Devotional on Jeremiah

God’s good plans for us
Jeremiah 29: I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you…to give you the future you hope for.
This may be the most quoted portion of Jeremiah’s prophecy. We like thinking about God’s plans to prosper us and bless us. We pull this verse out and rejoice in it because it’s such a wonderful promise. Of course, we’re using it out of context. At issue is the fall of Judah, the destruction of the Temple, and the exile of God’s people. The promise being made here won’t even kick in for seventy years. The people hearing this sermon from Jeremiah will be dead and gone when its promise is fulfilled. The “you” in the passage isn’t individuals, but the entire body of exiles, especially their descendants. The actual message here is that they aren’t supposed to sit around thinking about “pie in the sky by and by.” The Lord says that they’re to settle down in the new land they’ve been moved to. They’re to build houses, have families, and make themselves at home. They’re to be good citizens of their new land and pray for its leaders because they’re going to be there the rest of their lives. However, (and here’s the big part) they must never forget that they are, before all else, God’s people. The day of their exile is going to end and they (meaning their descendants) will return home where God will pour his blessing out upon them. Really, if I’m going to apply this passage to my life, I need to avoid using it to tell me how the Lord’s going to prosper me. The “prospering” part for Christians is heaven. Meanwhile, we need to live our lives here and now as a people of God, giving our best to today without forgetting the promise of a better day coming for all God’s people.
Take Away: We need to live our lives here and now as the people of the Lord.

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