2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 15!

Hey, Everybody!

Soon after this post is published, I’ll be on a plane to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for this weekend’s Living Proof Live. I love going to the Dakotas so I am filled with joy over the privilege to serve there and anticipating God’s gracious and obvious (please let it be, Lord) presence crowded around us and welling up within us. Please pray for Jesus to be exalted, experienced, and enthroned there and for many to be saved and stunningly delivered.

My Scripture memory selection this week is springing up from my Monday morning reading there in my den at home. I’ve mentioned many times that I use a different translation for my devotional and prayer time so that the words will fall particularly fresh on me and so that, if the reading happens to be a familiar segment, I can’t anticipate it and unintentionally dismiss it. The translation I often use is The NET Bible. I’m going to give you the whole segment I read Monday morning so that you’ll see the verse I’ve chosen this time around in its context. This is Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NET):
17:5 The LORD says,
“I will put a curse on people
who trust in mere human beings,
who depend on mere flesh and blood for their strength,
and whose hearts have turned away from the LORD.
17:6 They will be like a shrub in the desert.
They will not experience good things even when they happen.
It will be as though they were growing in the desert,
in a salt land where no one can live.
17:7 My blessing is on those people who trust in me,
who put their confidence in me.
17:8 They will be like a tree planted near a stream
whose roots spread out toward the water.
It has nothing to fear when the heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought.
It does not stop bearing fruit.

If you are like me, you found the way the NET translates the very first verse (V.5) a little disturbing. You’ll be relieved to know this isn’t the Scripture I’ve chosen to memorize (smiling) but it still needs addressing so that we’re not too distracted by it to engross ourselves in the remainder of the segment. If you’re familiar with the passage, you are probably more accustomed to wording like the NIV: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man.” The fact that the NET makes God the one “putting” the curse on man makes us squirm. Before we let it tie us in a knot and throw us in a lake of fear, we have to remind ourselves of our position in Christ. We have the glorious benefit of living this side of the completed work of the Cross and resurrection.

Galatians 3:13 says to our great relief: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'”

Jeremiah 17:5 is still tremendously relevant to us because it unfolds the misery of counting on mere flesh and blood. I wonder if the “curse” talked about in this verse is of the same ilk as the one in Genesis 3 that came directly from God to man after the fall in the Garden. If Adam and Eve were doing anything at all when they ate from that tree, they were shifting their trust from God to themselves – mere flesh and blood – by attempting to be God-like. Though the Cross of Christ bore the curse for us, we can still endure the desolation that invariably results from placing our trust and confidence in people rather than God. This gets us where we’re going in our post today. Look back at Jeremiah 17:6 because this is the part that totally captivated me.

“They will be like a shrub in the desert. They will not experience good things even when they happen.”

Read it again if you need to but don’t proceed until you’ve tried to absorb that second sentence. Have you ever been right in the middle of something good happening and yet missed the full experience and joyful impact of it? Surely you’ve said silently to yourself as I’ve said to myself, “I should really be happy right now. What is wrong with me??” You know the feeling. You’re in a celebration or service of some kind or a holiday gathering and yet you almost feel detached from it. You’re there. But you are somehow disconnected from experiencing it. You know “it” (the positive thing presently happening) but you can’t feel it. It’s a good thing but you don’t feel good about it…or in it. What on earth is that about?

Jeremiah would suggest that the experience of good can be disconnected from the good because we are in a season of shifted trust from God to man. When we’ve set our hopes for happiness in how well all our people are doing…getting along…flourishing…affirming us…satisfying us…and all-around-generally-blessing us, and we even get a glimmer of it, we can’t experience the good because we know down deep that we can’t hold onto it. As much as we love all our people, we know that, ultimately, they are not going to come through for us. One shoe will drop. Then the other. The disappointment will come. And the harmony we feel for this moment with our fellow humans could at any second flip upside down into complete mayhem.

Notice the part that says “they will be like a shrub in the desert.” Isn’t it ironic that the more we depend on flesh and blood to come through for us and to fulfill us, the more isolated we become? You’d think that numbers alone would insure company and community. In other words, why derive our strengths and confidences from one God when we could get infinitely more out of all these people? Out of all these communities? Out of all our fellow church members? Out of all our Facebook friends? Our fellow tweeters? Company is one click away.

