Devotional for Monday October 26th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “You are loved”
Our Bible verse for today: “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be … and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” Jeremiah 29:7 (NKJV)
Our thought for today: “Be an agent of God’s love and peace. Speak words of blessing.”
Jeremiah chapter twenty-nine is a fascinating and instructive piece of Old Testament history. The chapter is essentially a stand-alone letter that Jeremiah wrote to Jewish “elders, priests, prophets, and all the people” who had been taken captive by the army of Nebuchadnezzar and carried off as prisoners to Babylon. They were now living in a place where they did not want to be, in a harsh and authoritarian society that they did not want to be a part of, and Jeremiah was giving them instructions from the Lord about how to conduct themselves.
Some of the instructions included building homes for themselves, planting crops, and raising families. Then in verse 7 he tells them to pray for the peace of the land they find themselves in. Interestingly, that then led to the classic passage in Jeremiah 29:11-13 which we all know and love, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)
The picture we get in the overall passage is of the people of God living good and quiet lives in the society they were in – being agents of peace and love in the middle of a bad situation. And let’s be clear, God was not condoning or endorsing Babylonian culture or society. It was a pagan culture that was sinful and evil in many ways. But God’s word to His people was essentially, “You are where you are, and your situation is what it is. In the middle of this, be faithful to Me. Settle down, live good lives, stand for truth, and make a positive difference how and where you can.”
As we head into the last week of a contentious election season here in the USA, we need to remember who we are and how we are to conduct ourselves. We are the people of God and we are to be His agents of peace and love. By all means, advocate for the candidates and policies that best represent your views. Be active, be vocal, and vote. But also, be kind as you represent Christ in a confused and bitterly divided society. Pray for our nation and speak words of blessing. Perhaps a good way to establish this in our own minds would be to Google the music video “The New York Blessing” and remind ourselves how we, the people of God, can be agents of God’s love, speaking words of blessing even as the world around us is hurting and struggling.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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