Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Hudos Eetho: Renewal of the ChurchJeremiah 29:1-9
V.4: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile…”
Prior to their exile to Babylon, Israel had enjoyed the Lord's providence. Many psalms vividly capture the blessed life God offered the Israelites before exile. Their disobedience to the Lord, however, was the cause of their banishment. They remembered the Lord their God during their exile and anguish. A parallel can be established with our current predicament. Many of us recall a community of believers for whom nothing mattered except Christ. Today, most of us are wealthy, yet our community and faith journey appear to be barren. Our hearts long for a unified faith in the Lord, and the Lord is inviting us to repent and to become beneficiaries of a renewal in our brokenness.
The first step toward renewal is identifying our exile. Jeremiah 29 begins with, "These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon," clearly identifying an exiled population. Once we recognize our personal exiles and return to the Lord, the promise of a path of renewal becomes ours. Although our new norms may not resemble those of the old, the Lord can bless us and bring us rebirth through the new path.
After we have tasted the hope of renewal, it is equally important to recognize that Jeremiah warns us about false teachers. The fruits of the spirit are the simplest method to tell if someone is from the Lord. Let us recommit ourselves to the Lord and together praise his mighty and glorious name.
Finally, if we recognize our exile and repent before the Lord, we can be recipients of his renewal. We are urged to be cautious in this age of information overload; a faith-filled life will assist us in identifying today's false prophets. Let us all come before the Lord, receive his kindness and mercy, and be a part of his promise of renewal.
Abba father, we pray that we can see the exile in our lives. We pray for a heart of repentance and a hope for renewal, Amen.
Thought for the Day
“In our deepest pain and exile, the Lord answers our prayers, for he loves us so dearly.”
Long Island Mar Thoma Church, NY