Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to New Testament Believers Today?

Shared from Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspectives Ministries (EPM) blog.

Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to New Testament Believers Today?

By Randy Alcorn

A few times I’ve shared Jeremiah 29:11 on my Facebook page. The verse says, “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope” (CEB). I always get some pushback on this. Recently a thoughtful reader asked, “But for whom and when does this apply? Is the context meant to include me/us?”

The “you” in Jeremiah 29:11 is plural. It’s spoken not to an individual but to a nation—God’s people Israel, in exile in Babylon. Seven verses earlier it says: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon …” (Jeremiah 29:4). And just a verse earlier it explains that exile will last seventy years. In the near context there is a false prophet, Hananiah, who is basically preaching health and wealth gospel, telling lies to the people that all would be well and that Babylon would be defeated. Jeremiah, the true prophet, who is speaking a message of God’s judgment on Israel, is rejected. God is promising to bring Israel back from the seventy year exile, and that will fulfill His plans for peace and a future of hope.

But the promise of God for all His people is revealed in this passage: that regardless of what judgment and suffering might happen first, God’s ultimate plans for His children (as much for us as for Old Testament Israel) are for good and not evil, for welfare and hope.

Yes, Jeremiah was writing to his fellow Israelites. But so were Moses, Samuel, and David, and nearly all the prophets. That’s true of virtually the entire Old Testament, which in hundreds of cases the New Testament freely applies to the church, followers of Christ, Jews and Gentiles alike. Israel was God’s people, and it’s no stretch to say that today’s believers, the church, are also God’s people. So verses that were written to Israel are also written for the church.

Read the rest here.

The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

Shared from GraceThruFaith.

The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

A Feature Article by Jack Kelley

We all love this kind of story. And as much as we’re encouraged by the experience of an ordinary person who due to personal drive and perseverance rises from humble beginnings to become a leader of business or industry, we’re especially fond of stories where an absolute nobody is plucked from the faceless crowd and instantly propelled to the pinnacle of success. Great Hollywood stories have been built upon this premise, and they’ve never failed to delight us. But by far the absolute best example of this comes from the Bible and is about you.  Our story begins in the Old Testament Book of 1st Samuel with David and Jonathan.

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:3-4)

The making of covenants was serious business because people’s lives depended them. A covenant was the strongest bond known to men, and had both business and personal applications that extended even to the descendants of the two parties involved. Here’s an example.

Read the rest here.

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