But it never works that way, does it? We never can let down our guard completely and find any shred of real security from flesh and blood. The person obsessed with us today can turn on us tomorrow and we know it. The person who makes life worth living for us today could die on us tomorrow and we know it. I don’t mean to be morose. I just mean to point out the emotional tightrope we’re walking. Being vastly people-oriented rather than God-oriented always ends up taking us to a place of isolation because they’re invariably busy when we want to play, invariably distracted when we want attention, and invariably more taken with themselves than with us. And so, there we sit, with our trust and confidence in mere flesh and blood and we end up feeling like a shrub in a desert.  Just as Jeremiah 17:6 says, “It will be as though [we] are growing in the desert, in a salt land where no one can live.”

Trust in man can seem a great place to visit but no one can really live there and come out calling it living.

It’s so odd to me that the more drawn I feel to God and the more taken I become with His Presence, the freer I am to love other people and the less I hold them responsible for me. Community with God increases our “experience” of good in a community of people. It is its own paradox.

And all of this brings us to the verse I have chosen for my memory work this time around:

Beth, Houston. My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me. Jeremiah 17:7 The NET Bible

And what earthly difference would that make? Well, let’s see…

“They will be like a tree planted near a stream whose roots spread out toward the water. It has nothing to fear when the heat comes. Its leaves are always green. It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought. It does not stop bearing fruit.”

Notice a very intriguing contrast hidden in Jeremiah 17:8 – “It has nothing to fear when the heat comes.”

Reflect back on 17:6b – “They will not experience good things even when [good things] happen.”

When we place our confidence in mere flesh and blood, we are shortchanged even when good things happen. When we place our confidence in God, the Immortal Invisible, we have nothing to fear even when hard things happen. The former leaves us a dry shrub. The latter makes us a fruit-bearing tree.

We never get this lesson learned once and for all, do we? Or maybe it’s just me. I still get so tempted to put my confidence in people and to think that, if all my loved ones were safe, well, and flourishing, I could be so happy. The truth of it is, I do want those things for my loved ones but God alone can come through for them and for me. Anyway, at the end of the day, I could have everything this world could offer and all the good that man could possibly do me and still sit back and think, “Why doesn’t it feel better than this?”

My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me.

Let’s hear your verses, Sisters!






2,588 Responses to “2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 15!”

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  1. 51
    Anita says:

    Anita, Lawrenceville.
    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
    John 16:33 ESV

  2. 52
    Stacey Gaines says:

    Stacey Gaines
    Corpus Christi, TX
    “…so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ…”
    (Philippians 1:10, NIV)

  3. 53
    Kim Sanders says:

    Kim from Arab, Alabama

    In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust. Psalm 4:8. NIV

  4. 54
    Sue Middeldodrf says:

    Sue – Troy, Michigan – “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 (NIV)

  5. 55
    Suzanne in RI says:

    Suzanne Bailey, Harrisville, RI
    Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
    James 5:9 NIV

  6. 56
    Tanya Anderson says:

    Midland, TX

    Galatians 6:8 (HCSB)

    because the one who sows to his flesh will
    reap corruption from the flesh, but the one
    who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life
    from the Spirit.

  7. 57
    Cindy Miller says:

    Cindy, Nashville, TN. “My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me.: Jeremiah 17:7 The NET Bible

  8. 58
    Jane Alexander says:

    Jane from Geneseo, Illinois
    Isaiah 55:8-9
    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  9. 59
    Beth, lake Jackson TX says:

    We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:22 NIV)

  10. 60
    sarah withers , smyrna, ga says:

    Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:14-15 NIV

  11. 61
    Whitney Bandermann says:

    Whitney from Cape Girardeau, MO

    My blessing is on the people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me.

    Jeremiah 17:7 (NET)

  12. 62
    Jeannette says:

    Jeannette, Land O Lakes, FL
    My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me. Jeremiah 17:7 NET

  13. 63
    sharon says:

    Sharon, St. Louis NIV Habakkuk 3:19
    The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.

  14. 64
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Katie g; Knoxville, TN

    Colossians 3:2 (AMP)
    “And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.”

