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Monday, November 3, 2014

God Looks Toward Our Future

Jeremiah 29 : 10 - 14, For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. NKJV
It amazes me how the Lord can bring so many teachings from just one verse or small portion of scripture. Over the years, the Holy Spirit has led me to the above prophecy from Jeremiah many times, and each time He has brought out new understanding from it that I haven’t seen before. Well, He has done it again. Let’s dig into today’s Word.
Israel had been in rebellion for an extended period of time and had rejected the prophecies of His prophets (Jeremiah 25). The Jews refused to turn from their evil ways and wouldn’t stop worshiping false gods. Consequently, they provoked God to anger. Even so, the Lord comes to Israel once again through Jeremiah and reveals what is about to happen to them as a nation over the next seventy years.
There are two things taking place while Jeremiah is declaring the Word of the Lord to the Israelites. First of all, God tells them that after seventy years are completed, He will visit them; He will perform His good word (Sin had delayed it); and finally, He will cause them to return to the place from where they were driven. We can see this as a picture of repentance because the Jews would be broken from living in captivity for seventy years.
While the Lord is telling Israel that they’re about to be led into captivity, He is also revealing what He is feeling toward them and what He is thinking about them in His heart. His heart was filled with love for them; and the actions that He was about to perform were also motivated out of His love. God said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Although it was God that drove His own people to captivity in the land of Babylon; in His heart, He was looking forward to the day that His people would repent of their evil ways and return to Him with their whole hearts. God had to punish His people. Nevertheless, the punishment was to insure that their future would be bright and filled with peace... the day when they would be reconciled with God after being punished for their sins.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that our heavenly Father loves us so much that even when He has to punish us for our sins, He isn’t looking at our past. Instead, He is focused on the day that we are fully restored to our rightful place in Christ? Oh, the love that the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called His children.
Praising His Goodness,
Pastor Asa Dockery
P.S. Please join me in prayer for America and its leaders during this very crucial time. Our government needs to hear from the Lord in order to lead this nation and to bring this great country back into unity as “One nation under God!” We must stand on God’s promises in faith until we see the salvation of the Lord for America with our physical eyes. God has promised us in 2 Chronicles 7 : 14, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. KJV 

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