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“Plans I Have for You”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11.  Go into any store or onto any website that has Christian merchandise and you will see pictures, mugs, t-shirts, or devotional books with this verse on them.  We often use this scripture out-of-context to mean that God has plans for us for our good and our future.  But does it not?  As with any good Bible study, we should see what it means in context first as a passage can never mean what it never meant.  Jeremiah was writing to the exiles about a time when the time for captivity in Babylon were completed and they would be allowed to rebuild Jerusalem once again.  It is they that God would prosper if they would seek Him with their whole hearts.  Does that mean that God won’t work for a Christian’s good (Romans 8:28)?  Of course not, but notice that even in that verse which is often misquoted and misapplied there is an element of seeking and living out of God’s will that is implied.  And, God is not a vending machine to owe you prosperity if you live for Him, but it is out of a loving relationship that He chooses to do so.  Are you in Christ?