put My instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people (verse 33);  I will forgive their wickedness and I will never again remember their sins (verse 34).  Wow!  What an amazing God!!

    11.  The Old Covenant was the law and depended upon man.  How is the New Covenant different?  The new covenant was established by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Instead of animal sacrifices He became the ultimate, once and for all sacrifice which brings about The forgiveness of sins and His laws are put within us and written in our hearts.

    12.  How can you see both the time after Pentecost here, but also what it will be like in the New Heaven and the New Earth?  When the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit is when His laws were put within them and written in their hearts.

    In verse 34 of Jeremiah it says “they won’t need to teach neighbors or relatives that they should know the Lord – for everyone, from the least to the greatest will know Him already”.

  29. We are wrapping up the school year and I am trying to keep my head “above the papers…the waters”, I mean. LOL It is always so good to come here and be refreshed by the sharing of God’s Word. Such a balm to the Spirit to see kindred spirits share sorrows and disappointments with joy still bursting forth. This is a place where everybody can ask “why?” and even though no answer echoes back, the pervading peace and trust in God is there. Thank you, dear friends.

    Read through Ezekiel 36, Jeremiah 31 and my eyes tear up with the thought of the new earth. I long for it yet not wanting to leave this life yet because as Dawn said, may life bring a sense of purpose and determination.

  30. 8. Challenge question: What are some of the kinds of sorrow you see under the umbrella of “Rachel weeping for her children? According to the above historical incidents? – I can see that baby boys were not liked at all. How awful to have to watch that and wonder if your child, your son, would be killed and taken from you. For Rachel to not even get to see her son, but died during childbirth. The sorrow she must have felt if she knew what was happening to her.
     
    9. Read Jeremiah 31:15-17 and how do you see hope, even for those who have lost children on this earth? – The hope is that your children who were lost to you on earth will be returned to you, but I’m thinking this would be for babies since an adult child would be held accountable and need to have a relationship with Jesus to gain access to heaven. Is this what it means?
     

  31. Wednesday: Written on our Hearts
    10. Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 and share anything that stands out to you and why. – I see hope in this passage. Hope that all people will be kind and live peaceably with each other. Everyone will know the Lord and His ways will be all around. There will finally be no more anger, mistrust or greed.
    11. The Old Covenant was the law and depended upon man. How is the New Covenant different? – The New Covenant will be among everyone and everyone will depend upon the Lord and his Word.
    12. How can you see both the time after Pentecost here, but also, what it will be like in the New Heaven and the New Earth? – It will be like the Lion laying with the Lamb. Everyone will get along and God’s law will be on everyone’s hearts and minds. We will all be following the One and Only True God.
     

  32. 11. The Old Covenant was the law and depended upon man. How is the New Covenant different?

     

    God is written on the hearts of His people. They yearn for Him. The new covenent is not dependent on man (sacrifices and all), but dependent on the the yearning within; the belief that God is who He is and He will save me from myself. I’m not sure how I would know this from these verses though. I just know this from other studies of scripture.

     

    12. How can you see both the time after Pentecost here, but also, what it will be like in the New Heaven and the New Earth? 

     

    The new heaven and earth will be peaceful. God knows His people and they long for Him.  They are forgiven for their sins. Harmony exists.

     

     

  33. My takeaway-

    I love this week’s study. I have had a homesickness for my true Home for so long, I can remember this feeling as a young child and only later being able to put a name to it.  I listened to the sermon on Sunday, and at first it was a challenge for me to understand, to really apply what he meant about visiting Heaven. But as I kept pondering it over the week, I think maybe now I get it, a bit better.

    Yesterday, I felt at the end of my prayers. I had already prayed too many ‘give me this/please do this’ prayers to count, and I still did not hear Him in my mess. So I began reading my psalm for the day, and continued to read about 6 more psalms, reading until my heart finally felt peace again. And I think maybe that is it. The more I read His Word, and gaze on the glory of God through the face of Jesus, it is possible through the Holy Spirit, to visit my real Home, even though I’m not there yet. I can experience His presence, experience more of His love.

    I have been convicted anew lately of where I tend to place my hope without even thinking about it. If Philip could take a good nap, my husband taking the day off, summer vacation, or just getting past a current trial… I have really challenged myself this week to stop when I hear myself tread that old path, and to instead let my hope be in  “visiting Heaven through prayer” and to begin to renovate my Home through action.

    Keller also said unless you make your relationship to God, getting it and cultivating it the most important thing in your life…you’re going to feel so much estrangement. That pierced my heart, because as much as I believe cultivating my relationship with God is the most important thing, I cannot say I live each moment or day accordingly.

    My current trial has “jolted” me, but it is good. I feel awakened, and a deeper and more desperate dependency on Him than I ever have. I trust He is faithful to use my trials to make me who He designed me to be, one who can one day reflect His glory. And until I am Home, He allows me to visit. To have tastes of that Place, here, in the waiting. And in the waiting, He also empowers me to make bold moves—to love those so hard to love because I don’t have to fear their rejection. He has already faced the worst rejection and won the victory so I never face ultimate rejection. Man cannot undo to me what Christ has done for me. Nothing can take away my inheritance, my Home. I will still feel alienation here, and face reminders that I am not Home, but the more I soak in His glory, His promises, the more I will find strength in Him and the less the trials of this world will threaten to undo me.

