Jeff Klein, Pastor of Outreach
Jeff Klein 0:07
Welcome to Elmhurst CRC's daily dose in the Word of God. It's Tuesday, November 1. This is Jeff Klein and I serve as Pastor of Outreach at the church. I'll be reading from Jeremiah 29, verses 4 through 7.
Jeff Klein 0:19
This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
Jeff Klein 0:53
This is the ultimate “Bloom where you are planted” set of verses. The situation – Israel has been carried off into exile, taken from their country into Babylon. They are captives and there are false prophets telling them that God will bring them back to Israel quickly. They will escape their captivity and their normal lives will be restored. Jeremiah comes on the scene with these wise words. You’re not going anywhere. This is where God has planted you for a while. You will see your children marry here, and have children, and you will even see your grandchildren here. Plan to stay - and while you do – work for the peace and prosperity of the city where God has sent you. You want it to prosper because if it prospers, you will also prosper. Seek the Shalom of the city; pray to the Lord for it. Work to make life in the city abundant, meaningful, purposeful, whole, and peaceful, because that is the kind of environment you want to live in.
Jeff Klein 1:48
This is a great call to Mission for all of us. How can we follow these instructions where God has planted us? How can we work for the abundance and wholeness of the cities where God has planted us? This work includes prayer and doing something with our hands and feet to help others around us find life the way God intended it. Who are you praying for? Who has God placed in front of you that needs you to work for their prospering? As a follower of Jesus, how are you involved in lifting people in your city, in lifting the life in that city, and in helping people find the abundant life God intended for them? Remember, if everyone around you prospers - if the city around you is an amazing place – you will prosper too.