READ: Jeremiah 31
THINK: Are you an emotional person? Whether you are or aren't, you've no doubt experienced times when you felt like crying-if only on the inside-because you blew an opportunity and felt humiliated or hopeless-like you would never get a chance like that again. Though God won't always spare you from the consequences of failure or the grief of lost opportunities, He doesn't give up on you. If you're willing to trust and obey Him, you can rest assured that your best days are not behind you. God doesn't forfeit His ultimate plans just because of your failures. So don't let humiliation and hopelessness have the last word. The only real failure is failing to trust God. With God, you always have opportunity to fulfill your destiny, even if you sometimes take the long way.
RESPOND: Whose restoration is described in chapter 31, and what "new covenant" would God make with them? (See 31:1-40 note.) Who are "the people" referred to in verse 2, and what would God do for them? (See 31:2 note.) According to 31:15-16, why was there a reason to weep before, and why would there be no reason to weep later? (See 31:15 note.) What's the "new covenant" (31:31) that God would make with Israel, and how is this passage unique in all the Old Testament? (See 31:31-34 note.) How will the new covenant be established, and who will it involve? (See 31:31 note.) Why is the new covenant necessary? (See 31:32 note.) What does it mean that God would "put my law in their minds" (31:33), and what does this imply for you as a follower of Jesus? (See 31:33 note.) Under the terms of the new covenant, what relationship can people enjoy, and how? (See 31:34 first note.) What did Jeremiah prophesy about Jerusalem in 31:38, and when will this ultimately be fulfilled? (See 31:38 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for the new covenant-the relational life agreement He's made with you through the life and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Thank Him for the transformation it brings to your heart, mind and life.
ACT: Think of someone who needs a second chance. Extend grace and encouragement to that person by giving him or her an opportunity to redeem a past failure. If you need a second chance, go to the individual(s) you've let down. If you haven't done so, apologize for any past harm or irresponsibility. Ask for another opportunity to serve- and follow through with honor and excellence.
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