Blessed in Babylon [Part 2]

By Alan Wright — January 03, 2019

Are you ready for some good news?

No matter your circumstances, you never need to postpone living; there’s life to be lived this very day.

Today’s Text: “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:5–7, ESV)

When the people of God were exiled in Babylon, their great temptation was to postpone life. Just wait until we get back to Jerusalem. One day, I’ll pursue my dreams, raise a family, and invest in the community – but not now, not here.  The Lord shocked the exiled Israelites through the prophet Jeremiah’s exhortation: “Build houses … plant gardens…. Multiply…. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile.”

You might not be in the place of your ultimate calling. You might not have the circumstances that match your dreams. You might feel like life has dealt you a big detour. But wherever you are, God says, “Go ahead and flourish.” You can bless others and be blessed no matter where you are. You can increase and grow and prosper even in the land of your exile.

It means that while you may not have control over your circumstances, you do have control over your attitude in the midst of the circumstances. It means that even though you are on your way to a better place, you can prosper here and now.

My friend Dudley Hall likes to put it this way: Be dancing when the spotlight hits you.

Dance, whether in exile in Babylon or at home in Jerusalem. Your life is not defined by your circumstances in 2019. Your life is defined by the finished work of Jesus Christ wherein you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. And that’s the Gospel!

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