Message for August 7, 2016 from Pastor Shirley

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.

Jeremiah 29:11

   A very familiar passage of Scripture. A wonderful promise to believers. A lifeline for those going through a hard place in life.

   The Scripture was written to the Jewish exiles who had been removed by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. (Babylon means confusion.) They had been uprooted from all that was familiar to them. Hundreds of miles from home in the middle of pagan worship. The Jewish exiles may have thought they would never be in a place called Babylon–but they were. Once there they thought they would never get out–but God. While there a Word comes that gives them hope that they were not forgotten by God. In the midst of their Babylonian experience they survived by continuing to live. God told them not to let the prophets and diviners among them deceive them.  (Jeremiah 29:4-9)

   In life sometimes we may find ourselves in a place we never  thought we would be. Going through an illness, an unexpected loss of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, a child on drugs. When we find ourselves in that unexpected place, it makes us catch our breath and we forget to go on living. That is what the enemy wants to happen.  He whispers lies about what God said, “The Word must not work for you.” Just as God encouraged the Jewish exiles so too He wants to encourage you. Don’t give up hope–keep on living life by believing. Don’t let the lies of the enemy keep you from breathing.

   God wants to remind us today the plans He has for each and everyone of us–plans to prosper, plans not to harm, plans to give hope, and plans for a future. Breath again. Just as God promised the Jewish exiles He would bring them back home so He promises you today.

  Home is a feeling of security, connection, love. When we are in that unexpected place, the enemy wants us to withdraw. When we began to withdraw, we get to feeling insecure, not connected, and unloved. Remember there is power in unity. God knows exactly where you are and what you are going through. You have Pastors and a church family that love you and will stand with you.

   Allow the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to blow over you today.

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