  15. 65
    Shelley says:

    Shelley from Shiloh, IL: “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 Amplified

  16. 66
    Pam Houston says:

    Pam Houston, Buena Park, CA (presently in New Castle, PA)
    “My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wroght in the depths of the earth;”
    Psalms 139:15 (NASB)

  17. 67
    Jane says:

    Jane, Milton, GA. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV

  18. 68
    Susan says:

    Susan, Knoxville
    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV

  19. 69
    mary from jonesborough tn says:

    john 6:12 niv
    when they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, “gather the pieces that are left over. let nothing be wasted.”

    thank You, Jesus that You use “leftovers” & may I never waste what You have blessed!

  20. 70
    Vicki Osier says:

    Vicki from Grapevine

    I lift my eyes unto the hills —
    where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

  21. 71
    dora, tn says:

    A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 niv

  22. 72
    Laurie says:

    Laurie, Gibsonville, NC

    “Be still, and know that I am God”
    Psalm 46:10 NIV

  23. 73

    Susan L. (central IL) You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way. Ephesians 4:3 (NCV)

  24. 74
    Tshaka Long says:

    Tshaka; Belgium; How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    Psalm 119:103 NIV

  25. 75
    Cheryl, Austin says:

    Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
    1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)

  26. 76
    Yvonne says:

    Fresno, CA
    Psalm 18:50 NIV He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.

  27. 77
    Deanne Johnson says:

    Deanne, Laguna Hills, CA

    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefor I will wait for Him.”
    Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV

  28. 78
    Kimmygirl says:

    Kim K., Columbus, OH area

    Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
    Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
    They shall still bear fruit in old age;
    They shall be fresh and flourishing,
    To declare that the Lord is upright;
    He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

    Ps. 92:13-15 NKJV

  29. 79
    Cindy Hall says:

    Cindy – Gilbertsville KY

    John 11:40 NIV
    Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

  30. 80
    Judy Smith says:

    Thank you so much – this is just what I needed to read today! God bless you!

  31. 81
    Amanda Porter says:

    Amanda Porter. Lubbock, Texas. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7, 8 NIV)

  32. 82
    Beverly Hudson says:

    Beverly, Pearland, TX
    Galatians 5:1 Holman Christian Standard
    “Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

  33. 83
    Julie Jamison says:

    Julie. Hanford, ca… No eye has seen no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. I Corinthians 2:9 NLT

  34. 84
    Kathy Teal says:

    Kathy, Danvers, MA

    Psalm 65:11 NIV

    You crown the year with Your bounty,
    and Your carts overflow with abundance.

  35. 85
    Elaine says:

    Elaine – Powder Springs – My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    Psalm 139:15 ESV

  36. 86
    Gail Dorn says:

    Gail Dorn
    San Antonio, Texas

    My child don’t reject the Lord’s discipline and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
    For The Lord corrects those He loves, just a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
    Proverbs 3:11,12 (NLT)

  37. 87
    Jennifer M says:

    Jennifer M. Moore, OK ~~ “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.” Colossians 2:2 (NIV)

  38. 88
    Nancy Bradshaw says:

    “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:8 NIV

  39. 89

    Melissa Irwin; Franklin, TN

    Colossians 1:29 (NIV)

    “To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

  40. 90
    Vickie says:

    Vickie, Poplar Bluff. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 NIV

  41. 91
    Heather says:

    Little Rock, AR
    Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. (Proverbs 19:11 NLT)

  42. 92
    Michelle Baylerian says:

    Michelle Baylerian, Waukesha, WI

    I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close. Rev 3:8 HCSB

  43. 93
    Suzann Benson says:

    For although they knew GOD, they did not honor HIM as GOD or give thanks to HIM, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    Romans 1:21 ESV

    Suzann Benson
    Kingwood, WV

  44. 94
    Valerie says:

    Valerie ~ Oklahoma

    “In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3 NIV

  45. 95
    Tammy says:

    Col 2:8 ESV
    See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human traditions, according to elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

  46. 96
    Chyrll Vollmer says:

    Chyrll, Cordova, TN: No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 NASB

  47. 97
    Paula Hale says:

    Paula, Brownwood, Tx
    And whatever you do, in word and deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
    Colossians 3:17. ESV

  48. 98
    Terry says:

    Terry in Louisa, VA

    Psalm 103:11-12 (NIV)
    “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

  49. 99
    Jeannie Watson says:

    Jeannie from Atlanta, IN –
    Matthew 6:14-16, ESV –

    “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will you Father forgive your trespasses. And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly I say to you,they have received their reward.”

  50. 100
    Lisa says:

    Lisa, West Des Moines, “God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (CEV)

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