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Are you using your Bible the right way?

   Consider this passage:

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  “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you . . .’”

(Jeremiah 29:11, New International Version)

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   Sounds pretty good, but…for more use………. the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Don’t worry. God has a plan for your day. Facing a rough patch at work? Take a breath. Your future is bright. Money’s a bit tight? Relax. God’s going to prosper you.

   “Except the words in Jeremiah 29:11 have nothing to do with bad hair days, corporate ladders, or financial success. In 597 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah. He rounded up 10,000 leading citizens of Jerusalem and dumped them in Babylon, 500 miles from home. They lost everything. They didn’t know what to do next.

   “From Jerusalem, Jeremiah wrote to the exiles — and told them to get on with their lives: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters.” In other words: you’re going to be there a while. Yet God promised this wasn’t the end for them. In 70 years, the exiles would return home. This was the “hope and . . . future” mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11.

   “Incidentally, that hope and future was something most of the original exiles wouldn’t live to see for themselves. (Seventy years was a long time then, too.) The future described in this passage would be for their children and grandchildren.”¹

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   ¹ Adapted from faith street.com ["5 Verses You Need to Stop Misusing," Apr. 1, 2014]. You can go there for more.

   [Christians have a habit of "hijacking" a Bible passage and applying it to something it was never intended for. With a little imagination, a person can make the Bible support a lot of things. That can be not only disappointing, but dangerous. The Bible is not a magic book. For help in how to use and interpret the Bible we recommend How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. More on this in a future post.]