September 24
‘Peacemakers who sow in peace, reap a harvest of righteousness.’ James 3:18
Bible reading: Jeremiah 29:1-7 (Go to the Bible passage)
God had told Israel that if they would not listen to Him anymore and would put their trust in other gods, they would no longer be allowed to live in the Promised Land, but would be scattered among all nations (Deuteronomy 28:64). Many prophets had warned them, but they did not want to listen.
They probably thought it would not be that bad. After all, it had been said so many times and it had never happened! But it came as a sudden doom: the king and all the nobles of the land were taken into exile to Babylon, and the holy city of Jerusalem was in ruins… They had become a disgrace among all the nations.
But the prophet Jeremiah gave them a word from the Lord their God, Whom they had left, but Who could not forget them.
Sometimes we too feel like heaven is closed, like God is far away. When we are truly honest, we know that we do not deserve anything but living as exiles, far away from God’s face. But in that exile God seeks us. He has sent Jesus, the great prophet and Savior. And although we may still live in foreign lands, He brings us to the Promised Land.
But He does not make us dreamers who stand by passively. Now that we are not home yet, He gives us the same command as Israel. ‘Seek the peace and prosperity of the city where you live. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’
Do we have such a priestly heart? Or are we so concerned about our own worries that we have become blind to the needs of the people around us? Then the evil one has been rather successful in making us completely ineffective.

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