     

    1. Lizzy…thank you! What inspiring words…..

      I have been convicted anew lately of where I tend to place my hope without even thinking about it. If Philip could take a good nap, my husband taking the day off, summer vacation, or just getting past a current trial… I have really challenged myself this week to stop when I hear myself tread that old path, and to instead let my hope be in  “visiting Heaven through prayer” ….

    2. Yes Lizzy, I also started to think of heaven a couple of times this week…I was driving once and the garden slipped into my thoughts; the greenery, the peace, the quiet sound of birds (a sweet little song birdie woke me up yesterday morning like an alarm clock (!). I do not think I have ever thought this way before, about what heaven would be like and just even thinking about it at all. I enjoyed my daydream 😇.

    3. Lizzy,  Thankyou for sharing your heart amd the encouragement it brings to us.

      This week I have thought of this song “Abide With Me” by Matt Maher in light of the study and Keller’s sermon. It’s on my playlists and I listened to it on the plane flying home from Seattle.

      https://youtu.be/Rtropm9uL7Q

      There was so much good in Keller’s sermon but I really appreciated his perspective that we can regularly visit our true home through prayer.  I had never thought of prayer in that context.  He said  “In Heaven it will be complete in all respects. But here and now we can experience His presence.”  And of course that is what Heaven is. Experiencing His Presence.  It is very hard in this world to shut out the noise and busyness long enough to get quiet and experience Him.  But oh the refreshing to our souls when we do.  

      This week’s study has been so rich.  Thanks again Dee!

       

    4. Lizzy, your post encouraged me this morning!! “Man cannot undo to me what Christ has done for me. Nothing can take away my inheritance, my Home. I will still feel alienation here, and face reminders that I am not Home, but the more I soak in His glory, His promises, the more I will find strength in Him and the less the trials of this world will threaten to undo me.”

  34. Notes on Keller:
    Although I have yet to catch up with the rest of the questions, I listened to Tim Keller’s message. He always amazes me with his insight into the Word.
    Jeremiah 31:10-17; 31-34
    Introduction: Jeremiah addresses exiles in Babylon. God promised their return and they sure did after 70 years. The prophesies nevertheless were not fulfilled yet as they are what he calls “over the top” Enormous claims Ezekiel new heart, new spirit, heart of flesh, lands will be cultivated, the Garden of Eden; Isaiah 35 sorrow will flee away, streams in the desert, the wolf lying with the lamb Isaiah 19 and Psalm 89. These passages address not only the Israelites but all of human race. The Israelites were exiled but God brought them home. Israel coming back is an image of a deeper meaning. All of us are in a form of exile.  We are made for the home that we have lost. We are not at home. This world does not sustain the deepest desires of our hearts.
    a.    a. Why we long for home 10-14
     God made us for a home. Genesis 2 Garden of Eden. The basic desires of our hearts are lasting love, lasting beauty, and that what we do counts. This world cannot support these basic needs that we have.
    b. a.       How we can get home 15-17
    Sin by its nature casts you out or alienates you. You create a distance. The punishment is to be exiled.
    The tears of Rachel in Ramah (her death after giving birth to a son, weeping in Ramah as staging place for exile)  stands for the tears of every person who ever wept because of the world’s inhospitality to our deepest desires.
    In Matthew 2 Jesus fulfills it by going into exile- in Egypt, while here on earth, while on the cross.
    Jesus is the ultimate Rachel; He went into labor so that we might live; He is the true scapegoat; cast out so that we might be brought in. He went to the cross so as to prepare a place for us. The true home we are looking for Jesus has open the door for us through the cross.
    c. What life would be like 31-34
    A new covenant relationship with Jesus because He has fulfilled the law in love.

     What are we to do:
    1. Visit your true home through prayer
    2. Renovate your true home through actions
     COMMENTS: I will have “Rachel’s tears” while here on earth. But I will not be despondent because I have access to my true home through prayer.  Someday, the city of God will come down and this cursed earth will be made new. It will be “over the top” indeed! And because of this truth, I have hope.

  35. 14. What is your take-a-way and why?
    This was a great study on Home. The frustrations and the sorrows of this world seemed to be more acute these days for me as I reflected on what/where my true home is. I appreciate the coming together of my loosely gathered thoughts of the new earth and new heavens through these 4 studies so far. And the joy I feel is “over the top”, a phrase Keller uses appropriately for us. It is over the top as there is no explanation to it except the work of the Spirit and the truth of God’s Word.  On one hand, I cry more for what is and what could be but on the other hand, I rejoice more for what will be.
    I do love Andrew Peterson’s song. What a way to worship!
    Thank you, Dee for all the work you do to engage our minds and our hearts.

  36. Bing,  thanks for those great notes! I didn’t have a chance to listen yet to Tim Keller, so your insights were very helpful! Cliff notes, haha  :)  The beauty of Spring & the joy of each new morning are pictures to me of our God’s mercy & beauty & order in all things. How wonderful it will be to rest & flourish in His Kingdom….it will be “over the top”! Comforting to know that for now we can visit our true home thro prayer. Lord help me to do this more faithfully.