Daily Devotion for June 17, 2021


This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.                                                              Jeremiah 29: 4-12(NIV)


Moriah Yang - Photo by Kristy Yang

This picture of a little girl admiring a beautiful wedding gown is so very enchanting.  Perhaps she is dreaming of the day when she will fall in love with a wonderful man and marry wearing a beautiful dress like the one in the photo.
God encouraged the Israelites in captivity to keep dreaming dreams, marrying, building homes and planting gardens.  Perhaps many wanted to wait until another time when things were different or better. But that is not the way of God who has plan for prosperity and hope and a future, nor the way of children who are often bold enough to hope.  Jesus teaches us, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”   It is easy to focus on the negative in our homes, in our nation and even our denomination. There is room for improvement everywhere.  I am motivated by focusing on what is good and right and by God’s promise.  With the hopes and the dreams of a child, surely we can hold fast to God’s promise for us.

Heavenly God, help us to rise above the sense of captivity and live into the promises that you have for us. Help us to build your beloved community on this firm foundation of hope in you.